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Viliam comments on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Viliam 19 September 2017 10:26:39PM *  1 point [-]

A big problem with culture wars is that they usually derail debates on other topics. At least my reaction to seeing them is often like: "if you want to debate a different topic, make your own damned thread!"

For example, I would be okay with having a debate about <insert topic>, as long as it happens in a thread called "<the topic>". If someone is not interested, they can ignore the thread. People can upvote or downvote the thread to signal how they feel about an importance of debating the topic on LW.

But when such debates start in a different topic... well, sometimes it seems like there should be no problem with having some extra comments in a thread (the comment space is unlimited, you can just collapse the whole subthread), but the fact is that it still disrupts attention of people who would otherwise debate about the original topic.

There are also other aspects, like people becoming less polite, becoming obsesses with making their faction win, etc.

And the thing that having political debates on a websites sometimes attracts people who come here only for the political debates. I don't usually have a problem with LW regulars discussing X, but I have a problem with fans of X coming to LW to support their faction.

Not sure what to conclude, though. Banning political debates completely feels like going too far. I would prefer having the political debates separately from other topics. But separate political debates is probably what would most attract the fans of X. (One quick idea is to make it so that positive karma gained in explicitly political threads is not counted towards the user total, but the negative one is. Probably a bad idea anyway, just based on prior probabilities. Or perhaps to prevent users younger than 3 months from participating, i.e. both commenting and voting in the political threads.)