It's clear to me that we on lesswrong operate on a pile of different interest areas. In my head I am doing a sorting method that divides topics. There's not just topics I (personally) like and topics I don't like but also many sub-topics within those. Here's a list of the domain areas as I see them:


  • Artificial intelligence
    • Programming (not just AI)
    • Machine learning
    • Ethics
    • Math
      • Decision theory
  • Philosophy
    • Effective Altruism (mostly on the EA forum)
    • Ethics
    • Scientific method and crisis
    • Decision problems
  • Human Psychology
    • Therapy and related personal work
    • Biases and related thinking
    • Group thinking and how to work with people
    • Personal development (other than therapy)
    • How humans think (consciousness - overlapping with Post-rationality area)
      • Guides for doing things, like problem solving
      • Thinking exercises to try
      • reports/retrospective reflection on some event that has happened
  • Post-rationality
    • Buddhism
    • Mysticism
    • Woo
    • map/territory blurring
  • Human health and medical
    • Wellness
    • Longevity
    • Diet
    • Cryonics (uncommon)
  • Society
    • Economics
      • forecasting/prediction
    • History
    • Culture
      • The state of culture in other places virtually or physically
    • Book reviews
  • Meta: how lesswrong works or could work.
  • Original sequences and relevant theory or ongoing development (as opposed to new sequences)
  • Uncommon areas
    • Physics
    • Politics (discouraged)
    • Big/small (new) ideas and theories


We’re not doing one thing. We’re not even doing three things, we are interested in a whole lot more topics. I could reformat the list to include more questions, along the lines of, “what are we trying to answer when we ask a history question?” but that’s not it. My point here is that we are investigating a diverse bunch of topics, and there’s a structure to our pattern. Even if it might look like a mess.

For me, I know AI is not my domain. EA, decision theory are not my domain. My domain is Humans and how they work, how they think, and (personally) how I relate to the world around me.

Personally, in regard to archipelago of forums or dividing up topics, I know I don’t comment on AI information, but I do comment on human, PR and a few other specific topics.

This post is to follow this comment because I wanted to expand on my understanding of where lesswrong has moved since the original sequence materials.

Maybe you have a better classification of the many diverse topics we cover, but as a start, here’s what’s floating in my head. Prove me wrong by writing your own list of what is covered by lesswrong and what domains you engage in.

What did I miss?


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1 comment, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 11:47 PM

I am surprised that this got as many upvotes but zero discussion. I am wondering if I currently publish true and useful things that don't generate conversation? Should I adapt to try to publish posts that generate conversation over useful posts?


My purpose here was to generate a list of possible tags for a sub-forum system. There being no discussion I am guessing this won't be taken seriously. I wish I could see how many people have read this and better understand if it's a generally agreed sentiment or generally disagreed sentiment.

Not only was this not commented on, it was never referenced in relevant archipelago posts, or commented on in those posts. does that mean I'm shadow posting and in my alternative universe I am doing nothing helpful, or does it mean that this post was obviously accepted as cannon and so obvious that it was not commented on.