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thomblake comments on Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism - Less Wrong

105 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 April 2009 02:44AM

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Comment author: thomblake 22 April 2009 02:40:33PM 17 points [-]

Update: new 'feature' - apparently, you can now only downvote if you've done less downvoting than your karma. Example from my screen:

Your total down votes (2538) must be less than your karma (528)

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 April 2009 01:20:54AM 9 points [-]

Current comment: 93t. This implies 11,792 comments, if I count correctly. You've downvoted 21% of all comments? I think it's more likely we're looking at some kind of bug, but if you've actually downvoted 21% of all comments then more power to you. Still, I'd like to verify first that it's not a bug.

Comment author: thomblake 23 April 2009 01:57:53PM 18 points [-]

That sounds about right - I try to read all comments and downvote over 1/3 of the time, but I've missed some in days of inactivity.

Comment author: khafra 30 September 2011 03:49:19PM 25 points [-]

I think I just read the explanation for the strange phenomena some people have reported; that of karma disappearing rapidly over a few hours of downvotes on older threads. It's just thomblake catching up.

Comment author: thomblake 30 September 2011 06:48:45PM 3 points [-]

Sadly, that does not completely explain the phenomenon.

If only I had an army of sockpuppets!

Comment author: wmoore 23 April 2009 02:29:02AM 8 points [-]

I've verified the numbers, thomblake has posted 2538 down votes. 93t is 11801 in base 36. Adding 436 articles drop the percentage slightly to 20.7%.

Comment author: Mulciber 23 April 2009 02:40:04AM 5 points [-]

Is there a way for us to see on our own how many downvotes and upvotes we've given?

I mean, I guess there is a way to check your total downvotes now, but I'd have to downvote a lot of posts to get the information that way.

Comment author: wmoore 27 April 2009 06:47:57AM *  2 points [-]

No there isn't a way to check vote counts at the moment.

Comment author: Larks 21 August 2009 05:43:01PM 8 points [-]

An unexpected consequence of this change is that upvoting thomblake now has benefits (he can downvote more) that don't correlate to the quality of his posting. While this will give him a (weak) incentive to produce better comments, it'll also encourage me to upvote him more, reducing the quality-signalling function of his karma.

Comment author: thomblake 26 August 2009 03:47:50PM 15 points [-]

it'll also encourage me to upvote him more

It's nice to hear that my tendency to downvote heavily is so valued.

Comment author: Nominull 22 April 2009 03:08:56PM 5 points [-]

I guess I need to go back and undo hundreds of downvotes on old comments if I want to have a hand in tending the garden.

Comment author: thomblake 22 April 2009 03:21:44PM *  19 points [-]

Certainly not worth your time. Maybe we can go start our own rationalist community! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the rationalism!

Comment author: wmoore 23 April 2009 01:12:31AM 4 points [-]

It was mistakenly assumed that most people's down vote count would not be approaching their karma, particularly for high karma users. I'll do some more research and discuss it with Eliezer.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 April 2009 01:23:32AM 10 points [-]

Initial quick fix: downvote limit = 4x karma.

Comment author: wmoore 23 April 2009 02:19:23AM 4 points [-]

Quick fix deployed. I did some analysis of user's down vote count and karma. This change allows everyone to down vote that doesn't have a massively skewed down vote to karma ratio (Like 21 to 2 or 548 to 137). Obviously this still leaves thomblake roughly 500 short.

Comment author: rela 22 April 2011 02:45:53PM 3 points [-]

Out of curiosity, why 4?

Comment author: Annoyance 22 April 2009 03:36:48PM *  3 points [-]

So in order to facilitate the downvoting that we have been encouraged to do, we must restrict downvoting so as to keep it within our karma.

Are upvotes also so restricted?

Y'know, this new feature seems to be of dubious value in itself, but it's a great way to disassociate upvotes from comment quality. Before, people would be more willing to upvote a good comment from a person whose judgment they didn't agree with or like, providing effective feedback as to what they felt about the comment and its contents. Now, though, providing that upvote gives people more ability to exercise their judgment and thus more power. People don't like giving people they dislike more power. Ergo, people will give upvotes not according to their evaluation of individual comments, but as approval of the person who posts them.

Comment author: thomblake 22 April 2009 03:42:24PM 10 points [-]

Are upvotes also so restricted?

Nope. I'd suggested that originally for balance, but the concern here (I think) was that someone could wreak more damage with unrestricted downvotes. Someone could create a bunch of accounts and downvote a bunch of stuff to oblivion. To use the 'pruning the garden' metaphor, we don't want people to come off the street with machetes and chainsaws.

But yes, I find it very ironic that this feature was implemented at the same time as encouragement to downvote more. On the other hand, they do go together, as since I can't be the one doing most of the downvoting anymore (he said jokingly), other people need to step it up.

Comment author: Mulciber 23 April 2009 01:20:48AM 5 points [-]

I'm concerned that this makes the ability to downvote a limited resource. That's good in some ways, but as long as we're talking about "what if someone created a whole bunch of accounts to mess things up" scenarios, it raises an unpleasant possibility.

If someone mass-created accounts to post flame bait and complete garbage, we'd respond by voting them down severely, which restricts the ability to use downvotes productively in actual discourse.

I don't know much about the way this site is set up. Was that scenario already considered, but viewed as unlikely for reasons I'm not seeing?

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 22 April 2009 03:08:03PM 3 points [-]

Which means that you won't be able to downvote anyone for considerable time in the future. This is a bug, the limitation shouldn't apply retroactively. And maybe one should be given 3x amount of Karma for downvoting. Ideally, of course, the votes should just be weighted, so that you can mark any post, maybe on a scale, and all of the posts you ever voted for get a rating change according to your overall Karma (this shouldn't be linear, something more stable like square root or even logarithm).

Comment author: dlthomas 29 September 2011 07:53:17PM 3 points [-]

Present Karma affecting future votes, or present karma affecting all votes cast? I can see arguments for both, although I worry that the latter might not be stable or computable for certain sets of parameters (my downvote lowers your karma which weakens your upvote which lowers my karma which weakens the aforementioned downvote, etc...)

Comment author: lessdazed 29 September 2011 10:07:00PM 2 points [-]

Just so long as I get to be a multiclass fighter/rogue/sorcerer who specializes in enchantment spells, I'll be happy.