'oy, girls on lw, want to get together some time?'

2:45:24 PM Katja Grace: The main thing that puts me off in online dating profiles is lack of ambition to save the world
2:45:35 PM Katja Grace: Or do anything much
2:48:03 PM Michael Blume: *nods*
2:48:07 PM Michael Blume: this is indeed a problem
2:57:55 PM Katja Grace: Maybe there is a dating site for smart ambitious nerds somewhere
2:58:25 PM Katja Grace: Need to set up lw extension perhaps
2:59:02 PM Michael Blume: haha, yes ^^
3:00:40 PM Katja Grace: Plenty of discussion on why few girls, how to get girls, nobody ever says 'oy, girls on lw, want to get together some time?'
3:01:14 PM Michael Blume: somebody really should say that
3:01:34 PM Michael Blume: hell, I'm tempted to just copy that IM into a top-level post and click 'submit'
3:01:48 PM Katja Grace: Haha dare you to

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LW pickup lines:

"Hey baby, wanna get froze together?"

"Wanna make a little adaptation executor? Wanna practice?"

"I don't bite. Unless that's in your definition of Friendliness . . ."

"Wanna grab coffee and swap some memes?"

"There's a world in which we get together. Wanna make it this one?"

"The coin came up heads, so I guess you have to sleep with me."

"You must be an expert Bayesian...cause you've got a great posterior."

That one works! At least it did when someone used it on me.

LW pickup lines

"Are you an evidential decision theorist? Because if we get together that increases the probability the simulators are benevolent."

Also, along Yvain's lines, anything with the words "set of priors", "bimodal", "improper".

LW pickup lines

"Bimodal", perhaps, except don't use it as a metaphor for breasts.

I'm a LW female. Ah yes, these would totally work on me.

So there's this very complicated moment of a group coming together, where enough individuals, for whatever reason, sort of agree that something worthwhile is happening, and the decision they make at that moment is: This is good and must be protected. And at that moment, even if it's subconscious, you start getting group effects. And the effects that we've seen come up over and over and over again in online communities...

The first is sex talk, what he called, in his mid-century prose, "A group met for pairing off." And what that means is, the group conceives of its purpose as the hosting of flirtatious or salacious talk or emotions passing between pairs of members...

The second basic pattern that Bion detailed: The identification and vilification of external enemies. This is a very common pattern. Anyone who was around the Open Source movement in the mid-Nineties could see this all the time...

The third pattern Bion identified: Religious veneration. The nomination and worship of a religious icon or a set of religious tenets. The religious pattern is, essentially, we have nominated something that's beyond critique. You can see this pattern on the Internet any day you like...

So these are human patterns that have shown up on the Internet, not because of the software, but because it's being used by humans. Bion has identified this possibility of groups sandbagging their sophisticated goals with these basic urges. And what he finally came to, in analyzing this tension, is that group structure is necessary. Robert's Rules of Order are necessary. Constitutions are necessary. Norms, rituals, laws, the whole list of ways that we say, out of the universe of possible behaviors, we're going to draw a relatively small circle around the acceptable ones.

He said the group structure is necessary to defend the group from itself. Group structure exists to keep a group on target, on track, on message, on charter, whatever. To keep a group focused on its own sophisticated goals and to keep a group from sliding into these basic patterns. Group structure defends the group from the action of its own members.

-- Clay Shirky, "A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy"

This is some of the best writing on online societies I've ever read. Thanks for link and excerpt. I think this is worthy of a top-level post (if we want top-levels to ever go meta), because I'm worried for LessWrong.

I think you Less Wrong guys could find the kind of girl you're after if you trained yourself to be bold (take a public speaking class) and thought about where to look. I was talking to a girl at school today who told me all her heroes were named Richard: Branson, Feynman, and Dawkins.

Upvoted for a sensible analysis of the problem. Want girls? Go get them. My experience is that a common mistake amongst academically inclined people is to expect reality to reward them for doing the right thing - for example men on LW may (implicitly, without realizing that they are doing it) expect attractive, eligible women to be abundant in the risk-mitigation movement, because mitigating existential risks is the right* thing to do, and the universe is a just place which rewards good behavior.

