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SatvikBeri comments on On the importance of Less Wrong, or another single conversational locus - Less Wrong

84 Post author: AnnaSalamon 27 November 2016 05:13PM

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Comment author: SatvikBeri 27 November 2016 04:33:57PM 3 points [-]

Thinking about this more, I think that moderator status matters more than specific moderator privilege. Without one or more people like this, it's pretty difficult to actually converge on new norms. I could make some posts suggesting new norms for e.g. posting to main vs. discussion, but without someone taking an ownership role in the site there's no way to cause that to happen.

I suspect one of the reasons people have moved discussions to their own blogs or walls is because they feel like they actually can affect the norms there. Unofficial status works (cf. Eliezer, Yvain) but is not very scalable–it requires people willing to spend a lot of time writing content as well as thinking about, discussing, and advocating for community norms. I think you, Ben, Sarah etc. committing to posting here makes a lesswrong revival more likely to succeed, and would place even higher odds if 1 or more people committed to spending a significant amount of time on work such as:

  • Clarifying what type of content is encouraged on less wrong, and what belongs in discussion vs. main
  • Writing up a set of discussion norms that people can link to when saying "please do X"
  • Talking to people and observing the state of the community in order to improve the norms
  • Regularly reaching out to other writers/cross-posting relevant content, along with the seeds of a discussion
  • Actually ban trolls
  • Manage some ongoing development to improve site features
Comment author: Vaniver 27 November 2016 05:50:12PM 14 points [-]

Thinking about this more, I think that moderator status matters more than specific moderator privilege. Without one or more people like this, it's pretty difficult to actually converge on new norms. I could make some posts suggesting new norms for e.g. posting to main vs. discussion, but without someone taking an ownership role in the site there's no way to cause that to happen.

One idea that I had, that I still think is good, is essentially something like the Sunshine Regiment. The minimal elements are:

  1. A bat-signal where you can flag a comment for attention by someone in the Sunshine Regiment.

  2. That shows up in an inbox of everyone in the SR until one of them clicks an "I've got this" button.

  3. The person who took on the post writes an explanation of how they could have written the post better / more in line with community norms.

The basic idea here is that lots of people have the ability to stage these interventions / do these corrections, but (a) it's draining and not the sort of thing that a lot of people want to do more than X times a month, and (b) not the sort of thing low-status but norm-acclimated members of the community feel comfortable doing unless they're given a badge.

A similar system is something like Stack Overflow's review queue, which gives users the ability to review more complicated things as their karma gets higher, and thus offloads basic administrative duties to users in a way that scales fairly well. But while SO is mostly concerned with making sure edits aren't vandalizing the post and garbage gets cleaned up, I think LW benefits from taking a more transformative approach towards posters. (If we have a lot of material that identifies errors of thought and can correct those, then let's use it!)

Comment author: sarahconstantin 27 November 2016 06:34:29PM 9 points [-]

Happy to join Sunshine Regiment if you can set it up.

Comment author: SatvikBeri 27 November 2016 07:06:55PM 10 points [-]

Also happy to join. And I'm happy to commit to a significant amount of moderation (e.g. 10/hours a week for the next 3 months) if you think it's useful.