All of habryka's Comments + Replies

I think they wouldn't work well for this the vast majority of time. I think if you see all the reviews and can quickly skim them they are useful, but they definitely are not that helpful for deciding whether to read a post. It's either a pretty generic "this post was great and useful", or a really in-depth review that definitely assumes you've read the post and is very hard to parse without having read it. 

By popular demand I have changed it to "Best Of LessWrong" (though I might change it back in a few days if I do like it less).

I did keep the "/leastwrong" URL because it feels like a kind of fun easter egg. 

I guess this isn’t terribly important information to communicate in this particular context, anyway…

I do actually think in user testing, seeing people fill the urge to "fill out the picture" by reading a lot of the content, or at least checking it out, seemed like something that brought people a bunch of joy.

Ah, yeah, we do sure rely on that, and it's really quite hard to work around without moving a lot of stuff into JS, which I wanted to avoid.

(Must you require hover for that, though? I’d make that change unconditionally, frankly.)

Yeah, I might consider it. I do think it makes the initial pageload a lot more drab, and removes a lot of the beauty from the page (and logged-in users who haven't read most of the posts already have much stronger text-contrast).

Note that the selectionchange event will report the currently selected hit for the searched text, not all highlighted hits, so this should not be a problem. (As the user presses Cmd-G [Find Next], or Enter in the search box, the browser will cy

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4Said Achmiz1d
Ah, it’s an outdated browser issue. (Mac, Chromium 103.) (Lack of support for the :has() pseudo-class, specifically, in the selector .TopPostsPage-imageGridPostBody:hover:not(:has(.TopPostsPage-imageGridPostHidden)) .TopPostsPage-imageGridPostAuthor, is what’s causing the problem.)

My guess would be that you are one of the few users who has clicked on practically everything in the best of? 

For most random users I sampled during testing there is a very clear and identifiable pattern for read-statuses that users understood reliably, but it becomes less obvious as the percentage you've read goes above 80% or so (and indeed I cannot test on my own account for I have read all posts and so am seeing a pretty outlierish UI state).

2Said Achmiz1d
Ah, yeah, that makes sense. (I guess this isn’t terribly important information to communicate in this particular context, anyway…)

Yeah, I also played around a bit with legibility before you posted this, and am likely pushing a change to make it so that when are hovering over something, the text contrast goes up a lot (instead of down). Here is your last screenshot with the new styling: 

The text-legibility here seems a lot better. Will probably push in the next hour, curious about more comments from you after you see that change. 

Well, just for example, I tried to find a post, so I did Cmd-F, and… it didn’t work because the post I was looking for was in a collapsed part. (Th

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4Said Achmiz1d
Agreed, that’s an improvement. (Must you require hover for that, though? I’d make that change unconditionally, frankly.) I would also suggest deepening the text shadow, changing it from text-shadow: 0 0 3px #000 to, e.g., text-shadow: 0 0 3px #000, 0 0 5px #000, 0 0 8px #000, which looks like this: Note that the selectionchange event will report the currently selected hit for the searched text, not all highlighted hits, so this should not be a problem. (As the user presses Cmd-G [Find Next], or Enter in the search box, the browser will cycle through the highlighted hits, firing a new selectionchange event each time.) Thus, each time the event is fired, you can expand whatever section the currently-selected hit is in (and collapse its neighbors in the row).

Ah, hmm, that's fair, I was worried that would happen with the large click area on the side. I'll make it smaller.

My worry was that having summaries only inconsistently adds a lot of mental complexity to track to the page. Now only sometimes when you hover over something do you see some kind of preview, and if you have ~60 items on a single page, adding any kind of indicator for that quickly makes things very cluttered.

And you would have to redesign the page quite a bit to have a good place for summaries without adding a huge amount of clutter or flashing or movement on the page.