The reality of the situation is that a male who spends time attempting to reduce existential risks will find himself in a community which is full of other males, which, relative to other hobbies he could have, will reduce his pool of available women.

Women who spend time attempting to reduce existential risks will find themselves surrounded by guys, who are preselected for intelligence and high ethical standards.

men on LW may (implicitly, without realizing that they are doing it) expect attractive, eligible women to be abundant in the risk-mitigation movement, because mitigating existential risks is the right* thing to do, and the universe is a just place which rewards good behavior.

Really? I find it hard to imagine that kind of naivety.

I have found that I have often had to rid myself of the same piece of naivety multiple times, for various parts of my mind, over the course of months or years...

I think I'll save the world first, then worry about a girlfriend.

Plus, the available dating pool should be that much larger with that accomplishment on my resume.

Issues like these motivated the development, at MIT in the 1960s, of a "Dateless Decision Theory", intended to provide a rigorous answer to questions like, If I'm single, should I do something about it, or just get on with serving the greater good? But the UN banned it after the publication of studies alleging that the accumulation of DDT in the intellectual food chain had a net negative effect on human reproductive fitness.

So ... that's what happened to Love and Life Just Before the Singularity. It never made sense to me to remove something that innocuous from the public web, but it all fits if that was the work of a global conspiracy!

This is extremely troubling news. With a shadowy world government agency clamping down on serious argument about no-mating strategies, one has to wonder how much the public discourse has been skewed by them. And would it be a good idea to attempt to replicate any of the suppressed research? There is a tricky tradeoff here between figuring out the truth about this critical question, and not rising to the attention of the suppressing agency.

Chances are, you with a girlfriend and you without a girlfriend are very nearly two different people. Which do you think has a better shot at saving the world?

(I don't mean to answer the question for you -- I don't know you that well.)

With a girlfriend, I care more about saving the world.

Without a girlfriend, I have more time to actually save it.

The best of both world is... polyandry?

More different than that:

When my last relationship was going well, I was far more centered, far more emotionally stable. I was definitely at least an SD above my current state as far as non-effortful nonverbal status signaling -- that is, I probably came off better in social situations, whether or not she was with me.

Interesting. I signal less and am less social overall when in a serious relationship. Probably because I predominantly view social interaction as a way of finding a partner.

I signal less and am less social overall when in a serious relationship.

Oddly enough, that's part of what I'm talking about.

Outside of a relationship, the immediate, hedonic stakes are higher in any social interaction (for you apparently, and also for me -- I don't mean to speak for/about any others). The other party can sense this, and it makes you seem low-status. If the interaction seems less intrinsically important to you -- if you're not going to take a large hedonic hit depending on how the conversation goes -- this makes you seem more high-status.

(HT: Eliezer, who articulated the distinction between hedonically valuing social approval and valuing it for its utility during a panel at the Singularity Summit)

Girlfriends are basically fungible. If you can't get a full one with the resources that you assign to leisure, why not get a 1/X fraction of a girlfriend from X number of girlfriends?

With this strategy your expected girlfriend value is rather low. If saving the world is that important to you, go after the pool of women that are seduced with tales of how you are out there saving the world.

I live in Western Massachusetts. Being on this website at all filters for a lot of my criteria, so if somebody in commuting distance who is not more than five years older than me (I'm about to turn 21), doesn't smoke, and has not demonstrated him or herself to be a jerk in LW comments in the past would be interested in meeting, let me know.

Count me in. I'm 24 and moving to Hudson, MA in two weeks. I will temporarily bear the stigma of "unemployed and living with parents", but that should last a couple months at most.

An update for curious onlookers: this panned out. Tuesday was our first "luniversary", if I may employ a nonce. :)

And a double congratulations to Dfranke for using the 'unemployed and living with parents' line successfully.

That got him "full disclosure" points, but would not have boded well without the "temporarily".

Mise!

(If Eliezer can give his congratulations in Japanese, then I can give mine in Magic Player. And, yes, Magic Player is a language distinct from English.)

Omedetou gozaimasu! It feels oddly completive to know that LW has helped at least one romantic relationship form.

I'm going to be terribly presumptuous and declare this closed for the time being =P

This thread will be an excellent resource for your future biographers.

