Petrov Day is September 26

On Septem­ber 26th, 1983, the world was nearly de­stroyed by nu­clear war. That day is Petrov Day, named for the man who averted it. Petrov Day is now a yearly event on Septem­ber 26 com­mem­o­rat­ing the an­niver­sary of the Petrov in­ci­dent. Last year, Ci­tadel, the Bos­ton-area ra­tio­nal­ist house, performed a rit­ual on Petrov day. We will be do­ing it again—and have pub­lished a re­vised ver­sion, for any­one else who wants to have a Petrov Day cel­e­bra­tion them­selves.

The pur­pose of the rit­ual is to make catas­trophic and ex­is­ten­tial risk emo­tion­ally salient, by putting it into his­tor­i­cal con­text and pro­vid­ing pos­i­tive and nega­tive ex­am­ples of how it has been han­dled. This is not for the faint of heart and not for the un­ini­ti­ated; it is aimed at those who already know what catas­trophic and ex­is­ten­tial risk is, have some back­ground knowl­edge of what those risks are, and be­lieve (at least on an ab­stract level) that pre­vent­ing those risks from com­ing to pass is im­por­tant.

Petrov Day is de­signed for groups of 5-10 peo­ple, and con­sists of a se­ries of read­ings and sym­bolic ac­tions which peo­ple take turns do­ing. It is easy to or­ga­nize; you’ll need a few sim­ple props (can­dles and a can­dle-holder) and a print­out of the pro­gram for each per­son, but other than that no prepa­ra­tion is nec­es­sary.

Or­ga­nizer guide and pro­gram (for one-sided print­ing) (PDF)
Pro­gram for two-sided print and fold (PDF)

There will be a Petrov Day rit­ual hosted at Ci­tadel (Bos­ton area) and at High­gar­den (New York area). If you live some­where else, con­sider run­ning one your­self!