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Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Leaving beta: Voting on moving to

6 Vaniver 11 March 2018 11:40PM

It took longer than we hoped, but LessWrong 2.0 is finally ready to come out of beta. As discussed in the original announcement, we’re going to have a vote on whether or not to migrate the new site to the URL. The vote will be open to people who had 1,000 or more LW karma at the time we announced the vote back in September, and they’ll receive a link by email or private message on the current If you had above 1000 karma in September and did not receive an email or PM, send an email to and we will send you the form link.

We take rationalist virtues seriously, and I think it’s important that the community actually be able to look at the new implementation and vision and be able to say “no thanks.” If over half of the votes are to not migrate, the migration will not happen and we’ll figure out how we want to move forward with the website we’ve built.

Unfortunately, the alternative option for what will happen with the URL is not great. Before I got involved, the original dominant plan was to replace it with a static HTML site, which would require minimal maintenance while preserving the value of old Sequences articles. So in the absence of another team putting forward heroic efforts and coordinating with Trike, MIRI, etc. that would be the world we would be moving towards.

Why not just keep things as they are? At the time, it was the consensus among old regulars that LW felt like an abandoned ghost town. A major concern about keeping it alive for the people still using it was that newcomers would read Sequences articles linked from elsewhere, check out the recent discussion and find it disappointing, and then bounce off of LW. This reduced its value for bringing people into the community.

More recently, various security concerns have made it a worse option to just keep old websites running – Trike has run into some issues where updating the server and antiquated codebase to handle security patches proved difficult, and they would prefer to no longer be responsible for maintaining the old website.

In case you’re just tuning in now, some basic details: I’ve been posting on LW for a long time, and about two years ago thought I was the person who cared most about making sure LW stayed alive, so decided to put effort into making sure that happened. But while I have some skills as a writer and a programmer, I’m not a webdev and not great at project management, and so things have been rather slow. My current role is mostly in being something like the ‘senior rationalist’ on the team, and supporting the team with my models of what should happen and why. The actual work is being done by a combination of Oliver Habryka, Raymond Arnold, and Ben Pace, and their contributions are why we finally have a site that’s ready to come out of beta.

You can read more about our vision for the new LessWrong here.

LW Migration Announcement

2 Vaniver 22 March 2018 02:17AM

The votes are in, and of the eligible 376 voters, 102 voted to Migrate and 15 voted to archive. With 87% in favor, we’re going ahead with the transition, which will begin tomorrow (3/22) at 6pm Pacific time. Trike will take a snapshot of the database, transfer it to us, and we’ll begin the database import of new material since the last import. At 7pm, the DNS server will point to our server instead of Trike’s, and so people visiting will see the new site. The import will run in parallel with the site operating, so there won’t be any downtime of the new site.


Some things to note:

  1. Old links will continue to work, redirecting to the right new URL. We’ll be watching the analytics to notice any failures, and you can also alert us through Intercom (which we’ll shut off a few days into the transition, as problems get fixed).
  2. Lesserwrong links will redirect to the same page at lesswrong.
  3. We’ll add old karma scores to new karma scores, and may adjust the vote weight algorithm accordingly.
  4. Please report issues here.


Also, for those of you near Berkeley, we’ll be throwing a launch party on April 7th at 7pm (LW, Facebook).

March 2018 Media Thread

1 ArisKatsaris 02 March 2018 01:06AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.


  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please post only under one of the already created subthreads, and never directly under the parent media thread.
  • Use the "Other Media" thread if you believe the piece of media you want to discuss doesn't fit under any of the established categories.
  • Use the "Meta" thread if you want to discuss about the monthly media thread itself (e.g. to propose adding/removing/splitting/merging subthreads, or to discuss the type of content properly belonging to each subthread) or for any other question or issue you may have about the thread or the rules.

Bug Hunt - Lesserwrong/ Browser Compatibility

Raemon 22 March 2018 11:24PM

As we get ready for the final move of to, we're addressing various browser compatibility issues.

We've recently updated some compatibility tools that fixed several of the older bugs. If you've run into  compatibility bugs in the past, and are using one of our (newly) supported browsers, it'd be helpful if you tried using again and see if you run into any issues.

The site does require javascript to login and interact, although we'll try to make it a fairly friendly reading experience, and users who prefer a non-javascript experience can use saturn's

The oldest browsers we're officially trying to support are:

  • Firefox 45
  • Chrome 49
  • Safari 9
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Edge
  • Samsung Internet 6

(These are all the browsers that make up more than .4% of our userbase. If there turn out to be major issues for other browsers we'll try to look into them but can't necessarily promise to prioritize them all uniformly highly. It's still useful to have the bugs collected so we have a sense of the spread of issues across various devices)

Let us know what issues you've run into. Please include your browser and OS (and version). Bonus points if you try to replicate the issue in another browser to help triangulate what software is causing problems.