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

Comment author: Huluk 26 March 2016 12:55:37AM *  26 points [-]

[Survey Taken Thread]

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

Let's make these comments a reply to this post. That way we continue the tradition, but keep the discussion a bit cleaner.

Comment author: roryokane 30 March 2016 09:41:19PM 32 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: dspeyer 09 January 2016 07:41:33PM 1 point [-]

I can't avoid all my problems by drawing squirrels, but when I can, I do.

--Randall Munrow

Comment author: roryokane 09 January 2016 07:46:19PM *  3 points [-]

*Randall Munroe

Comment author: CAE_Jones 16 September 2015 09:38:03AM 4 points [-]

Not that I'm aware, but you might check the "fiction" tag on Slatestarcodex. (I remember finding a similarly useful tag on his Livejournal, but I don't remember what it was called OTTOMH).

Comment author: roryokane 19 September 2015 11:03:45AM *  2 points [-]

The LiveJournal tag is also named “fiction”. There are 10 posts under it.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 21 May 2015 01:03:03PM *  1 point [-]

I told an intelligent, well-educated friend about Less Wrong, so she googled, and got "Less Wrong is an online community for people who want to apply the discovery of biases like the conjunction fallacy, the affect heuristic, and scope insensitivity in order to fix their own thinking." and gave up immediately because she'd never heard of the biases.

Note that that's not the first sentence on the homepage. The first sentence on the homepage is

In the past four decades, behavioral economists and cognitive psychologists have discovered many cognitive biases human brains fall prey to when thinking and deciding.

(This gives some context by explaining what a cognitive bias is.)

Maybe if we increased the amount of whitespace preceding these paragraphs, people wouldn't skip the first sentence?

BTW, I think it makes sense to decide whether to implement concrete changes with polls:

Should we increase the amount of whitespace preceding the introductory paragraphs on the homepage?


Comment author: roryokane 25 May 2015 07:00:39PM *  3 points [-]

I’m not sure if reformatting the home page would have made any difference for Nancy’s friend. Was she on the home page, or the Google search page for “less wrong”?

Welcome to Less Wrong
lesswrong.com/ ▾
Less Wrong is an online community for people who want to apply the discovery of biases like the conjunction fallacy, the affect heuristic, and scope insensitivity ...

Google quotes that sentence out of context, so its wording is especially important.

Comment author: estimator 19 May 2015 06:56:33PM *  5 points [-]


The old introduction may be obscure, but at least it is informative. A visitor can follow the links, read 5 minutes about biases (if it is required) and then he gets some understanding of what this site is actually about. The new version is much more vague. Who would like to think more clearly, improve their lives and make major disasters less likely? Well, pretty much everybody.

I don't think that minor changes, like rephrasing introduction or adding disclaimers about criticisms to FAQ will have any noticeable effect. To attract significantly more people, you should write actual content, like HPMoR or the sequences.

Personally, when I recommend LessWrong to friends, I tell a few words about what it is, so they don't actually have to read introduction at all. Or, even better, link directly to the sequences.

Anyway, remember that one data point is one data point. People in marketing have their A/B tests for a reason; now, it's unclear whether the new introduction will attract more people because of its apprehensibility or less because of its vagueness.

Comment author: roryokane 25 May 2015 06:57:58PM *  3 points [-]

The old introduction may be obscure, but at least it is informative. A visitor can follow the links …

I can’t tell from Nancy’s anecdote, but it is possible that her friend couldn’t follow the links on the home page, because she was actually on the Google search page:

Welcome to Less Wrong
lesswrong.com/ ▾
Less Wrong is an online community for people who want to apply the discovery of biases like the conjunction fallacy, the affect heuristic, and scope insensitivity ...

The sentence’s wording without links is important because Google quotes it in plaintext.

Comment author: ChristianKl 25 May 2015 06:28:09PM 3 points [-]

These roles would take significant work, but I imagine people would be motivated to do this by altruism or status.

If someone's goal is status, why write on LW instead of writing a personal blog?

Comment author: roryokane 25 May 2015 06:46:14PM *  4 points [-]

Writing on Less Wrong makes it easier to reach a large audience. New personal blogs would have trouble getting readers unless they were advertised in strategic places.

Comment author: roryokane 15 May 2015 08:27:37AM 3 points [-]

On my midterm exam in my college class Computer and Networking Security, I scored 88%, the highest in the class. About 18 other students took the test, and the mean of our scores was 62%. The exam will be graded on a curve, so my score is probably equivalent to A+.

I was the second-to-last student to finish the exam. This surprised me at the time, but now I think it must have been because I took more time to thoroughly think about the questions and show my work. On the other hand, I studied very little – only for 20 minutes, right before the exam. I am thankful that that turned out to be enough, and proud that I skimmed the slides effectively enough and paid enough attention in class that that’s all I needed.

Comment author: roryokane 11 November 2014 04:37:54AM *  6 points [-]

One transportation option many people would not think of is an adult kick scooter. Kick scooters are most useful for speeding up trips of short distances, up to a few miles, on sidewalks and across roads. As of my research a few months ago, the cheapest one that would fit a non-short adult was the Razor A5 Lux Scooter, which currently costs $100.

The main advantage of a kick scooter is that unlike a bicycle, you can legally and more safely ride them on the sidewalk, so you don’t have to focus as much on navigating car or pedestrian traffic. Compared to other forms of short-distance transportation they are faster than walking, take less effort than running, and are easier to ride and safer than a skateboard. Also, since they are smaller than bicycles, they are somewhat easier to store in an office, but I don’t expect that that size difference is relevant to most people.

The main problem is that you still need to lock the scooter to something at your destination to prevent it being stolen. They are also unfashionable.

Because of the locking/storage problem, I decided that it would not be worth it for me to get a scooter. But others may find a kick scooter worth it for their travel habits.

Comment author: roryokane 27 October 2014 07:57:29PM *  29 points [-]

I took the survey. Though I can’t remember my SAT score, which I know I put on the last survey – I wish I had saved my answers last year.

In response to comment by [deleted] on On Caring
Comment author: Bugmaster 08 October 2014 11:20:18PM 2 points [-]

You are saying that shminux is "a worse person than you" and also "heartless", but I am not sure what these words mean. How do you measure which person is better as compared to another person ? If the answer is, "whoever cares about more people is better", then all you're saying is, "shminux cares about fewer people because he cares about fewer people". This is true, but tautologically so.

In response to comment by Bugmaster on On Caring
Comment author: roryokane 16 October 2014 07:27:40PM 0 points [-]

All morals are axioms, not theorems, and thus all moral claims are tautological.

Whatever morals we choose, we are driven to choose them by the morals we already have – the ones we were born with and raised to have. We did not get our morals from an objective external source. So no matter what your morals, if you condemn someone else by them, your condemnation will be tautoligcal.

View more: Next