The best outcome would be for some neutral writer to step in, receive support from both of you, and then adjust the article to accurately reflect the consensus(es) and controversy(ies), in that order.

I'm not asking for resolution of this page, because I don't expect to have time to get into an in-depth debate over group selection for at least a couple of months.

Really, I want to know a) what the legal facts are, b) who sets policy and what the policy is, and c) what the community thinks the policy should be.

b) who sets policy and what the policy is, and c) what the community thinks the policy should be.

No one has set a policy and there is no policy. There is no authority who could set policy unilaterally, but anyone could set a policy if it sounded reasonable, they put it on a wiki page, they did so at a time when no controversies that the policy would refer to were active, and no one came forward to object.

24gjm8yI'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. Let me put it differently. What you wrote reads to me rather like this: "My wife and I just had an argument about who should put out the garbage. In a divorce, what exactly determines who gets custody of the kids?"

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.