Not enough high-status people, especially scientists and philosophers.

High status people tend to be those whose actions are optimized to maximize status. Participating on Internet forums is not an optimal way to gain status in general. (Of course it can be a good way to gain status within particular forums, but by high-status people you clearly meant more widely-recognized status.)

(I disagree with Vladimir_M that "arguing on public internet forums is not an effective way to accomplish anything much in practice". In my experience it is a good way to get people interested in your ideas, further develop them and/or check them for correctness.)

Do Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett know about LW? If not, why not? Why aren't they here? What can we do about it? Why aren't a serious-looking design and the logo of an Oxford institute enough to gain credibility?

Probably not much we can do unless LW somehow gains widespread recognition among the public (but then we probably won't care so much about "not enough high status people"). I note that even the philosophers at FHI rarely participate here.

I note that even the philosophers at FHI rarely participate here.

I would be very interested in hearing why this is true, and the resource is at hand.

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

by Will_Newsome 1 min read19th May 2011162 comments


Or, what do you want to see more or less of from Less Wrong?

I'm thinking about community norms, content and topics discussed, karma voting patterns, et cetera. There are already posts and comment sections filled with long lists of proposed technical software changes/additions, let's not make this post another one. 

My impression is that people sometimes make discussion posts about things that bother them, and sometimes a bunch of people will agree and sometimes a bunch of people will disagree, but most people don't care that much (or they have a life or something) and thus don't want to dedicate a post just to complaining. This post is meant to make it socially and cognitively easy to offer critique.

I humbly request that you list downsides of existing policies even when you think the upsides outweigh them, for all the obvious reasons. I also humbly request that you list a critique/gripe even if you don't want to bother explaining why you have that critique/gripe, and even in cases where you think your gripe is, ahem, "irrational". In general, I think it'd be really cool if we erred on the side of listing things which might be problems even if there's no obvious solution or no real cause for complaint except for personal distaste for the color green (for example).

I arrogantly request that we try to avoid impulsive downvoting and non-niceness for the duration of this post (and others like it). If someone wants to complain that Less Wrong is a little cultish without explaining why then downvoting them to oblivion, while admittedly kind of funny, is probably a bad idea. :)