Some research says that lurkers make up over 90% of online groups. I suspect that Less Wrong has an even higher percentage of lurkers than other online communities.
Please post a comment in this thread saying "Hi." You can say more if you want, but just posting "Hi" is good for a guaranteed free point of karma.
Also see the introduction thread.
edit: to add some potentially useful information, I think the biggest reason I haven't participated is that I feel uncomfortable with the existing ways of contributing (solely, as I understand it, top-level posts and comments on those posts). I know there has been discussion on LW before on potentially adding forums, chat, or other methods of conversing. Consider me a data point in favor of opening up more channels of communication. In my case I really think having a LW IRC would help.
I am not actually a lurker - I currently have 13 karma - but I am not a heavy participator. However, now I would like to get to 20 karma so I can make a post on why MWI makes acausal incentives into minor considerations. I would also be gratified if someone told me how to make my draft of this post linkable, even if it does not show up within "new".
I think that you should get some bonus towards the initial 20 karma for your average karma per post. This belief is clearly self-serving, but not necessarily thereby invalid. I believe my own average karma per post is decent but not outstanding.
I believe that the businesslike tone of this post, as a series of declarative statements, will be seen as excessive subservience to the imagined norms of a community of rationalists, and thus net me less status and karma than a chattier post. I am honestly unsure if the simple self-referential gambit of this paragraph will help or hurt this situation.
I posted a diary, and it was banned for containing a dangerous idea. I can understand that certain ideas are dangerous; in fact, in the discussion I started, I consciously refrained from expressing several sub-points for that reason, starting with my initial post. But I think that if there's such a policy, it should be explicit, and there should be some form of appeal. If the very discussion of these issues shouldn't happen in public, then there should be a private space to give whatever explanation can be given of why. A secret, unappealable rule which cannot even be discussed - this is not the path to rationalism, it's the way down the rabbit hole.
Nor writing "Bloody Mary" in lipstick on mirrors?
Seriously, my post was about why that stuff is not scary. Fiction can be good allegory for reality, but those stories all use a lot of you-should-be-scared tricks, all very well and good for ghost stories, but not conducive to actual discussion.
We are swimming in a soup of sirens' songs, every single day. Dangerous ideas don't just exist, they abound. But I see no evidence of any dangerous ideas which are not best fought with some measure of banality, among other tactics. The trappings of Avert Your Eyes For That Way Lies Doom seem to be one of the best ways to enhance the danger of an idea.
In fact... what if Eliezer himself... no, that would be too horrible... oh my god, it's full of stars. (Or, in serious terms: I'm being asked to believe not just in a threat, but also that those who claim to protect us have some special immunity, either inherent or acquired; I see no evidence for either proposition).
Gah, it's incredibly annoying to try to talk about something without being too explicit. The more explicit I get in my head, the more ridiculous this whole charade seems to me. Of course I can find plenty of rational arguments to support that, but I also trust the feeling. I'm participationg in the "that which must not be mentioned" dance out of both respect and precaution, but honestly, it's mostly just respect. You're smart people and high status in this arena and I probably shouldn't laugh at your bugaboos.
I'm participationg in the "that which must not be mentioned" dance out of both respect and precaution, but honestly, it's mostly just respect.
I'm participationg in the "that which must not be mentioned" dance out of both respect and precaution, but honestly, it's mostly just respect.
Just to point out some irony - I'm participating in the "that which must not be mentioned" dance out of lost respect. I no longer believe Eliezer is able to consider such questions rationally. Anyone who wants to have a useful discussion on the subject must find a place outside of Eliezer's influence to do it. For much the same reason I don't try to discuss the details of biology in church.
(I'm sorry if this comment gets posted multiple times. My African internet connection really sucks.)
Hi. 25 years old, HIV/AIDS worker in Africa, pro-BDSM sex activist in Chicago. Blog at clarissethorn.wordpress.com.
I very rarely comment because comments here are expected to be very well-thought-out. Stating something quick, on the basis of instinct, or without stating it in perfectly precise language seems to me to be dangerous.
Another reason this site has a higher percentage of lurkers is, obviously, because of the account requirement. There's another related problem, though: there's no way to have followup comments emailed to you. This means that if you really want to participate in the site, you have to be pretty obsessive about checking the site itself. That's annoying unless you are very interested in a very high percentage of the site's output. If, for a given commenter (like me), rationalism is a side interest rather than a major one, then the failure to email comments on posts that I'm interested in -- or even responses to my own comments -- becomes a prohibitive barrier unless I've got an unexpected amount of free time.