Yeah, getting summaries would be nice, but the effort of writing a summary for each post would have been prohibitive (especially one that the authors would have been happy with). We tried showing the start of the post, but it wasn't very helpful for deciding whether to read something.

2Matt Goldenberg19h
Why not show the top-rated review, like you do at the top of the page?

Maybe consider asking the authors if they'd want to volunteer a ?50? word summary for this purpose, and include summaries for those who do?

Yeah, I was a bit worried about this, especially for popular comments. For quick takes, it does seem like you can see all the relevant context before voting, and you were also able to already vote on comments from the Recent Discussion section (though that section isn't sorted by votes, so at less risk of viral dynamics). I do feel a bit worried that popular comments will get a bunch of votes without people reading the underlying post it's responding to.

When I move my cursor from hovering one cell to another, the art instantly changes, in a way I find pretty disorienting.

Yeah, I'll experiment a bit with putting a longer delay on the hover transition. I agree that it feels currently a bit too flickery. I do also want it to feel responsive when you hover of an individual post.

On readability: I currently made the tradeoff to make post titles that are unread quite readable (with a heavily darkened background). Curious whether the unread/darkened items still seem like they have readability problems for you.

2Said Achmiz1d
I would not have guessed that there is any read/unread state marking going on, FYI.

Yeah, visibility of shortforms is now like 3-4x higher than it was a week ago, so expect shortforms in-general to get many more upvotes.

2the gears to ascension1d
oh, that would do it. nice, btw.

Curious which part feels unwieldy and annoying. Navigating it feels definitely less straightforward than just scrolling a list, though it is also a lot denser and allows us to have 6 sections visible at the same time, which allows people to get an overview over the types of content we have on the site without needing to scroll up and down a lot.

I do still share a feeling that it's less straightforward to navigate than other stuff on the site. My guess was that the benefit of interactivity and playfulness that comes from the UI choices outweighs that (especially for new users who would probably mostly just be overwhelmed by a huge amount of information, which this page is more aimed at), but not sure.

5Said Achmiz1d
Well, just for example, I tried to find a post, so I did Cmd-F, and… it didn’t work because the post I was looking for was in a collapsed part. (That is, the browser reported a hit on the search, but nothing changed in the viewport.) (This is an easy thing to forget to implement; I’ve forgotten this very thing a few times myself. The solution is to listen for the selectionchange event, such that the enclosing section is automatically un-collapsed when the search function highlights text within a collapsed block.) Then there’s the fact that it can be hard to read the post titles against the beautiful backgrounds. Notably, this is hard to notice when simply looking at the page as it initially loads, as the initially displayed artwork is mostly dark-colored (though the “Rationality” section isn’t great in this regard) and the text is light-colored (with a dark shadow, as is proper). But when you hover over the sections, the artwork changes—often, to much lighter and/or busier imagery, which makes the text harder to read: As I said, this stuff really is pretty, but as a way of navigating a list of text items, it leaves much to be desired…

The art change is pretty distracting, and having to hover to see the author is also a bummer, plus no way to get a summary (that I can see).

It's seemingly optimized for a "judge a book by it's cover" type of thing where I click around until I see a title and image I like

Technically the optimal way to spend your points to influence the vote outcome is to center them (i.e. have the mean be zero). In-practice this means giving a -1 to lots of posts. It doesn't provide much of an advantage, but I vaguely remember some people saying they did it, which IMO would explain there being some very small number of negative votes on everything.

Yeah, I can kind of see that, though I don't feel like I can super make explicit what the implicit line of reasoning for that association is. If you have an idea of spelling it out, I would find it helpful for thinking about the tradeoffs. 

