Various people (including Konkvistador who has been talking about it the most) have launched their blog More Right

"A group blog, More Right is a place to discuss the many things that are touched by politics that we prefer wouldn’t be, as well as right wing ideas in general. It grew out of the correspondences among like minded people in late 2012, who first began their journey studying the findings of modern cognitive science on the failings of human reasoning and ended it reading serious 19th century gentlemen denouncing democracy. Surveying modernity, we found cracks in its façade. Findings and seemingly correct ideas, carefully bolted down and hidden, met with disapproving stares and inarticulate denunciation when unearthed. This only whetted our appetites. Proceeding from the surface to the foundations, we found them lacking. This is reflected in the spirit of the site."

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I hope this and other venues will draw discussions of race realism, pickup, etc., and associated metadiscussions away from Less Wrong.

Agreed, and that's from someone who is interested in some of those discussions. I just don't feel they work well here.


I'm in the "glad there is a space for those conversations but that it is not here" camp. I'd have been worried that the self-selection of people who participate in the blog would distort in a different way than the posts here get, but that's alleviated somewhat by the closed-to-comments thing.

Very much agreed. I will be staying away, and will appreciate an absence of cross-linking or cross-posting.
We didn't intend to crosspost here. However I do expect LessWrong readers will link to material and arguments such as the recent criticial look at our terminology in "Is “tribalism” a useful concept?" and obviously we will be linking to a lot of rationality related content in our own writing there, both on this site and elsewhere, because we otherwise simply won't be understood by many readers. Edit: James has since decided to rather start his own blog and moved the article there, edited the link to reflect this. To give another example of a hopefully interesting post for even non-reactionary rationalists, I give Against Moral Progress.

FWIW, I agree that 'factionalism' is a far better term than tribalism. In fact, I am surprised that this has not been pointed out before - as it happens, I think I have actually been using 'factionalism' (and 'faction') consistently to mean what others on this site seem to call 'tribalism', although I am not going to take any credit for this. Factionalism is the accepted term in politics and political science, and the term 'tribalism' (also, 'neotribalism', or 'new tribalism') has other uses, for instance advocacy of small, self-contained communities (not exceeding Dunbar's number of about 150 members) focused on a dense social network and relative egalitarianism.

I thought there was enough overlapping interest to be worth linking the launch. and I expect occasional posts may be interesting.
It appears that the tribalism post has vanished - the link has gone dead, and it's not on the main page anymore. What's up with that? Will it be coming back later?
James has changed his mind about participating, he said he will take a break from this time consuming hobby and start a new blog of his own in a month or two. I enjoyed his previous two ones a lot and am looking forward to his next one. He also asked if it was ok to move his posts there and I said it was.
When he does I'll edit the link and content of above post to reflect that. I hope he does post them since I still miss some of the writing he deleted when he abandoned Writings.
That post was at least 50% longer than necessary to make its point. There's no way that I would even try to respond to such a wall of text - and I agree with the conclusion of that particular post (Anyone who thinks the debate word "tribalism" refers to the practice of ancient tribes instead of in-group / out-groupism is deeply confused about history). But again, there's no way I'm going to write an email to say essentially "I agree with the conclusion of the tribalism post, but do you really think anyone interesting to read is actually making that mistake?"
Updating on that example.
Unfortunately, I cannot look at the actual post and am merely trying to infer its contents based on posts on LessWrong. The only major argument I can make in favor of using the word "tribalism" is that the term has useful negative connotations: "This is tribalist thinking." == "This is silly, savage thinking which we are trying to overcome as rationalists."
This is actually the explicit purpose of the blog. See my comment here and here. Much like RomeoStevens I don't think the discussions here on the subjects are very productive. But I do think sane investigation & discussion of them are vital.

I don't see how that can possibly happen with commenting disabled.

Have you read the comment sections on right wing blogs? Mostly awful. And you are wrong. Not only is there interaction between the authors but: We have recieved substantial feedback via that mechanism already. The letters to the editor system is superior to moderated comments when it comes to optimizing for high signal to noise ration while the monthly thread enables interaction between commentators and readers.