I've been registered for a few months now, but only rarely have I commented.
Perhaps I'm overly averse to loss of karma? "If you've never been downvoted, you're not commenting enough."
63 year old carpenter from Vancouver, been lurking here since the beginning and overcoming biases before that. heuristics and bias was what brought me here, and akrasia is what kept me coming back
Hello. Didn't realise I had an account here, but I think one got autogenerated from a single comment I made at OB in early 2008.
To be honest I was somewhat surprised that LW turned out to be so much of a self-help support group, and I somewhat miss the time when I could go on OB and just have my mind blown so many ways every day. The work on decision theory that's being done here still has the sort of brain-everting quality that keeps me coming back for more, though, so I happily pick the promising posts from the sidebar regularly in addition to keeping up with the front page. I guess I'm addicted to the feeling of my brain being violently rewired :-(
Er, I have posted comments a few times, but I still consider myself a lurker... Bah.
Hi. The Harry Potter fanfic hooked me. Excited to see where this takes me.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to unnecessarily make your group look weird. I like this group and don't want to hurt it.
As a matter of fact, I am slightly more committed to this group’s welfare -- particularly to that of its weakest members -- than most of its members are. If you suffer a serious loss of status/well-being I will still help you in order to display affiliation to this group even though you will no longer be in a position to help me.
I am substantially more kind and helpful to the people I like and substantially more vindictive and aggressive towards those I dislike. I am generally stable in who I like. I am much more capable and popular than most members of this group, demand appropriate consideration, and grant appropriate consideration to those more capable than myself. I adhere to simple taboos so that my reputation and health are secure and so that I am unlikely to contaminate the reputations or health of my friends
I currently like you and dislike your enemies but I am somewhat inclined towards ambivalence on regarding whether I like you right now so the pay-off would be very great for you if you were to expend resources pleasing me and get me into the stable 'liking y... (read more)
I'm sorta discouraged by what a shoddy hate blog it is.
I used to comment once in a while, but I find myself less and less interested in the topics of conversation around here.
For a short while, people were going on a lot about dating (wtf?) and then more recently there's been a fair amount of what is essentially self-help for the scientifically inclined.
I dunno, I guess I was just more into thought experiments and Yudkowsky posts.
And a more substantive point I've been pondering - if rationality and the techniques discussed here are so good, why aren't more people doing it? Why don't I read about multi-billion dollar companies whose success was down to rationalist techniques?
LW is pretty much the only site I visit where I feel significantly intimidated about commenting. I've left a couple of comments, but I seem to be more self-conscious about exposing my ignorance here than I am elsewhere – probably because I know that the chances of such ignorance being noticed are higher. It occurs to me that this is completely backwards and ridiculous, but there you have it.
I'm a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist. I read Eliezer's guide on Baye's Theorem during fellowship and have been interested in AI and all things concerning the Singularity.
I lurk because I feel that I'm too philosophically fuzzy for some of the discussions here. I do learn a great deal. Anytime anyone wants to discuss prenatal diagnosis and the ethical implications, let me know.
I came here following Eliezer when he left OB. I think the main reasons why I am not participating more are:
I’ve been reading LW for about a year. Most of the rationalizations that came to mind for why I haven’t yet made the transition from lurker to poster boil down to social indifference or low conscientiousness.
Reading this topic made me think about why I hadn’t posted, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I hadn’t thought about why I hadn’t posted. Looking more deliberately at potential foregone losses in utility to myself (and maybe the community) from my non-involvement, it seems like I should force myself to at least see if I don‘t get downvoted.
I have posted a few times, but I self-identify as a lurker because I only very rarely post, and feel increasingly disinclined to.
Or should that be "decreasingly inclined to"? Or are they equivalent? (See, this is why I don't post much.)
I've just introduced myself.
I'm a lurking Australian psychology student. I'm trying to devour information and acquire the skills to help me to separate the wheat from the considerable amount of chaff in my field of study. I'm so fascinated by this blog (worked through most of the sequences in the space of about two months) because to be honest it has more content than my university course.
I have been toying with the idea of posting some of the arguments I've been in recently which would be kind of a case study where I could point to where they might have gone wrong in cognition, but I kind of feel that it might be a bit pedestrian to most readers of this blog.
Hi. I don't often comment because generally I doubt I can really contribute much. I'm lurking, but taking notes, I've still got a lot to learn but I plan to learn it: on top of this, I need a job, so I'm also attempting to tackle that at the minute, at an admittedly inefficient pace. The most karma I ever got was for a 'Selfish-Jeans' joke. Which admittedly was brilliant. But yeah. Hi.