Edit: An initial attempt is "The LeastWrong" feels a bit like a global claim of "these are the least wrong things on the internet". It also puts emphasis on the posts on the site being the kind of thing that's described as "less wrong" on a kind of factual level as opposed to the people aspiring to be less wrong the... (read more)

This is how it feels to me.  Whether you can find a logic in which that interpretation is not coherent doesn't seem relevant to me. You can always construct a story according to which a particular association is actually wrong, but that doesn't stop people from having that association. (And I think there are reasonable grounds for people to be suspicious about such stories, in that they enable a kind of motte-and-bailey: using a phrasing that sends the message X, while saying that of course we don't mean to send that message and here's an alternative interpretation that's compatible with that phrasing. So I think that a lot of the people who'd find the title objectionable would be unpersuaded by your alternative interpretation, even assuming that they bothered to listen to it, and they would not be unreasonable to reject it.)

I definitely want a dope future with flying cars and terra formed planets and everything. Pretty sure this is true of most people on LW. Technological progress is great, and AI is a large outlier in the relative risks and benefits.

(I don't think I am getting what this comment is about. Is it critiquing the name, or is it critiquing the frontpage image/cover image for the optimization book?)

-17Gerald Monroe2d

Just to confirm, where the "on edge" thing is presumably the name "LessWrong" (which can be interpreted in a kind of arrogant way of implying we are less wrong than other people)?

I second the concern that using "LeastWrong" on the site grants undue legitimacy to the bad "than others" interpretation of the brand name (as contrasted to the intended "all models are wrong, but" meaning). "Best Of" is clear and doesn't distort the brand.

Meta: I like the snappiness of "The LeastWrong", but also feel a bit weird about it. I feel like it makes sense with the site title and everything, but also liked some of the straightforwardness of "Best of LessWrong". Feel free to use this thread to give takes. 

My overall sense is that both "Best of LessWrong" and "The LeastWrong" are both exaggerations. "LessWrong Review Winners" feels most accurate, but is too long for most places in the UI. I prefer "The LeastWrong" over "Best of LessWrong" because it's also more obviously in slight jest.

new solution: BestWrong

2Gerald Monroe2d
What bothers me about it is that I don't know if it's on-brand for the lesswrong vision of the future. A futuristic cityscape with flying vehicles?  How do you expect that in the lifetime of any site patron without, you know, the superintelligence that either gets paused, fails to work, or replaces this vision with identical cuboid mega-buildings full of incomprehensible equipment.  With desperate human refugees looking gaunt huddled around a fire at the base, if anyone is alive.   The lesswrong Utopia looks like ordinary buildings, but richer with greenery, and you see an ambulance hauling a patient out in a cryonics capsule.  There are still cars in the street, they are finally all electric, but anything really advanced isn't available, it's all still in safety review.  Thousands of years will pass like that, coordinated humans aren't going to turn the solar system into a dyson swarm of ravenous robots with any urgency. After all, new technology has side effects and risks extinction.  Why take a risk?

I really dislike "The LeastWrong". it takes something I was already on edge about and elevates it to an explicit phrase. How about just "Review Winners" or "Voted Best" or something else that doesn't have weird implications if someone fails to interpret it as a joke?

Yeah, it's in the site navigation (currently "Best Of" but will be changed to "The LeastWrong" in like the next half hour or so).

I think that's not a great characterization of what happened. IIRC,  Owen was not the person who "flew her out" (she was flown out for an unrelated job offer), he did not "surprise her" in the relevant sense (he was asked whether he could host her by other people),  and they were in-general pretty close and had talked about adjacent stuff already.

Overall, my sense is Owen did mess up with a bunch of this stuff, but I don't think it makes sense for that to follow him around to all random blogposts he writes. In-general posts on LW are pseudonymous... (read more)

From Owen's post: "I’d suggested her as a candidate earlier in the application process, but was not part of their decision-making process". "Unrelated job offer" is a bad description of that. I don't see the claim about hosting in the post, but that would a little soften things if true. Anyway, it's not a random blog post! If it was a post about how many species of flowers there are or whatever, then my comment wouldn't make sense. But it's not random! It's literally about acting wholesomely! His very unwholesome behavior is very relevant to a post he's making to the forum of record about what wholesome behavior is!

