Wait But Hi


Wait But Hi: A Global In-Person Hangout for the WBW Community

A typical internet rule is that internet comment sections are upsetting places. Comment sections are full of not-very-interesting people being not very nice to other not-very-interesting people for hours on end while the world dies.

But Wait But Why has proven to be an exception. Somehow, the world’s low-quality people seem to have not discovered this blog. Or maybe they have and they just never get to the bottom of the long articles. We’re not sure how it happened, but Wait But Why readers are the best. They’re smart and curious and thinky and un-dickish and they don’t take themselves that seriously. And if there’s one thing the Wait But Why community has made clear to us in their comments and emails, it’s that they want to hang out with each other in a place more fun than Disqus. We agree.

So it’s time.

I’m excited to announce the very first ever Wait But Hi.

That’s right. Wait But Hi.

Wait But Hi will be a huge global hangout day on Saturday, August 13, 2016. Here’s how it’s gonna work:

1) If you want to participate in Wait But Hi, fill out the survey below, which takes about 15 minutes (and must be done in one sitting). This will tell us about who you are, who you like, and what kind of things are fun for you.

2) Over the next month, the WBW team will use the survey results to carefully match up groups of people, organizing hundreds of group hangouts all over the world.

3) On August 13, you’ll be instructed where and when to go, and only when you get there will you find out what we’ve planned for you—customized to you—based on what we’ve learned about you from the survey. You might find yourself making homemade pasta with eight other WBW readers at one of their homes. You might end up in a group of five somewhere, rock climbing. You might be getting drunk with people and playing mafia. You might be with a group getting a lesson in knitting from a pro-knitting WBW reader or a lesson in quantum computing from a WBW reader physicist. If your survey tells us you’re single, you might be headed to a haunted house on a one-on-one date, as part of our dream of creating a Wait But Why baby. There are no rules.

We don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, but we’re very excited about it.

Whatever we plan for you on August 13, our goal is for it to be fun. Not “something that is a fun story later and you’re happy you did it but while it was actually happening you were kind of miserable” fun, but actually really fun, where you’re sorry when it’s over. We think we’ll learn enough about you from your survey to pull that off.

So whoever you are, wherever you are in the world, we hope you’ll jump in with us and do Wait But Hi—an event for the whole WBW community, all happening simultaneously, all over the world.

Important notes:

  • You can take the survey down below. It takes about 15 minutes, you have to take it in a single sitting, and you have to take it by the end of Wednesday, July 13 (EDT).
  • Not everyone who takes the survey will get to do Wait But Hi. Part of what’s cool about this is that we’re carefully customizing every single hangout to the specific people involved, but that also means that we probably can’t accommodate everybody. We’ll be giving first priority to our Patreon donors, second priority to our email subscribers (we’ll know if you’re one of these people by your email address), and third priority to everyone else—but we’ll be including some people from all three groups.
  • Wait But Hi is not-for-profit on our end and just about free on yours. There will be a $5 admin fee for everyone who participates (you won’t be asked for this payment until you’ve been selected to participate), and other than that, all you’ll need to pay is for your share of whatever your group activity is. And how expensive it’ll be on the day is up to you—one of the questions in the survey is about your budget, and we plan to create different hangouts for people of all different budgets.
  • Finally, since not everyone will be able to participate, there is a second part of Wait But Hi for everyone: A number of large hangouts in major cities (in places like Central Park) the next day—Sunday, August 14. More info on that later.

Update #1 (July 13): The survey is now closed.

Update #2 (August 10): We’ll be having lots of big events on Sunday, August 14th – head here for updates on those events and Wait But Hi invitations.

Update #3 (August 24): Wait But Hi – Full Report


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