Social scientists think humans operate under one of two different sets of norms, depending on the circumstances: "market norms" or "social norms". The basic idea is that when exchanging money for goods and services formally, it's considered okay to be much more calculating and self-interested than when exchanging favors with friends informally. You can read this blog post by Dan Ariely for more.
It's often considered rude to introduce market norms in an area where they don't traditionally apply. For example, by charging money for your presence at a barbecue.
This is a thread where it's okay to talk about trading money for goods and services with other Less Wrong users, which might otherwise be considered rude because you'd be inappropriately introducing market norms. Things you're encouraged to do include:
- Post your resume
- Advertise a product sold by you or your company
- Advertise a service provided by you or your company
- Advertise an open position working for you or your company
The argument for having a thread like this is as follows. Less Wrong users have a variety of goals they wish to accomplish. Some of these goals involve engaging in marketplace transactions. It's plausible that a thread facilitating marketplace transactions between LW users will buy just as much or more collective goal accomplishment per unit attention consumed than a traditional Less Wrong thread.
Anecdotally it seems that introducing market norms takes a certain amount of chutzpah. For example, apparently it takes a certain kind of person to actually be able to name a dollar figure in a sales conversation, and that's why you need a professional salesperson to come along with a sales engineer when selling a technical product. One LWer friend of mine struggled for a while before she was able to get herself to charge money for talk therapy she had been providing to friends for free.
To combat this, please feel inclined to vote up folks who post in this thread. They likely overcame some akrasia in the act of promoting their offer.
To discuss the concept of this thread, as opposed to advertising a transaction you wish to engage in, please reply to this comment.