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Comment author: Cyan2 04 November 2007 02:09:11AM 2 points [-]

Rational thought needs a knowledge base; given that, it can outperform evolution. When the knowledge base is lacking and improving it is difficult, then an evolutionary strategy may be the best course. Lots of examples of genetic algorithms accomplishing what rational design couldn't (with the current knowledge base) at TalkOrigins.

Comment author: srcs 10 August 2017 09:17:07AM 0 points [-]

Rational thought is the result of evolution. Anything it achieves is an achievement of evolution.

Comment author: srcs 10 August 2017 09:14:28AM 0 points [-]

Evolution produced a species that is capable of improving itself, and which invented space flight. Human beings have never invented a single species.

Comment author: Ben_Jones 22 January 2008 09:22:52AM 4 points [-]

Just saw this.

Have a look at the first letter. Classic example of this post's subject. Newcastle had a good fanbase from all around England a few years ago, but "as soon as Keegan was gone [world not ending as predicted] so were the neutrals [skeptical followers] owing to the fact that they were never really accepted as 'real' Newcastle fans on account of they weren't Geordies. They don't have any 'outsider' fans to keep them calm and give them a sense of reality." I read that and had to stop myself saying "Evaporative Cooling of Group Beliefs!" out loud in the office....

I'd already thought of this myself before I saw the article. Not only is Evaporative Cooling in evidence at Newcastle United, they are caught in a Happy Death Spiral. For the philistines out there, Newcastle United Football Club recently reappointed Kevin Keegan as manager. Keegan was a star as a player for Newcastle thirty years ago, and had a spell as a manager about ten years back. They played brilliant attacking football under him, but Keegan's tactical naivete saw them throw away a commanding lead to lose the championship. He left, and it's been downhill ever since.

In the intervening years the team has struggled to show any real class, and rose-tinted hindsight means the fans still call Keegan 'The Messiah'. His recent second return has been greeted as if it were actually the second coming. He and the supporters have had a big old media love-in, reinforcing one another's sense of righteousness, and the club is now unnaturally confident about its prospects. When Keegan's faults are pointed out to fans, the stock reply is 'who cares, the Messiah's back, we're going to see some exciting football!'

Hope this makes sense in the states....

Comment author: srcs 10 August 2017 07:25:14AM 0 points [-]

You mean his tactical naivete caused them to throw away their lead. It didn't "see" anything.

Comment author: [deleted] 31 August 2012 05:44:05PM *  10 points [-]

I didn't originally propose this for LW in general, but a different forum or section. People can earn their LW karma elsewhere. But let us for the sake of this exchange suppose here we make this a general rule. I actually like it much more than what I had in mind at first!

It should be emphasised the reverse of what you describe is constantly happening. It is easier and easier to amass 1000 karma as LessWrong grows. Comparing older to newer articles shows clear evidence of ongoing karma inflation.

There aren't that few people with karma over 1000, I'd guesstimate there are at least 100 of them. Many of those are currently active. But again making it harder to get over 1000 karma in order to vote might be a good think. A key feature of the Eternal September problem is that when you have newcomers of a community interacting mostly with other new members old norms have a hard time taking root. And yes since users takee the karma mechanism, especially negative votes, so seriously it is a very strong kind of interaction. Putting the karma mechanism in the hands of proven members should produce better poster quality. It somewhat alleviates the problems of rapid growth.

It also further subsidizes the creation of new articles. Recall your karma from writing a Main Article is boosted 10 fold.

Comment author: srcs 09 August 2017 03:10:19PM 0 points [-]

Good. Old norms should be discarded.

Comment author: CronoDAS 02 September 2012 09:02:53PM 6 points [-]

I think this is a VERY BAD IDEA. Charging $5 would have kept me out. It also keeps out everyone who doesn't have a credit card, which includes basically every high school student.

Comment author: srcs 09 August 2017 03:05:02PM 0 points [-]

the students who are nerdy losers, anyway.

Comment author: [deleted] 31 August 2012 04:15:44PM *  13 points [-]

An unintended side-effect: readers without credit/debit cards may find it harder to join the site. This disproportionately affects younger people, a demographic that may be more open to LW ideas.

Another unintended side-effect is that it may increase phyg pattern-matching. Now new recruits have to pay to join the site, and surely that money is being secretly funneled into EY's bank account.

That said, I think that on balance this is a good policy proposal. I also think that the similar proposal using phone verification is plausible, and doesn't run into the above two problems.

Comment author: srcs 09 August 2017 03:01:24PM 0 points [-]

phyg means cult, which is what lesswrong is. https://lesswrong.com is a cult.

Comment author: MileyCyrus 31 August 2012 03:09:41PM *  2 points [-]

If you want to nuke trolling, use the Metafilter strategy: new accounts have to pay $5 (once). Troll too much, lose your account and pay $5 for a new one. Hurts a lot more than downvotes.

This will deter some (a lot?) of non-trolls from making new accounts. It will slow community growth. On the other hand, it will tighten the community and align interests. Casual users don't contribute to Less Wrong's mission: we need more FAI philanthropist/activists. Requiring a small donation will make it easier for casual users to make the leap to FAI philanthropist/activists, even if it makes it harder for lurkers to become casual users. And it will stop the trolling.

Comment author: srcs 09 August 2017 02:53:50PM 0 points [-]

It is trivial to pay for the account and simply dispute the charge or cancel the card altogether, not to mention stolen cards. this would stop nothing.

Comment author: [deleted] 31 August 2012 03:05:06PM *  1 point [-]


Karma inflation due to more users means old articles aren't as up voted as they should. Also because they are old they don't get read or updated as much as they should. We tried to at least correct people not reading the sequence with reruns. It didn't exactly work.


Currently karma earned from posting a Main article is boosted by a factor of 10. Lets boost the value of karma by a factor of 2 or some other low value for any new comments on articles older than 2 years.

Comment author: srcs 09 August 2017 02:50:28PM 0 points [-]

The sequences are mostly a lot of words that say nothing, and aren't even aesthetically pleasing. and the title couldn't have been more poorly chosen. is it any surprise no one wants to read the incoherent ramblings of a delusional lunatic?

Comment author: rocurley 04 September 2012 03:15:27PM 1 point [-]

This seems intuitively likely, and is likely true in many cases. In the end, if you don't have good commenters, there may not be much to be done about it on a technical level. However, it's not obvious to me it applies here. For example, the entire karma system is a technical solution that seems to be, if not ideal, better than nothing in dealing with the social problem of filtering content on this site and Reddit.

Comment author: srcs 09 August 2017 02:34:40PM 0 points [-]

there is never any reason for a filtering system, period. everyone should be allowed and expected to decide for themselves what is good and what isn't. any system of hiding comments deprives people of their right to be heard, but more importantly, also deprives people of their right to hear.

Comment author: David_Gerard 31 August 2012 01:50:01PM *  13 points [-]

(as I noted in the buried thread)

The mental model being applied appears to be sculpting the community in the manner of sculpting marble with a hammer and chisel. Whereas how it'll work will be rather more like sculpting human flesh with a hammer and chisel. Giving rather a lot of side effects and not quite achieving the desired aims. Sculpting online communities really doesn't work very well. But, geeks keep assuming the social world is simple, even when they've been in it for years.

Comment author: srcs 09 August 2017 02:20:06PM 0 points [-]

or we could not sculpt, and stop trying to get everyone to fit into this robotic, ultra polite, boring ideal.

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