Feedback after our first reading group

Hello all,

So we were about 8 people, a nice balanced online-offline - @mrchrisadams, Lise, @owen, @Alberto, Caszimir, @Alberto @anique.yael and yours truly.
I’d like to ask everyone to share their thoughts on your experience, both format and content.

Was the format good? what would you change?
What did you learn from the discussions? what should we do better next time?
Any questions about the novel and new economic systems you are left with?

Other reflections are more than welcome… Keep them coming!


1 Like

Lisa said (on Twitter) the same thing as @mrchrisadams: distortion.

When Anique and I tested the same configuration, there was no problem. I think it is not audio distortion, but digital “chopping” due to not enough bandwidth in upload.

Given the heat, we were in the living room – fresher than the office, but using a range extender for the wifi. When we tested, we were going through my computer, which was connected to the router via an actual Ethernet cable. This has quite a dramatic effect on the bandwidth.

Updating the wiki now.

1 Like

I stand corrected: after sampling the recording, it does sound more like audio issues rather than bandwidth ones. The Brussels audio is still clear, but it does not sound as well as it should.

Anique’s voice is less clear than my own. This is because she was further away from the mic. Condenser has a long range, but of course the “presence” of the vocals is much better if you sit near the capsule.

it does not sound like we have any bandwidth issue at all.

For 4-6 people in Brussels I suggest a setup with the mic placed at the center of a table. People will instinctively lean on towards the mic when they speak. This will be a good balance between a seamless conversational experience in local and a good experience from remote.

I also suggest putting up the chat from remote on a large screen.

Thinking longer term i would suggest installing something like this permanently to a space:

This would be a perm-solve, but isn’t worth doing for short time scales.

Agree with the ideas above, especially mic on the table and people circling around it. We were very relaxed on the couch (also the heat had taken over us all day…), but more tight room arrangement would help.

On the content side, I noticed some people wanted to discuss more macroeconomics, while others more meso/ microeconomics, so the conversation kind of shifted between them, but never involving more than say three people on one point. I think we would benefit if we encourage ourselves to signal when we want to stick to a part of the conversation or park a question for later, just so we dont get lost in the many directions. Now it was only about 5 people actually speaking, so not a big problem, but for bigger numbers I would want to capture more :-)) That’s just me though…

1 Like

I think this speaks to a key point in terms of what we want the reading group to be and how we see it evolving accordingly. I come from a background of reading groups that are unstructured - from room arrangements to conversational flow - to allow for the many different ways in which people think access into the collective knowledge sharing.

For me reading groups are unique spaces of collective study and merit as much space for emergence and flow as possible. Platforms like conversational threads leading up to and after the reading group are useful and offer more structured paths for the thinking to take shape. But in the actual room itself I hesitate to create too much structure.

That’s my two cents and as always very committed to collectively creating a learning space responsive to the unique approaches and needs of the group at hand.

As for tech, this is why having the chat open is a useful tool too. As we saw with Lise, some people are more comfortable contributing that way (ie. when I read out her comments); and what can happen is that separate conversations take place there too, and then spill into the room. The intersections can become quite fun!

We also had Beatrice join for the first third and @jolwalton come in the final minutes.

1 Like