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gwern comments on Three Worlds Collide (0/8) - Less Wrong

48 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2009 12:07PM

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Comment author: gwern 01 July 2013 09:58:33PM 0 points [-]

although it's worth mentioning that Methods is arguably as much an outlier in fanfic terms as your average bestseller is in publishing, and retroactively extrapolating from its performance might not accurately model the kind of forward prediction that Eliezer would actually have been doing when he was making these choices.

I think it pretty obviously does not accurately represent the choice Eliezer faced at the time. Aside from the inherent advantages of fanfiction (no barriers to entry for him or readers, close interaction with readers so he can debug chapters), there are who knows how many thousands of high-quality fanfics he was competing with? It's worth noting that Eliezer has done a fair bit of original and fanfiction before (http://yudkowsky.net/other/fiction) and AFAIK none of them have been wildly successful even when you consider them being short stories etc.