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Bakkot comments on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview - Less Wrong

47 Post author: Habryka 15 September 2017 03:00AM

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Comment author: Bakkot 15 September 2017 05:22:13PM 15 points [-]

I would strongly support just banning culture war stuff from LW 2.0. Those conversations can be fun, but they require disproportionately large amounts of work to keep the light / heat ratio decent (or indeed > 0), and they tend to dominate any larger conversation they enter. Besides, there's enough places for discussion of those topics already.

(For context: I moderate /r/SlateStarCodex, which gets several thousand posts in its weekly culture war thread every single week. Those discussions are a lot less bad than culture war discussions on the greater internet, I think, and we do a pretty good job keeping discussion to that thread only, but maintaining both of these requires a lot of active moderation, and the thread absolutely affects the tone of the rest of the subreddit even so.)

Comment author: ozymandias 15 September 2017 06:55:16PM *  5 points [-]

I'm not sure if I agree with banning it entirely. There are culture-war-y discussions that seem relevant to LW 2.0: for instance, people might want to talk about sexism in the rationality community, free speech norms, particular flawed studies that touch on some culture-war issue, dating advice, whether EAs should endorse politically controversial causes, nuclear war as existential risk, etc.

OTOH a policy that people should post this sort of content on their own private blogs seems sensible. There are definite merits in favor of banning culture war things. In addition to what you mention, it's hard to create a consensus about what a "good" culture war discussion is. To pick a fairly neutral example, my blog Thing of Things bans neoreactionaries on sight while Slate Star Codex bans the word in the hopes of limiting the amount they take over discussion; the average neoreactionary, of course, would strongly object to this discriminatory policy.

Comment author: Bakkot 15 September 2017 09:21:37PM 3 points [-]

I think - I hope - we could discuss most of those without getting into the more culture war-y parts, if there were sufficiently strong norms against culture war discussions in general.

Maybe just opt-in rather than opt-out would be sufficient, though. That is, you could explicitly choose to allow CW discussions on your post, but they'd be prohibited by default.

Comment author: Jiro 19 September 2017 06:04:08PM 0 points [-]

Please, no.

The SSC subreddit cultural war thread is basically run under the principle of "make the cultural war thread low quality so people will go away". All that gets you is a cultural war thread that is low quality.