"You must be new around here."
Guilty as charged. But the financial model is usually one of my first areas of meta-interest when I start looking (or relooking) at a website. What are the motivations? "Follow the money," said the detective. But in the worst cases, unsustainable financial models usually disappear.
It always seems to me that the money matters and that systems (including websites and companies) adjust their various behaviors to reflect where the money is coming from and how it is flowing through the system. LessWrong clearly has ongoing costs for servers and support (and I hope the helpful person in the Intercom chat room was duly compensated for the time). I also read about the big karma project in the last quarter of 2019. Nothing there about the development and evaluation costs, but it sure sounded like a lot of work was done. Somewhere in the FAQ it said that LessWrong doesn't make money, which is fine, but it did mention donations. (My observations indicate that big donors usually like to call the shots and small donors generally don't get to (which bothers me (but that might be simple projection since I'm strictly a small donor)).)
My own preference would be cost recovery, but mostly based on benefits received. Would you believe "Basically anything that people are willing to pay for should be allowed to happen?" My fantasy funding mechanism usually flies under the handle of CSB (for Charity Share Brokerage), but before speculating farther I'd like to understand more about how things work now on LessWrong. (Even more than this financial question, my primary confusion right now is how to detect the current flow of activity. But maybe I should be most focused on figuring out which parts of the old activity are most worth reading? That side seems overwhelming.)
Better clarify that I don't think that everything should be reduced to monetary values, but money is a helpful metric. Even sustainable. I actually think economics is mostly bogus because time is not equal to money, even approximately. The proper relationship is time >> money. (But ekronomics is another one of my favorite cans for worms.)
Yep, for more context, most of our funding comes from the Survival and Flourishing Fund and the Open Philanthropy Project.
Wikipedia generally works fine, but occassionally problems happen. Sometimes obsessive editors are rewarded with power, which they sometimes abuse to win the debates on their pet topics. As long as other similarly powerful editors don't care, they are allowed to rule their little fiefdoms.
As an example, David Gerard, the admin of RationalWiki, is currently camping at the Wikipedia article on Less Wrong; most of his effort goes towards reducing the section on effective altruism and expanding the section on "Roko's basilisk"... which itself is known mostly because he previously popularized it on RationalWiki. (Also notice other subtle manipulation, like the fact that the page mentions the political opinion of 0.92% of 2016 survey participants, but the remaining 99.08% is not worth mentioning.) I mean, just make your own opinion on how much the content of Less Wrong as you see it here actually resembles the thing that is described at Wikipedia. -- One guy, with a strong grudge, willing to spend more time fighting wiki wars than all his opponents together. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The principles of LW... well, originally it was a shared blog by Robin Hanson and Eliezer Yudkowsky, later (cca 10 ye... (read more)