The EA Forum came up with the name when they adopted the "shortform" feature, and it seemed like a better name to me, so we copied it.

Ok, that's definitely interesting (in the sense that it's an implicitly registered prediction). Though conditional on that him arguing for it being a lab leak is also a bit less evidence. 

(I don't see any particular reason to trust this somewhat random professor more than the what seemed to me quite sane and exceptionally well-conducted Rootclaim debate. The linked tweet thread seems quite cursory and a lot of its content was indeed covered in the Rootclaim debate. I do still appreciate the links, since additional sources and takes seem good on the margin) 

Ebright was warning about gain-of-function applied to Wuhan coronavirus in 2015

Oh, yeah, I totally think what happened here is "we had more rules/guidelines about COVID, which increased the complexity of the rules we had to follow, which caused us to be more inconsistent in applying those rules". I didn't mean to imply that we actually flawlessly followed the rules.

Not sure who you are referring to, but we made some tweaks to various parts of the system of the last few months, so decent chance it wouldn't happen again.

I currently am reasonably happy when I review who gets rate limited when, though it's definitely not easy to see the full effects of it. I think a time decay would make it a lot worse.

(Please don't leave both top-level reacts and inline reacts of the same type on comments, that produces somewhat clearly confusing summary statistics. We might make it literally impossible, but until then, pick one and stick to it)

Actually ok now that I am thinking, why don't downvoters have to select the text and provide the negative feedback in order to issue a downvote?

Forcing people to write a whole sentence or multiple paragraphs to signal that they think some content is bad would of course have enormous chilling effects on people's ability to express their preferences over content on the site, and reduce the signal we have on content-quality a lot.

Downvoters never reply. I suspect because they are obviously afraid I will retaliate their downvotes with my own...

I would be quite... (read more)

That's a nice to have, and I do think it reduces the correlation across time and so is a case for having the rate-limit decay with just time, but mostly the point of the rate-limit is to increase the average comment quality on the site without banning a bunch of people (which comes with much more chilling effects where their perspectives are not at all represented on the site, and while still allowing them to complain about the moderation and make the costs to them known)

2the gears to ascension8d
...okay, but there have in fact been quite a number of people who make high quality comments normally, who have complained and made the costs to them known, expressed that time based decay would have been better... and you haven't changed it. in particular, someone who's name escapes me right now who was new to the site and wrote carefully reasoned comments every time, but who was saying things highly critical of most things she commented on - and who was quite careful to not use emotive language - was getting downvoted consistently, got rate limited, and nearly immediately left the site.

For COVID in-particular we added a specific threshold that is "yes, this is news based, but important enough that we will frontpage the most important posts in this category anyways". I think we announced it somewhere, let me look it up... 

Here is the comment where we announced we would no longer frontpage Zvi's COVID updates: 

Here is where Ruby writes about "Long COVID" posts being frontpage: (read more)

I think that explains some but not all of the sorting (e.g. the niacin post was partially about long covid, and similar posts about the flu should be and previously have been approved). I think this is probably not worth the effort to fix, which is why I didn't push back. But I do think it's worth making common knowledge of the inconsistency of the sorting process.

No, it's if at least 7 people downvote you in the past 20 comments (on comments that end up net-negative), and the net of all the votes (ignoring your self-votes) on your last 20 comments is below -5 (just using approval-karma, not agreement-karma).

Yeah, it's not crazy, but I currently am against it. I think if a user only comments occasionally, but always comments in a way that gets downvoted, then I think it's good for them to maintain a low rate-limit. I don't see how calendar time passing gives me evidence that someone's comments will be better and that I now want more of them on the site again.

0the gears to ascension8d
the purpose of the system is to give people a breather if they get upset, yeah? that emotional activation fades with time.

