I want to figure out how to solve LessWrong's public goods problem. There are lots of projects that lots of people are moderately interested in but not interested enough to do themselves. For example:
- Further contributions to the Science of Winning at Life sequence: cognitive science of learning, cognitive science of memory, ergonomics, behavioral conditioning, fashion, productivity and no doubt many others
- Explicit guides to applying LW material to your life, smaller sequences and exercises
- Introductory material that gets people hooked, MoR is great, but surely there should be other avenues
- User friendly guides to existing LW material
- Meetup materials: exercises, slides, games, lectures etc.
- Book reviews on important topics (this book needs critique summary/review)
- The cognitive bias Wikipedia entries need serious cleanup
- Developing exercises and tests that help understand or improve rationality (this website could use much better questions and interface)
- Financial analyses, like BrandonReinhart's analysis of SIAI, of The Cryonics Institute and Alcor
Right now the only way those projects get done there's one person with enough intrinsic interest in the project that they do it mostly regardless of the benefits to others. We need ways to focus dispersed interest into intense interest in people willing and able to do particular projects (different ways that might be accomplished).
I think figuring out how to do that is probably best done by a small team, but I am not sure who else might be interested.
I need two other people enthusiastic about solving LessWrong's public goods problem to be part of that team. What would be involved? We'd meet to discuss what things are most likely to ameliorate the public goods problem and the best way to execute them, do research on what works elsewhere and experiment with ideas. For example, I've been slowly experimenting with contests in the hopes that money, prestige and competition will be good motivators. I would like to do more contests, but I could really use help coming up with good test contest ideas, coming up with a good contest formats, and judging contests.
Update: We've started a mailing list for this project.