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Comment author: Viliam 15 July 2017 11:01:40PM 6 points [-]

Your advice is essentially "call back the old celebrities".

A big problem of LW 1.0, before the downvotes were banned, was the infamous sockpuppet master using his fake accounts to downvote whoever he didn't like. I suspect he drove off a few potential "new celebrities". Either by downvoting them directly; or because they realize they don't really want to publish on a website where one idiot can single-handedly censor their content.

I am not saying that those people were on the level of Eliezer, Yvain, or Gwern, just that, given chance, perhaps a small fraction of them could enter the pantheon.

If LW 2.0 will be able to prevent similar personal vendettas, and if there will be a way to make higher-quality content available for a longer time (as opposed to now having all Discussion content scrolling off the first page at the same speed), I hope we will gradually get some high-quality content back.

Comment author: enye-word 16 July 2017 04:08:19AM 1 point [-]

Yep, that's a pretty good TL;DR.

So, what I'm getting from your comment is that yall've tried to ban the problem child(ren), but couldn't make it stick? Mmm. Well, I wish you the best of luck on that front!

LessWrong Is Not about Forum Software, LessWrong Is about Posts (Or: How to Immanentize the LW 2.0 Eschaton in 2.5 Easy Steps!)

11 enye-word 15 July 2017 09:35PM

[epistemic status: I was going to do a lot of research for this post, but I decided not to as there are no sources on the internet so I'd have to interview people directly and I'd rather have this post be imperfect than never exist.]

Many words have been written about how LessWrong is now shit. Opinions vary about how shit exactly it is. I refer you to http://lesswrong.com/lw/n0l/lesswrong_20/ and http://lesswrong.com/lw/o5z/on_the_importance_of_less_wrong_or_another_single/ for more comments about LessWrong being shit and the LessWrong diaspora being suboptimal.

However, how to make LessWrong stop being shit seems remarkably simple to me. Here are the steps to resurrect it:

1. Get Eliezer: The lifeblood of LessWrong is Eliezer Yudkowsky's writing. If you don't have that, what's the point of being on this website? Currently Eliezer is posting his writings on Facebook, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/674486385982694/) which I consider foolish, for the same reasons I would consider it foolish to house the Mona Lisa in a run-down motel.

2. Get Scott: Once you have Eliezer back, and you sound the alarm that LW is coming back, I'm fairly certain that Scott "Yvain" Alexander will begin posting on LessWrong again. As far as I can tell he's never wanted to have to moderate a comment section, and the growing pains are stressing his website at the seams. He's even mused publicly about arbitrarily splitting the Slate Star Codex comment section in two (http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/04/09/ot73-i-lik-the-thred/) which is a crazy idea on its own but completely reasonable in the context of (cross)posting to LW. Once you have Yudkowsky and Yvain, you have about 80% of what made LessWrong not shit.

3. Get Gwern: I don't read many of Gwern's posts; I just like having him around. Luckily for us, he never left!

After this is done, everyone else should wander back in, more or less.

Possible objections, with replies:

Objection: Most SSC articles and Yudkowsky essays are not on the subject of rationality and thus for your plan to work LessWrong's focus would have to subtly shift.

Reply: Shift away, then! It's LessWrong 2! We no longer have to be a community dedicated to reading Rationality: From AI to Zombies as it's written in real time; we can now be a community that takes Rationality: From AI to Zombies as a starting point and discusses whatever we find interesting! Thus the demarcation between 1.0 and 2.0!

Objection: People on LessWrong are mean and I do not like them.

Reply: The influx of new readers from the Yudkowsky-Yvain in-migration should make the tone on this website more upbeat and positive. Failing that, I don't know, ban the problem children, I guess. I don't know if it's poor form to declare this but I'd rather have a LessWrong Principate than a LessWrong Ruins. See also: http://lesswrong.com/lw/c1/against_online_pacifism/

Objection: I'd prefer, for various reasons, to just let LessWrong die.

Reply: Then kill it with your own hands! Don't let it lie here on the ground, bleeding out! Make a post called "The discussion thread at the end of the universe" that reads "LessWrong is over, piss off to r/SlateStarCodex", disallow new submissions, and be done with it! Let it end with dignity and bring a close to its history for good.

Comment author: enye-word 31 May 2017 02:29:30PM 3 points [-]

Good thing this community died for entirely unrelated reasons, then!

Comment author: enye-word 31 May 2017 07:03:28AM 2 points [-]

And if you think you can explain the concept of "systematically underestimated inferential distances" briefly, in just a few words, I've got some sad news for you...

"This is going to take a while to explain."

Did I do it? Did I win rationalism?!

Comment author: [deleted] 09 June 2013 08:43:42PM 7 points [-]

As a professional philosopher who's interested in some of the issues discussed in this forum. . .

Oh wow. The initials 'djc' match up with David (John) Chalmers. Carnap and PhilPapers are mentioned in this user's comments. Far from conclusive evidence, but my bet is that we've witnessed a major analytic philosopher contribute to LW's discussion. Awesome.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Philosophy: A Diseased Discipline
Comment author: enye-word 10 May 2017 08:51:59AM 0 points [-]

In the comment he links to above, djc states "One way that philosophy makes progress is when people work in relative isolation, figuring out the consequences of assumptions rather than arguing about them. The isolation usually leads to mistakes and reinventions, but it also leads to new ideas."

When asked about LessWrong in a reddit AMA, David Chalmers stated "i think having subcommunities of this sort that make their own distinctive assumptions is an important mechanism of philosophical progress" and an interest in TDT/UDT.

(See also: https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/06/notes-from-the-asilomar-conference-on-beneficial-ai/)

(Sorry to dox you, David Chalmers. Hope you're doing well these days.)