Hmm, I feel sad about this kind of critique. Like, this comment invokes some very implicit standard for posts, without making it at all explicit. Of course neither this post nor the posts they link to are literally "not based on anything". My guess is you are invoking an implicit standard for work to be "empirical" in order to be "anything", but that also doesn't really make sense since there are a lot of empirical arguments in this article and in the linked articles.

I think highlighting any specific assumption, or even some set of assumptions that you thi... (read more)

(Please don't leave both top-level reacts and inline reacts of the same type on comments, that produces somewhat clearly confusing summary statistics. We might make it literally impossible, but until then, pick one and stick to it)

Oh, I am an idiot, you are right. I got mislead by the variable name. 

Then yeah, this seems pretty good to me (and seems like it should prevent basically all instances of one or two people having a grudge against someone causing them to be rate-limited).

Welcome! Hope you have a good time. Asking good questions is quite valuable, and I think a somewhat undersupplied good on the site, so am glad to have you around!

Thank you, then I will try to ask good questions when I feel I am in possession of one.

(The algorithm aggregates karma over the last 20 comments or posts a user has written. Roko has written 20 comments since publishing that post, so it's no longer in the averaging window.)

Dialogues don't run into any rate limits, so that is definitely always an option (and IMO a better way to have long conversations than comment threads).

It's net karma of your last 20 comments or posts. So in order for one person to rate limit you, you would have needed to write 20 comments in a row that got basically no votes from anyone but you, at which point, I probably endorse rate-limiting you (though the zero vote case is a bit tricky, and indeed where I think a lot of the false-positives and false-negatives of the system come from).

I do think the system tends to fire the most false-positives when people are engaging in really in-depth comment trees and so write a lot of comments that get no engagem... (read more)

4the gears to ascension8d
I would love to see it switch from being based on votes on your most recent n comments to being votes in a time window. If someone has posted one comment a month for 20 months and none of them got votes except for one strong downvote six months ago, that doesn't seem like it should get rate limited.
2Seth Herd8d
That makes more sense, thanks. This is placing a high bar on the tone of comments. But the culture of collegiality is valuable in a subtle and powerful way, so I'd probably endorse it.

(People upvoted Roko's comments after making this post, so presumably he is no longer being rate-limited. I think there were more negative comments a few hours ago)

In order for a rate limit to trigger the user needs to be downvoted by at least 4 different users for users below 2000 karma, and 7 different users for users above 2000 karma (relevant line of code is here). 

This failsafe I think prevents most occasional commenters and posters from being affected by one or two people downvoting them.

I do think it fails to trigger for Roko here, since I think we only check for "total downvoter count", which helps with new users, but of course over the hundreds of comments that Roko has acquired over the years he has ac... (read more)

4Gerald Monroe8d
Update: -2 disagree on this. Extremely frustrating to receive anonymous general feedback. Trying my best here but I get downvotes a lot and often it feels like it's based on the opinion expressed in a comment. I seem to get upvoted a lot when I put pictures of evidence in the comment with simple empirical cites. Downvoters never reply. I suspect because they are obviously afraid I will retaliate their downvotes with my own... Your moderators have also disciplined me several times, giving general tips that sometimes I can't find a single message that satisfies their claim. Guess I can't see my own mistakes. It would be really help to have a policy of citing or making some kind of list of the comments that are unsatisfactory and providing it to the user. You also could provide this list before punishing... If that's too labor intensive, you could expand the reaction system to send a separate notification to the user each time a mod reacts to a users content. Actually ok now that I am thinking, why don't downvoters have to select the text and provide the negative feedback in order to issue a downvote? Contributing to a temporary ban without feedback is cruel...
I would like to see what Roko has to say about my post, so now I'm very curious how this works. Is this saying that you get rate-limited if you have at least 7 people downvoting you in the past 20 comments, regardless of how many people upvote you or how many times those 7 people vote? Also, does this count both overall and agreement karma? 
(We check for "downvoter count within window", not all-time.)
4Seth Herd8d
I would think that everyone with 2000 karma has been downvoted by at least 7 users. That's a lot of posts and comments. It seems like maybe this algorithm deserves a little rethinking. Maybe the past month is all you need to change, but I don't know what the rest of the algorithm is. -5 is a very low bar for limiting a high net karma user, since that can be produced by one angry big downvotes from another high karma user.