Hi. Been following since Overcoming Bias. Love you guys. If google has replaced our wet RAM these days, I feel like this community could replace my "aha" generator.
PS: I was amused by the presence of a captcha on a site where so much optimistic AI discussion has taken place.
Hi. I'm Thomas Colthurst. I will be doing a visiting fellowship at the Singularity Institute this summer.
Hi! I'm Patrick Shields, an 18-year-old computer science student who loves AI, rationality and musical theater. I'm happy I finally signed up--thanks for the reminder!
Hi. I'm a lawyer, 25 from Canberra, Australia. My interest in reason/ logic/ truth-seeking is perhaps best explained by a quote: 'We live in Luna Park, not Plato's republic.'
Hi. Came here via Overcoming Bias. I've been reading for a long time but I haven't made the effort to go through the sequences. (On that note, is the essence of the "Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions" sequence that if you don't have a better predictive model at the finish than at the start, the answer is meaningless?)
I'm almost certainly moving to Germany to do an Economics Masters shortly but I'm interested in learning to programme because it seems like a productive skill in a way that Economics mostly isn't (Econometrics and to a lesser extent Microeconomics excepted).
So. I think that it would be possible to combine my studies with programming and Machine Learning and Statitics in a not-totally-insane way. Any tips on that would be great, as would the opportunity to talk, chat or otherwise communicate with someone in Germany, native or expat.
I'm a 24 yo male grad student (in Halifax, Nova Scotia) studying ecological math modelling.
This site is a gold-mine for clear thinking on the relationship between maps (models) and territories (systems). I'm interested in understanding and dealing with the trade-off between fidelity of the map to the territory and its 'legibility'. I've been lurking for about a year after coming across an article by Eliezer via Hacker News and got hooked.
Hi, from Korea.
Following what Elezier does since SL4.
Hi. I've been reading lesswrong since the start. I had overcomingbias.com on my RSS feeds before that became Robin Hanson's personal blog, and followed the threads onto this site.
I don't generally feel the need to comment on the posts here. My mind does come up with questions and opinions from what I read, but I've found that if I wait long enough, someone else will usually chime in with something close enough to my own thoughts that I feel my point has been made, even if not by me.
I have thought of a few things that might have made an interesting top-level post here (and with these, I haven't always found someone else pipe up with the same idea), but I never got around to writing them, and with no comment-earned karma score, I don't think I could initiate a top-level post anyway. I guess I could write them as comments in the open threads, were I more motivated to do so, but as I have other priorities, I'd prefer to just read.
I don't find any of the above particularly problematic--I quite enjoy reading this site, even without writing anything myself. But, since my "hello" cannot be redundant here, no matter how similar it might be similar to other ones: hello everyone! Here I am!
And now back to lurking.
Delurking from the woods of deepest Wisconsin. Doug Sharp here, old school game developer (ChipWits, King of Chicago http://channelzilch.com ), just finishing a novel about kickstarting the Singularity by stealing space shuttle Enterprise ( Hel's Bet http://helsbet.com ). Debugging the Human OS has been a longtime interest of mine, so I keep an eye on Less Wrong. As an ex-5th grade teacher, I'm interested in the possibility of translating ideas emerging from LW into teaching people how to think clearly.
I've read nearly everything on less wrong but except for a couple months last summer, I generally don't comment because a) I feel I don't have time, b) my perfectionist standards make me anxious about meeting and maintaining the high standards of discussion here and c) very often someone has either already said what I would have wanted to say or I anticipate from experience that someone will very soon.
19 yr old, male, Maths&Physics student from UK. Lurked on OB, then started lurking here when this place was made.
EDIT: In case you want data on abnormalities among lesswrong lurkers here's two: Raised in Colombia as the son of missionaries. Self-taught.
Hi. I'm a Caltech student in math/econ.
Hi, I'm a lurker. You even managed to trick me into creating an account.
I believe that at least 50% of regular lurkers will not say "hi" in this thread.
Hello. Been lurking on OB and LW for ages. I actually end up forwarding quite a few posts along to a friend of mine that thinks everyone here are robots or soulless automatons because of the lack of respect for intuition. I keep telling her to come here and post her opinions herself, but alas, no bites.
This is me signalling that I'm smart:
B.S. computer science, M.S. journalism, currently employed in the fine art auction world.
thinks everyone here are robots or soulless automatons because of the lack of respect for intuition.
thinks everyone here are robots or soulless automatons because of the lack of respect for intuition.