For any future biographers eagerly following this thread to learn of Alicorn's relationship history, we got back together on July 30th at 9:30 PM PDT, when her plane landed.

For any present day folk (especially those in/around Berkeley) eagerly following this thread in order to learn when/whether it is appropriate to hit on Alicorn: go for it =)

Further update for future biographers: we got married on September 21st at the UC Berkeley botanical garden, Kenzi officiated and YVain gave a toast =)

Given that the date on this comment is August 15, and that to the best of my knowledge Alicorn currently lives in North Carolina...is this a message from the future?

(If so, we certainly know why there are biographers involved -- in which case they probably read all this before it was posted.)

Yeah... I fail at months =/

(edited now, but my comment used to read August 30th)

I do not currently live in North Carolina. I currently live in Berkeley.

*updates location field*

Who among us has not demonstrated oneself to be a jerk?

Let he who is without jerky cast the first wrapper?

You're not a jerk, but you are married. There's another criterion: I'm averse to helping anyone cheat. Anyway, the "not a jerk" thing only rules out a handful of people off the top of my head, and I highly doubt those people like me.

It's not an issue of me not liking you, Alicorn. I criticize you when I deem you in error, and applaud when when I deem you to be insightful. It's just that the former happens a lot more often.

ETA: Real mature, there. ETA2: Okay, back to zero.

Let me clarify: you think I'm immature, almost constantly in error, you won't explain my failures in enough detail for me to make use of the information even when I ask, you're routinely hostile to me - but it's not like you don't like me or anything. What is it, then? You hold me in the sort of half-fond contempt typically reserved for small, annoying children and animals who don't know any better, or something?

Anyone else see sparks here?

// ...sorry. :-)

Think Han and Leia, Harry and Sally, Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls, Indiana Jones and that annoying actress from Temple of Doom. I could go on.

I'll stop now, though :-)

I really doubt we're looking at a case of Slap Slap Kiss here, but teasing is fun.

This is probably the wrong time to go on about how that trope sexualizes violence and encourages people to think that "no means yes" even given ever-more-stringent values of "no", isn't it?

I happen to like girls who initiate sex with this sort of challenge. It is a straightforward alternative to the verbal or social challenges that fill the same role more frequently. In fact playing out the dynamics so directly rather than in the verbal world helps prevent any confusion as to whether verbal expressions are a façade to test character or a boundary. 'No' could always mean 'no' and never mean 'I'm not comfortable yet, pull back and continue the mating dance'.

Rape is bad/evil/other/death-spiral. But this trope doesn't encourage rape.

I can't speak for everyone, but I wouldn't mind. Rant all you want; this is the Open Thread, after all.

This isn't the open thread. This is "oy, girls on lw, want to get together some time?"

I think I'm going to defy all expectation and say: I agree with Alicorn completely on this. (I would have responded directly to Alicorn, but she had told me to leave her alone, and considering the topic, and my position, that would be WAY too much irony.)

I think this trope seriously hinders anti-rape efforts. I'd go into more detail, but given the topic, pretty much anything can be read out of context, so it's best to leave it at that.

This was really funny.

I'm reminded of a Seinfeld scene in which Jerry and Elaine, annoyed at each other, are in a push fight in Jerry's apartment when Kramer pops in, separates them and nonchalantly suggests, "Don't you two see you are in love with each other?". (Note that in the scene, it's obvious Jerry and Elaine are not romantically linked and that's why Kramer's comment is so funny.)

I am a bit alarmed by the 5 points your post got.

Its actually like 8 ups at 4 downs at this point. Don't know what that tells us.

I do explain your failures. I explain your failures in detail. What I do not do, is commit unbounded time to answering your (or anyone's) followup questions when I believe I have already answered them and/or the benefits no longer exceed the costs (ETC).

I believe that modding me down for a calm, honest, non-inflammatory statement of my opinion of you, is not something a mature individual would do. (Remember, it was the "deeming you in error" that I said was common, not "you being in error in some more objective or universal sense".)

(While we're on the topic, I seem to remember a long flamewar in which you also stopped giving additional clarification to those who asked what their error was -- specifically, how to know if they're being sexist. Keep in mind, no one who asked for help ever got a good enough model of what you count as sexism to generate the same answers that you did -- note the "If I were rich I'd have a gardener" problem.)