Promoted to curated: I think it's pretty likely a huge fraction of the value of the future will be determined by the question this post is trying to answer, which is how much game theory produces natural solutions to coordination problems, or more generally how much better we should expect systems to get at coordination as they get smarter.

I don't think I agree with everything in the post, and a few of the characterizations of updatelessness seem a bit off to me (which Eliezer points to a bit in his comment), but I still overall found reading this post qui... (read more)

5Martín Soto9d
Thank you, habryka! As mentioned in my answer to Eliezer, my arguments were made with that correct version of updatelessness in mind (not "being scared to learn information", but "ex ante deciding whether to let this action depend on this information"), so they hold, according to me. But it might be true I should have stressed this point more in the main text.

I don't understand the point. 

"Endpoints are easier to predict than intermediate trajectories" seems like a locally valid and relevant point to bring up. Then there is a valid argument here that there are lots of reasons people want to build powerful AGI, and that the argument about the structure of the cognition here is intended to apply to an endpoint where those goals are achieved, which is a valid response (if not a knockdown argument) to the argument of the interlocutor that is reasoning from local observations and trends.

Maybe you were actually commenting on some earlier section, but I don't see any word games in the section you quoted.

1. I don't think it's true here. Why should it be true? 2. However, to clarify, I was calling the second quoted sentence a word game, not the first. Agreed. [People want an outcome with property X and so we will get such an outcome] [One outcome with property X involves cognitive structures Y] Does not entail [We will get an outcome with property X and cognitive structures Y] But this is basically the word game! 1. "Whenever I talk about 'powerful' agents, I choose to describe them as having inner cognitive properties Y (e.g. the long-term consequentialism required for scheming)" 2. which vibes its way into "The agents are assumed to be powerful, how can you deny they have property Y?" 3. and then finally "People want 'powerful' agents and so will create them, and then we will have to deal with agents with inner cognitive property Y" It sounds obviously wrong when I spell it out like this, but it's what is being snuck in by sentences like For convenience, I quote the fuller context:

Welcome! I hope you have a good time here, and if you run into any problems, feel free to ping the admin team on the Intercom chat in the bottom right corner.

I think the key issue here is that CFAR workshops were optimized around being 4 days long. I think teaching someone numeracy in 4 days is very hard, and the kind of things you end up being able to convey look different (and still pretty valuable, but I do think end up missing a large fraction of the art of the art of rationality).

That makes sense, but it should've been at least mentioned somewhere that they think they aren't teaching the most important skills, and they think that numeracy is more important. The views expressed in the post might not be views of the whole CFAR staff.  

Hmm, I don't buy it. These two scenes seem very much not like the kind of thing a video game engine could produce: 

Look at this frame! I think there is something very slightly off about that face, but the cat hitting the person's face and the person's reaction seem very realistic to me and IMO qualifies as "complex motion and photorealism in the same video".

Were these supposed to embed as videos? I just see stills, and don't know where they came from.
TBC, I wasn't claiming anything about video game engines. I wouldn't have called the cat one "complex motion", but I can see where you're coming from.
Yeah, I mean I guess it depends on what you mean by photorealistic. That cat has three front legs.

Thank you! I also am very excited about it, though sadly adoption hasn't been amazing. Would love to see more people organically produce dialogues!

I'm pretty sure I'm a fantastic dialoguer and would have excellent dialogs with all kinds of folks but this is not publicly visible in any way. What do I do? Edit: to clarify, I think I can interview people in a good way and ask the right Qs, not necessarily collaboratively opine
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