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2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results

32 ingres 14 May 2016 05:38PM


As we wrap up the 2016 survey, I'd like to start by thanking everybody who took
the time to fill it out. This year we had 3083 respondents, more than twice the
number we had last year. (Source: http://lesswrong.com/lw/lhg/2014_survey_results/)
This seems consistent with the hypothesis that the LW community hasn't declined
in population so much as migrated into different communities. Being the *diaspora*
survey I had expectations for more responses than usual, but twice as many was
far beyond them.

Before we move on to the survey results, I feel obligated to put a few affairs
in order in regards to what should be done next time. The copyright situation
for the survey was ambiguous this year, and to prevent that from happening again
I'm pleased to announce that this years survey questions will be released jointly
by me and Scott Alexander as Creative Commons licensed content. We haven't
finalized the details of this yet so expect it sometime this month.

I would also be remiss not to mention the large amount of feedback we received
on the survey. Some of which led to actionable recommendations I'm going to
preserve here for whoever does it next:

- Put free response form at the very end to suggest improvements/complain.

- Fix metaethics question in general, lots of options people felt were missing.

- Clean up definitions of political affilations in the short politics section.
  In particular, 'Communist' has an overly aggressive/negative definition.

- Possibly completely overhaul short politics section.

- Everywhere that a non-answer is taken as an answer should be changed so that
  non answer means what it ought to, no answer or opinion. "Absence of a signal
  should never be used as a signal." - Julian Bigelow, 1947

- Give a definition for the singularity on the question asking when you think it
  will occur.

- Ask if people are *currently* suffering from depression. Possibly add more
  probing questions on depression in general since the rates are so extraordinarily

- Include a link to what cisgender means on the gender question.

- Specify if the income question is before or after taxes.

- Add charity questions about time donated.

- Add "ineligible to vote" option to the voting question.

- Adding some way for those who are pregnant to indicate it on the number of
  children question would be nice. It might be onerous however so don't feel
  obligated. (Remember that it's more important to have a smooth survey than it
  is to catch every edge case.)

And read this thread: http://lesswrong.com/lw/nfk/lesswrong_2016_survey/,
it's full of suggestions, corrections and criticism.

Without further ado,

Basic Results:

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Questions (PDF Format)

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results (PDF Format, Missing 23 Responses)

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results Complete (Text Format, Null Entries Included)

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results Complete (Text Format, Null Entries Excluded)

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results Complete (Text Format, Null Entries Included, 13 Responses Filtered, Percentages)

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results Complete (Text Format, Null Entries Excluded, 13 Responses Filtered, Percentages)

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results Complete (HTML Format, Null Entries Excluded)

Our report system is currently on the fritz and isn't calculating numeric questions. If I'd known this earlier I'd have prepared the results for said questions ahead of time. Instead they'll be coming out later today or tomorrow. (EDIT: These results are now in the text format survey results.)


Philosophy and Community Issues At LessWrong's Peak (Write Ins)

Peak Philosophy Issues Write Ins (Part One)

Peak Philosophy Issues Write Ins (Part Two)

Peak Community Issues Write Ins (Part One)

Peak Community Issues Write Ins (Part Two)

Philosophy and Community Issues Now (Write Ins)

Philosophy Issues Now Write Ins (Part One)

Philosophy Issues Now Write Ins (Part Two)

Community Issues Now Write Ins (Part One)

Community Issues Now Write Ins (Part Two)


Rejoin Conditions

Rejoin Condition Write Ins (Part One)

Rejoin Condition Write Ins (Part Two)

Rejoin Condition Write Ins (Part Three)

Rejoin Condition Write Ins (Part Four)

Rejoin Condition Write Ins (Part Five)


CC-Licensed Machine Readable Survey and Public Data

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Structure (License)

2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Public Dataset

(Note for people looking to work with the dataset: My survey analysis code repository includes a sqlite converter, examples, and more coming soon. It's a great way to get up and running with the dataset really quickly.)

