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New discussion platform for Less Wrong community (Mastodon instance)

5 Post author: rayalez 17 April 2017 04:00PM

Hey, everyone! I have created a new discussion platform for Less Wrong:


My goal for this project is to revitalize our community, and create a platform for rational conversations about the current events and new ideas. I'm hoping that in this format, we will have more active discussion, and get to know each other better.

The site is built using Mastodon - a new, open source, decentralized social networking platform that is currently taking off.

Comments (14)

Comment author: Vaniver 17 April 2017 07:07:35PM 13 points [-]

In general, building infrastructure for the rationalist community to interact is cool and I approve of it; for this particular one, there are questions about using lesswrong as a brand name if it's not affiliated with LW itself. (For example, the Facebook group that used to be called "LessWrong" eventually got renamed to Brain Debugging Discussion at Eliezer's request.)

Comment author: Elo 17 April 2017 04:30:59PM 12 points [-]

Hi, I know you mean well but can you maybe talk to existing people about efforts before doing something like a huge declaration. False rallying flags are just going to confuse everyone.

It would probably be difficult to be clear on who to ask but as far as I can tell you didn't even try before posting.

Comment author: ThoughtSpeed 17 April 2017 07:01:42PM 6 points [-]

I do want to heap heavy praise on the OP for Just Going Out And Trying Something, but yes, consult with other projects to avoid duplication of effort. :)

Comment author: philh 17 April 2017 06:37:21PM 4 points [-]

(I believe the person to talk to would be Vaniver.)

Comment author: ChristianKl 18 April 2017 01:01:20PM 2 points [-]

The obvious way to ask would be open a discussion on LW and ask for feedback.

Having a new website in the control of a person who's no estasblished member of the community (karma<100) also seems problematic.

Comment author: RyanCarey 18 April 2017 04:39:23AM *  6 points [-]

Similarly to what others have said, it seems pretty unhelpful to start this kind of project without consulting the founders and administrators of LessWrong because of:

  • risk of desensitizing people to announcements about the LW community
  • increasing splintering of the LW community
  • missing out on good ideas from LW's founders and administrators
  • maintaining a good working relationship with LW administrators
  • having consent to use the LW brand at all

etc etc etc

Comment author: Raemon 18 April 2017 03:18:18PM 1 point [-]

While I echo people's concerns, I wanted to add another voice on top of ThoughtSpeed's saying "praise for actually doing something."

Comment author: g_pepper 17 April 2017 04:36:35PM *  1 point [-]

The description on the landing page of lesswrong.io is:

This is a community for people who are interested in Rationality, Cognitive Science, Technology, Philosophy, and related subjects. Our goal is to share and discuss insightful ideas that help us to improve our reasoning and decision-making skills.

But that sounds like it could be a description of lesswrong.com. Is lesswrong.io intended to be a replacement for lesswrong.com? If so, is there a plan for deprecating lesswrong.com and migrating the user base over to lesswrong.io? If not, is seems to me that having two different forums with the same purpose could actually splinter rather than revitalize the community.

Are there any suggestions for what sorts of discussions the io site is for vs what sorts of discussions the .com site is for?

Comment author: Vaniver 17 April 2017 07:01:03PM 3 points [-]

If so, is there a plan for deprecating lesswrong.com and migrating the user base over to lesswrong.io?

Nope. There is a plan underway to migrate lesswrong.com to a new codebase, but it'll be similar to Reddit / Hacker News (i.e. much the same) instead of Twitter / Mastodon.

Comment author: Lumifer 17 April 2017 04:40:15PM 2 points [-]

Mastodon is supposed to be a Twitter replacement. As such, it has a 500-character limit on posts, so it will be difficult to hold complicated discussions there.

Also, it's the Twitter-is-dying-let's-all-go-over-there flavour of the month thing.

Comment author: g_pepper 17 April 2017 04:47:51PM 1 point [-]

Ah - got it.

To avoid splintering the community, my suggestion would be that if someone wants to make a <500 character post, they could just make in on lesswrong.com, perhaps on open thread. After all, we don't have a minimum post length.

Comment author: scarcegreengrass 20 April 2017 09:23:59PM 0 points [-]

As far as i am aware, it doesn't matter too much which Mastadon / Fediverse server you put your account on; you can still participate in the microblogging community. Under this assumption, if you want to connect with other microblogging aspiring rationalists, feel free to post your username as a reply to this comment.

I am @alexpear@social.targaryen.house

Comment author: Viliam 20 April 2017 02:16:53PM *  0 points [-]

Congratulations on actually doing something!

Let's test how this works, and if there are complaints, we can address them later. (Including the possible change of ownership; hey, the platform is open-source.)

Comment author: MrCogmor 18 April 2017 02:46:45AM 0 points [-]

You might want to have a look at https://diasporafoundation.org/