Just for the record, there actually are instances when I have regarded your comments highly. Just two examples off the top of my head.

If and when you make comments with merit, I mod you up, without regard for any stupidity you might have revealed in the past. I might read your remarks a bit less, but if I see one that's good, I mod it up. I do not, however, downmod you simply for saying something that's not "on my side" -- in fact, I recognize my own biases in flamewars and avoid modding when it's likely to negatively influence my judgment.

If you call that "not liking you", that just means you can't distinguish liking a person from liking an argument.

If and when you make comments with merit, I mod you up, without regard for any stupidity you might have revealed in the past.

Note: as someone who is mainly on your "side," use of terms like "stupidity" and "your failures" seem unnecessarily hostile and undermine the emphasis you place on separating people and arguments.

Fair point, and I appreciate your input -- I'm often ignorant of the differences between how I would take remarks vs. how other people would.

But with respect to my use of "your failures", that was just to follow the form of Alicorn's question, not because I like making others feel like failures. Here's the relevant part:

Let me clarify: you think I'm immature, almost constantly in error, you won't explain my failures in enough detail for me to make use of the information even when I ask... [bold added -- SB]

You know what? That looks a lot like how I feel about you. I frequently deem you in error, but sometimes you say something I like and I've occasionally upvoted you. Believe it or not, in spite of that, I don't like you. Your defense is therefore hardly airtight: it's possible to sometimes upvote a person while disliking them. So either you're hedging to avoid having to admit disliking me (you haven't claimed not to dislike me, you've only said that's not the "issue" and that I don't have the right data to assume it), or there's some additional phenomenon going on besides our voting behavior, or we're talking past each other and mean different things by "like", "don't like", and "dislike".

Of course liking a person is separate from evaluation of their comments -- at least I hope people here act that way! What I dispute is this insinuation that my treatment of you is evidence of having built up some personal or emotional "dislike" of you, as opposed to a clear-headed reaction to the merit of your posts.

I also strongly dispute your suggestion of symmetry: I do not use the voting system as a tool to "get back" at you during disputes, while the evidence suggests that you do start modding me down even when your objectivity has clearly been compromised and therefore when your voting is disinformative to others.

Yes, yes, there's no rule against modding down someone you just got into a flamewar with or who offended your honor and I'm a masochist for employing such restraint, blah blah blah. Nevertheless, I am clearly treating you better than you treat me, so if anything, you should be appreciative of my actions and not characterize them as some kind of mistreatment.

I love how on this site you say "your voting is disinformative to others" instead of "voting me down because you're a cowardly jerkface".

I'm going to start ignoring you now. Please leave me alone.

Very well, I will leave you alone, though I'll still comment in top-level posts you start. But at this point I'm very much interested in resolving our differences, which I think would be better for both of us. Please let me know if you're interested in chatting things over in the (cyber-)presence of a neutral mediator.

Oh sorry, that was probably me. I spent the past couple of weeks almost dying of an infection, so didn't have time to read much of Lw; I just caught up on recent comments. I wouldn't doubt that I'd downvoted a bunch of your comments in fairly quick succession.

No need to apologize. Gotta feel noble, after all.

How soon do you turn 21? Are you in or near Amherst? I'm looking to add players to our trivia night team (Tuesdays at the Harp) and you're welcome to join us.

This year is what I have heard called a "champagne birthday" - I turn 21 on the 21st. However, Tuesdays are freakishly busy for me. I am on campus for thirteen hours straight and when I get home after my last class I go directly to bed. Sorry =/

Upvoted for trying to solve the OP problem, and likewise for Alicorn's comment.

Selling kisses for Karma. Form a queue behind Alicorn.

ETA: Err, that seems even less relevant when I look at Recent Comments. I hope the proceeds my amorously entrepreneurial problem solving offsets any distracting irritation!

20-year-old non-smoking male with proper world-saving ambitions here. I'm in New York and a minimum of an hour and a half from anywhere in MA; not sure if you'd consider that commuting distance.

Are you going to the Singularity Summit?

What counts as commuting distance, if you don't actually live in my town (Amherst), is up to you: I don't have a car (or indeed a driver's license), so the burden of transit is going to mostly not fall on me. I'm not going to the Singularity Summit because I am poor and it is far away and I hate traveling.