In depth analysis:

Analysis Posts

Part One: Meta and Demographics

Part Two: LessWrong Use, Successorship, Diaspora

Part Three: Mental Health, Basilisk, Blogs and Media

Part Four: Politics, Calibration & Probability, Futurology, Charity & Effective Altruism

Aggregated Data

Effective Altruism and Charitable Giving Analysis

Mental Health Stats By Diaspora Community (Including self dxers)

How Diaspora Communities Compare On Mental Health Stats (I suspect these charts are subtly broken somehow, will investigate later)

Improved Mental Health Charts By Obormot (Using public survey data)

Improved Mental Health Charts By Anonymous (Using full survey data)

Political Opinions By Political Affiliation

Political Opinions By Political Affiliation Charts (By anonymous)

Blogs And Media Demographic Clusters

Blogs And Media Demographic Clusters (HTML Format, Impossible Answers Excluded)

Calibration Question And Brier Score Analysis

More coming soon!

Survey Analysis Code

Some notes:

1. FortForecast on the communities section, Bayesed And Confused on the blogs section, and Synthesis on the stories section were all 'troll' answers designed to catch people who just put down everything. Somebody noted that the three 'fortforecast' users had the entire DSM split up between them, that's why.

2. Lots of people asked me for a list of all those cool blogs and stories and communities on the survey, they're included in the survey questions PDF above.

Public TODO:

1. Add more in depth analysis, fix the ones that decided to suddenly break at the last minute or I suspect were always broken.

2. Add a compatibility mode so that the current question codes are converted to older ones for 3rd party analysis that rely on them.

If anybody would like to help with these, write to jd@fortforecast.com

Reductionism sequence now available in audio format

18 Rick_from_Castify 02 June 2013 02:55AM

The sequence "Reductionism", which includes the subsequences "Joy in the Merely Real" and "Zombies", is now available as a professionally read podcast.

Thanks to those who've been listening, let us know how your experience has been thus far and what you think of the service by dropping an email to support@castify.co.  

Second major sequence now available in audio format

22 Rick_from_Castify 31 January 2013 05:25AM

The sequence "A Human's Guide to Words" is now available as a professionally read podcast.

We have started working on the large "Reductionism" sequence which includes both the "Joy in the Merely Real" and the "Zombies" sub-sequences.  They should be available in a couple of weeks.

Ames, IA LW meetup Sunday May 8 (First Iowa Meetup!) 2pm

2 Matt_Simpson 02 May 2011 03:32PM

Berkeley LW Meet-Up Saturday May 7

1 LucasSloan 02 May 2011 04:07AM

Ottawa LW meetup, May 9, 7pm; Bayes study group, May 5, 9pm

3 Cyan 02 May 2011 01:04AM

Ottawa LW Meetup: Thursday April 28, 7:00pm (ADDED: Bayes study group satellite meeting)

5 Cyan 21 April 2011 09:35PM

Ottawa LW Meetup Saturday April 16th

7 Cyan 06 April 2011 04:20PM

Berkeley LW Meet-Up Saturday April 9

5 LucasSloan 04 April 2011 03:37AM


6 PlaidX 22 December 2009 05:57PM

The social bookmarking site metafilter has a sister site called metatalk, which works the same way but is devoted entirely to talking about metafilter itself. Arguments about arguments, discussions about discussions, proposals for changes in site architecture, etc.

Arguments about arguments are often less productive than the arguments they are about, but they CAN be quite productive, and there's certainly a place for them. The only thing wrong with them is when they obstruct the discussion that spawned them, and so the idea of splitting off metatalk into its own site is really quite a clever one.

Lesswrong's problem is a peculiar one. It is ENTIRELY devoted to meta-arguments, to the extent that people have to shoehorn anything else they want to talk about into a cleverly (or not so cleverly) disguised example of some more meta topic. It's a kite without a string.

Imagine if you had been around the internet, trying to have a rational discussion about topic X, but unable to find an intelligent venue, and then stumbling upon lesswrong. "Aha!" you say. "Finally a community making a concerted effort to be rational!"

But to your dismay, you find that the ONLY thing they talk about is being rational, and a few other subjects that have been apparently grandfathered in. It's not that they have no interest in topic X, there's just no place on the site they're allowed to talk about it.

What I propose is a "non-meta" sister site, where people can talk and think about anything BESIDES talking and thinking. Well, you know what I mean.


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