A coworker was telling me that the law of conservation of energy means that the energy in our soul cannot disappear, only move.
I explained that the law includes that energy can transform, and that when we die, the "energy in our soul" serves to warm the panels of our coffin.
We haven't talked about it since.
Hi, a financial analyst here.
I'd like to suggest two other methods of counting readers:
(1) count the number of usernames which have accessed the site in the past seven days
(2) put a web counter (Google Analytics?) on the main page for a week (embed it in your post?)
It might be interesting to compare the numbers.
Hi. I lurk because I haven't had time to read enough of the sequences, and because I usually read posts well after they are published. By the time I get around to reading an post, all of my arguments and counter-arguments are already presented for me in the existing comments. That's a big part of why I liked the site in the first place.
Hi, long-time lurker. Fell in love with the blog after two posts, and spent some productive hours reading the Quantum Physics sequence. I think I introduced the blog to the XKCD readership, or at least the ones who read the Science forums there.
I like the idea you're getting at, but there is a slight problem with it: you can never truly gauge the number of lurkers because some of them won't respond to this post. But I suppose you can get a better approximation, so I won't go as far to say that the whole thing is futile.
I've been reading OB and LW for years and hardly said anything. This is typical of my behaviour on online communities generally, although it's worse here due to the unusual calibre of the discussions. Even this comment involved several edits and a lot of dithering, but since you asked...
I often feel like I have very little to add. Hence the lurking. Also I only recently finished with most of the sequences.
edit: I suspect LW has fewer lurkers than average. Speaking as a lurker, the conversations here are not easy to follow (this is more the structure rather than content, but sometimes the content gets pretty esoteric). I've limited my participation to reading top level posts of interest, and the comments if the article is sufficiently fresh.
I am (almost) a lurker. For some reason I find it very difficult to post anything in online discussions forums, so I usually don't.
I've been lurking for a while, looks like. (My how time flies.) I'll throw my name in the pot of wanting more communication channels like IRC (looks like a room's setup, time to check it out!), especially less formal ones to ease transitioning to formal comments / top-level posts. The proportion of high-quality posts and comments around here seems awesomely high, but unfortunately makes it uncomfortable to just dive into. I also feel like I need to read all the sequences, in which admittedly I've made a pretty big hole so that there's not many posts left. (Currently going through quantum stuff, also picked up a copy of Feynman's QED.)
Since you asked, hi.
RSS lurker from Helsinki.
Hi. I am very pleased to find out that I can correct my spelling and grammar after posting.
Hello LessWrongers( Wrongites?)
Longtime lurker, from the beginning. Software dev for a bank. 23 yrs old. Great site
Hi. I've been lurking for a month or so now.
Hi, have been lurking for about 3 years already, first in OB, now in LS. As non-native speaker with moderate IQ I find commenting difficult. However I enjoy most of posts, and LS introduced me to various new topics, therefore I am really thankful for all brilliant post writers. Thank you!
Hi! I don't feel qualified to contribute here, but I hope to fix that by... contributing here. I'll have more time to do so this summer.
When I was in school, I viewed myself as a defender of rationality against the fuzzy and ant-scientific positions that I sometimes encountered in the philosophy department. My meta-positions were eerily similar to those that are preached here.
Less Wrong fascinates me because, when I can stand to read it, I see that it is full of people who have similar background commitments and standards of evidence as me, but who have reached shockingly different conclusions.
shockingly different conclusions.
shockingly different conclusions.
Yup, that's me, resident deontologist. The other day, during a conversation between me and some other house residents on ethics, someone said "She doesn't push people in front of trolleys!" and everyone was outraged at me.
Hi, I'm Matt Stevenson. 24 yr old computer scientist. I work on AI, machine learning, and motor control at a small robotics company.
I was hooked when I read Eliezer on OvercomingBias posting about AGI/Friendly AI/Singularity/etc...
I'd like to comment (or post) more, but I would need to revisit a few of the older posts on decision theory to feel like I'm making an actual contribution (as opposed to guessing the karma password). A few more hours in the day would be helpful.
I comment pretty rarely but read very often.
EDIT: read mistercow's comment and I feel pretty much the same way.
Hi, first post, what is a point of karma?
I'm 59 years old (which I'd guess is way over average in this community), an atheist (my parents were atheists but took us to a local church for a while, perhaps just to expose us to what's out there), avid reader, parent, husband, and programmer for over 30 years.
I heard about OB when it started, from several other blogs. I read OB and LW fairly often, but not exhaustively--there's never enough time.
