I'm pretty sure Eliezer is consciously riffing on some elements of the megalomaniacal supervillain archetype; at the very least, he name-checks the archetype here and here in somewhat favorable terms. There are any number of reasons why he might be doing so, ranging from pretty clever memetic engineering to simply thinking it's fun or cool. As you might be implying, though, that doesn't make him megalomaniacal or a supervillain; we live in a world where bad guys aren't easily identified by waxed mustaches and expansive mannerisms.

Good thing, too; I lost my goatee less than a year ago.

I expect it helps to have your content come up first - if people search for your name and the word "supervillain". Currently 3 of the top 4 posts with those search terms are E.Y. posts.

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. :)