Should I be embarrassed to admit my own lack of ambition on this site?

Saving the world sounds like it involves a lot of painful work. I don't like the world very much, and would prefer to escape from it instead of save it.

Addressing the topic at hand more directly, I usually assume that most of the girls here are probably located outside of convenient driving distance and aren't here to be hit on anyway. Furthermore, after considering the extent of my personal problems, I've come to the conclusion that I'd be more trouble than I'm worth to any woman who might be convinced to date me, and taken myself off the market.

CronoDAS! You are trapped in a bad equilibrium, but there is no reason to believe you will be trapped in it forever. It is obvious to me that you are a thoughtful and intelligent individual. I would bet my life on the fact that you have false self-limiting beliefs. Keep experimenting in life and one day you will realize you've left that bad equilibrium.

Eh. I tend to agree with CronoDAS. Not that he's objectively right that one is better off escaping from the world rather than dealing with it, but that his utility function is really screwed up by most people's standards, and that "correcting" it is extremely difficult. It's not at all simply a matter of self-limiting beliefs. In my case, at least, it's a matter of a great deal of adverse conditioning that took place when I was raised, and maybe a bit of bad genes. It's a matter of accurate assessments about the world being more emotionally disturbing to me than for most people, at a level more basic than that of beliefs.

More here.

(Note that I'm doing better recently, finally having found some meds with a decently strong placebo effect.)

Meh. Join the club. I tried to tell him the same thing (too sleepy to look for the link right now) but he wouldn't listen. But maybe there's some different nuance in the way you said it.

Should I be embarrassed to admit my own lack of ambition on this site?

Why start now? ;)

Because I'm an Internet masochist who can't keep a secret to save his life?

That's not a lack of ambition, that's a reasonable preference. I tend to agree: if I could take over the world singleton-style and try to improve it I would, but failing that I'd work on having a fallback (escape) position first before risking myself to "save the world" for others.

I lack ambition in other ways, too. For example, I don't have a job, and I shudder in horror at the thought of having one. As far as I can tell, women usually don't want a long-term romantic partner that is neither a breadwinner nor a competent homemaker. And by "escape the world", I mostly mean "escape from the experience of living in the world," through such means as playing World of Warcraft (which, incidentally, I tired of after a few months) or the final, irrevocable escape, death.

Some people - including some women, for example myself - consider that a reasonable preference, too. Personally, I find it much more disturbing that you seem to be focused on standard definitions of acceptability. Actually, if it wasn't for that, and the ways I suspect it affects you (I'm making assumptions there based on when I was in a similar phase in my life, so could be wrong), I think you and I would get along more than passably well. (Possibly relevant context: I'm moderately-to-strongly asexual and not actively looking for new strong relationships at the moment.)

I would very much like to have female friends that I could talk to and hang out with in person on a regular basis. I just don't feel comfortable seeking out romance right now.

Personally, I find it much more disturbing that you seem to be focused on standard definitions of acceptability.

Well, I think you can blame my parents for that. They're very invested in standard definitions of acceptability and have been trying their hardest to get me to accept them, too. My parents want me to make money and be self-sufficient, but, like a child, all I want to do is play games and have fun. They've been trying to drive the point home that they won't be able to support me forever, and that if I don't get a job now, I'll have severely restricted options because not having worked in twenty years will be a major red flag to potential employers.

Well, I think you can blame my parents for that. They're very invested in standard definitions of acceptability and have been trying their hardest to get me to accept them, too. My parents want me to make money and be self-sufficient, but, like a child, all I want to do is play games and have fun.

Maybe this bit of framing will help: Do you have any clue how hard it is to find people who are in tune enough with their own values to do what they want, in the face of societal pressure? Especially when that doesn't involve something that can be justified by being useful? The fact that you can do that implies a kind of functional self-awareness that I consider very valuable, no matter how you happen to be using it at the moment.

Where are you located, by the way?

Maybe this bit of framing will help: Do you have any clue how hard it is to find people who are in tune enough with their own values to do what they want, in the face of societal pressure? Especially when that doesn't involve something that can be justified by being useful? The fact that you can do that implies a kind of functional self-awareness that I consider very valuable, no matter how you happen to be using it at the moment.

