Wiki Contributions


Yeah, almost everyone who we ban who has any real content on the site is warned. It didn't feel necessary for curi, because he has already received so much feedback about his activity on the site over the years (from many users as well as mods), and I saw very little probability of things changing because of a warning.

I think you're denying him an important chance to do error correction via that decision. (This is a particularly important concept in CR/FI)

curi evidently wanted to change some things about his behaviour, otherwise he wouldn't have updated his commenting policy. How do you know he wouldn't have updated it more if you'd warned him? That's exactly the type of criticism we (CR/FI) think is useful.

That sort of update is exactly the type of thing that would be reasonable to expect next time he came back (considering that he was away for 2 weeks when the ban was announced). He didn't want to be banned, and he didn't want to have shitty discussions, either. (I don't know those things for certain, but I have high confidence.)

What probability would you assign to him continuing just as before if you said something like "If you keep continuing what you're doing, I will ban you. It's for these reasons." Ideally, you could add "Here they are in the rules/faq/whatever".

Practically, the chance of him changing is lower now because there isn't any point if he's never given any chances. So in some ways you were exactly right to think there's low probability of him changing, it's just that it was due to your actions. Actions which don't need to be permanent, might I add.

I do not think the core disagreement between you and me comes from a failure of me to explain my thoughts clearly enough.

I don't either.

The same goes for your position. The many words you have already written have failed to move me. I do not expect even more words to change this pattern.

Sure, we can stop.

Curi is being banned for wasting time with long, unproductive conversations.

I don't know anywhere I could go to find out that this is a bannable offense. If it is not in a body of rules somewhere, then it should be added. If the mods are unwilling to add it to the rules, he should be unbanned, simple as that.

Maybe that idea is worth discussing? I think it's reasonable. If something is an offense it should be publicly stated as such and new and continuing users should be able to point to it and say "that's why". It shouldn't feel like it was made up on the fly as a special case -- it's a problem when new rules are invented ad-hoc and not canonicalized (I don't have a problem with JIT rulebooks, it's practical).

This is the definition that I had in mind when I wrote the notice above, sorry for any confusion it might have caused.

This definition doesn't describe anything curi has done (see my sibling reply linked below), at least that I've seen. I'd appreciate any quotes you can provide.


I prefer this definition, "a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace".

This definition seems okay to me.

undue justice

I don't know how justice can be undue, do you mean like undue or excessive prosecution? or persecution perhaps? thought I don't think either prosecution or persecution describe anything curi's done on LW. If you have counterexamples I would appreciate it if you could quote them.

We have substantial disagreements about what constitutes a threat,

Evidently yes, as do dictionaries.

I don't think the dictionary definitions disagree much. It's not a substantial disagreement. seems to agree; it lists them as ~strong synonyms. the crux is retribution vs retaliation, and retaliation is more general. The mafia can threaten shopkeeps with violence if they don't pay protection. I think retaliation is a better fitting word.

However, this still does not apply to anything curi has done!

lsusr said:

(1) Curi was warned at least once.

I'm reasonably sure the slack comments refers to events 3 years ago, not anything in the last few months. I'll check, though.

There are some other comments about recent discussion in that thread, like this:

gjm said:

I had not looked, at that point; I took "mirrored" to mean taking copies of whole discussions, which would imply copying other people's writing en masse. I have looked, now. I agree that what you've put there so far is probably OK both legally and morally.

My apologies for being a bit twitchy on this point; I should maybe explain for the benefit of other readers that the last time curi came to LW, he did take a whole pile of discussion from the LW slack and copy it en masse to the publicly-visible internet, which is one reason why I thought it plausible he might have done the same this time.

I don't think there is case for (1). Unless gjm is a mod and there are things I don't know?

lsusr said:

(2) Curi is being banned for wasting time with long, unproductive conversations. An appeals process would produce another long, unproductive conversation.

habryka explicitly mentions curi changing his LW commenting policy to be 'less demanding'. I can see the motivation for expedition, but the mods don't have to speedrun it. I think it's bad there wasn't any communication beforehand.

lsusr said:

(3) Specific quotes are unnecessary. It blindingly obvious from a glance through curi's profile and even curi's response you linked to that curi is damaging to productive dialogue on Less Wrong.

I don't think that's the case. His net karma has increased, and judging him for content on his blog - not his content on LW - does not establish whether he was 'damaging to productive dialogue on Less Wrong'.

His posts on less wrong have been contributions, for example, is a direct response to of EY's posts and it was net-upvoted. He followed that up with two more net-upvoted posts:

This is not the track record of someone wanting to waste time. I know there are disagreements between LW and curi / FI. If that's the main point of contention, and that's why he's being banned, then so be it. But he doesn't deserve to mistreated and have baseless accusations thrown at him.

lsusr said:

The strongest claim against curi is "a history of threats against people who engage with him [curi]". I was able to confirm this via a quickly glance through curi's past behavior on this site. In this comment threatens to escalate a dialogue by mirroring it off of this website. By the standards of collaborative online dialogue, this constitutes a threat against someone who engaged with him.

We have substantial disagreements about what constitutes a threat, in that case. I think a threat needs to involve something like danger, or violence, or something like that. It's not a 'threat' to copy public discussion under fair use for criticism and commentary.

I googled the definition, and these are the two (for define:threat)

  • a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done.
  • a person or thing likely to cause damage or danger.

Neither of these apply.

The above post explicitely says that the ban isn't a personal judgement of curi. It's rather a question of whether it's good or not to have curi around on LessWrong and that's where LW standards matter.

Isn't it even worse then b/c no action was necessary?

But more to the point, isn't the determination X person is not good to have around a personal judgement? It doesn't apply to everyone else.

I think what habryka meant was that he wasn't making a personal judgement.

I'm not sure about other cases, but in this case curi wasn't warned. If you're interested, he and I discuss the ban in the first 30 mins of this stream

Arguably, if there is something truly wrong with the list, I should have an issue with it.

This is non-obvious. It seems like you are extrapolating from yourself to everyone else. In my model, how much you would mind being on such a list is largely determent by how much social anxiety you generally feel. I would very much mind being on that list, even if I felt like it was justified.

I think this is fair, and additionally I maybe shouldn't have used the word "truly"; it's a very laden word. I do think that, on the balance of probabilities, my case does reduce the likelihood of something being foundationally wrong with it, though. (Note: I've said this in, what I think, is a LW friendly way. I'd say it differently on FI.)

One thing I do think, though, is that people's social anxiety does not make things in general right or wrong, but can be decisive wrt thinking about a single action.

Another thing to point out is anonymous participation in FI is okay, it's reasonably easy to use an anonymous/pseudonymous email to start with. curi's blog/forum hybrid also allows for anonymous posting. FI is very pro-free-speech.

Knowing the existence of the list (again, even if it were justified) would also make me uneasy to talk to curi.

I think that's okay, curi isn't trying to attract everyone as an audience, and FI isn't designed to be a forum which makes people feel comfortable, as such. It has different goals from e.g. LW or a philosophy subreddit.

I think we'd agree that norms at FI aren't typical and aren't for everyone. It's a place where anyone can post, but that doesn't mean that everyone should, sorta thing.

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