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After a recent comment thread degenerated into an argument about trolling, moderation, and meta discussions, I came to the following conclusions:
- Meta conversations are annoying to stumble across, I'd rather not see them unless I think it's important, and I think other people mostly feel the same way. Moreover, moderators can't easily ignore those conversations when they encounter them, because they're usually attacks on the moderators themselves; and people can't simply avoid encountering them on a regular basis without avoiding LW altogether. This is a perfect recipe for a flamewar taking over Top Comments even when most people don't care that much.
- Officially banning all meta conversations, however, is a bad precedent, and I don't want LW to do that.
Ideally, Less Wrong would implement a separate "META" area (so that people can read the regular area for all the object-level discussions, and then sally into the meta area only when they're ready). After talking to Luke (who also wants this), though, it seems clear that nobody is able to implement it very soon. So as a stopgap measure, I'm personally going to start doing the following, and I hope you join me:
Whenever a conversation starts getting bitterly meta in a thread that's not originally about a LW site meta issue, I'm going to tell people to start a thread on the LW Uncensored Reddit Thread instead. Then I'm going to downvote anyone who continues the meta war on the original thread.
I know it's annoying to send people somewhere that has a different login system, but it's as far as I can tell the best fix we currently have. Since some meta conversations are important, I'm not going to punish people for linking to meta thread discussions that they think are significant, and the relevant place for those links is usually the Open Thread. I don't want LessWrong to be a community devoted to arguing about the mechanics of LessWrong, so that's my suggestion.
Thoughts? (And yes, this thread is obviously open to meta discussion. I'm hopefully doing something constructive about the problem, instead of just complaining about it, though.)
EDIT: Changed the link to the uncensored thread more specifically, at Luke's request; originally I linked to the general LW subreddit, which is more heavily moderated.
Not sure if this has been covered on LW, but it seems highly relevant to WBE development. Link here:
A few questioners mention the Singularity and make Skynet jokes.
The abstract from their paper in Science:
A central challenge for cognitive and systems neuroscience is to relate the incredibly complex behavior of animals to the equally complex activity of their brains. Recently described, large-scale neural models have not bridged this gap between neural activity and biological function. In this work, we present a 2.5-million-neuron model of the brain (called “Spaun”) that bridges this gap by exhibiting many different behaviors. The model is presented only with visual image sequences, and it draws all of its responses with a physically modeled arm. Although simplified, the model captures many aspects of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and psychological behavior, which we demonstrate via eight diverse tasks.
I'm curious to see LWers' perspectives on the project.
EDIT2: The video has now been posted, you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tsI_28O3Ws
Just a heads up to the lesswrong community. Dr. Aubrey de Grey will be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit this upcoming Tuesday the 15th, scheduled for 9am EST. He will be doing a video-style response, which likely means that he will take the top voted questions and post his responses on youtube. When the AMA starts, you will be able to find it posted on http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/ . I will update this post with links to the question thread and video response when they go live.
EDIT: Ask Aubrey de Grey your questions here: Ask Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Foundation, Anything! He will be taking the top voted questions and answering them later this week in a video response. I will update this post then.