I am skeptical of some conventional wisdom but also of alternatives. I didn't like collapsing wave functions when I took QM and also didn't like many worlds when introduced by a physics-major friend. (I doubt if I'll dig into QM again--my brain has lost some of its edge.)
I've been lurking for around 2 years or so. I'll introduce myself properly in the introduction thread.
Hi. Recently finished a B.A. in Philosophy, working in residential sustainability (i.e. 'Green Building') for the moment. I'll begin contributing once I've read through the Sequences.
Hi. I'm an over-aged college student from Philadelphia interested in studying almost exactly what this blog and Overcoming Bias are about.
Hi. Been following Eliezer since SS09.
Hi. I came for the quantum mechanics thread, and stayed for the love of Bayes.
Lurker for about a year. Made my only previous comment to this one a few months ago.
I almost never feel I have anything to contribute here. Even when I do, someone else has already expressed my thoughts in a comment more clear and thorough than anything I would have written. But this is a good thing!
Delurking from Russia here. I’ve been reading LessWrong (and, consequently, OB, since it is often linked to on here) for about 3 months. I have to confess to falling in love with this website for the mind-stretching articles and comments in the threads. However, like many other lurkers have already said, I feel I cannot contribute anything due to lack of linguistic proficiency on my part and due to the fact that someone would already post something I would want to say.
I decided to de-lurk and say ‘hi’ because you created the impression of talking to ea... (read more)
Well, I don't count as a lurker anymore but I only started posting about two weeks ago and lurked about 2 years before that so I think I qualify to comment about it. The only 2 forums where I post(ed) at all are LessWrong and INTPCentral.
INTPCentral was more of an experiment to see if I could sustain posting for an extended period of time. It didn't work and after 2 weeks I lost interest. LessWrong has less chance going the same way because of the high level of most top posts. That's my first barrier to post. The online community has to be interesting eno... (read more)
Reluctantly relinquishing my lurker status.
Long time lurker here. Seattle WA. I've been following what Eliezer has had to say since 2003. Started way back on extropy-chat mailing list and reading SL4 archives, read Overcoming Bias since around 2008, and now I read here. I only lurk because I find that getting involved in discussion is too interesting, it distracts me from my projects.
Hello. I've been lurking here and on OB for sometime now. I started reading OB at least at the beginning of 2008, possibly in the last few months of 2007.
Hi, lurker here (male, Chicago, attorney, 30). I am a regular Overcoming Bias reader who followed Eliezer to this site. To quote Buster Bluth: "You guys are so smart!" (slides off chair).
Hi, I'm a reader from Eliezer's OB days, still lurking as I don't have much time or much to add at the moment. Hopefully this will change soon.
Hi. I've been subscribed to the RSS for a few months now.
I've been reading this blog for about half a year now and loving it after Accelerating Future (I think) referenced it for something. I don't post many comments because anything I'd have to contribute usually already is, but I find that if you surround (or read) more intelligent people, they have this peculiar way of making you the same. Keep going Less Wrong, a lot of us are learning all sorts of great things from you!
Why do I lurk?
because I only visit occasionally, only for insight, and not because I feel any great need to belong.
But please keep up the good work.Naturally "less wrong" willl have an even higher percentage of lurkers than others. After all, you challenge the biases we use when we see ourselves, the world ... and less our conscious, identified selves know about that the better.
But still, we return...
Hello. Long time lurker. Well I made an account a while ago and plan on contributing once I get the material. It seems like a wall I have to get over but I don't doubt I will with time.
Back to lurking...
Hi. I read the RSS feed.
I'd never not lurked anywhere until I not-lurked here now.
Hi. Like others have said, I tend to not post because I feel I can't add anything constructive to the discussion.
I don't think there's anything wrong with that though. A good part of learning can be knowing when to be silent and listen to what others have to say.
Hi. I keep forgetting to log in, and mostly just watch the front-page feed in Google Reader, but I do pass interesting articles and posts along to friends and family. They generally seem to like it, so that's good. I'm interested in what you might call community outreach via my comics where I try to subtly involve issues of rationality and such. Feel free to drop by and suggest themes I should use.
Hello; I enjoy reading this site, but feel kind of inadequate to actually post something when so many of the main postings here are so erudite.
Why would Less Wrong have an abnormally high percentage of lurkers? Also, being a lurker is not in black and white. For example. I mostly just lurk, but I post comments occasionally.
Hi! This made me register: first barrier overcome.
I don’t think I will ever contribute that much, but maybe I will add a comment now and then when I have something intelligent to say.
What I have read here and on OB has contributed quite a bit to my thinking.