I'm not really sure that I actually am doing what I want to do. Indeed, I don't feel as though I'm actually doing anything at all. Playing video games and surfing the Interned is simply my default setting, my ground state, and it takes some outside influence to knock me out of it. I feel as though laziness has become the defining principle of my life; I'm not so much doing what I want as refusing to do what I don't feel like doing. Ever see the movie Office Space? There's this one scene...

Peter Gibbons: I uh, I don't like my job, and, uh, I don't think I'm gonna go anymore.

Joanna: You're just not gonna go?

Peter Gibbons: Yeah.

Joanna: Won't you get fired?

Peter Gibbons: I don't know, but I really don't like it, and, uh, I'm not gonna go.

Joanna: So you're gonna quit?

Peter Gibbons: Nuh-uh. Not really. Uh... I'm just gonna stop going.

Joanna: When did you decide all that?

Peter Gibbons: About an hour ago.

Joanna: Oh, really? About an hour ago... so you're gonna get another job?

Peter Gibbons: I don't think I'd like another job.

Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and...

Peter Gibbons: You know, I've never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either.

That's pretty much me.

Where are you located, by the way?

Central New Jersey.

Yep, that's the mental state I thought you were in; I spent several years there, with the significant difference that I had to support myself and perhaps have a bit more inclination towards self-preservation than you do. (We seem to have similar opinions on the morality of suicide; my long-term motivation for not taking that route is simple curiosity about the future. I doubt I'd last six months if the world suddenly became predictable, no matter how many options I had for exploring that predictability.) Most people don't seem to even be aware of 'don't like it' in that sense, though - 'have to' and 'should' completely drown it out. But if you are basing your actions on what you want or don't want, 'push' motivation ('do this or else') simply fails, and most 'pull' motivation ('do this and you get the shiny thing') fails because you know you won't care about the shiny thing, either - and you have the right kind of self-confidence to use that knowledge, instead of doing something because others will disprove if you don't. The situation changes a little if you find something that you do care about, but that's not at all trivial - it took me over a decade, and the thing I care most about is something that was practically under my nose my whole life.

I lived near Atlantic City 'till the end of last year; now I'm in North Carolina. I have been thinking about going back for a visit come summer, though.

But if you are basing your actions on what you want or don't want, 'push' motivation ('do this or else') simply fails, and most 'pull' motivation ('do this and you get the shiny thing') fails because you know you won't care about the shiny thing, either

Indeed, that describes me very well.

Thank you for your kind words. It's late, and I need to get some sleep. Anyway, my current short-term problems are loneliness and having to take care of my 94-year-old grandmother. My loneliness can, in theory, be fixed by finding someone to spend time with in person, and then spending time with that person. Hopefully I'll figure out a way to do that; I guess that trying to contact people on my Facebook friends list might be a good start. Being stuck babysitting my grandmother nearly every day is another matter, though. I just don't see any way to improve that situation.

Hmm. What would happen to your grandmother if you were to find a job, and why can't that be arranged now? I understand that there will probably be some resistance from your parents to actually taking that course of action, in the circumstances, but realistically, how do they expect you to do anything with your life without the freedom to try new things?

In the meantime, you might want to try Second Life as a social venue - it's immersive enough to fill that need in a way that chat rooms and other text-only ways of communicating don't quite manage to, at least for me.

Short answer: They'd probably try to hire a live-in caretaker. I don't have to babysit her 24/7, but having to be with her for a few hours almost every day does limit my ability to, say, go off to an all-day Magic tournament. It can't be any more restrictive than having an actual full-time job, though.

Actually, it sounds more restrictive than a full-time job, in the sense that most jobs involve a significant amount of social contact, and most decent ones also involve some degree of ongoing exposure to new ideas, too, so there's a significant chance that you'll be exposed to something you find interesting enough to get involved with on your own time, and your situation doesn't involve either of those, and interferes with your ability to pursue such things on your own time.

