Should "latest insights" appear in the front page blurb?

by Mark_Eichenlaub 1 min read14th Apr 20124 comments


The front page states

 We use the latest insights from cognitive sciencesocial psychology,probability theory, and decision theory to improve our understanding of how the world works and what we can do to achieve our goals.

The use of "latest" is a minor turn-off for me. It reminds me of blogs' and mass-media news' uncritical approach to recent papers in health and psychology. It makes me think that LessWrong will be about grabbing a paper, summarizing its result, and explaining how to apply it in daily life.

LessWrong is cognizant of the problems in scientific publishing. We know that any individual paper is likely to be wrong - more so if the conclusions are highly unexpected. (The more sensational the headline, the less likely it is to be true).

LessWrong usually focuses on higher-level summaries when discussing scientific findings, especially in psychology. A typical top-level science post has lots of references, many to review articles and meta-analyses. That's not the impression I get from the front page, though, so I think it we could communicate the community's goals better by dropping the word "latest".

This point is similar to one made by Gabriel in this comment.