[SEQ RERUN] Similarity Clusters

by MinibearRex1 min read10th Jan 20129 comments

7

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Today's post, Similarity Clusters was originally published on 06 February 2008. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):

 

Your verbal definition doesn't capture more than a tiny fraction of the category's shared characteristics, but you try to reason as if it does.


Discuss the post here (rather than in the comments to the original post).

This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was Buy Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.

Sequence reruns are a community-driven effort. You can participate by re-reading the sequence post, discussing it here, posting the next day's sequence reruns post, or summarizing forthcoming articles on the wiki. Go here for more details, or to have meta discussions about the Rerunning the Sequences series.

9 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 1:02 PM
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This entire subsequence of posts is pretty much "why philosophy sucks so often": most of the confusion it attempts to resolve comes down to arguing over what a word "really" means, and that's less than useful when you're actually trying to do hard thinking about thinking with a goal in mind.

It has now been one week since I posted this poll. At the present moment (and I believe it has stood the same since yesterday), there are 19 votes in favor of continuing to discuss the posts here in the discussion section, and 18 in favor of discussing the posts on the original sequence posts. Therefore, we will continue to discuss these posts here in the discussion section.

I just want to point out how funny it is that the poll managed to tie even though the only people who would have even seen it would already be in favor of the current format. Maybe I should have pointed it out to some people. Oh well, I guess it's okay that discussion gets permanently split up for no good reason.

It has now been one week since I posted this poll. At the present moment (and I believe it has stood the same since yesterday), there are 19 votes in favor of continuing to discuss the posts here in the discussion section, and 18 in favor of discussing the posts on the original sequence posts. Therefore, we will continue to discuss these posts here in the discussion section.

Of course royal we aside there is absolutely nothing stopping the 18, or anyone else, from commenting on the original posts when they are linked via SEQ_RERUN or at any other time of their choosing. There is no anti-necromancy rule here.

Although I personally would prefer that we keep all discussion unified, I will continue to post comments on the rerun posts. Considering that a majority of voters in the community wish for us to do this, I recommend that we, as a group, continue to do so. Of course, I have no method of stopping anyone from doing this, other than appealing to each member's sense of courtesy.

(Not the downvoter of the parent but) I note that there are currently more votes for 'original' than 'repost'. In any case a majority of one on your survey struck me as a little narrow to justify a declaration of consensus and an appeal to courtesy.

While I don't follow the reruns myself (if I want revision I replay my iPod track) I know that I would be slightly inclined to ignore the decree (or, by phrasing, presumption). The reasoning being, of course, to discourage arbitrary decisions based on 18/19 votes on comments - at least in cases where there is no pressing need for strong norm. The site wouldn't have lost any value in terms of structure or coherence if that tiny 48.5% minority posted comments on the original post that they are replies to. We just don't don't need any norm enforcement to make people conform here.

While I don't follow the reruns myself (if I want revision I replay my iPod track) I know that I would be slightly inclined to ignore the decree (or, by phrasing, presumption). The reasoning being, of course, to discourage arbitrary decisions based on 18/19 votes on comments

I think it would be a "decree" or "presumption" if we were changing a community norm. Instead, there was a proposal made. Opinion was divided approximately evenly, but with slightly more against it. I supported changing the policy, but a majority of the community didn't. So, I won't change it.

You don't follow the reruns, you say, but I'm sure that there are some who follow (and comment) who agree with you (you have one upvote at the moment, and the comment isn't that old). So it's them that I am now addressing. If you truly did believe that there was no need for a poll to generate a community decision, that should have been brought up one week ago. The time to discuss whether or not we need to hold a vote is before that vote goes against you. If this comment had been made by grognor or alexflint on the poll a day after I posted it, I might have been inclined to support it. If it had received a noticeable number of upvotes, I would have been inclined to remove the line about where discussion was to take place from the template. But there was a vote. It went against my thoughts about the better policy. But for the sake of maintaining civility on this site, I will not defy a vote after the fact because it went a way I disapproved of.

If you truly did believe that there was no need for a poll to generate a community decision, that should have been brought up one week ago.

I'm glad you brought this up - it emphasizes one of the problems with most attempts by people to have a vote to decide policy everyone else should submit to or to decide what the 'group consensus' is on a matter of fact. Most people aren't paying attention to the little backwater thread where someone has taken upon themselves to form a norm enforcement committee. I, for example, hadn't heard anything about any vote on this subject and I am fairly certain it is not for lack of participation on lesswrong!

The time to discuss whether or not we need to hold a vote is before that vote goes against you.

That is, if they can find the place to complain on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard".'

People not noticing a vote you start is not an indication that they are going to support any norm you try to establish thereafter.

But for the sake of maintaining civility on this site, I will not defy a vote after the fact because it went a way I disapproved of.

I hereby declare that - wait, belay that. We hereby declare that we shall not consider it uncivil to ignore Minibear's decree. Comments shall henceforth continue to be made on original threads or rerun threads as the commenter's whims take them. We recognize no majority will in favor of directing all comments to SEQ_RERUN - indeed we observe that currently the trifling majority of people who happen to have noticed the vote and participated support original post commenting. All visible attempts to enforce Minibear's faux-norm shall be met with mild ridicule!

My apologies it's taken so long to respond. I've had difficulty getting internet access in the past several days. Looking back over this thread, I am afraid that we both have grown uncivil to the point of mindkilling, so I'm just going to stop talking about the original topic here.

Your point about the difficulty of finding polls is well taken. Even a poll one click away from the discussion section is not going to be seen by everyone who may be interested in the topic. In that case, the obvious thing to do is to not make polls in the comments of posts. If we do want to get a summary of the community's opinion, the poll should be its own post. Making it a top level post seems to me a bit too excessive, so I think making polls out of discussion posts would be better.

I was tempted to post a poll here asking whether we wanted to generally adopt that policy, but I think I'd find it funnier than most other people would.