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gjm comments on Lesswrong Potential Changes - Less Wrong Discussion

17 Post author: Elo 19 March 2016 12:24PM

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Comment author: gjm 20 March 2016 03:05:23PM 1 point [-]

There are many things that feel nice but that I prefer not to do in public without good reason :-).

Maybe I'm a starry-eyed idealist, or maybe I'm deceiving myself, but I don't think my comments on LW are mostly made with the goal of feeling nice. I'm trying to do something like overall utility maximization too.

Imagine for a moment that every article gets festooned with comments from all the LW regulars saying "I approve of this" or "I disapprove of this". Don't you think that would get in the way? Do you think it would add much value beyond just upvoting and downvoting?

If you have something interesting to say about why you approve or disapprove, or if your approval or disapproval comes with useful suggestions for improvement, or if you have reason to think that LW's readership will have a particular interest in your attitude (e.g., because you're a domain expert in whatever the post is about), then I can see the point. If you just want to say "yay!" or "boo!", though, that's exactly what the voting mechanism is for.

Comment author: [deleted] 20 March 2016 10:23:39PM 1 point [-]

I think you're strawmanning. This isn't all regulars, just me, and it isn't all articles, just one. This is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Comment author: gjm 20 March 2016 10:45:58PM 1 point [-]

This isn't all regulars [...] and it isn't all articles

Sure. But "what if everyone did it all the time?" is a useful heuristic sometimes. Things that can't stand being universalized may be things better not done in the first place. (Not always, of course.)

This is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Continuing to argue about it further certainly would be :-). So I'll leave it here. (For the avoidance of doubt: I agree it's a molehill.)