This open thread introduces an experimental extension of LessWrong's voting system: reactions. Unlike votes, reactions are public; hovering over the reactions will show a list of users who reacted. For now, this feature is only for comments on this post in particular; after collecting feedback, we might roll out more broadly, or make significant alterations, or scrap it entirely. Reactions to comments in this thread will be preserved while discussions here are active, but they may be lost later if the feature changes in an incompatible way. Using this feature in various ways is planned to have karma minimums, but for this experimental post, those karma minimums are temporarily reduced to zero.

These are similar to the reactions found on other sites such as Slack and Discord, but with a few twists. The first difference is the palette of reactions offered.

The palette of available reactions, and the first page of reactions in particular, is explicitly a claim about what we think people should care about in comments (both positive and negative). On LessWrong, that means ways of relating to comments epistemically, reasons why comments are good and bad contributions.

Reactions currently can only be applied to comments (not posts), only on this thread (for experimentation purposes), and only on entire comments, not individual comment sections. Depending on feedback, we may roll it out to comments on all posts, allow reactions to posts not just comments, and maybe implement something to allow reacting to specific parts of comments and not just to the whole thing.


Unlike other sites that have reactions, LessWrong has antireactions. An antireaction is like downvoting a reaction, or placing -1 reactions. This doesn't affect anyone's karma, but will show your name in the hover-over as someone who disagreed with the react. If there are at least as many antireactions of a given type as there are reactions of that type, then the icon won't be shown to people who don't hover over the reactions icon.

The idea here is that, since we are trying to promote reactions that have more semantic content than the reactions you would find on most sites, many of the reactions in the palette are capable of being incorrect in a way that purely emotive reactions aren't. 


In my experience, seeing a list of names that I respect, marked as having reacted positively to my writing, feels much more motivating than a high karma number. Conversely, seeing negative reactions from names I don't respect feels less bad than a low karma number. And seeing a mixed reaction, with positive reactions from people I recognize and negative reactions from people I don't, creates a feeling of community.

Other sites on the internet (most notably Facebook) try to use reactions to bias interactions towards positive vibes. I theorize that rationality culture is accidentally doing the opposite; that is, LessWrong has a problem with asymmetrically muted signal. When people see content they agree with and want to support, that mostly gets expressed through upvotes; when they see content they disagree with, that's more likely to result in writing a comment. This biases the perceived reception in a negative direction.

Reactions are meant to serve as a middle ground between voting and commenting. This may capture feedback that would have been lost otherwise. In the case of positive feedback, this makes it more salient and motivating. In the case of negative feedback, I expect (though I could be mistaken) that receiving a reaction that expresses some specific criticism will at least be better, from an author's perspective, than a negative score with no replies.

The default palette of reactions contains many reactions that represent specific virtues, and common flaws, that we want people to know about. This is a culture shaping tool; seeing the default palette of reactions, and seeing commonly used reactions on comments, is meant to influence what people optimize for when writing their comments.

Finally, reactions are now present on so many other sites that they've become a part of how people communicate, and there's value in maintaining feature-parity with the rest of the internet.


The main form of feedback I'm hoping for is theorizing about the effect that this will have on site culture, if this feature rolls out broadly (for comments on all posts, and for posts themselves). I'm also interested in feedback about the current UX, and reactions that are worth adding to the palette.

If you're proposing reactions to add to the palette, please include an icon; it should be an image that is legible when it's very small and in greyscale or muted color, and is at least somewhat a mnemonic for the concept it represents.

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In a world where we have reacts, do you prefer to keep agreement voting?

  • agree-react for "keep agreement voting"
  • disagree-react for "at least for an initial react experiment, get rid of agreement voting and just design the react-palette to facilitate agreement voting"

This isn't a binding poll, but a couple people had mentioned this deeper in comment threads and I wanted to comment making the question somewhat more explicit and take the temperature of how people are feeling about it.

7Max H11mo
I initially voted to eliminate agreement voting, because having both seems like too much UI complexity with confusing overlap. But thinking about it further, I strongly predict that agree / disagree reactions will be used much less often than agree / disagree voting, especially by lurkers and non-participants in a discussion thread, because reactions are not anonymous. I think the ability to give anonymous, low-effort / no-impact feedback is an important consideration, and I often find it useful to see how a large number of voters feel about a comment. I'm not sure if this consideration outweighs the UI complexity / overwhelmingness / duplicative-ness concern.  If both are kept, one could: * strong disagree vote * disagree react * agree anti-react   All on the same post or comment. This could be interpreted as "super" disagreement bordering on hostility, or it could just be the result of a confused user unsure how to communicate their disagreement, but who wants to be extra-sure that it is communicated.

Today's UI tweaks include the ability to try out different layouts for the React Palette. You can click the icons in the top of the React Palette and see options like:



Icons only:


Icons / name grid



(the idealized version of this one probably shows you reacts in the order of frequency-that-you-use-them)


With some further thinking, I'm realizing one of my concerns is that this is an unfortunate direction for LW.  I LIKE that LW is text-heavy.  I LIKE that the norm is to use complete sentences, and to leave actual comments when there are questions or clarifications to the main point.  

I don't think adding more mechanisms for low-effort low-information-content (what, 5 bits per react?) will make LW better, and in fact could make it much worse, if it substitutes for some amount of comments.  Cutesy icon debates are fun, but don't actually add value.

[ note: partly posted to see if I can get some downvotes or negative reacts.  but also because it's a real concern, though I don't think I understand the dynamics well enough to know if this is actually a problem for this feature. ]

9Steven Byrnes1y
I am also skeptical about this feature for a similar reason (i.e. that high-effort high-bandwidth replies will not get written because a low-effort low-bandwidth react is available instead). I’m slightly reminded of the section in Digital Minimalism where Cal Newport says to stop clicking “like” on facebook posts, because you’ll trick your brain into thinking that you are contributing to a conversation when you’re not. (The fact that karma and approval votes are anonymous mitigates that problem, maybe.) Low confidence on all this though. Maybe I’m just biased towards what I’m used to.

Separately, I'm skeptical of this feature because I fear the prospect of getting this kind of feedback would be draining and aversive and distracting.

  • NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: LW has a feature to see karma upvotes but not downvotes in the top corner periodically. I think it's the default. It's a great feature! Negative feedback is helpful but also exhausting; low-bandwidth negative feedback has all the emotional energy costs without much of the benefits. Here we're making negative feedback very on-the-nose / difficult to ignore, and coming from specific people, which makes it worse I think.