Have you read the comment sections on right wing blogs? Mostly awful.

The average comment isn't too great on LW either.

We have recieved substantial feedback via that mechanism already.

And whatever feedback you have received, you would have received even more feedback. Nupedia vs Wikipedia - wait, is that example so excellent that you don't even know what Nupedia is? Closer to home, then: OB published everything sent to it, yet Eliezer discovered when LW was turned on that this 'trivial inconvenience' was inhibiting countless posts and submissions.

For example, I've told you on IRC how I think the tribalism post is bullshit, but I have zero interest in writing up an email and sending it off and the email either never being seen or at best quoted.

The letters to the editor system is superior to moderated comments when it comes to optimizing for high signal to noise ratio

And you've based this on careful experimentation, of course.

Have you read the comment sections on right wing blogs? Mostly awful.

The average comment isn't too great on LW either.

There's a large difference between "mostly awful" and "not too great".

And whatever feedback you have received, you would have received even more feedback. Nupedia vs Wikipedia - wait, is that example so excellent that you don't even know what Nupedia is? Closer to home, then: OB published everything sent to it, yet Eliezer discovered when LW was turned on that this 'trivial inconvenience' was inhibiting countless posts and submissions.

Apparently these editors have decided that rather than getting as much activity as possible, they're willing to settle for smaller amounts of activity if it means they don't have to deal with all the shit you get by moderating after the fact. I can't fucking blame them the tiniest bit.

Have you read the comment sections on right wing blogs? Mostly awful.

The average comment isn't too great on LW either.

This is the iron law of blogs and web forums: the quality of the average comment is always well below that of the average post.

This so-called iron law does not hold (and has never held) for Hacker News (which is 6.2 years old).
Could you give a quick summary here? I'd be interested in seeing it, since at a glance the post seemed reasonable to me.

I don't especially want to defend my criticism, but my basic point was that quoting reams of material on tribal warfare does nothing at all towards addressing the LW 'tribalism' view of personal identity & group solidarity as fundamentally motivated cognition and is a giant non sequitur, and his attempt to contextualize the Byzantine isn't much better because pointing out that factions latched onto the mobs is like saying there is no such thing as xenophobia or nationalism because in China the xenophobic nationalist mobs protesting Korea or Japan are manipulated by the government and shut down when necessary - if people really are easily manipulated and propagandized as part of group conflict, you would expect various factions to exploit this.

More concisely, the article presents a long and elaborate rebuttal to the name "tribalism" without actually discussing the concept of tribalism at all. It also points out the fancy in Eliezer's fanciful example at great length.
Thanks. That's a succinct and strong set of criticisms.
I so love your sarcasm when it is directed at someone else.
The one post I sent to OB was rejected. (Which it deserved to be, since in retrospect it was pretty poor.)
I will take your word that OB (the old OB before the creation of LW) published everything sent to it, but there was no way for a regular reader of OB to have become confident of that.
Still a helluva lot better than the average comment on (say) Youtube or Facebook.
Trivial inconvenience is a feature not a bug. I mentioned it explicitly when arguing for this system to be adopted for the early days of the blog. I may be wrong, but I think it acts as a filter for those who can't be bothered to expend the small amount of effort in reply. This correlates with a less useful reply. This is not an encyclopedia gwern.

This is not an encyclopedia gwern.

Yet, it is a group blog. Why, that sounds like my other example...

Sorry, Gwern is right. I would comment there, and I know that you have indeed been looking forward to my input in particular, and might even fast-track my letters due to having confidence that I make for an interesting opponent... but even with all that, the entry barrier is too damn high!

