I don't know how the cult alarms work, they're intuitive. I know all those things and indeed it's probably a false alarm but I thought I should mention it anyway.

Still, if religious orgs have anything to say to rationalists about rationality then somehting, somewhere, is very very wrong. That doesn't necessarily mean it's not the case or that we shouldn't listen to them, but at the very least we should have noticed the stuff they're saying on our own long ago.

I never actually stated that I accepted what the feeling said, only that I HAD the feeling. I am i... (read more)

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Hmm, I just came up with a good framing metaphor to make it seem less creepy; Biomimicrying viruses for usage in gene therapy. Not very useful for purposes other than that thou.

3Eugine_Nier9yNick Szabo has a good essay [http://szabo.best.vwh.net/tradition.html] about why we should expect (religious) traditions to contain valuable insights.
0[anonymous]9yNot necessarily. I don't find it surprising that we have different priorities than religious organizations when it comes to instrumental rationality, and there are also a lot more of them than there are of us, and they've been working longer. If we'd had thousands of people working for several generations on the specific problem of outreach, and they still had a nontrivial amount of advice to give us, then you'd be right, but that's just not the case.

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. :)