  • POSITIVE FEEDBACK: Is also an issue!! I have issues checking feedback over and over when I have better things to do. I'm mostly managing the issue on LW, with the help of a browser tweak that hides karma and approval on my user page. I feel like I'm a recovering alcoholic and this feature is putting a bottle of wine on my nightstand. Two things in particular: the lack of anonymity and ability to request clarification etc. would make me feel like I should check over and over because it's part of an active conversation. Like, I already have issues checking feedback when there's no logical reason to!

... (read more)
Have you looked into whether you are ADHD?
Welcome to the curmudgeon club! 
I'm honestly not sure if this system would be: * Harmful, mostly replacing high-quality comments with modest-quality reacts * Very harmful, with interest in the site draining away as commenting becomes abnormal * Helpful, with silence or low-quality comments (which could include inflammatory comments) replaced with modest-quality reacts * Very helpful, as the continuum of ability to engage escalates people into interactions they'd otherwise have skipped, as authors see that apparently unseen comments actually have a lot of eyeballs on them, and leading to a positive feedback loop in which engagement leads to more engagement * Neutral, with these trends in balance, probably in some sort of complicated manner I can't foresee I think any truly bad effects on the site would take place over the long run, and I think we could learn a lot by experimenting with it about whether it seems good or bad, so I tentatively support an experimental rollout.
I agree that this is a potential downside. However: * I think this has the potential to elicit more information rather than reducing the maount of information, if the use of reacts by lurkers sufficiently exceeds the downgrading of comments to reacts by non-lurkers. * I think this has the potential to improve social norms on LessWrong by providing a neat way for people to express directions of desired change. Social norms aren't always about providing precise information, but instead also often about adjusting broader behaviors. But I agree that this is potentially concerning enough that it should probably be tracked and that I think LessWrong should be ready to drop it again if it turns out bad. Galaxybrained idea: use this system to incentivize more detailed texts by allowing people to get custom reacts made for posts that explain some problematic dynamic, and have the reacts link back to that post.
Another potential option: the person who is getting reacted to should have an option to request explanations for the reacts, and if requested, providing such explanations should receive bonus karma or something.
3Lucie Philippon11mo
I don't have the intuition that reactions will replace some comments which would have been written without this feature. What makes you think this will happen? If reactions were tied to posting a comment, such as reactions could not decrease the number of comments, would this make you more likely to support this feature? Incidentally, thinking about which reaction to put to this comment instead of just up or downvoting made me realize I did not understand completely what you meant, and motivated me to write a comment instead.
3Adam Zerner1y
Good point. I think this is important. I too like that it is text-heavy. I'm not sure if the reactions would actually make it less text-heavy (to an important extent), but that question does seem to be pretty cruxy, so it's good to have it out in the open.

We should distinguish between possible worlds that have low realityfluid due to implausible physics (like FTL travel, which only occurs in simulations, because causal universes don't look like that), and those that have low realityfluid due to implausibly fine-tuned sociology/psychology/&c. (which mostly occur in simulations rather than the basement, because the fine-tuning is most parsimoniously explained in terms of what Powers in the basement are interested in simulating).

This thought occasioned by how I'm really enjoying Hello, Tomorrow! on Apple TV+. It's about salesmen hawking real estate on the moon in a setting with robots and rockets but 1950s-like culture and æsthetics, which gives it an extra layer of fine-tuning: it's not just that the real future doesn't look like that (as is the problem with most science fiction, where the present day's depiction of the future bears the "design signature" of the present day); it's that it's a present-day depiction of a 1950s depiction of the future. An analogue of this show that was actually made in the 1950s wouldn't have a racially integrated cast (without special remark), or present-day production values, or make use of any number of TV storytelling tropes that were popularized in recent decades that I'm not enough of a film buff to be aware of.

(strong upvoted mostly to get more object-level discussion higher-in-the-queue)
I'm confused at what relevance this comment has to the thread here.
Everything is relevant in an open thread!
That's what I get for only looking at the local situation, and not looking at all the comments. But thanks for answering my question!

Raw feedback: I feel a sense of being overwhelmed with information. It doesn't seem like I should have this feeling - it's not actually a lot of information and it's easy enough in theory to ignore - but nevertheless, I do experience it.


Ok, I should probably wait a bit before making this recommendation, but I currently think this is a nice addition, which should REPLACE agree/disagree, rather than being yet another mechanism for low-effort feedback.  Don't overcomplicate it with different placement or fancy anti-reactions, just put a straightforward reaction display and selector where the agreement buttons are today.

I'm tempted to recommend that it replace Karma as well, but that's more baked into the site and would be trickier.

Even if it is "both" I think next to the votes/agreement is the right place for the reacts. Quick paint mess around: Looks clean to me, although maybe for people on phones with smaller screens it will make problems. (I am on a desktop with a big screen where considerations will be different).
I agree to the redundancy with the agree/disagree.

Suggestion: 'true but unhelpful' react with the icon being a bored/tired face. I currently express this with karma downvote and agreement upvote, but the sorts of people who write these sorts of comments will usually have difficulty interpreting that feedback signal, given that the behavior often correlates with not understanding how agreement and discursive productivity are very different things.

Reason we need this: It's a good way of pointing out choir-preaching and succinctly explaining how it can make the site worse (it's boring and unproductive).

Something like one of these?
2mako yass11mo
The first one would work, but the details are too fine. Second works okay I guess. I also like this one

UI thought: in practice I actually find it hard to tell whether a react applies to the parent or child comment, and meanwhile because I'm not used to looking on the bottom-right I just wasn't noticing them at all.


Agreed. The reactions also feel inconsistent with the existing voting options. I'd suggest something more like this:

I'd also suggest that the react-add icon should have a plus somewhere on it. eg, compare discord's:


and unlike my screenshot, maybe it would be best to put the add-react at the end, rather than the beginning, of the list of reacts. I'd also put just a little more spacing between react types.

