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

Comment author: curi 29 November 2017 08:03:03PM 0 points [-]

I already did put work into that. Then they refused to read references, for unstated reasons, and asked me to rewrite the same things I already wrote, as well as rewrite things written by Popper and others. I don't want to put in duplicate work.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 02 December 2017 12:37:20PM 1 point [-]

Any learning - including learning how to communicate persuasively - requires repeated tries, feedback, and learning from feedback. People are telling you what kind of writing they might find more persuasive, which is an opportunity for you to learn. Don't think of it as duplicate work, think of it as repeatedly iterating a work and gradually getting towards the point where it's persuasive to your intended audience. Because until you can make it persuasive, the work isn't finished, so it's not even duplicating anything. Just finishing what you originally started.

Of course, if you deem that to be too much effort, that's fair. But the world is full of writers who have taken the opportunity to learn and hone their craft until they could clearly communicate to their readers why their work is worth reading. If you don't, then you can't really blame your potential readers for not bothering to read your stuff - there are a lot of things that people could be reading, and it's only rational for them to focus on the stuff that shows the clearest signs of being important or interesting.

Comment author: curi 28 November 2017 05:45:03PM 0 points [-]

You are requesting I write new material for you because you dislike my links to websites with thousands of free essays, because you find them too commercial, and you don't want to read books. Why should I do this for you? Do you think you have any value to offer me, and if so what?

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 29 November 2017 01:17:51PM *  2 points [-]

Why should I do this for you? Do you think you have any value to offer me, and if so what?

You have it the wrong way around. This is something that you do for yourself, in order to convince other people that you have value to offer for them.

You're the one who needs to convince your readers that your work is worth engaging with. If you're not willing to put in the effort needed to convince potential readers of the value of your work, then the potential readers are going to ignore you and instead go read someone who did put in that effort.

Comment author: Alicorn 15 September 2017 08:23:41PM 11 points [-]

I feel more optimistic about this project after reading this! I like the idea of curation being a separate action and user-created sequence collections that can be voted on. I'm... surprised to learn that we had view tracking that can figure out how much Sequence I have read? I didn't know about that at all. The thing that pushed me from "I hope this works out for them" to "I will bother with this myself" is the Medium-style individual blog page; that strikes a balance between desiderata in a good place for me, and I occasionally idly wish for a place for thoughts of the kind I would tweet and the size I would tumbl but wrongly themed for my tumblr.

I don't like the font. Serifs on a screen are bad. I can probably fix this client side or get used to it but it stood out to me a surprising amount. But I'm excited overall.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 21 September 2017 03:42:09PM 0 points [-]

I think the font feels okay (though not great) when it's "normal" writing, but text in italics gets hard to read.

Comment author: Viliam 19 September 2017 11:04:59PM 5 points [-]

I think "Less Wrong" was an appropriate name at the beginning, when the community around the website was very small. Now that we have grown, both in user count and in content size, we could simply start calling ourselves "Wrong". One word, no problems with capitalization or spacing.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 21 September 2017 03:39:38PM *  1 point [-]

Calling ourselves "Wrong" or "Wrongers" would also fix the problem of "rationalist" sounding like we'd claim to be totally rational!

Comment author: ignoranceprior 18 September 2017 05:38:41PM 1 point [-]

I thought you were a negative utilitarian, in which case disaster recovery seems plausibly net-negative. Am I wrong about your values?

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 18 September 2017 10:04:08PM *  2 points [-]

I've had periods when I described myself as pretty close to pure-NU, but currently I view myself as a moral parliamentarian: my values are made up of a combination of different moral systems, of which something like NU is just one. My current (subject to change) position is to call myself "NU-leaning prioritarian": I would like us to survive to colonize the universe eventually, just as long as we cure suffering first.

(Also it's not clear to me that this kind of an operation would be a net negative even on pure NU grounds; possibly quite non-effective, sure, but making it negative hinges on various assumptions that may or may not be true.)

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 18 September 2017 10:53:31AM *  2 points [-]

I met Denkenberger at the same ALLFED workshop that Hanson participated in (as a part of the GoCAS research program on existential risk); I also thought his work was quite impressive and important.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 17 September 2017 04:34:02PM *  0 points [-]

aggregating lots of individual estimates of quality sure can help discover the quality.

I guess we fundamentally disagree. Lots of people with no clue about something aren't going to magically transform into a method for discerning clue regardless of aggregation method -- garbage in garbage out. For example: aggregating learners in machine learning can work, but requires strong conditions.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 18 September 2017 10:40:04AM 0 points [-]

Lots of people with no clue about something aren't going to magically transform into a method for discerning clue regardless of aggregation method -- garbage in garbage out.

I think that's the core of the disagreement: I assume that if the forum is worth reading in the first place, then the average forum user's opinion of a comment's quality tends to correlate with my own. In which case something have lots of upvotes is evidence in favor of me also thinking that it will be a good comment.

This assumption does break down if you assume that the other people have "no clue", but if that's your opinion of a forum's users, then why are you reading that forum in the first place?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 17 September 2017 03:46:13PM *  0 points [-]

LW1.0's problem with karma is that karma isn't measuring anything useful (certainly not quality). How can a distributed voting system decide on quality? Quality is not decided by majority vote.

The biggest problem with karma systems is in people's heads -- people think karma does something other than what it does in reality.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 17 September 2017 04:02:12PM 4 points [-]

LW1.0's problem with karma is that karma isn't measuring anything useful (certainly not quality).

That's the exact opposite of my experience. Higher-voted comments are consistently more insightful and interesting than low-voted ones.

Quality is not decided by majority vote.

Obviously not decided by it, but aggregating lots of individual estimates of quality sure can help discover the quality.

Comment author: ESRogs 17 September 2017 09:35:57AM 7 points [-]

Ranking posts from best to worst in folks who remain I don't think is that helpful. People will know quality without numbers.

Ranking helps me know what to read.

The SlateStarCodex comments are unusable for me because nothing is sorted by quality, so what's at the top is just whoever had the fastest fingers and least filter.

Maybe this isn't a problem for fast readers (I am a slow reader), but I find automatic sorting mechanisms to be super useful.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 17 September 2017 10:55:12AM 7 points [-]

This. SSC comments I basically only read if there are very few of them, because of the lack of karma; on LW even large discussions are actually readable, thanks to karma sorting.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 15 September 2017 07:59:25PM 1 point [-]

People use name recognition in practice, works pretty well.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 17 September 2017 10:53:33AM 4 points [-]

I can use name recognition to scroll through a comment thread to find all the comments by the people that I consider in high regard, but this is much more effort than just having a karma system which automatically shows the top-voted comments first. (The karma system also doesn't discriminate against new writers as badly as relying on name recognition does.)

View more: Next