Hi. This motivated me to register instead of just RSS-lurking. So that removes one barrier to potential future participation.
Hi. Too bad High Five Day went already.
Hello! I'm currently doing a depth-first read through the sequences, and I've been enjoying all of it so far. I'm another one drawn in by HP:MOR, but I found even more here than I could have hoped for.
Hi. Got sucked in to the site via MoR (of course), and have been devouring the sequences and related archive material for about a month or so.
Hi, I am a 24 year old physics student from Germany.
Hi, i'm a biology student from Germany. I stumbled upon this page and I really, really like it. I'm spending hours reading!
Hi. RSS lurker for a few months, 25 yo PhD student living in the Netherlands. MSc in cognitive neuroscience.
EconPhD student in Philadelphia. Found OB through Marginal Revolution a couple years ago.
Hi all. 25 yo New Yorker here. Been following this site for a while now, since Eliezer was still writing at OB.
Currently I'm working on two tech startups (it's fun to not get paid). My academic background is in cognitive psychology. In addition to AI, rationality, cognitive bias, sci fi, and the other usual suspects, my interests include architecture, poker, and 17th century Dutch history. ;)
And I wonder why the word Rationalist has multiple meanings. You are clearly a Rationalist in one sense of the word but in this other sense (thankfully, because it is not good to be a Rationalist in this other sense): http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/michael-oakeshott-on-rationalism-in-politics/ you are not.
Would you perhaps write a short post about it? Thanks in advance.
Hi, I made a couple posts a while back but recently have been simply lurking.
I would like to comment more and I think it would benefit me to toss my ideas out there and get some feedback. I think part of the problem is that while I have a decent understanding of many concepts promoted here (probably level 1, beginning to pass into level 2 on the Understanding your understanding scale) fully articulating my thoughts in a coherent and original manner is difficult. Most notably when discussing things with friends I find myself falling back on examples I've ... (read more)
I've been lurking here and on OB for a couple of years. As other people have said, there seems to be a large amount of prerequisite knowledge required to post here. I usually find my own thoughts expressed more clearly by someone else in the comments, so I up-vote rather than just adding noise.
I've been reading the site for around six months now. I am an education student; LW has certainly changed my perception of human behavior and learning, and has given me much to reflect upon.
(Just standing up to be counted.)
Hi. Long-time lurker since Eliezer was posting at OB (which candidly I find far less interesting these days). I'm 37, and am a practicing lawyer with several small children; this keeps me sufficiently busy that I don't often have time to think hard enough to post here, although the discussions are usually quite interesting. Also, I'm pretty non-quantitative due to misspent undergraduate years. I view this site as place where generally I should be listening, not talking.
I've been lurking since early OB. I am not here due to being Singularitarian but I've been using this site since I was in high school and through college to help keep myself from being a charlatan in any intellectual endeavor. I find that it takes regular reminders and dedication to not extend past the limits of my knowledge, and both OB and LW continually help to fine-tune my internal sense of "what I don't know."
To give a bit of a frame of reference, I'm studying social sciences and my specific problem domain is Educational Psychology and I'm i... (read more)
Mostly-lurker here, save for the occasional mildly pithy comment. I'm a DBA/sysadmin by day, studying towards an Econ + Maths degree in my spare time. LW has a lot of parallels with my fields of interest, elucidates on a lot of areas where I have half-formed ideas and provides exceedingly worthy arguments for things I don't agree with.
It’s so much easier to be a non-contributing zero. But I find myself unable to back down from an open request to drag myself out of the shadows of lurk and into the light of the rationality justice league. Part of the appeal of lurker status for me comes from my outlook on this site in general. I haven’t exactly figured out what I’m doing or what I believe in; but I do know I’ve still got a lot to figure out. Lurking lets me passively ponder interesting ideas proposed here without really committing to anything in particular. But having been prompted to post something I find myself uncertain as to what my level of involvement should be in this idea mill of rationality and humanity.
What if I'm not witty or rational enough to post a thought provoking idea?
Started reading at Overcoming Bias before the split. Mostly following Eliezer's fiction, but also enjoying the deconstruction of human blind spots.
Hi. (sinks back into the shadows)
Hi. I see that the first point is free.
I am a Bay Area (California, United States) 19 year-old Computer Science student. I imagine I'll actually be taking actual CS classes next year. I've been lurking about for about a month.
Hi! Hooked since OB sequences - and need to go back for several of them.
Hi, so Ive made the switch from Lurker to Lurker-With-Log-In (LWLI)
Im a young geologist and artist...