On most days, I go to her house around 5:PM or so, take her out to eat, take her back home, and sit on her sofa playing my Nintendo DS or something until I send her to bed and go home (usually around 10:30 or so). My parents set up an Internet connection there, so I can go online if I want; it's not much different from simply staying in my own house doing what I normally do. As for social contact, well, you're probably right about that. I am on a first-name basis with some of the staff at my local IHOP, though. ;)

I assign a 99.9% probability to there being more male readers than female readers of LW, The most recent LW meetup that I attended had a gender ratio of roughly 20:1 male:female.

Males who feel that they are competing for a small pool of females will attempt to gain status over each other, diminishing the amount of honest, rational dialogue, and replacing it with oneupmanship.

Hence the idea of mixing LW - in its current state - with dating may not be good.

However, there is the possibility of re-framing LW it so that it appeals more to women. Perhaps we need to re-frame saving the world as a charitable sacrifice?

I would love to know what the gender ratio looks like within the atheist movement; I think we should regard that as a bound on what is achievable.

"I assign a 99.9% probability to there being more male readers than male readers of LW"

I expect that you have a VERY GOOD reason. As it is, I cannot help but disagree.

I assign a 99.999999% probability to the same thing, i.e. that there are more male readers in the world, than there are male readers of LW in the world.

However, there is the possibility of re-framing LW it so that it appeals more to women. Perhaps we need to re-frame saving the world as a charitable sacrifice?

Is there a way to re-frame LW as being about "charitable sacrifice" without significantly straying the general goal of "refining the art of human rationality" (which may or may not be charitable/sacrificial)?

What do you see as the essence of its current framing, and what is the evidence that women would respond better to the charitable-sacrifice frame?

(Normally I'd respond to the quoted comment with "That's sexist nonsense" and leave it at that, but I am trying to be socratic about it.)

(Also, if anybody knows or can estimate, are the gender ratios similar in the relevant areas of academia?)

(Also, if anybody knows or can estimate, are the gender ratios similar in the relevant areas of academia?)

All male biased as far as I know. (Math, philosophy, AI/CS)

Aren't biology and psychology solidly balanced/ skewed female?

psychology, yes, definitely. Bio, I do not know, but I would like to see what it looks like for evo psych.

If you haven't read Of Gender and Rationality and the accompanying comments lately it is worth a reread. There are so many hypotheses listed that we'd need another go-around with the specific goal of assigning probabilities to the most likely ones. It also looks like there were a number of popular proposals that were never acted upon. One or more of us needs to go through that thread and write a summary.

I would love to know what the gender ratio looks like within the atheist movement

not good =/

Not good from the point of view of men looking for atheist partners, but good from the point of view of these rare females.

Except the lesbians, who may have some trouble.

Why would lesbians have trouble? Their pool of partners is small, but so is their pool of competitors. It's nothing like the situation that men face in a mostly male community.

With gay people, all possible partners are also possible competitors. Therefore, a larger pool can only be better because there is a higher chance of someone being appealing at all. By your logic having exactly two lesbians would be ideal, because no one could compete with them; but without the dumbest of dumb luck, they'd be poorly suited to each other.

The variance grows more slowly than the number, so the largeness of the pool probably doesn't make much of a difference above a lower bound. 10,000 lesbians are probably in less dating trouble than 1,000,000 men competing for 900,000 women. I could be wrong.

1,000,000 men competing for 900,000 women

In many animal populations, unbalanced gender ratios leads to higher incidence of homosexuality. I wouldn't be surprised if that happens to humans in similar circumstances.

It is, anyway, a plausible explanation for the "lesbian until graduation" phenomenon, which occurs on (typically female-dominated) college campuses.

I'm not sure where you disagree with me. N possible partners = N possible competitors sounds just like the typical situation of heterosexuals, no special trouble in sight. Are you maybe too accustomed to being a female in a mostly-male community? From that vantage point it does seem that lesbians are in trouble.

touché. And the gay men, who have yet another situation.

2:57:55 PM Katja Grace: Maybe there is a dating site for smart ambitious nerds somewhere

OkCupid seems adequate for that purpose. At least, I seem to find more nerdy ambitious girls in my area than I want to make time for and I imagine it would be even easier for a girls finding guys.

One problem, however, is that confessing a nerdy ambition of saving the world is, in general, the wrong thing to do in a dating profile. Many nerds may have reluctantly conformed their signalling to something more appropriate.