You're basically inviting me to write short but reasonably complete essays in which I'd have to cover the inferential distance from the opposite end of the ideological spectrum... explain where exactly I agree or disagree with your criticisms of the dominant liberal worldview... figure out how much I should adjust for Least Convenient Possible World and whether it'd make sense for me to concede some claims outright... provide an introduction to some schools of thought which a right-wing audience might've never encountered outside of a strawmanned pop-culture form [1] (and which even the MoreRight authors likely misunderstand in some subtle but crucial ways, as has been my impression whenever I tried to talk feminism with you)... explain why I think such traditions might have an advantage over an epistemic-learned-helplessness defense of conservative liberalism... provide such a defense where I fe... (read more)

Suggested mental exercise for the reader: attempt to briefly illustrate how the socioeconomic views of Ayn Rand and G.K. Chesterton, respectively, could be considered as being relatively closer to, and farther from, the worldview of Karl Marx.

Never mind Marx, that's pretty obvious if you know anything about the non-straw version of Ayn Rand's ideas. For all that she liked to frame her arguments in individualist terms, Rand's deal was basically all about a conflict between creative and exploitative classes as mediated by social and technological changes; her idea of the creative class just included people like entrepreneurs and financiers (though it's worth noting that her heroes were usually artists or engineers), and didn't include most ordinary laborers. Once you pick this up, Atlas Shrugged basically -- and not without some irony -- becomes Class Warfare: The Novel.

She and Marx also had similar ideas about the role of religion in the public sphere, and both liked to express their ideas as deriving from a small set of abstract principles (though Marx's take on it is basically Hegelian, and Rand's got some kind of strange quasi-Aristotelian thing going on). I haven't read as much Chesterton, but from what I gather he's more of a status-quo paleocon, and of course became famously Catholic.

Duh, you pass. Probably not an involved enough test, indeed. And Chesterton was quite a bit more complicated than that:

Shit, I've got a .txt file open right now with a Frankenstein's monster of a long comment intended to attack the neo-reactionary ideology with regards to issues of structural power and social dominance... epistemology and the biases/rationalizations caused by privilege (building on a "cheap shot" about your pals all being straight white tech-minded guys, having at least modest economic security, living in modern liberal democracies and communicating freely in a de facto libertarian-socialist network)... the way historical narratives are formed and how they relate to social psychology/self-image/intergroup relations (re: all conservative talk of a Relatively-Golden-Age)...

I would be highly interested in reading such a post, either here at LW or somewhere else. You shouldn't worry too much about it becoming too long or its style being unsatisfactory; these are complicated issues, and getting some editorial commentary from other users would also help.

I do agree that More Right itself won't help much wrt. non-right-wing political commentary. Really, we need to start embracing friendly, benign factionalization and create a network, 'planet' or blogroll of political/ration... (read more)

I am just asking people to use their email client rather than their browser to write comments. And in a regular open thread they can write comments in the way they are used to when they primarily seek interaction with other readers or off topic discussion. You underestimate how much nonrightwing people would be scared off by an actual right wing comment section. We are not therefore discussing expectations of quality or moderation here but only the trivial inconvenience of emailing them in. I suspect your and gwerns comments are getting a lot of upvotes because of Far mode considerations and vague feelings of goodness around open discussion. Let me push that into Near mode and explain why unmoderated comments where never an option on the table. I very much expect that sooner or later we would end up at best with Unqualified Reservation's comment section or at worst with that of Alternative Right's. First I encourage the reader who is unfamiliar with them to google up both. Now tell me how many non right wing rationalists would comment there no matter how reasonable or interesting a hypotheticl article by an author? The filter of moderation may keep interesting some comments at bay but eliminates far more of mindless politicking than pf the former. Ultimately that ratio is what I think matters.

This is easily checked, isn't it? I propose that you keep the current policy for a month, then switch to regular pre-moderated blog comments for a month.

For example - and sorry for descending to object-level current politics- I wanted to reply to Mike's off-hand mention of Putin as a successful and efficient modern authoritarian ruler with something along the lines of:
"Goddamnit, I actually live here, and I get to see the bureaucracy paralyzed with nepotism and corruption, the unsustainable loot-n-run resource-extracting economy, the barely functional public sector under perpetual directionless reform, the brewing sense of anger and despair due to social inequality, the uncontrollable and semi-criminal repressive apparatus, the growing cultural and ethnic rifts destroying what sense of shared identity us "Russians" had remaining..."
Yet such a simple listing of complaints about Mike's characterization doesn't feel like enough to fire up an email for, and I don't feel like going deeper into it. Would you view something like this as even marginally useful input?

