All of Viliam_Bur's Comments + Replies

Am I Really an X?

For curious readers: Most of the vast "comment graveyard" are dozens of copies of the same two or three comments.

0math505yWhich keep getting deleted by the mods for no good reason.
9gjm5yFrom dozens of sockpuppets of the same user. No prizes for guessing who.
Open Thread, Feb. 20 - Feb 26, 2017

FYI, I just banned an account "kings11me" who didn't participate in the forum, but was sending the following private message to multiple users:

God bless you and thanks, how are you? Happy to meet you. I got your contact via this site, I seriously have interest to invest on a profitable business in your country, the money I want to invest was acquired from my church member, and then I was his financial adviser. The amount to invest is ($14.5 million US dollars) presently, but I’m the present Catholic Church leader in my parish, if you will like

... (read more)
A quick note on weirdness points and Solstices [And also random other Solstice discussion]

And my impression is that people are only really weirded out by these songs on behalf of other people who are only weirded out by them on behalf of other people.

Coincidentally, I was thinking today about whether people upvote some LW articles because they felt really useful for them, or just because they believe they could be useful for other people. Another instance of a similar problem.

(Specifically, I was considering writing an article explaining some more or less high-school math. Because... well, people have random blind spots, so maybe this could ... (read more)

4Raemon5yI'll leave you wondering whether I upvoted this because I thought this comment was useful or I just someone else would have thought it was interesting. :P
Open thread, Jun. 13 - Jun. 19, 2016

If we look at this issue from an angle "ethics is memetic system evolved by cultural group selection", then I guess it makes sense that (1) systems promoting helping your cultural group would have an advantage over systems promoting helping everyone to the same degree, and (2) systems that allow to achieve the "ethical enough" state reasonably fast would have an advantage over systems where no one can realistically become "ethical enough".

The problem appears when someone tries to do an extrapolation of that concept.

I am not su... (read more)

Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

None that I'm aware of.

I suspect that no one actually fell for the scam... or if they did, they are too ashamed to admit it... so there is nothing specific to investigate.

Monthly Bragging Thread April 2016

Congratulation! By the way, were those subjects mathematicians/programmers? Because I was told (by someone who uses hypnosis professionally) that those are the most difficult ones to hypnotize.

0shminux6yThanks! No, more like artsy types, or at least "neurotypicals'. Haven't tried the logical/Aspie types, but I do find it believable that they would have trouble letting go and enjoying the flow. Jimmy [] would know for sure.
Open Thread April 4 - April 10, 2016

Maybe at the front page the "Recent Promoted Articles" and "Featured Articles" should move on the top, and the "Less Wrong is…" description should be below them.

Or maybe even articles first, map of meetups second, and the website description on the bottom. And the bullet points in the description are unnecessarily large.

Things at the top of the page are more likely to be noticed.

Open Thread April 4 - April 10, 2016

Removed (both the comment and the user).

Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

I am not an American, and the American ways of transferring money are mysterious to me. When I want to send money from point A to point B, I log into a web page, fill in the required data, confirm the data, and in a day or two the money is there. If I understand it correctly, the American way to do this is to personally go to the bank, take a paper form, write the data on the paper, deliver the paper to the target, and the target must take the paper to their bank.

It was a huge surprise to learn this, because I automatically assumed that the American ways o... (read more)

4CynicalOptimist6ySuffice to say: There are many different methods for sending money. Some of them will involve paper forms, some will not. Some of them involve the internet, some will not. And each one has its own rules. "Maybe the scammer wants the part of their money returned using a different method (one that does not allow cancelling, or has shorter deadlines)" This is essentially correct. I've read about similar scams, and I believe this was how they worked.
Open Thread March 21 - March 27, 2016

How I see it, deleting of Eugine's new accounts is a continuous enforcement of the permanent ban from 2014 (explained here). Whether he continues in his previous behavior should in theory be irrelevant; I would delete his new accounts anyway because that's what "permanent" means. But in practice, he continues with his old behavior, which makes him easier to detect, and motivates me to overcome my laziness.

Open Thread March 21 - March 27, 2016

moderator action: Torchlight_Crimson is banned

Another account of Eugine_Nier / Azathoth123 / Voiceofra / The_Lion / The_Lion2 / Old_Gold is banned, effective now. This is an enforcement of the already existing ban, therefore only this message in Open Thread.