After arguing a bunch with Ruby and habryka, I'm currently leaning towards a PR that keeps the reacts in the bottom-right but moves the add-react icon over there. I agree the icon should have a + button, will work on that.
this has the interesting effect of putting an active element in EVERY corner of the comment - UL has collapse and voting, UR has the vertical dots for subscribe/report, LL has reply, and LR has react.  This is madness, but may also be brilliant.
4the gears to ascension1y
how about something not in the bottom right? bottom right significantly changes the eye movement pattern needed to read a comment. eg, instead, how about: css to achieve this: .NamesAttachedReactionsCommentBottom-footerReactions { right: initial; bottom: initial; position: initial; margin-left: initial; border-radius: 3px; margin-bottom: 8px; }
That was my preference, Ruby and Oli didn't like it because of too much forced visual clutter and were more confident that people would learn to look in the bottom-right. I weakly disagreed but if a bunch of people prefer it on the left I may restructure it a bit.
I think I changed my mind on this, FWIW, after playing around more in this thread. I think bottom-left is indeed better.
I like this much better for 2 reasons: 1. The add-react-button and reacts-added should be together. It's counterintuitive to push a button in one place and have the result appear somewhere that might be off-screen on a long enough comment. 2. I think it makes sense for all the metadata about a post to stay together. Who wrote it, when they posted it, whether others upvoted it, and what reacts it got are all metadata. I think any argument for putting the reacts at the bottom could be applied to also putting vote scores at the bottom as well. Serious question that I'm surprised I'd never asked before: why are the vote and agree/disagree scores at the top of the post, instead of elsewhere?
6the gears to ascension1y
Enthusiastic agreement on this! I think votes should be at the bottom, and that it would make sense to move them together!
It makes sense for the scores to be there because you might use that as data to determine whether or not to read the comment. It would probably encourage better behavior for the votes themselves to be at the bottom of the comment--but as you note, probably the button and the thing it changes should be together.
I would expect to see reacts displayed in the same place as the react button (immediately after the karma buttons/display). If reacts are left-aligned just below the username/karma line or at the bottom, then the react button should be there as well.
I'm not bothered by this, but it does seem wrong that the button to click to add a react is in a different place from where the existing reacts are displayed.
1[comment deleted]1y
I notice that in slack and discord the reacts are left-aligned, which makes it more natural to scan down the list of comments seeing all the important metadata on the same side.

Balanced reaction and anti-reaction seems to remove the icon, rather than showing a 0.  I don't think antireactions are a good idea - I'd much rather someone who feels otherwise just choose a different reaction to show, rather than trying to remove someone else's opinion.

The vote-like counter on the react popup is hard to find if not looking for it, and the concept is confusing as to when to use it.  

I like the idea of counter-reactions. I am not sure it works out but very much worth a try.  Pro counters: * Clearer: Countered reactions don't clutter the feed. * Symmetrical: Without them, you need up and down symbols and that clutters further. Con: * Reducing other's voice (the argument mentioned above) * Abuse potential  For me clarity wins and some abuse potential is also a chance to notice abusers.

I think my main objections are not those (though reducing others' voice is a worry, and this is related to it).  It's the assymetry of reaction and anti-reaction.  Reactions are about the post, anti-reactions are about the reactions.  An anti-reaction to "concrete", for instance, does not claim that the post is vague, it just claims that someone else's reaction of concrete should be suppressed.

I would support having a near-antonym for each reaction, and encourage people to say "vague" if that's their reaction, EVEN IF someone else said "concrete".  But anti-concrete is a very strange way to do that.  

I guess the other way to go would be NOT to suppress a reaction if it's 0 or negative, but to show it in red, as an indicator that the majority felt it was the opposite of concrete.  Still seems overcomplicated, compared to just counting discrete reactions and not trying to net anything out.

Hm. Initially, I wasn't thinking of anti-reactions as being about the reaction. I saw it as symmetrical, like the agree/disagree spectrum. But because anti-reacts can hide the react altogether, they are not symmetric.  Thinking some more about it, I think I don't want reacts to be hidden by anti-reacts. I think my clarity argument is weak anyway. In my experience, it is rare that there are many reacts anyway. On our Slack where there are frequent reacts, most people just strengthen the ones already there and I have seen only a couple comments with more than eight different ones (big celebrations or fun ones).  My suggestion for a solution is to drop anti-reacts and offer pairs of reacts instead.  * agreement and disagreement * clear and muddled And always show these next to each other if present.

First round of changes based on feedback from this thread. There are a bunch of new reactions, some UI changes, and some small bugfixes. Not being in this changeset does not mean that a suggestion has been rejected; this is just a first pass.

  • New reactions: Agree, Disagree, Obtuse, I'll Reply Later, Not Planning to Respond, I Don't Understand, Non Sequitur, Shaky Premise, Too Many Assumptions, Misrepresentation, Continue, Not Worth the Time
  • The add-reaction button is moved to the bottom-right
  • The reactions display highlights reactions that you yourself made or antireacted to
  • Replaced the icons for Support and Concrete
  • Recapitalized some reaction titles to be in title-case
4Ben Pace11mo
I find it amusing that I can now both agree and disagree with a comment.
3Max H11mo
I anti-agree with this comment. I also anti-disagree with it! 
The new Support icon looks less like a trash can than the one pictured in the OP, but still looks kinda like a trash can to me. Making it taller/narrower might help, or making the top/bottom pieces look more different from the body. Or maybe a 3D view that lets you see that the top is solid rather than hollow. (Disclaimer: I am not an artist.)
When will these changes be live? Or are they already live in some version I am not using? 
They should be live now. They were live, then temporarily rolled back because a change that deployed in the same operation (not related to reacts) broke something, now they're live again.
Now seems reverted again plus I'm seeing red "Error: TypeError: n is undefined" at the bottom of some top-level comments.

I miss coffee. I used to have iced-coffee in the morning a lot, but I've been scared of caffeine ever since my insomnia scare of January 2021. (I've been to psych prison for sleep deprivation madness twice, and I never want that to happen again.) Yes, I know about decaf, but they don't get all of the caffeine out, and if you haven't been using, your tolerance is all gone and you're super-sensitive to even small doses; I feel safer just abstaining altogether.

I was catching up with Seinfeld on Netflix out of '90s nostalgia, and in one episode they mentioned ... (read more)

There are a bunch of coffee-tasting substitutes made from roasted grain or other stuff! Coffee beans or anything caffeine-producing don't enter the equation at all (as opposed to decaf coffee which is derived from coffee beans), the roasted plant taste is just similar. Chicory or dandelion roots are pretty well-known plant for this. Inka is another grain brand that's good and easy to make, you do it like instant coffee. I've seen others at large natural/health/hippie food type stores.
Thanks. The thing that threw me off is that the ingredients label for the coffee-flavored Postum variant includes "natural coffee flavor". I can't quickly find reliable information about what "natural coffee flavor" means: a blog post from another beverage maker reports that natural coffee flavor "may be extracted from a variety of plants like chicory, garlic, and yes, sometimes coffee beans" but that the author "can't guarantee that the flavor company I buy natural coffee flavor from didn't extract one of the flavor compounds from coffee beans". I'm surprised that "natural X flavor" is apparently an acceptable ingredients-list entry if it's not necessarily made from X, and doesn't say what it is made from?
2Adam Zerner11mo
I like this. I think this sort of chatter is both fun and useful because babbling is underrated. What do you miss about coffee? The caffeine? Taste? I've always been confused about the popularity of coffee. I drink it a few times a week simply because I like to get out of my apartment and coffee shops are the place to go. But the taste is nothing special to me, nor is the feeling of being caffeinated. And I get the sense that the same is true of others; I don't think others particularly love the taste or feeling. So what explains the popularity? Is it possible that it's a sort of cached behavior that people just do automatically without really thinking about? Probably not - my money is on some type of addictiveness - but I wonder.
The mechanisms are complementary: the drug attracts people into acquiring a taste for something that's not naturally tasty—but once acquired, people still have positive associations with the taste. (I've been drinking iced Postum every morning, despite objective reports that Postum doesn't actually taste good.)