Of course I agree that unmoderated comments would be a clusterfuck. Don't think anyone was suggesting otherwise.

Moldbug did that to himself by not bothering to moderate any comments, even to remove Chinese goldfarming and Viagra spam.

"Want to see amateurs in home-made crowns pretend to open kindergartens?" - some commenter there.

/checks site, is disappointed does not exist
And of course, (gallery ~NSFW) - but it's really stagnated these past few years. Guess it wasn't as hot as it seemed. /is amused to note one LWer among the pics
Please reread the comment you replied to.
Feel free to explain. I've read Unqualified Reservations. I've read it for years. The comment section went downhill the moment Moldbug decreed he would no longer read or reply it and stopped even bothering spam filtering. All that shows is zero moderation and no karma system of any kind doesn't work - which I don't think anyone here would be terribly surprised by or was arguing for.
I was making the point that no moderation us terrible. With the implicit point that there isn't much difference between moderated comments and emailed in comments. See Larry Austers blog for an example (warning I don't agree with his positions).

With the implicit point that there isn't muv difference between moderated comments and emailed in comments.

Which is stupid, and I refer you to my original comment, and particularly encourage you to re-read all articles and comments mentioning 'trivial inconveniences'.

There is, there really is. I don't mind at all posting a comment and accepting moderation, but I won't email anything to you. You can choose to be stubborn about accepting such a fact or you may not.
So you are saying there is a great difference? Very well I accept that tho the reason for the difference illudes me. This makes me more interested in the outcome of email only than before.
"Not bothering to moderate" Worse! He has admitted to not even reading them.
I can understand not wanting to write a long, well-thought out comment that might never be seen by most of the intended audience.
I think these long rants are exactly what they want to avoid.
I haven't been getting this impression while talking to Konkvistador. You know we're rather blunt with mutual criticism, so he would've cautioned me against it when considering my possible participation.

Have you read the comment sections on right wing blogs? Mostly awful.

This sentence remains equally true if you remove the phrase "right wing" from it.

With moderated comments over email only it's more akin to an old-style editor-reviewed column/journal than to a blog. Consider renaming.

Just so long as we don't end up with an asymmetrical effect, where the PUAs leave but the feminists stay.
Because the PUA/feminist balance is symmetric right now?

That's not at all necessary for my point to hold.


I am torn between finding the naming schema slightly distasteful and so clever that I have to give it a pass.

Same but this lead me to add the RSS to my reader.
The name's a bit clever. However, I don't think it's a very good idea to make it so close to the name of a better-known website, as that makes it unusually prone to accidental corruption. This is made doubly unfortunate by the fact that contamination with the name "LessWrong" will invert the meaning; I've nearly flubbed it as "More Wrong" multiple times already.

Least it's not "Left Wrong".

Yeah, that's why I thought it was distasteful. But I'm a sucker for puns, and I find myself being more tickled by the cleverness than offended or worried. Future_me may not be as amused.
I thought it would be a great name if it was about seeking truth through spirituality as reversed to seeking truth through rationality. Or as opposed to anything specifically about politics in this case I guess.

This blog is very annoying. First, for some reason you guys keep writing posts and deleting them or something; I got several RSS notifications for posts that subsequently didn't exist. Second, no comments means no opportunity to give feedback, even of the writing variety. For example, I don't understand the Parable of the Unstoppable Mad Man. The author writes like it's obvious what the mad man is, but I'm genuinely confused. (The typo in the third sentence didn't help either.) And what's the deal with the prisoner? I don't get this post at all.

Do you guys really think writing with no feedback is a good idea? (Requiring emails for comments is a deadly trivial inconvenience. You'll end up only getting feedback from the loudest people, which doesn't seem to correlate at all with the most useful feedback.)


