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Lesswrong real time chat

18 Post author: Elo 04 September 2015 02:29AM

This is a short post to say that I have started and am managing a Slack channel for lesswrong.

Slack has only an email-invite option which means that I need an email address for anyone who wants to join.  Send me a PM with your email address if you are interested in joining.

There is a web interface and a mobile app that is better than google hangouts.


If you are interested in joining; consider this one requirement:

  • You must be willing to be charitable in your conversations with your fellow lesswrongers.


To be clear; This means (including but not limited to);

  • Steelman not strawman of discussion
  • Respect of others
  • patience
So far every conversation we have had has been excellent, there have been no problems at all and everyone is striving towards better understanding of each other.  This policy does not come out of a recognition of a failure to be charitable; but as a standard to set when moving forward.  I have no reason to expect it will be broken but all the same; I feel it is valuable to have.



I would like this to have several goals and purposes (some of which were collaboratively developed with other lesswrongers in the chat, and if more come up in the future too that would be good)
  • an aim for productive conversations, to make progress on our lives.
  • a brains trust for life-advice in all kinds of areas where, "outsource this decision to others" is an effective strategy.
  • collaborative creation of further rationality content
  • a safe space for friendly conversation on the internet (a nice place to hang out)
  • A more coherent and stronger connected lesswrong
  • Development of better ideas and strategies in how to personally improve the world.

So far the chat has been operating by private invite from me for about two weeks as a trial.  Since this post was created we now have an ongoing conversation with exciting new ideas being produced all the time.  If nothing else - its fun to be in.  If something - we are generating a growing space for rationality and other ideas.  I have personally gained two very good friends already; that I now talk to every day.  (Which coincidentally slowed me down from posting this notice because I was too busy with other things and learning from new people)

I realise this type of medium is not for all.  But I am keen to make it work.

I also realise that when people PM me their email addresses - other people will not see how many of you have already signed up.  So generally assume that there have been others who are already signed up and don't hesitate to join.  If you are wondering if you have anything to contribute; that's exactly the type of person we want to be inviting.  By doing that thought you classify yourself as the type of person to try harder.  We want you (and others) to talk with us.

Edit: Topics we now host;
  • AI
  • Film making
  • Goals of lesswrong
  • Human Relationships
  • media
  • parenting
  • philosophy
  • political talk
  • programming
  • real life
  • Resources and links
  • science
  • travelling
  • and some admin channels; the "welcome", "misc", and "RSS" from the lw site.
Edit a week's review for the first week of august in 2015: http://lesswrong.com/lw/msa/open_thread_sep_21_sep_27_2015/crk1

Edit - first week of October: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/mub/open_thread_oct_5_oct_11_2015/csr3

Edit - 3rd week in october 2015: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/mwt/open_thread_oct_26_nov_01_2015/cuq5

Edit - 3rd week in november 2015 http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/mzz/open_thread_nov_23_nov_29_2015/cwyl

Comments (14)

Comment author: Terdragon 06 September 2015 04:00:47AM *  6 points [-]

Having skimmed this post and the Less Wrong Slack wiki page, I had to really look to figure out what my Next Action for signing up to the Slack channel would be (I infer that it is to PM you my email address). Consider adding that information as a sentence in bold at the top of this page and/or the wiki page?

This is awesome, thanks for doing this!

Comment author: Elo 06 September 2015 10:15:36PM 2 points [-]

I need an email address for anyone who wants to join.

when people PM me their email addresses

I am surprised that you are the first person to mention difficulty. I will put it in the top post more boldened.

Comment author: casebash 04 September 2015 04:12:57AM 3 points [-]

Having participated on this chat, one of the key advantages of it compared to the IRC is that there are multiple channels. So if I want to talk about Human Relationships and Eliot wants to talk about Lifehacks our conversations don't interfere with each other.

This also greatly increases the signal to noise ratio. If a channel is uninteresting to you, then you don't need to follow it.

Comment author: drethelin 04 September 2015 07:41:24PM 2 points [-]

IRC has this function also, but the affordances for using it are not as good. I think Slack is an upgrade to the IRC interface on almost every axis.

Comment author: taygetea 05 September 2015 07:33:04AM 0 points [-]

There's been quite a bit of talk about partitioning channels. And the #lesswrong sidechannels sort of handle it. But it's nowhere near as good. I'm starting to have ideas for a Slack-style interface in a terminal... but that would be a large project I don't have time for.

Comment author: metaperture 20 October 2015 11:42:28AM 0 points [-]

I haven't tried it, but this looks like it could be useful for that project: https://github.com/evanyeung/terminal-slack

Comment author: [deleted] 07 September 2015 01:30:19PM 0 points [-]

Can participants make their own channels?

Comment author: casebash 08 September 2015 01:27:40PM 0 points [-]

Yes, but please mention your intent first so they we can tell you if there's already an existing channel that meets that need

Comment author: drethelin 21 September 2015 07:20:49PM 0 points [-]

Is that really necessary? Slack displays all the non-private channels in the sidebar

Comment author: casebash 25 September 2015 03:53:08AM 0 points [-]

Sometimes we might want to make a more general channel instead.

Comment author: [deleted] 12 September 2015 06:27:32AM 0 points [-]

Great. That sounds like a robust and useful system for the time being.

Comment author: Fluttershy 04 September 2015 08:15:53AM 1 point [-]

Neat! Maybe we could use this for weekly meetups between people who don't live near an already existing LW meetup group.

Comment author: Elo 04 September 2015 08:23:10AM 1 point [-]

Done. I will post the first online-concentrated-meetup with a date-time in another week. (to allow more people to join)

Comment author: AleksTK 09 September 2015 07:33:48AM 0 points [-]

This sounds like a great idea!