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AnnaSalamon 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: AnnaSalamon 27 November 2016 10:29:20PM *  35 points [-]

Re: 1, I vote for Vaniver as LW's BDFL, with authority to decree community norms (re: politics or anything else), decide on changes for the site; conduct fundraisers on behalf of the site; etc. (He already has the technical admin powers, and has been playing some of this role in a low key way; but I suspect he's been deferring a lot to other parties who spend little time on LW, and that an authorized sole dictatorship might be better.)

Anyone want to join me in this, or else make a counterproposal?

Comment author: Alexandros 29 November 2016 10:55:56AM 7 points [-]

Who is empowered to set Vaniver or anyone else as the BDFL of the site? It would be great to get into a discusion of "who" but I wonder how much weight there will be behind this person. Where would the BDFL's authority eminate from? Would he be granted, for instance, ownership of the lesswrong.com domain? That would be a sufficient gesture.

Comment author: AnnaSalamon 29 November 2016 06:16:33PM 13 points [-]

I'm empowered to hunt down the relevant people and start conversations about it that are themselves empowered to make the shift. (E.g. to talk to Nate/Eliezer/MIRI, and Matt Fallshaw who runs Trike Apps.).

I like the idea of granting domain ownership if we in fact go down the BDFL route.

Comment author: Alexandros 30 November 2016 04:22:57AM 1 point [-]

that's awesome. I'm starting to hope something may come of this effort.

Comment author: Lumifer 29 November 2016 06:00:50PM *  3 points [-]

An additional point is that you you can only grant the DFL part. The B part cannot be granted but can only be hoped for.

Comment author: Alexandros 02 December 2016 08:54:23AM 0 points [-]

An additional additional point is that the dictator can indeed quit and is not forced to kill themselves to get out of it. So it's actually not FL. And in fact, it's arguably not even a dictatorship, as it depends on the consent of the governed. Yes, BDFL is intentionally outrageous to make a point. What's yours?

Comment author: ChristianKl 02 December 2016 12:39:51PM 1 point [-]

And in fact, it's arguably not even a dictatorship, as it depends on the consent of the governed.

The person who owns the website doesn't need consent of the people who visit the website to make changes to the website.

Comment author: Lumifer 02 December 2016 03:59:02PM *  0 points [-]

intentionally outrageous to make a point

Funny how I didn't notice anyone become outraged.

And, of course, BDFL's powers do NOT depend on the consent of the governed -- it's just that the governed have the ability to exit.

As to the point, it's merely reminding of the standard trade-off with dictator-like rulers. They are like a little girl:

When she was good
She was very, very good
And when she was bad she was horrid.
Comment author: ingres 28 November 2016 09:10:59PM *  7 points [-]

I'm concerned that we're only voting for Vaniver because he's well known, but I'll throw in a tentative vote for him.

Who are our other options?

Comment author: btrettel 30 November 2016 04:19:20PM *  7 points [-]

I'll second the suggestion that we should consider other options. While I know Vaniver personally and believe he would do an excellent job, I think Vaniver would agree that considering other candidates too would be a wise choice. (Narrow framing is one of the "villians" of decision making in a book on decision making he suggested to me, Decisive.) Plus, I scanned this thread and I haven't seen Vaniver say he is okay with such a role.

Comment author: Vaniver 30 November 2016 05:45:08PM 3 points [-]

I think Vaniver would agree that considering other candidates too would be a wise choice.

I do agree; one of the reasons why I haven't accepted yet is to give other people time to see this, think about it, and come up with other options.

(I considered setting up a way for people to anonymously suggest others, but ended up thinking that it would be difficult to find a way to make it credibly anonymous if I were the person that set it up, and username2 already exists.)

Comment author: Viliam 28 November 2016 09:49:16PM *  5 points [-]

I'm concerned that we're only voting for Vaniver because he's well known

Also because he already is a moderator (one of a few moderators), so he already was trusted with some power, and here we just saying that it seems okay to give him more powers. And because he already did some useful things while moderating.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 28 November 2016 05:28:55AM 5 points [-]

Do we know anyone who actually has experience doing product management? (Or has the sort of resume that the best companies like to see when they hire for product management roles. Which is not necessarily what you might expect.)

Comment author: Alexandros 30 November 2016 04:24:31AM 6 points [-]

I've done my fair bit of product management, mostly on resin.io and related projects (etcher.io and resinos.io) and can offer some help in re-imagining the vision behind lw.

Comment author: SatvikBeri 28 November 2016 05:39:46AM *  6 points [-]

I do. I was a product manager for about a year, then founder for a while, and am now manager for a data science team, where part of my responsibilities are basically product management for the things related to the team.

That said, I don't think I was great at it, and suspect most of the lessons I learned are easily transferred.

Edit: I actually suspect that I've learned more from working with really good product managers than I have from doing any part of the job myself. It really seems to be a job where experience is relatively unimportant, but a certain set of general cognitive patterns is extremely important.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 28 November 2016 05:51:15AM *  2 points [-]

OK, I vote for Satvik as the person to choose who the BDFL is :D

Comment author: Gurkenglas 29 November 2016 08:13:10PM *  0 points [-]

Comment author: SatvikBeri 27 November 2016 10:42:41PM 11 points [-]

Agree with both the sole dictatorship and Vaniver as the BDFL, assuming he's up for it. His posts here also show a strong understanding of the problems affecting less wrong on multiple fronts.

Comment author: alyssavance 30 November 2016 01:12:31AM 2 points [-]

Seconding Anna and Satvik

Comment author: casebash 28 November 2016 10:46:16AM 3 points [-]

It would be good to know what he thinks the direction of LW should be, but I would really like to see a new BDFL.

Comment author: Viliam 28 November 2016 12:18:52AM 3 points [-]

I agree, assuming that "technical admin powers" really include access to everything he might need for his work (database, code, logs, whatever).

Comment author: RyanCarey 28 November 2016 12:07:04AM 3 points [-]

I agree that Vaniver should be.

Comment author: sarahconstantin 27 November 2016 10:50:11PM 6 points [-]

I also vote for Vaniver as BDFL.

Comment author: moridinamael 30 November 2016 03:02:11PM 2 points [-]

I concur with placing Vaniver in charge. Mainly, we need a leader and a decision maker empowered to execute on suggestions.

Comment author: philh 28 November 2016 11:35:02AM 1 point [-]

Throwing in another vote for Vaniver.

Comment author: hairyfigment 01 December 2016 11:47:41PM 0 points [-]

I have reservations about this, especially the weird 'for life' part.

Comment author: ChristianKl 29 November 2016 06:37:49PM 0 points [-]

Having a BDFL would be great. Vaniver seems to be a good candidate.