I'm having trouble thinking of any halfway-plausible way that the legal facts could be relevant here. Surely (1) you wouldn't so much as consider taking legal action to get your preferred position on group selection enshrined in the LW wiki, and (2) you wouldn't expect Eliezer or anyone else to do so either? In which case, "what's the legal situation?" might be an interesting question, but it basically has nothing whatever to do with your dispute about group selection. In which case, mentioning that dispute at all seems like a total distraction.

L... (read more)

In this context, I think "legal facts" translates into "established formal rules". Not necessarily state enforced rules.

8rhollerith_dot_com9yI think you have or almost have a point, but it is also true that back when divorce laws favored men more than they do now, men won more of the arguments about small things like who should put out the garbage because their negotiating position was stronger. Specifically, if the husband's best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is much more comfortable (for the husband) than the wife's BATNA is (for the wife) then the husband will tend to take most of the "surplus value" in any positive-sum transaction (and the wife will tend to pay most of the "deficit value" in any negative-sum transaction). The point is that even though divorce is extremely costly for either player ("cost" in the broad sense) it can still have a big influence on small things like who will put out the garbage. Perhaps the point you wanted to make is that a participant who is comfortable with shades of gray and ambiguity about power relationships will tend to have more influence in this (egalitarian, non-authoritarian) community than a participant who feels the need to ask questions like "Who owns Less Wrong?"

Who owns LessWrong?

by PhilGoetz 1 min read29th Sep 201185 comments


The LessWrong wiki contains a biased and offensive entry on group selection.  I edited the wiki page, to append some points representing an opposing view at the end.  Eliezer removed my points, leaving only a link at the end.  He said he thought my points were wrong, but would not say which points he thought were wrong, or why he thought they were wrong.

Is it reasonable for me to restore my changes over Eliezer's edit, since he is unwilling to give reasons for his edit?  What sort of rights or privileges does Eliezer have over LW or LW wiki content?

(Please try not to turn this into a discussion of group selection.)

ADDED:  Please go meta, folks.  I am not trying to argue about this specific Wiki article.  I am not asking for redress.  Specifics about this wiki article are irrelevant.  I am asking whether this is still a benevolent dictatorship.

The relevant questions are not what the appropriate form of debate is, or anything about this wiki article.  The relevant questions are:

  • Who owns the domain?
  • Who created the Wiki?
  • Who owns the code?
  • Who pays for the servers?
  • If someone is in charge, what rights do they reserve for themselves?
  • At what point does the ratio of community contributions to Eliezer's contributions mean we have the right to claim some ownership?

The Wiki main page says, "The wiki about rationality that anyone who is logged in can edit".  Apparently that is a lie.  If I do not have as much right as Eliezer does to write a wiki post, I want that point explicitly spelled out.