Subthread for proposing new reactions. Icons for the existing reactions come from The Noun Project, so this is a good place for finding more icons that match the existing ones.

If this feature is in part meant to address the problems of 1) threads often ending without people knowing why and 2) people feeling bad about receiving certain kinds of criticism or about certain critics because it's costly to both respond and not respond, I would suggest adding the following reactions:

  • I plan to respond later.
  • I'm not planning to respond. (On second thought this could be left out, as it would be implied if someone gave a reaction without also giving "I plan to respond later.")
  • I don't understand.
  • I disagree. (Similar to "wrong" but I think I prefer this wording.)
  • It's probably not worth the time to resolve this.
  • I wish this thread would continue. (Could be used to remind someone to respond, or when you see an interesting thread that ended too early.)

Maybe too hard but it might be nice to have somewhere you can go to see all the comments you've reacted "I plan to respond later" to that you haven't yet responded to.

Probably not that hard.
1Mateusz Bagiński1y
Maybe also a reminder about the comments to which you've reacted with that. E.g., if you haven't replied in a week or so (could be configured per user or something)
Unnecessary commitments are still a source of guilt, should be less convenient.
2Wei Dai1y
Not sure I understand. Please explain more? Also do you have a concrete suggestion or change you'd like to see?
A commitment to reply is a commitment, not following through on it is a source of guilt, which motivates intuitively avoiding the situations that might cause it, not necessarily with sane blame-assignment. So the best place to prevent this phenomenon is at the stage of not making unnecessary commitments. Convenience is a key thing that influences what actually happens frequently, without limiting the options. Thus a non-coercive intervention would be to make unnecessary commitments less convenient. Your proposal has an element that's the opposite of that, making unnecessary commitments more convenient.
2Wei Dai11mo
This seems a reasonable consideration, but doesn't change my desire to experiment with having the new feature, since there are potential benefits that could outweigh the downside that you describe. (Not sure if you meant to indicate an overall disagreement, or just want to point out this additional consideration.) And if the downside turns out to be a significant issue, it could be ameliorated by clarifying that "I plan to reply later" should be interpreted not as a commitment but just indication of current state of mind.
2Ben Pace11mo
I also have a strong personal rule against making public time-bound commitments unless I need to. I generally regret it because unexpected things come up and I feel guilty about not replying in the time frame I thought I would. I might be inclined to hit a button that says "I hope to respond further to this".
This is important!  Understanding when to react, when to reply, and when to do both is very difficult.  The current reactions are not well-designed to take the place of a reply, only to augment (or replace?) some values of the karma and agree/disagree buttons.
Since I suggested them in another comment, some potential replacements for "muddled" and "wrong". Here I'll add some possible icons: * TL;DR * Unnecessarily wordy [and make "Overcomplicated" specific to the content not form] * Unable to parse * Non sequitur * Ambiguous (i.e. multiple potential meanings) * Disagree with premise(s) * Unclear point * Misrepresentation [could potentially replace "Strawman" but be more general] (note I don't want to imply "lie" here only that the reader thinks there is a mismatch to what is actually going on, maybe this one should be clarified. I drew my own icon since I couldn't find one I liked the relevance of on the noun project).
Maybe too much semantic content to be a react, but I wanted to reach for "That's a good thing" in response to this comment

I reacted to Wei_Dai's comment. It had 3 keys and 3 thank yous, in that order left to right. I clicked the key, so now there's 4 keys and 3 thank yous. When I clicked it, the icons switched positions so that there were 3 thanks and 4 keys, in that order. I don't like that it switched positions, e.g. because I have to reparse the icons and numbers to verify that what I did had the intended effect.

I think Discord keeps reacts in timestamp order. Duplicates are grouped with the original, and new ones are added at the end.

What does "I saw this" mean? "I already saw this in another place" or "I saw this comment, if it's important"? I think it needs clarification.

I wondered about this too. I think the more useful reading is "I saw this" with the intention to let people (esp. those that might want to know) that you saw it. I have used such a signal with Slack before. It is cheap "costly" signal that can build rapport and mutual support or clarity about your followers. I think "I have seen such elsewhere" might be independently useful but functions very differently and I would discourage that use or create a different react for that.
I was thinking the latter (but agree that the description left ambiguity there and will rewrite it.)

I do want to thank you for NOT including my least-favorite part of karma and agreement voting.  Thank goodness for no strong reactions!

Bigger icons! Brighter colors! yeah, no.

Happy to see experimentation here. Some quick thoughts:

  • The "Column" looked a lot to me like a garbage can at first. I like the "+" in Slack for this purpose, that could be good.
  • Checkmark makes me think "agree", not "verified". Maybe a badge or something?
  • "Support" and "Agreement" seem very similar to me?
  • While it's a different theme, I'm in favor of using popular icons where possible. My guess is that these will make it more accessible. I like the eyes you use, in part because are close to the icon. I also like:
    • 🚀 or 🎉 -> This is a big accomplishment.&nb
... (read more)
2the gears to ascension1y
I agree with the :tada: icon, 🎉, but I don't agree that 🙏 means "thanks" or that 😮 is actually surprised. 😮 looks sorta {horrified, frightened, shocked} to me.
That's based on how you see those icons get uses in the wild, or what they look like to you? I agree that both of them are somewhat weird to interpret to mean those things, but, like, 😛 also is not at all what I do in real life when I'm making the particular flavor of silly joke that 😛 conveys, yet here we are.
2the gears to ascension1y
yep both of those. I'd label those "praying" and "shocked". this is not to say you're wrong to see them that way locally, just that my view of emoji zeitgeist differs from your view of it.
Nod, gotcha. Do you have emoji you typically use for surprised/thanks?
2the gears to ascension1y
none of these are quite right. exclaim is the most appropriate one, I think. in comparison, I guess isn't that weird after all!

