After contributions from a number of us (by random example here, here) over a number of months, particularly User:wmoore and User:tommccabe (and all happening before User:Yvain's work here, so we missed those ideas) we have a discussion area.

Discussion, including discussion of the discussion area, is welcome.

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32 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 7:27 AM

I suggest "Open Discussion" with the last 5 comments in the sidebar, underneath "Recent Posts" and above "Wiki Edits".

… to encourage participation. Or not, to keep this part of the site de-emphasised in favour of our (higher quality-standard) main site.
I'm not passionate either way but on balance I don't think we should be trying to push Discussion area content forward.

We could have discussion feed widgets as an option for logged in users, but not show them by default.

The lack of drop shadow on the lesswrong:discussion logo offended me, so I've added one. Who should I email the file to get it changed, if it is up to scratch?

Edit: I decided to stick up, so that it can be grabbed by whoever.

Well... I guess this as a good a place as any to have a hoplessly meta discussion : )

I like your idea. I tried it though, and it still doesn't seem to fix the aesthetic issues... adding "discussion" has made the logo awkwardly wide, and on top of that even the drop shadow can't fix the readability issues, since the thing now extends well into the brighter and grayer areas of the background.

Like I said though, something needs doing. Here is my own humble attempt (cannot figure out how to embed it in the page):

It is ! [ alt text ] (url)


I wasn't sure how the drop shadow would interact with the low contrast sections. I can easily imagine it is not ideal.

You've removed the tag-line. I'm not sure if that is acceptable to the powers that control lesswrong. But apart from that it seems like a good logo. Actually from a user experience point of view it might be worth redoing the map background (using different map sections) as well so it is easier to tell at a glance which section we are on. Perhaps even changing the colour scheme?

I can give that a go, if it will get used?

ETA: Thinking about it, simply changing the grey of the bars at either side of the page to something a bit lighter would be a sufficient change to let me know where I was, and how serious the discussion should be.

The wiki uses a different map background, so that suggestion is more or less guaranteed to be acceptable to the powers that be. And that could definitely solve the readability problem (like I said though, still seems awkwardly wide to me).

As for the tag line, it's changed up a bit on the wiki, so I figured it was at least not set in stone. The reason I figured we could lose it is that it only sort-of applies to this area of the site. A more appropriate one might be "a staging area sandbox for ideas about human rationality"... Of course I'm not suggesting we actually put that there, just emphasizing that it's applicability falls off a bit.

Thanks for the syntax help, updating original post!

Now you've made me notice that the wiki logo doesn't have a drop shadow on the ": wiki".

Hmm, I'm not sure what should be done. The wiki logo has ": wiki" and a tag line, so the current ":discussion" logo is just an continuation of that theme. Width is an issue, but I like the current consistency.

I'm going to hold off making any more variants of any logos until we have a way of picking between them.

Thank you guys - your help is appreciated.
Yes - the wiki logo & tagline are different, as is the wiki background map (and we need to update the FHI and SIAI logos on the wiki). (We've also been a little inconsistent with the font of the tagline between wiki and LW main.)

We'd love to have a different background map for the discussion area too, so that it's easier to tell which of the LW areas you're in - both of the others are supposed to be playing with the the map is not the territory idea.

Suggestions and contributions eagerly solicited.

( Files that might help: )

Thank you for doing this!

Is this to replace the open threads?

This is to:

  • provide a place you can post with lower karma consequences than the main site
  • provide a place you can discuss things you think are not worthy of the main site
  • provide a place you can work with the community to tune something up until it's ready for the main site
  • give you guys an opportunity to make up your own uses for this part of the site.

The link to get here is not very obvious, maybe an announcement on the main site would be a good idea. I only found this because I happened to click your username and noticed a post that didn't show up under Recent Posts.

An announcement would be good - want some cheap karma?

User:Emile has posted and earned 130 karma so far :)


lower karma consequences

How does that work? Do votes here count towards karma differently, are we aiming to have different norms about voting, or what?

The community might converge on that but with how things work around here both will probably be around for a while.

It looks to me like the discussions are currently ordered according to their original posting date. Since this is "an LW forum", a forum-type solution that showed on top the discussions with the most recent comments might be better.

Most recent event [original posting, comment]?

[Edit to remove "post edit" and "vote" events after Kaj's comment.]

Bumping it up because of a new vote probably isn't worth it (doesn't add anything new to the people who've already read the thread), and edits are usually pretty minor. But bumping it because of new comments would let people know there was still discussion going on.

Awesome. Thank you.

lesswrong : discussion

a community forum devoted to refining the art of human rationality.

Great! Does the URL syntax (/r/discussion) mean we can expect more general subreddits soon?

I expect that if we improve search (search by attributes (author, tag), with sensible search operators (union, intersection, negation), saved searches, rss feeds of searches), tags in here should work better than many subreddits. This is still an experiment, though, so if tags and search doesn't work, many subreddits might.

(disclaimer: I've not actually set aside the time to code better search)

This is already better than the main LW, mostly because it doesn't encourage posters to make one-paragraph points in five-paragraph posts. I suspect I'd visit more if the url were


I like how /r/discussion/ gives just the titles of posts instead of many paragraphs of the start of the post, and I wish there were a similar way to browse the main site.

I love this. It's so much less intimidating than the prospect of writing a main post.


How to go about creating a new discussion?

How to go about creating a new discussion?

In the "create new article", you can choose whether to publish the article to your unsaved drafts, to LessWrong, or to the discussion area.

Or it seems if you have clicked on the discussion link and the click on the create new article. You don't seem to have the option of creating a draft if you do it this way though.

Yeh - that's a bit strange. Immediately after you've saved it you get the controls back and can withdraw the public post (by moving it to your drafts).

Fixing that is probably a low priority.