[LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist

I believe that the "problem" is that Lesswrong loves contrarians.

If a smart-sounding article espousing conservative opinions on social issues appears, most lesswrongers will disagree but be interested in reading anyway because it's novel and there is a dearth of smart conservative opinions in the world, and the exciting chance to "actually change their mind" looms.

If a smart-sounding article espousing liberal opinions on social issues appears, most lesswrongers will agree but be disinterested in reading because they've heard it all befo... (read more)

Doesn't this problem gradually fix itself? For example, at the beginning I was interested in Moldbug's articles, but these days I just consider them boring. I have already heard the big picture; there is now nothing new, just reiterating what was already said; the lack of evidence or even clear explanations is very annoying, and I have already given up hope that it could be improved.

These days, if someone says something seemingly smart like "Cthulhu always swims left", my first though is: give me a definition of what the hell do you even mean by ... (read more)

[LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist

by Apprentice 1 min read6th Jan 2014883 comments


A long blog post explains why the author, a feminist, is not comfortable with the rationalist community despite thinking it is "super cool and interesting". It's directed specifically at Yvain, but it's probably general enough to be of some interest here.


I'm not sure if I can summarize this fairly but the main thrust seems to be that we are overly willing to entertain offensive/taboo/hurtful ideas and this drives off many types of people. Here's a quote:

In other words, prizing discourse without limitations (I tried to find a convenient analogy for said limitations and failed. Fenders? Safety belts?) will result in an environment in which people are more comfortable speaking the more social privilege they hold.

The author perceives a link between LW type open discourse and danger to minority groups. I'm not sure whether that's true or not. Take race. Many LWers are willing to entertain ideas about the existence and possible importance of average group differences in psychological traits. So, maybe LWers are racists. But they're racists who continually obsess over optimizing their philanthropic contributions to African charities. So, maybe not racists in a dangerous way?

An overly rosy view, perhaps, and I don't want to deny the reality of the blogger's experience. Clearly, the person is intelligent and attracted to some aspects of LW discourse while turned off by other aspects.