Reacts have been in use for some time now. Having seen various posts and comments with reacts, and how they're being used, I think that the "I checked, it's false" react, and probably also the "I checked it's true react" are net-negative. Basically the issue (which I've seen mostly with the "I checked, it's false" react) is that a lot people are using it as basically equivalent to a "disagree". (As a rough estimate, I'd guess a least a third of usages have this problem.) Despite the fact that the description says "I looked up sources, did empiricism, check... (read more)


I think the "changed my mind" Delta should be have varied line widths, like (reads too much like "triangle" to me at the moment).

Another suggestion, maybe a "too verbose" reaction? And a "too abstract" reaction?

The fact that the title of this post says "Open Thread" makes me think that the intention is for the conversation in the comments to not just be about this new reactions feature. However, the lack of mention of this in the post plus the other comments only being about reactions makes me think otherwise. What is the intent?

The intent is that you can post comments on any subject here.
You are supposed to talk about whatever you want, it’s just that the new thing to talk about that’s most obvious was the reacts so that’s what people did.

"Concrete" reaction should be a concrete truck imo the current one is a brick wall, which is not really suggestive of concrete at all, and a wall in this context is far more suggestive of an accusation of obtuseness.
A cement truck is an entity who brings concreteness, so it would be like saying "you have the virtue of a concrete truck" and I find it delightful.

1Nate Showell11mo
And since there's a "concrete" reaction, it seems like there should also be an "abstract" reaction, although I don't know what symbol should be used for it.

I haven't seen any discussion about this part of the motivation for reactions:

In my experience, seeing a list of names that I respect, marked as having reacted positively to my writing, feels much more motivating than a high karma number. Conversely, seeing negative reactions from names I don't respect feels less bad than a low karma number. And seeing a mixed reaction, with positive reactions from people I recognize and negative reactions from people I don't, creates a feeling of community.

That does NOT match my experience, and it anti-matches the ex... (read more)

Relatedly, I haven't checked if this setting interacts with reactions, and... I was about to say "presumably it should", but the names don't show for reactions until you hover over it anyway, and so probably it wouldn't have any additional effect?

In the current UI, the list of reactions from which to choose is scrollable, but that's basically impossible to actually see. While reading the comments I was wondering what the heck people were talking about with "Strawman" and so forth. (Like... did that already get removed?) Then I discovered the scrolling by accident after seeing a "Shrug" reaction to one of the comments.

Can one react (and see reactions) to a post, or only comments?  I have to admit I worry a bit about information overload, as we now have karma, agreement, and reactions, none of which have particularly great guidance on how to make best use of them (either as a reader, for filtering or understanding comments, or as a voter, for communicating with the poster and other readers).

Currently only comments, not posts. This is because it's still experimental, and "change the voting system for comments on just one post" turns out to be a pretty good mechanism for experimenting. If we do make it the default for comments everywhere, then extending it to posts too will be a pretty natural thing to do.

I'd really like to be able to see all the reactions at once, if possible.

I think the "I agree to this" react should simply be labeled "Handshake".

Also, a react to indicate that this comment should have been split into multiple comments might be nice (like you may think this comment should have :p).

4the gears to ascension1y
I also find scrolling through the reacts to be particularly annoying because of the hover tooltip that obscures the other available reacts.
Would it be possible to fix that by making the hover tooltip appear to the right when pointing at the right column and to the left when pointing at the left column?
I reacted "muddled" because it made two points and I agreed with one but disagreed with the other. Then I felt that overly harsh and wanted to remove my "muddled" react. I clicked on "-" and now the "muddled" react is gone but I guess it is a "negative muddled" now and I can't find where it is. :-(
Agree with part 1. When I'm trying to decide which of two different reacts to add, it's helpful to have both in view at the same time.

Neat. Looking at the list of reactions, one jumps out to me as out of place: the wrong reaction. The others reflect various feelings or perceptions and can be interpreted that way, but the wrong one seems too strong to me and overlaps with the existing agree/disagree voting. If you think something is wrong and want more than the disagree vote, seems like that's a case where we want to incentivize posting a reply rather than just leaving a wrong react with no explanation.

Basically my theory is that reactions should be clearly personal reactions and stuff that can't be objected to (e.g. I can't object if you found my presentation overcomplicated, that's just how you felt about it), and anything that can be read as a bid to make claims should not be included because there's no easy way to respond to a reaction. I think on this grounds I also dislike the strawman and seems borderline reactions.

Regarding "overcomplicated" it seems to me there is an ambiguity between whether it refers to the presentation or the underlying ideas. Perhaps "muddled" could be used refer to the overcomplication of the presentation, but in that case, it could also suggest that the commenter's ideas are muddled - and I don't like the "muddled" name, it seems too judgemental and people might avoid using it to avoid being seen as overly harsh. I think it would be useful for people to be able to compactly express specific issues that they subjectively think regarding the underlying comment, but a lot of the value would come from them being very precise, and distinguishing between e.g. whether it is the user's reaction to their (possibly flawed) perception of the ideas represented or just the user's reaction to the presentation of them alone would be part of that precision. I think the "no easy way to respond to a reaction" is an important point. Maybe there should be a way to respond to a reaction! I used the "Seems Borderline" reaction partly because I think things along these lines seem likely useful despite me agreeing that the reactions probably should be focused on subjective opinions, and partly just to be funny since you are objecting to that reaction. Someone downvote my "seems borderline" reaction to test downvoting of reactions!
3mako yass1y
I think in a very complete, robust social media system, reactions might just end up being very short comments that the site lays out in a more compact way (and if a flag is checked, omits immediate mention of the author and aggregates identical reacts with a number by default). The point would be that you could link directly to an interesting reaction, or reply to it, and if you reply to it it can be layed out as a comment the usual way.
2Adele Lopez1y
Maybe the "muddled" react should be renamed to "confused", with the intentional ambiguity as to whether the idea itself seems confused or the reactor just found it confusing because they misunderstood something.
That proposal would help to some extent with the possible sentiment issues with "muddled" but I'd still prefer that "muddled" would be split into some more precise reactions. Could also replace "Wrong" perhaps. Some possibilities: * TL;DR  * Unnecessarily wordy [and make "Overcomplicated" specific to the content not form] * Unable to parse * Non sequitur * Ambiguous (i.e. multiple potential meanings) * Disagree with premise(s) * Unclear point * Misrepresentation [could potentially replace "Strawman" but be more general] So the question arises, is it worth trying to distinguish between these sorts of different things? On the one hand, there's potentially a lot possible distinctions there that could be tough for a reader to make, but on the other hand I think that precise negative feedback is useful, whereas vague negative feedback is much less so, so I'd be inclined to approve of making it easier to make negative feedback more precise rather than less. On a site aiming for strong epistemic standards, "muddled"/"confused" seems rather vague to me and I doubt it's that useful to the writer - how do they know what sort of thing they need to fix? 
fwiw I'm not sure we need anything new for replying-to-reacts beyond writing a reply-comment saying "this comment has some weird reacts I disagree with, here's my take". (it seems like people already do that sometimes with votes, i.e. "I'm surprised people downvoted this")
I'm not entirely sure I agree but I think "what if reacts were only mapped to internal-action-reactions is an interesting prompt."  I do think I still want "seems false" or "seems unlikely" – they're important facets of my reaction to a thing, but the "seems" part feels important. I do generally feel, looking at the reacts, that they're slightly the-wrong-type-signature. i.e. I never feel an impulse to say "virtue of scholarship" but I might say "nice scholarship!" or something.
One thing I wanna flag is that I suspect, if the react experiment seemed worthwhile and the kinks were ironed out, I'd probably want to replace agree/disagree karma with some flavor of agree/disagree reacts (mostly to minimize overall site complexity) One thing that gives me some pause there is that I (mostly) think reacts make more sense if they have names attached, so that they are more like little microcomments for when you're too lazy to comment but want to react somehow, but I think there was something good about agree/disagree not having names attached. 
2Gordon Seidoh Worley1y
Also while I'm leaving feedback, I think there's too much nuance/overlap between some of the reactions. I think I'd prefer a smaller set that was something like: * insightful * confusing * i like this * i love this * i disagree and am maybe angry about it * this post is offputting in some other way that violates norms
4Max H1y
I like the wide variety of possible reactions available in Slack and Discord, though I think for LW, the default / starting set could be a bit smaller, to reduce complexity / overwhelming-ness of picking an appropriate reaction. Reactions I'd strike:  * Additional questions (I'd feel a bit disconcerted if I received this reaction without an accompanying comment.) * Strawman (kinda harsh for a reaction) * Concrete (this is either covered by an upvote, or seems like faint praise if not accompanied by an upvote.) * one of "key insight" or "insightful" and one of "too harsh" or "combative" (too much overlap)   But maybe it's easier to wait and see which reactions are used least often, and then eliminate those.
I think nuance is good. A drawback is that on comments that get a lot of reactions it could be too much information for people to pay attention to as compared with a smaller set, but I think that is a worthwhile tradeoff.