First, for some reason you guys keep writing posts and deleting them or something; I got several RSS notifications for posts that subsequently didn't exist.

My apologies for the inconvenience and the tardy reply. One of the disappearing articles was my Parable of the Unstoppable Mad Man which I accidentally published out of order in the sequence, before Against Moral Progress. I have since reposted it.

The other four missing posts where those written by James Goulding. He decided to start his own blog and asked me if it would be ok to move his posts there, I said it would be. Looking back I now think this was a mistake on my part. You can read the articles with very minor changes there:

His site is interesting and well worth following in general. I will likely soon make an interesting links post where we will among other things share these with an explanation for why they aren't on the site anymore.

Having more experience with the interface future mistakes are now less likely. More importantly, because of readers feedback... (read more)

I've actually received a lot of feedback on that piece both in email and on twitter. Well if it didn't have embarrassing typos how would anyone know it was written by me? ;) I've actually had cowriters scold me on several errors in that piece and I would have corrected it earlier this week but I've been working with very limited computer access in the past three months. Trying to edit articles in wordpress on my smartphone is a nightmare so I put it off until today when I finally got a home computer again and more importantly installed a spellchecker. There are the open threads. But this is a policy we may change in the future, I'm particularly interested in how James' new approach will work out in the following weeks. What do you think of it?
James hasn't had much success with it by the looks of it, (only one person got through last I checked) but I certainly like the idea. On the other hand, curated email exchanges are neat too.
If no comments is acceptable, some comments is better, and free comments is unacceptable, one comment sounds like it might be pretty good.
Huh. This surprises me. Fair enough.
The "mad man" is progressivism, demolishing the wall of the prison cell is something like "fighting for same-sex marriage" or "fighting against slavery" (or any other progressive cause that some random reactionary may be incidentally supporting) -- but if reactionaries help progressives in that one goal, then the progressives will move all the faster to some other more destructive cause that will have to be opposed.
Did you miss it was the sequel to the post Against Moral Progress? If this is the case I should perhaps make sequences more explicit. But to clarify the post: Who in particular the unstoppable mad man doesn't matter much for the message of the article which was aimed at meta not object level. I did some very light edits and would appreciate your input on if it makes this clearer.

Suggestion: if you're going to start a new group blog, look at the group blogs that are most popular (like Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Bleacher Report, etc.) and think about copying them. My suspicion is that the LW "shame them in to maintaining quality" model sucks, and instead you're better off encouraging the production of lots of content and then building filter mechanisms on top of that.

I've been underwhelmed with the comments at Huffington Post. I used to think (partly as a result of being NPR junkie and partly from being exposed to left-wing self-image) that liberals were reliably intelligent. HP comments proved I was wrong. This doesn't mean I think typical right-wing comments are better. Edited to add: Two other places which gave me a good impression of left-wing intelligence: Making Light and Alas, a Blog. To be fair, Huffington Post is hardly one thing. Are there blogs there anyone would recommend as having good commenting communities?
Nowhere is going to be at the level of Making Light, because TNH is an outlier in comment moderation. Obsidian Wings and Crooked Timber sometimes-but-not-always have non-pointless comment sections. The League of Ordinary Gentlemen also falls in the sometimes-but-not-always high quality category. (Technically LOOG is more like 45/45/10 Liberal/Libertarians/Conservatives)
It's not just that TNH is an extraordinary moderator and chooser of moderators. Making Light built on rasfw news groups, and they* built on the long tradition of in-print sf fanwriting. Once upon a time, fanwriting was mostly personal essays rather than fiction-- this isn't a swat at fanfic, just an effort to counter availability bias.
I've never really observed that. Actually, my impression has always been that there's a profusion of firehose-style group blogs like Huffington Post or the Daily Kos (with LessWrong being an unusually successful version of these), but that slow, thoughtful, non-instant-response, essay-format content like More Right's present lineup can be hard to find. The only thing I'd suggest regarding content volume is that regular, frequent updates would be helpful.
Good point, this is something to investigate.

