LW Migration Announcement

Hi, it currently appears to me that the LW2 functionality around 'recovery email' addresses is subtly broken, and if I am correct, this will impact LW1 users who did not set a recovery email until after the first database import to LesserWrong, as well as any users wishing to change their associated 'recovery' email in the future. Please see this subthread (or GreaterWrong link) for details about the issue. I'm not confident that opening a formal "issue" ticket on GitHub would be appropriate here, because all I have is circumstantial evidence, and I am quite unsure how things were expected to work in the first place. However, I do think some cursory attention from the devs would very much be appropriate, if only to ascertain whether there's an actual issue here.

Cryptography/Software Engineering Problem: How to make LW 1.0 logins work on LW 2.0

Any progress on this? With the switchover from LW1 now imminent, I've looked at the LessWrong code on github a bit more and from a cursory review, it really does seem that the usecase or 'flow' of a user editing their own "recovery email" address is broken. The code calls the proper Meteor/Vulcan functions when creating a new user, and will in turn create new users when importing them for the first time from a legacy (LW1) database, but aside from that, there is no acknowledgement that Vulcan/Meteor has its own functions in the 'account'-related packages for setting/updating these data. Did you test this user flow (even just in a test instance of the code) and verify that it can be used to set an email address that the "forgot password/reset password" will rely on?

Naming the Nameless

Part of it is just semantics, really. In contemporary times, "art" tends to be connoted as left-wing, while "design" and "craft", which occupy much of the same space, as apolitical or even loosely on the 'right'. Wiewing website design as "art" as opposed to a "craft", or even just one design activity among many, isn't quite a value-free choice!

LW Migration Announcement

There's currently a lot of useful content at the LessWrong (LW1) Wiki, What will happen to it? It seems that at a very minimum, you should request a wikidump as well from Trike; it would even be relatively easy to make a public dump available, using the tools that MediaWiki makes available for this purpose.

LW Migration Announcement

Great news, overall. However, do notice that, by all indications, this migration will in fact break links, for the case of "links to comments on a deleted LW1 post". As I mentioned on LW1 itself, given such a LW1 "permlink", you can freely explore "parent" comments and replies. Lesser Wrong does not support individual "permlink" pages, so it simply links to the individual comment as part of an "all comments" listings, which breaks in the "deleted page" case (It also impacts the case of a page with a large number of comments--if only from a sheer usability POV--because a user is now effectively forced to load all comments instead of just requesting what she's actually interested in-- and possibly even with "what she's interested in" being buried in a deep subthread somewhere, beyond the "load more comments" feature and nowhere to be found in what actually was loaded!). I mention this in a simple comment here rather than opening a formal "issue report", because I do not regard this as a true "bug" with the site that can be easily fixed or that even has truly significant impact. However, since (due to the vicissitudes of early LW1 history, with at least one major contributor having wiped his whole presence from the site!) there is actually quite a bit of early content that's impacted by this, it may be something to think about at a later time, for a more complete restoration of early LW history.

I actually thought the "coalitional" part did deserve a mention, precisely because it is one of the few facets of the problem that we can just fight (which is not to say that coalitions don't have a social and formal role to play in any actual political system!) Again, I think Crick would also agree with this, and ISTM that he did grapple with these issues at a pretty deep level. If we're going to go beyond our traditional "no politics!" attitude, I really have to wonder why he's not considered a trusted reference here, on a par w/ the Sequences and whatever the latest AI textbook is.

... I'll just briefly note for the benefit of others that this excerpt seems like the biggest crux and point of disagreement. ...

In tne interest of the general norm of "trying to identify cruxes and make them explicit", I'd like to endorse this - except that to me, the issue goes well beyond "human coalitions" and also encompasses many other things that would generally fall under the rubric of 'politics' in a broad sense - or for that matter, of 'ethics' or 'morality'! When people, plausibly, were 'politically' mindkilled by Duncan's Dragon Army proposal, this was not necessarily due to their belonging to an "anti-Duncan", "anti-rationality" or whatever-coalition; instead, the proposal itself may have been aversive to them in a rather deep sense, involving what they regarded as their basic values. This impacts the proposed solution as well, of course; it may not be sufficient to "actively fight back" a narrow coalitional instinct, but a need may arise for addressing "the political [or for that matter, moral, ethical etc.] aspects of things" at a somewhat deeper level, that goes beyond a conventional "arguments and evidence" structure to seek for 'cruxes' in our far more fundamental attitudes, and addresses them with meaningful and creative compromises.

That this can be a place where people will actually put forth the effort to get the basic everywhere everyday flawed human communication bugs out of the picture, and do deliberate and intentional communication and collaborative truth seeking on a meaningfully higher level. ... Everything Scott said in that post rings true to me about people and populations in general. But the hope is that LessWrong is not just humans doing business as usual. The hope is that LessWrong is actually different.

Look, I hate to break the news to you, but just like Soylent Green, Less Wrong is people! Your goals and aspirations are extremely worthwhile and I entirely agree with them, but to whatever extent they succeed, it will NOT be because "LessWrong is not just humans doing business as usual"! Rather, it will be bdcause the very definition of "business as usual" - and, crucially, "politics as usual"! - will have been successfully modified and perfected to make it more in line with both human values (humaneness) as they actually exist out there, in the real world, and a general norm of truth seeking and deliberation (which is however, i claim, not a sufficient condition to achieving this goal, other 'norms of engagement' being just as important). This is what it actually means to "raise the sanity waterline"! Making us less human and perhaps more Clippy-like (that is, with the entirety of accepted discourse being "Hey, it looks like you might be having problem X! Would you like me to use advanced Bayesian inference techniques to help you assess this problem and provide you with a helpful, canned solution to it? [OK]/[CANCEL]") is not a sensible or feasible goal, and it is indeed somewhat puzzling that you as a CFAR instructor yourself do not immediately notice and engage with this important point.

I myself was wrong to engage with them as if their beliefs had cruxes that would respond to things like argument and evidence.

This is a fully-general-counterargument to any sort of involvement by people with even middling real-world concerns in LW2 - so if you mean to cite this remark approvingly as an example of how we should enforce our own standard of "perfectly rational" epistemic norms, I really have to oppose this. It is simply a fact about human psychology that "things like argument and evidence" are perhaps necessary but not sufficient to change people's minds about issues of morality or politics that they actually care about, in a deep sense! This is the whole reason why Bernard Crick developed his own list of political virtues which I cited earlier in this very comment section. We should be very careful about this, and not let non-central examples on the object level skew our thinking about these matters.

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