Less Wrong Facebook Page

At Tom Talbot's suggestion, I have created a Less Wrong Facebook group, in hopes that being able to see one another's faces will improve group bonding.

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I note without much surprise that of the 54 members who joined before I did, all seem to be male (as I am also). Perhaps this would make a good topic for a future post? Or would that bring down the wrath of Mr. Munroe.

...I'll start by pointing out that I'm female.

In the case of comments on a blog (or members obviously joining a facebook group) sometimes this can be a form of self-selection bias combined with female cultural norms.

I was taught that you only say something if you feel that it adds to the conversation... and females are often "taught" low self esteem... which means that from what I know of female culture, women are less likely to post than men due to a combination of feeling a bit overwhelmed at the l33t skillz shown here and not feeling worthy. So one (small) part of the reason you see less women, is that those that are here - are less likely to post/comment.

That being said - that is also likely combined with an actual lower distribution of women arriving at the site - which is likely linked to all the same reasons why women aren't as high a proportion of mathematicians or computer-programmers.

I've been both (and a lot of other usually-male-dominated hobbies also) and I can attest to being made to feel like a weirdo by other women (and some men, though mostly women). My guess is that a lot of this is simply because it makes me stick out... "other women aren't doing it... so why would you want to, you weirdo"... and thus becomes a vicious cycle.

I don't think there's anything inherent in women (or men) that makes them more or less likely to be interested. but women that are have to be capable of "speaking the truth, even when your voice trembles" about being interested in something that "tradition" holds as being mainly a male field... and wiling to sustain the effort to break the norms and continue to participate despite being looked at like they have just grown body parts unnatural to their gender.

Edit: In fact, the recent story about Katie and the Star Wars Lunchbox is a very good example of how this happens in practice. http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/portrait_of_an_adoption/2010/11/anti-bullying-starts-in-first-grade.html

I'm still not entirely sure what's up with that. Yeah, I plan to post about it at some point.

Well, in the simplest sense what's up with that is that it's reflective of the demographics that read OB. Which doesn't answer the real question, of course.

There was, in fact, some related discussion on OB at one point, I seem to recall; if memory serves me it mostly turned into some academic feminist types complaining at Robin, which seemed unfortunately unenlightening all around.

The two people in my circle of friends who I think might be most interested in this sort of thing are both women, but the quality of posts and comments here is still spotty enough that I haven't felt in a position to urge them to start reading. That may change as the software improves and we get better at getting the best out of this community; at the moment I'm hoping that your book when it comes out is something I could recommend.

I'm rather skeptical, to say the least, that seeing people's photographs will make me more interested in their ideas.

To say the most, I actually find that photographs make me less sympathetic. Maybe I'm unusual in this way. I am in plenty of others.

Semi-related: Is it just me who hates advertisements that have photos of smiling or laughing "satisfied customers"? You know, the ones overflowing with euphoria over their new ironing boards? If those things really make an ad more alluring, I guess my reaction to photos is unusual. (Note: I guess I lied when I said I hate such ads. A la Terry Prachett, I'm trough hate and out the other side.)

I'm rather skeptical, to say the least, that seeing people's photographs will make me more interested in their ideas.

Obligatory cynicism: It will make you more interested in their ideas if and only if the photograph makes them look attractive, c.f. all the research showing cognitive biases in favor of tall, good-looking people.

The purpose is not to make you more interested in another LWers ideas, but to make you feel more inclined to engage in a joint venture; I think even an unattractive photo will help with that. However feel free to use my good looks to promote the group :-)

I've been scared too much by "Facebook & MySpace are the Big Brother" to create an account there.

I joined.

(I almost never sign into Facebook, though, so don't expect me to do much there.)

Something other than a crappy blank square, please. A snapshot of the site logo would be better than nothing - and would only take a few moments to implement.