Feedback: The reactions panel is difficult to use on mobile.

3Garrett Baker1y
More feedback: Looking at the reactions & those that chose to react made me smile and be happy far more than any level of karma ever has, so very strongly like this feature and hope it comes to the main site.

I've just had an interesting experience that changed my felt-sense of consciousness and being embodied.

I've played over 80 hours of the newly released Zelda game, which is a lot given that it's only been out for 14 days. I do not normally play video games very much, this has been a fairly drastic change in how I've spent my personal time.

I'm really focused while playing it, and feel very immersed in the world of the game. So much so that I had a quite odd experience coming back to the rest of my life.

Yesterday, after playing the game for an hour, I wandere... (read more)

Poor icon choices:
- triangle for changed mind
- scales looks like "fair and balanced" rather than "borderline nitpick"
- support pillar ... but mostly I don't know what support means

Eh / nitpicks
- elephant for "requesting additional info" is a bit obscure.
- cactus looks a bit like a person and does not actually look pointy.
- exclamation implies "wow" more than it does importance
- does graduation cap need the hands? maybe a book for scholarship would be easier to parse?

Particularly good icon choices:
- lightbulb, key, checked, x, hits the mark,

The triangle is the delta symbol, to indicate a change.
Probably inspired by the /r/changemyview subreddit.
1Sinclair Chen1y
Ooh that flew over my head 🤯
As @kave pointed out already, the right side being thicker would make it more clear that it's specifically a delta.

Might make this a post later, but here a few of my current thoughts (will post as separate comments due to length).

Clustering of Reacts (differing ontologies) *Reacts that require high karma to be allowed to use, possibly moderator only The top level categories are roughly ordered by how interested I am in them for LessWrong * Reacts that make sense as conversation between two people have a conversation * I will reply later * you changed my mind * not a crux for me / this doesn’t update me * do you have examples? * I think you didn’t read me carefully * I have seen this * I would bet on this at {1:1, 2:1, 4:1, 10:1} odds * what’s your concrete prediction? * what’s different between worlds where this is true vs false? * taboo your words * you didn’t understand me/this is a strawman* * Doesn’t feel relevant to me * Reacts that make sense as conversation between author and reader * I already addressed that (useful for post authors when people didn’t read it) * Reactions that makes sense from readers/audience * agree (public) * disagree (public) * roll to disbelieve * I defy the data * Seems true based on private information * You should try to pass the other person’s ITT * Feedback to the comment/post author * This is 101 content in 301 space* * Poorly formatted * Doesn’t address prior discussion * unhelpfully aggressive* * missing LW basics (e.g. Sequences) * Politics is the mindkiller* * This is a strawman (of something being described) * This seems tribal/political* * Assessment/judgment of the content (particularly epistemic) * locally invalid * premises seem false * correct conclusion, bad reasoning * false conclusion because false premises, but valid reasoning * Reacts that are funny / culture-y * I now have additional questions * this was your father’s rock * The AI does not love you or hate you, but you are made of atoms it can be used for other things * skeptical Eliezer react * horrified Eliezer react * Reacts that express how content affected a reader (th
2Garrett Baker1y
All of the conversation between two people reacts you listed seem good for viewers of the conversation to also be able to react with.
Many of them, yeah
I think of Reacts as being more like little mini pre-made comments that fill the niche of things that seem too minor to be worth the trouble of typing up as a regular comment. Either it’s something like “I really liked this” where it feels like it’d be cluttered for a lot of people to write this most of the time[1], or also that writing it as a comment invites one to more discussion or obligates to say more on the topic when all they wanted to do was say “I found this confusing” and not get sucked into a bigger thing. There’s also a thing in that having particular Reacts means the site is offering you affordance to say that thing, normalizing it. Which seems good. 1. ^  What actually happens if that if one person writes this, the next person will upvote that comment as a kind of pseudo-react, in a way.

And I’m not sure about the scales being an icon for “seems borderline.” Some sort of fuzzy line or something might be more appropriate. Scales make me think “well measured.”

I would like something like a block pushed halfway off a ledge.
3mako yass1y
I think a tilde would do better, yeah.

Some other comments touch on whether the react panel is too complicated. On any other platform, I would agree. Not here. It is not even more complicated than Slack, and troves of people use Slack with no trouble. I think the posters/commenters the moderators seem to want to see on LW are easily capable of dealing with much more complexity. All useful data. If you are worried about distraction, add an personal setting to hide it. 

