While I'm griping:

I have always been puzzled and somewhat disappointed by the reception of this post. Almost all the comments seemed to fall within the following two categories: either they totally didn't understand the post at all, or thought its main point was so utterly obvious that they had trouble understanding why I had bothered to write it.

There seemed to be very few people in the targeted intermediate group, where I myself would have been a year before: those for whom the main idea was a comprehensible yet slightly novel insight.

The issue is people who found it comprehensible yet slightly novel are the least likely to comment. There isn't that much they can add. So, here is a retroactive response from me: Thanks! I've been vaguely aware of this, but it's nice to see it laid out explicitly.

0gwern9yOK. (FWIW, I upvoted that when you posted it and thought it was a very nifty post that drew out the implications of something I thought I understood already.) So what does this imply? Are said implications a problem? How would one fix said problems?

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. :)