.....very interested in Neuroaesthetics at the moment, maybe I'll post some thoughts on it when im well read enough.
Keep challenging me :)
Hi. Jeffrey Ellis, 44 yr-old multi-disciplined engineer working at Johnson Space Center. I blog all about critical thinking at The Thinker, http://jeffreyellis.org/blog/. Came here from Overcoming Bias when this place started up.
Hi there. I suppose I might as well register and post.
I'm an information science grad student. I've been following the community for a few years (since Eliezer wrote on Overcoming Bias), but haven't been commenting because most of this stuff still seems a bit over my head (and I have lots of catching up to do).
Ha. Was this comment as useless as I think it is?
Not sure if I am a lurker, but HI
Hi. Accountant, 29. Currently in the process of signing up with CI, should be complete by the end of the month. Wish Eliezer would write more fiction. :) But I love everything on here. Been lurking for about a year?
(Lurking since Eliezer had still been writing his sequences on OB.)
I enjoy the posts, but I usually don't have anything interesting to say on the topic. Still, I can never turn down a free karma point, so here I am.
Just registered to say hi. So, "Hi."
I'm a technical writer/ultra-part-time grad student at Northern Illinois University in Rhetoric & Professional Writing (working on my thesis so slowly). I also write stories and other such things.
Followed the wave from Overcoming Bias.
Hi, haven't read much on the site yet, but it has certainly grabbed my attention.
Web developer /
41 years old /
rural Indiana native
I've commented a few times, but not many.
I intend to become more active in the future, at which point I will introduce myself.
I registered just to say hi :)
Just some info for your statistics.
21 years old, male, Industrial Design student from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I made it here via Rationally Speaking.
Hello, I'm an undergrad student who's been reading LW for about six months now. So far I've stuck to lurking for a couple of reasons. For one thing, most of the comments I have are already made by other people. Also, there's enough information on LW that it seems more fruitful to move on to a new article than to post a question.
There's a LOT of background reading available here on LW, which is intimidating to a new reader. I can say for myself that it's difficult to bring myself to post when I know there are dozens of background articles I still need to re... (read more)
Hi. I've been following Eliezer's stuff since CaTAI. Been a lurker on extropy-chat, SL4, OB and LW. I remember once participating in an #sl4 chat, and being unable to post due to my accelerating heartrate.
Lurking can be debilitating. Well, symptom rather than the disease I guess.
Hello, I lurked for a long time. I've started dipping my toes in the water.
I'm a highschool student who has been reading (and lurking) lesswrong for many months now. I have always found the blog posts to be very insightful and enlightening, and I greatly enjoy reading them. I'm a young aspiring transhumanistic biologist who just can't wait to get his hands dirty debugging and retooling the human body and mind! Please, keep up the wonderful posts, and I will be sure to contribute as soon as i find that i have something really good to say.
I lurk on almost every forum that I read on the internet. The mere fact that I'm logged out of a forum that I'm registered on can be enough to cause me to say, "screw it" and not post for months. I frequently get, "Wow I remember you" as a response to my sparse postings.
My penchant to lurk coupled with my lack of confidence that I have anything worthwhile to contribute to this community made it seem doubly unlikely that I would ever post anything here. But I'll stand up and be counted now as part of this experiment, as it's the only contribution I can really make.
Cheers, and thanks for posting all this delicious lurker chow.
Hi. I'm a lurker here, working on my PhD in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin. I've only been reading for the last few months, but I've gone through all the major sequences in the archives.
Yeah I'm a lurker...
Although now I have an account, I guess I have no excuse...
Hi. I've been lurking on OB+LW for around two years. I took the step of making an account a few months ago. Eventually I'll post something meaningful.
I was an occasional contributor on OB and have posted a few comments on LW. I've dropped back to lurking for about a year now. I find most of the posts stimulating -- some stimulating enough to make me want to comment -- but my recent habit of catching up in bursts means that the conversations are often several weeks old and a lot of what needs to be argued about them has already been said.
The last post that almost prompted me to comment was ata's mathematical universe / map=territory post. It forced me to think for some time about the reification of ... (read more)
Been reading Less Wrong religiously for about 6 months, but still definitely in the consume, not contribute phase.
It feels like Less Wrong has pretty dramatically changed my life. I'm doing pretty well with overcoming Akrasia (or at least identifying it where I haven't yet overcome it). I'm also significantly happier all round, understanding decisions I make and most importantly exercising my ability to control these decisions. I'm doing a lot of things I would have avoided before just because I realise that my reasons for avoiding them were not rational... (read more)
I only subscribed yesterday, and I didn't even have an account before now, but I'll consider myself a lurker and post here. There probably won't be a better time to join the community anyway.