Having some way to view whether I've already left a reaction on a post would be great. Currently it just shows a number, and then if I click on it, the number decreases if I've already left a reaction. Would be nice for the background to be some color if I left the relevant reaction (maybe green if I pro-reacted and red if I anti-reacted).

(The I saw this reaction doesn't show up on the parent comment, because of the antireaction, which seems weird.)

The subtitle copy on most of these is uninformative or duplicating the title. "I saw this", "this exhibits the scout mindset", "I feel empathy towards this". Maybe remove the subtitles for most of the reactions?

Very nitpicky (sorry): it'd be nice if the capitalization to the epistemic status reactions was consistent. Currently, some are in title case, for example "Too Harsh" and "Hits the Mark", while others are in sentence case, like "Key insight" and "Missed the point". The autistic part of me finds this upsetting.

I think a reaction which suggests that something is mislabelled might also be helpful. Like for reacting to misleading titles (... can people react to top-level posts?) or similar.

When people see content they agree with and want to support, that mostly gets expressed through upvotes; when they see content they disagree with, that's more likely to result in writing a comment. This biases the perceived reception in a negative direction.

Agreed. I think I previously had some vague belief in something like this being true, but reading the above really helped crystalize the belief. And if true, I think it's important.

It makes me think back to this talk about code review.

“Your code is bad and you are bad. Have a bad day.” Too many code rev

... (read more)

Has there been any user research prior to this post? If so, what were the findings?

What does it mean to anti-react “Wrong” when no one has reacted “Wrong” (for example)? (Or “Shrug”, or “Additional questions”.)

Also, the hover tooltip for a reaction covers up the one(s) below it—very annoying, makes it hard to browse them.

You aren't meant to be able to anti-react to a reaction that no one else has reacted (but there are some minor bugs that make this not be fully enforced). Tooltip should probably be on the right rather than below, will fix.
2Said Achmiz1y
But this seems bad, then, given the current stable of reactions! I understand it from the standpoint of interaction design, of course—but then it seems like you should add opposite-valence reactions for those reactions which currently make sense as standalone anti-reacts (see my other comments in this thread for some examples).
I don't think it means anything (it's also not a particularly accessible state for the UI to end up in, since you have to first react, and then anti-react). It is kind of a state that's hard to avoid, where maybe you anti-reacted to something after someone left a react, and then they withdraw it, in which case it seems bad to just throw away the information that you thought it was a bad react, and seems more appropriate to "apply" it whenever the next person were to leave the same react again. 
6Said Achmiz1y
It seems like an awkward bit of information-architecture design, though, doesn’t it? I mean, for some of the reactions, it does, actually, make sense to anti-react to them directly, “from scratch”, as it were. Anti-“Insightful” clearly means “not insightful”, anti-“Virtue of Scholarship” can mean “this should exhibit the virtue of scholarship but fails to do so”, anti-“Clear” and anti-“Hits the Mark” and anti-“Exciting” also all have fairly clear meanings even when not reacting to their regular (non-reversed) versions. Now, for one thing, that this is the case for some of the reacts but not others seems like it’s bound to lead to confusion and weirdness. For another thing, it seems like making it easy to directly anti-react with the reactions I list above… should be fairly easy to access via the UI, given that it’s clearly meaningful to do so. But this would also (as currently designed) make it easier to directly anti-react with “Wrong” or “Shrug” or whatever, which seems less than ideal. This seems to me to suggest that the conceptual design of the feature might need some work.
We had an earlier iteration of the design where each react was basically a dimension where it made sense to have positives and negatives, and it IMO constrained the space of reacts too much.  The primary point of the anti-react system is as a corrective system that I expect to be used relatively rarely (but that I do think is important to exist). While I agree that some reactions have meaningful opposites that one might be tempted to express with an anti-react, the right thing to do IMO is to provide another react with the opposite meaning, so that you can see them both side-by-side.
This seems right to me since e.g. if someone were to use anti-excitement to indicate "this is draining" there'd then be an issue of how someone else might see this and then wonder how best to express they think it's actually pretty neutral rather than draining (since, while excitement cancels out anti-excitement, indicating excitement itself wouldn't be truth-tracking in this case).
Quick note that I checked "ignoreRateLimits" on this post (ideally I'll make some UI to handle communicating this more reliably, though haven't gotten to it yet)

Feedback on "I saw this": I think that's the wrong icon, the eyes are open too wide, that emoji ends up being used to mean like "holy shit, omfg, WOW", which is different. It's worth having that as a reaction, but you already have "changed my mind", which is a more appropriate way to express that in the LW context.

I'd recommend one of the single eye logos like this. instead

Or a single eye that's looking up and to the left, at the comment, would be better. So I drew one like that, uploaded to the noun project. It's awaiting moderation.

2mako yass10mo
@jimrandomh After a month, apparently at some point it was silently approved I'm just not sure this is the right one -_-, now. It has maybe too much dourness. And I see another reading of the high arousal eyes which is just seeing, with intensity which is fine.
I agree and also I wanted to leave a thanks-react for making that submission, but apparently am short of the requisite karma threshold, so... thanks! :)

I partly support the spirit behind this feature, of providing more information (especially to the commenter), making the readers more engaged and involved, and expressing a reaction with more nuance than with a mere upvote/downvote. I also like that, as with karma, there are options for negative (but constructive) feedback, which I mentioned here when reviewing a different social discussions platform that had only positive reactions such as "Aha!" and "clarifying".

In another sense, I suspect (but could be wrong) that this extra information could also have ... (read more)

I agree this is a concern. At an earlier stage of this prototype, the reactions were at the top with the rest of the voting buttons; moving them to the bottom was done partially to reduce the chance that you see the reactions before you've read it.
4mako yass1y
So, are you having similar thoughts about votes, too?
Moving the whole "action bar" to the end of the comment makes a lot of sense to me.  Voting, agreement, and reactions should all happen AFTER reading, like reply does.   You MAY want to repeat the totals, non-interactively, at the top, if the intended use is filtering as a reader.  IMO, most comments are short enough that this isn't necessary.
I've mocked up a version of this. I suspect we'd ultimately want the karma/agreement available at the top of the comment, but might try shipping the MVP version for now.
It's probably a thing with regular vote-score, but I think it's worth the tradeoff of having scores at the top because when there are too many comments to read everything, the score feeds into the decision of what to read vs what to skim.
2mako yass1y
Reactions seem like they're going to be far more likely to be useful for that purpose.
Perhaps they could be next to the "Reply" button, and fully contained in the comment's container?

I'm surprised to see a "Wrong" icon as a counterpart to "Verified" and not something like "Citation Needed / Requested" or something else that solicits information / evidence.

I think that's reaction for "tried to verify the fact and found out the opposite".