Where are they now? No link is working for several days already. Are they renewing the internet infrastructure or what?

What happened there?

Is it just me, or do you not have comments currently enabled?

I believe this was a deliberate design choice:

Politics is difficult to talk about due to the human tendency to form coalitions and then insult the opposing side, so the comments are closed except on the monthly open thread. If you have something noteworthy to say about a particular article, email us at comments[at] and we will add it there or even dedicate a separate post to it.

Ah, that does make sense.

Ever moderated anything? (Curious.) And that is far, far, far from the only unpleasant experience I've ever had as a moderator.


I moderate obviously, a few subreddits, #lesswrong, and worked on Wikipedia for >6 years & 100k edits and as an administrator in addition to adminning the Haskell wiki for several years and currently the LW wiki. Any of that count?

0Eliezer Yudkowsky11y
Based on priors for expected shit? The Wikipedia part and the subreddits, maybe - it depends on whether you're identifiable to them as the one responsible, or just another face in the crowd of moderators. Haskell might be too technical although I would also expect it to attract nonconformists. I don't know how works.

I think I've dealt with enough shit on Wikipedia - over the Bogdanov affair, if nothing else, maybe you've heard of it? - to be able to tell you that you brought a lot of this shit on your own head, which was my original point before we began swinging moderator-dicks around.

5Eliezer Yudkowsky11y
Shit has increased by maybe 20% since l'affaire B. I think this may be partially due to the poor design of LW which makes deletions visible. I'm really impressed by Facebook's lovely user experience - when I get a troll comment I just click the x, block the user and it's gone without a trace and never recurs. What I'd really like to do is to be able to move whole comment threads to a /meta subreddit, thereby banishing them from the flow of productive discussion without destroying information. Then it would also be easy and safe to give all posters the ability to banish comments from their posts, including comments complaining about their moderation and so on, and not have to worry about it if they didn't want to. I don't know if we'll ever have the programming resources for that.

I think this may be partially due to the poor design of LW which makes deletions visible.

Maybe, but it's probably also going to be the userbase causing an extremer form of the Streisand effect. I mean, deleting comments? You might as well wave a red flag and say 'hey nerdy libertarian free-speech guys - please pattern-match onto censorship to be righteously opposed, thanks!' Facebook is a different interface, but also a different userbase with a different set of expectations.

7Eliezer Yudkowsky11y
I've certainly learned my lesson about the Streisand effect. With respect to everything else, I think I can manage to not care where they scream so long as they're not doing it anywhere it's visible to an LW user who doesn't make a special effort to see it.

Then it would also be easy and safe to give all posters the ability to banish comments from their posts ... I don't know if we'll ever have the programming resources for that.

Thank Cthulhu for small favors.

Since you've mentioned this before, here's an offhand idea for how to maybe get some: put an announcement on the sidebar or banner asking for developers (and maybe noting that LW is open source - so it's ok to ask people to work for free), that's visible on every page and that links to a page with your list of wanted features and instructions for how to get involved. There could be a bunch of potential developers that don't even know LW needs them, since the subject has only come up in some comment threads. Maybe you guys have already thought of this or know of a reason it wouldn't work, just wanted to put it out there.
How gnarly is the reddit/lesswrong codebase? $5000 worth sounds terrifying to one with a shaky, Learn Python the Hard Way knowledge of programming and very basic familiarity with html, css and sql. But I'm probably going to be taking 4 hours a day five days a week for a month this summer to try and make myself hirable as a junior programmet this summer and work that valuable would make an awesome portfolio piece, paid or not. It would certainly make one a shoo in for Hacker School.
1Eliezer Yudkowsky11y's probably gnarlier than a month of work when you've just read one book on Python, I'm afraid.
Some people who work professionally with Python found it too difficult. I tried to find someone who would be able to make a few small changes so that I can use it for my website... but at this moment I believe that rewriting the whole thing from scratch would be at least 10 times easier.
Responding to a deleted comment is a bit weird. Knowing what was there beforehand, you could have quoted some of the non-objectionable part.