Yes, I've had many of our newcomers tell me that they showed up because of that feature (not because they went looking for in-person meetups). Discoverability matters.
Here's the main consideration from my point of view as an organizer:
Lesswrong.com is still the #1 source of newcomers to the San Francisco meetup.
We haven't had much chance to try out the new meetup functionality on lesserwrong.com yet, but we really need it to work. This is our community's primary source of new blood, and it is super important for that to be all set before the migration happens.
If people are leaving as we speak, then scaling it to the size it already is may indeed require change.
A sense that other people are paying direct attention to you, noticing important and real aspects of you, and not rejecting those aspects.
This is rare in my experience because people mostly don't actually pay attention to each other, they just notice some vague surface-level details that are easy to remember and not much else.
Have you looked at possible empirical bases of "raw happiness" such as Kahneman's Day Reconstruction Method?
(see also: Happiness is Not a Coherent Concept)
I see. In that case
This can only be seen as a failure of rationality.
seems very non-obvious to me. Though of course the decline of LW1 was very bad for people not near any in-person community or involved with any of the LW diaspora online, I am not sure that it had a bad effect on the community as a whole.
But then, I'm not sure how to define "bad effect on the community as a whole," either, short of the entire thing dissolving.
We saw that the community was in a steep decline until recently, despite the fact that many rationalists wanted the community to thrive.
Why do you believe this? Or by "community" do you mean "the LessWrong website"?
From my vantage point, it looks like the overall, in-person+online community has been growing slowly ever since I joined it ~6 years ago.
Yeah, ok, "I don't have time for that" is definitely a valid response to this.
So, not having access to the original post you linked to on Facebook, here is how I would summarize the thing you're saying here. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
"Social reality" is a reference to the idea that everything that humans say to each other is mediated by political or social concerns, such that truth is being constantly warped as it passes through people's brains, without the people involved even being aware of it. The term "social reality" specifically refers to the "alternate reality" that is created by these truth-warping distortions.
"Mana" means "ability to see the world as it genuinely is, without being affected by social reality." When you have a lot of this ability, you gain the miraculous power to affect other people's perception of reality, because they are still existing in a reality-distortion field even if you aren't - so their social conceptions will move out of the way to make room for yours.
As a piece of general feedback: I find your writing useful but hard to understand, even though I have a general sense of how your brain works and what kinds of things you usually say. I think if I didn't have those, your writing would be pretty much impossible to understand (edit: for counterfactual me, specifically). It's very dense with jargon that means a lot to you but other people don't have context on.
My guess is you could fix this by doing something that feels like "dumbing it down almost to the point of uselessness," so that only very small concepts are presented in each post. In actuality I think this would make it much more useful.
I hope you find a way to make it work, because I think there's a lot of value in it that is difficult for others to extract.