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Viliam comments on Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Raemon 03 April 2017 06:37PM

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Comment author: Viliam 04 April 2017 10:29:25AM *  3 points [-]

Thank you!

Uhm, I guess "exploiters" or "free riders"? (Or "parasites" if one wants to offend. Or "moochers" when talking to Randians.)

Sorry, not a native English speaker, I may be missing something more fitting.

Comment author: Raemon 04 April 2017 02:10:33PM 3 points [-]

I think it's important that what the original post is warning about is not people who show up and mooch off the group - it's people who show up and begin to take over the group so thoroughly that they distort what the group is about. I think "exploiter" works pretty well, but "free rider" doesn't really convey it to me.

Comment author: Lumifer 04 April 2017 05:39:58PM *  1 point [-]

"Parasite" actually has the right biological connotations: feeds on the host but doesn't want to kill the host and may actually be somewhat helpful to the host for the purposes of keeping it alive.

A highly esoteric term for the situation when the parasite gains control of the host would be "cordycepted" X-/

Comment author: sdr 04 April 2017 04:55:10PM *  0 points [-]

Updated. Re: | if you want to publicly address these people <- if people are addressed offline in public, I suspect you can dress it up with the appropiate social grace. But, we're talking about behavior here (and entrepreneurs have exploits they're already proud of, like hackers have hacks, and free riders aren't actively malicious), and I feel that dressing it up with the same grace would actually backfire by not changing (or even harming) the reward structure of the behavior.

Comment author: Viliam 05 April 2017 01:04:30PM 3 points [-]

Yeah. Words can have different connotations for different people. I guess the solution to this is "tabooing" the words, and just describe it shortly for what it is. Like:

"Recently we have noticed that there are people (and it's not just an isolated incident or two) who come to our meetups to simply ask others for free work on their private projects, or even to contribute money. This is not cool; this is not why we are here. These people try to exploit us as a free resource, without providing anything in return. If someone approaches you at our meetup with a similar request, feel free to tell them that such behavior is not welcome."

Could be expressed better, but the idea is to make it descriptive, make it short, and have an organizer announce it as an official policy at the beginning of a meetup.