Nice to meet you guys.
I just read the RSS feed for a Yudkowsky fix since he left Overcoming Bias.
Hi there. I lurk, mainly for the purpose of learning, but also because of significant time demands elsewhere.
I'm a lurker. I follow via the rss feed. LessWrong is in my "firehose" folder, meaning its a limbo-state. I might promote it to an actual folder or I might unsubsribe.
At least, thats until I find some more nonsensical classification scheme for my rss feeds.
(I apparently had an account already, although I didn't remember this until I tried to comment and my usual name was taken in the registration screen.)
Hi, been reading this site since it split from OB, but have never commented, though on occasion I have been tempted.
I've been reading this site for several months, but I still feel unqualified to actually post anything. I've yet to entirely read all of the sequences, and I also lack the math/science background that appears to be relatively common here (I'm an industrial design student). As a result I'm (perhaps excessively) wary of posting something that's redundant or has a glaring flaw I ought to have been aware of.
Thanks for giving an excuse to make a first post, though.
I registered and started posting a while back, but since then have reverted to lurking. Partly due to not having time, but I can also identify with reasons some others have given.
i am technically not lurking as i prepare my anti-akrasia article.
I'm a grad student studying social psychology, more or less in the heuristics & biases tradition. I've been loosely following the blog for maybe six months or so. The discussions are always thought provoking and frequently amusing. I hope to participate more in the near future.
I've only been aware of this site for about a month. While i find the articles and discussions enlightening, probability theory is still very new to me. Once i have a more intuitive grasp of its implications I plan to participate more heavily
Karma pls! Oh, I mean, hi.
Ah, hi there...
Edit - please disregard this post
I, too, came here through HP:MOR. I've been reading through sequences on and off for the past couple of months. I occasionally click on links to recent comments.
Hi, and all. I just joined and stopped exclusively lurking, despite my love of a certain Starcraft Unit.
A lot of the recent posts revolve around AI and I have level 0 AI knowledge, so the lurking is far from over.
But hi nevertheless. I'll try to contribute where I can and not to where I can't, so there.
Hello. I read on a 30 day lag, so that's why I'm just now posting.
Hi. Business&Computer Science grad student from Finland. Just found the site yesterday and started devouring the content today :) Great stuff!
Greetings from Canada.
I'm an audio mixer, working mostly for Discovery Channel, with an interest in science and transhumanism. Been lurking for a couple of years.
Hi all, I'm a physics student who's been lurking here since January or so...I'm generally pretty quiet.
I've been lurking here for six months or so; I think I got here from Overcoming Bias through a link from Marginal Revolution. I try not to come here more than once a week because I end up spending too much time here due to the extensive interlinking.
Hello, 22 year old engineering student from Sweden, finally took time to create an account after observing OB and LW for more than a year.
i'm 20, originally from Moscow and currently an undergraduate senior majoring in computer science and mathematics at a pretty decent university in california. starting my masters in CS at a much better school in california next year.
i've only recently discovered this site, but i hope to spend much more time on it in the near future
Hi. Been reading the RSS feed for 3-4 months now. Slowly beginning to make sense of it all... understanding the specialized vocab and so forth. It's always been my goal to be as self-aware as possible, so I'm glad of all the interesting ideas here.
Hi. I've been lurking for quite a long time, first on OB then here.
Computer engineering student, interested in AGI and rationality. And foreign languages and stuff.
(Edit: I am especially interested in the mathematical formalization of AI - my hypothesis is that strong AI is a disorganized field in need of a more formal language to make better progress. Still a vague idea, which is why I'm just a lurker in the AI field, but I am quite interested in discussion on related topics.)
I'll say Hi and I'll post this link which describes a study that showed that people are more likely to believe in pseudoscience if they are told that scientists disapprove of it:
They are also much more likely to believe in pseudoscience if it has popular support.
Hi, I came here via Overcoming Bias. I study Computer Sciences in Germany.
Hi, I've been reading this blog for a while now, and I was thoroughly surprised to find so many like minded thinking people. I haven't commented any, because quite frankly I've had nothing to say. Hello all though.
Hi, I discovered this blog very recently - I have an economics background (milton friedman a big influence) and a growing interest in philosophy.
This site popped up while I was searching for the 'underdog bias' (that think must be some level of human 'moral instinct') and this led me to the 'Why support the underdog?' article and then others. I'm really impressed by the high standard.