Sounds like a solution in search for a problem TBH

Another UI note - the scrollbar is so thin it is hard to use.

Also, when scrolled fully to either end, there remains a large space of the background color that makes it look like the bar is not fully at the end.

The icons are small (unavoidable), some have too many details, and the outlined ones are too thinly stroked. The lack of color makes them harder to distinguish.

This will be great for shortform! (Though maybe people don't use shortform so it doesn't matter)


When I moussed over all the reactions I saw "missed the point", and assumed it means "I can't see what the point of this comment is.", where as the explainer text seems to suggest that it actually means "this comment has missed the point." ("You missed the point." vs "I am missing your point).

"Missed the point" and "Hits the mark" appear to be exact opposites. So I suppose a negative react of "Hits the mark" is kind of a equivalent to a "Missed the point"?

No suggestion, just this one seemed like a react that might be used or interpreted more ambiguously than the others.

I will register a prediction that a noticeable (to me) amount of reacts will be confusing (whether ironic, misclick, misunderstood, or just someone being funny/clever), no matter how carefully the set is curated.  
I suggest renaming to "missed the mark" to highlight the opposition.

I think the "Support" icon looks like a garbage bin and I find that hilarious.

It takes time to iterate on features like this to improve them and iron things out, so I think "promising" is more aligned with what the bar should be then "I'm happy with this in it's current state". And IMO it meets the bar of "promising" pretty easily.

The support icon looks at first glance like a garbage can although I can tell it’s meant to be a pillar.

Currently the most-reacted to icons are on the very right of the list. This feels like it's the wrong way around. I want to notice the most-reacted icons first, which will still be on the left side.

Currently they aren't sorted at all (so the order is some arbitrary emergent property, which I haven't reverse-engineered but which might be "sort by least recently applied"). I agree that sorting by descending count makes sense and will change it to that.
I would rather match Discord's timestamp sorting. Duplicates grouped with the original and new reacts added to the end.
I prefer this as a default as well since it's information-preserving and the most common reactions will often cluster more-leftward anyway.
It’s not obvious to me which side is more noticeable

For comparison, I wanted to link the post a while back that did the other experiment with reactions. I can't find it. The closest I got was this:

Improving on the Karma System

You might be thinking of this post.
Yes, that was it! Thank you. Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!]

This would be a good time to streamline requesting explanations from voters.

It's very common that the person issuing the reaction doesn't know whether the recipient wants or needs a full explanation, and it's very common for the recipient to really really want an explanation for the reaction after all, and for the recipient to be too worried about being rude or annoying or looking dumb or wasting space by asking for one, so I think it would be worth making that a private, two-click action.

Is it a bug that I don't seem to be able to react to comment replies, only to top-level comments?  Currently using Chrome on MacOS, if that matters.  Oh, even worse - I can't vote or agree with replies either - that row of icons is unresponsive.

Further testing, including refreshing the page (and losing the green bar for new comments), shows this is very inconsistent.  Some threads seem to work, some do not.  Also, some rollovers seem broken - I keep getting the popup for author information "stuck" on the screen, obscuring stuff undernea... (read more)

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
I think that's a screenshot that you are trying to react to. 
ROFL!  Thank you!   This leads to a new feature request - borders around images.  Though it's not a priority - it's probably only going to happen on posts about the site itself.

Bug: I can't undo my vote in the react/anti-react voting widget. When I click on the upvote/downvote buttons it just reapplies the vote instead of undoing it.

The LessWrong Review runs every year to select the posts that have most stood the test of time. This post is not yet eligible for review, but will be at the end of 2024. The top fifty or so posts are featured prominently on the site throughout the year. Will this post make the top fifty?

I find myself wanting to react (Actionable) / (Non-actionable). Or to say: yes, let's act on this. This reflection makes me want, (Can we make this actionable) / ... I suppose the opposite is covered by existing Concrete and Examples reactions. I don't find my thinking well-factored to these categories of reactions.

I find myself a little frustrated needing to scroll out sideways to engage with reactions. Maybe a pop-down option, and maybe a more stateful modal, I might find easier.

These reactions strike me as remarkable compatible with Web Annotation WG re... (read more)

I've recently read about the sequence about quantum mechanics, and now I feel interested about experiment with two half-mirrors where amplitudes cancel out (Configurations and Amplitude).

  1. Is such an explanation approximately equivalent to quantum one? I've heard that phase of wave represents angle of amplitude complex value.
    "On each reflection, light wave phase is shifted by pi/2; there are two ways that light goes to the top, with 1 and 3 reflections; these ways cancel out due to interferention with phase difference = pi".
  2. Is it possible to do such an exper
... (read more)

The "Borderline" icon currently being a balance is something I most naturally interpret as "balanced fairly", whereas a similar-ish alternative -- open hands gesturing up & down -- reads more like "iffy" to me and might better communicate the concept. Here's a simultaneously too complex and too crude mockup based on :

A similar idea to indicate that something might be kind of a toss-up (which at first blush strikes me as less good than palms balancing, yet maybe better than the icon already in u... (read more)

Using a plain heart to express empathy seems easier to confuse with "I love this" than seems ideal. Here are a few other options that seemed potentially appealing after looking through results at The Noun Project for "Empathy" and "Hug":

Indeed, I've seen several cases recently in  where people have used the "Empathy" react in a way that makes much more sense if I interpret it as "heart symbol" than as "empathy".

Isn't this an empirical question?

Trying to guess how we'll like it and how it will change behavior seems crazy compared to just running the experiment.

Make the change, record differences in commenting behavior. Get feedback on how people like it. Take a vote to keep or revert it.

I'm shocked and a bit disturbed that treating it as an empirical question isn't higher-ranked and more commonly suggested.

I think "Muddled" unfortunately seems easier to naturally interpret in an accusatory way, so something else indicating "this was hard for me to see / wasn't clear to me" might work better. My initial thought was to maybe use "Foggy" as a metaphor (as in, "there might be something there, but I'm having a hard time seeing it"). I suppose something with a lighthouse probably looks more like "a beacon of clarity", though here are some other possible Hazy / Cloudy things: (read more)

"Strawman" seems like it might be kind of niche, so I went on a quest looking for something more indicative of "I find this to be misleading / misrepresentative" before realizing this apparently already exists. I can't say I really have any issue with the one already in use, but since there seems to be lots of ways to approach this and I already have several at hand, here's a multitude of alternatives just in case any seem especially resonant. Themes depicted below include loss of signal or mutations in translation, frames being warped or distorted or stuf... (read more)

UI feedback: The preview widget for a comment appears to cut off part of the reaction bar. I don't think this makes it unreadable, but was probably not intended.

[+][comment deleted]1y40