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Comment author: conchis 22 July 2009 09:36:00AM *  1 point [-]

But the thing is, we're interested in the truth. What you or anyone else will use it for is their own business.

Interesting, I don't agree with this at all. Perhaps it comes down to a difference between those of us who are most interested in truth, and those of us who are most interested in winning.

Insofar as anyone's utility function has a term for people-not-being-converted-to-Christianity, people-not-buying-loads-of-crap-they-don't-need, or people-not-treating-members-of-whatever-gender-they-happen-to-be-attracted-to-as-sexual-trophies, what others do with knowledge is their business. Which is not to say that they should somehow censor people who advocate such things; but I wouldn't expect them to sit idly by and pretend that they think these goals are all fine and dandy either.

Comment author: DragonGod 22 September 2017 01:37:52AM 1 point [-]

Insofar as anyone's utility function has a term for people-not-being-converted-to-Christianity

I find this excessively repugnant.

people-not-buying-loads-of-crap-they-don't-need

This "we know what's best for you"/"for you own good TM" attitude is very disturbing.

Comment author: Nanani 05 April 2010 12:37:56AM 1 point [-]

This comment was never intended to attract people to the site, so your last paragraph is not relevant.

Please refrain from lecturing a female on what females do or do not do.

Comment author: DragonGod 21 September 2017 11:41:59PM 0 points [-]

This is blatant identity politics, and if I could downvote, I would.

Comment author: ChristianKl 20 September 2017 01:20:29PM 1 point [-]

I don't think downvotes should be costly. On StackExchange mediocre content can get a high score if it relates to a popular topic.

Given that this website has the goal of filtering content in a way that allows people who only want to read a subset to read the high quality posts downvotes of medicore content as useful information.

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 07:32:43PM 0 points [-]

I'll add the point you raise about downvotes to the "cons" of my argument.

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 08:01:25AM 0 points [-]

On StackExchange upvotes and downvotes from accounts with less than 15 rep are recorded but don't count (presumably until the account gains more than 15 rep). LW may decide to set her bar lower (10 rep?) or higher (>= 20 rep?), but I think the core insight is very good and would be a significant improvement if applied to LW.

Comment author: Gram_Stone 18 September 2017 02:03:52PM 2 points [-]

Will there be LaTeX support?

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 08:01:12AM 0 points [-]

Please add this.

Comment author: Viliam 19 September 2017 10:58:14PM *  0 points [-]

So... let's imagine that one day the website will attack e.g. hundreds of crackpots... each of them posting obviously crazy stuff, dozens of comments each... but most people will hesitate to downvote them, because they would remember that doing so reduces their own karma.

Okay, this will probably not happen. But I think that downvoting is an important thing and should not be disincentivized per se. Bad stuff needs to get downvoted. Actually, other than Eugine, people usually don't downvote enough. (And for Eugine, this is not a problem at all; he will get the karma back by upvoting himself with his other sockpuppets.)

I think it is already too easy to get a lot of karma on LW just by posting a lot of mediocre quality comments, each getting 1 karma point on average. Sometimes I suspect that maybe half of my own karma is for the quality of things I wrote, and the remaining half is for spending too much time commenting here even when I have nothing especially insightful to say.

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 07:53:21AM *  0 points [-]

Okay, this will probably not happen.

Thank God you agree, and thus I think it's value as a thought experiment is nil.

But I think that downvoting is an important thing and should not be disincentivized per se.

Disincentivising downvoting discourages frivolous use of downvotes, and encourages responsible downvoting usage.

If you just disagree with someone, you're more likely to reply than downvote them if you care about your karma for example.

Actually, other than Eugine, people usually don't downvote enough. (And for Eugine, this is not a problem at all; he will get the karma back by upvoting himself with his other sockpuppets.)

On StackExchange upvotes and downvotes from accounts with less than 15 rep are recorded but don't count (presumably until the account gains more than 15 rep). LW may decide to set her bar lower (10 rep?) or higher (>= 20 rep?), but I think the core insight is very good and would be a significant improvement if applied to LW.

Comment author: gjm 19 September 2017 10:37:34PM 0 points [-]

I think Ilya is not claiming that no such group exists but that it is well nigh impossible to know that your group is one such. At least where the claim is being made very broadly, as it seems to be upthread. I don't think it's unreasonable for experimental physicists to think that their consensus on questions of experimental physics is strongly correlated with truth, for instance, and I bet Ilya doesn't either.

More specifically, I think the following claim is quite plausible: When a group of people coalesces around some set of controversial ideas (be they political, religious, technological, or whatever), the correlation between group consensus and truth in the area of those controversial ideas may be positive or negative or zero, and members of the group are typically ill-equipped to tell which of these cases they're in.

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 07:51:28AM 0 points [-]

LW has the best epistemic hygiene of all the communities I've encountered and/or participated in.

In so far as epistemic hygiene is positively correlated with truth, I expect LW consensus to be more positively correlated with truth than most (not all) other internet communities.

Comment author: Thomas 19 September 2017 10:15:35PM 1 point [-]

Well, I said something in line with "people may need some stuff to live and declaring that we should "put people before that stuff" is a silly way to present the situation". Maybe not as silly as it's a demagoguery.

But then I changed my mind and decided to not participate in a discussion at all. But somehow couldn't erase this now empty box.

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 07:47:55AM 0 points [-]

Read my reply to Dagon.

Comment author: Lumifer 20 September 2017 12:32:55AM 0 points [-]

Presumably, groups exist that truth-track, for example experts on their area of expertise.

A group of experts will not necessarily truth-track -- there are a lot of counterexamples from gender studies to nutrition.

I would probably say that a group which implements its ideas in practice and is exposed to the consequences is likely to truth-track. That's not LW, but that's not most of the academia either.

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 07:45:40AM *  0 points [-]

I don't think LW is perfect; I think LW has the best epistemic hygiene of all communities I've encountered and/or participated in.

I think epistemic hygiene is positively correlated with truth.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 19 September 2017 09:58:02PM *  0 points [-]

Talking about LW, specifically. Presumably, groups exist that truth-track, for example experts on their area of expertise. LW isn't an expert group.

The prior on LW is the same as on any other place on the internet, it's just a place for folks to gab. If LW were extraordinary, truth-wise, they would be sitting on an enormous pile of utility.

Comment author: DragonGod 20 September 2017 07:42:12AM *  0 points [-]

The prior on LW is the same as on any other place on the internet.

I disagree. Epistemic hygiene is genuinely better on LW, and insofar as Epistemic hygiene is positively correlated with truth, I expect LW consensus to be more positively correlated with truth than most (not all) other internet communities.

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