EDIT: Also Crownless_Prince.

0username26yWhat a surprise, somebody has been downvoting every comment in this subthread at least once.
5gjm6yHis new account is (p=0.9) Crownless_Prince [].
7SanguineEmpiricist6yWhat's going on in his thought process? Is he still downvoting people? What is he doing that's this bad? I mean i'm sure there's a good reason, but it's sort of strange he keeps coming back and not changing his behavior or not moving on to one of our tangent communities. I've not dealt with him, so can someone explain to me what he is doing?
Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

This seems like a correct answer. The company (1) wants to be seen as the sort of company that helps charities, (2) doesn't care deeply about the charities, and (3) wants to motivate employees.

The first part explains why they have a budget for charities, and the second and third part together explain why they let employees allocate that budget instead of the company doing it itself. The charitable explanation of the second part is that the company trusts their employees to have good knowledge about charities, and thus kinda outsources the research of good ... (read more)

Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

I think it can be taken for granted that people on this site have an elevated sense of skepticism

They also have an elevated sense of contrarianism. I suspect it's not enough to make them literally send money to a scammer, but enough to argue publicly about giving the benefit of doubt.

My long comment was written for the audience. To make people potentially swayed by clever arguments remember the context -- that this is a website where we publicly talk about donating to MIRI, publicly talk about money in general, already have a lot of quality financial advice, and no one is preventing our mysterious benefactor from posting an article.

Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

So, Vaniver, are you personally going to cooperate with this guy in the "donating to MIRI through you" project? Could you please promise in advance to write an article about it when the financial transaction is over?

2Vaniver6yNo, as detailed in the ancestral comment: I did encourage him to reach out to MIRI and figure out what their fundraising plans are, and whether or not he can pledge matching funds for that. (It seems like MIRI is likely to continue their open-ended fundraisers, but we'll see.) I am talking with him about his eSports gambling methodology, and trying to help him find an EA to work with on that. I would be happy to write an article about the results once there's enough info to do a retrospective.
Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

I apologize if I wronged you, but if you are honest, please act publicly, especially when it includes asking members to participate in financial transactions.

Money is no taboo here. MIRI asks for money publicly by posting an article (December 2015, August 2015, ...). Members post articles with financial advice (Twenty basic rules for intelligent money management, Financial Effectiveness Repository, A Guide to Rational Investing, and many debates in the regular Open Threads). According to our recent survey, 71 members work in "Finance/Economics" a... (read more)

-3hans_jonsson6y"act publicly, especially when it includes asking members to participate in financial transactions." why should i ask publicly when asking personal questions about personal decisions? "It is your insisting to work behind the courtains that seems fishy to me. You try to make the recipients of your messages feel special, yet you and your associate copy/paste the same messages to multiple people." im insisting to work behind the curtains? when did i insist, and why should i ask publicly? so i could copy my message and try to find some suitable person that way? how do i try to make the recipients feel special? why would i change a message that i wrote as perfectly as i could? does the other people know i copypasted it? and would they then feel worse about it because of that? would there even be a logical reason to eel worse? " If your goal is to provide free education, you could have posted the first lesson publicly." its my goal to provide free education to as smart a person as possible with as good priorities as possible to get as much money into as vauemaximizing things as possible. i dont know if i have "lessons" ready and i doubt it would be good to post them publicly. this is a fake name too. "For now, it seems like your priority is to send money through someone else, because reasons ("accelerating the value created"). Everything else seems like a cover story to make people cooperate. I suspect that the promised free education is also supposed to only happen after the person participated in the transaction." my priorities are to as fast as possible get someone intelligent with the right priorities educated as well as donate current money the most effecient way possible. and if one can freaking double the money donated then it feels like a disaster to donate normally, so i asked that guy to look into how doable this is. feels like a cover story to make people cooperate? so my plan is to get people free education then donate through them? "I suspect that the prom
2Vaniver6yHis first message to me involved asking where he could find his previous sent messages to copy-paste it to me also. Agreed that this is generally a good approach. Not sure if it applies to financial topics specifically, because 1) they're anti-inductive and 2) it's dangerous for people to be half-informed. Telling someone that there's money to be made exploiting inefficiencies in the penny stock market, but not what those inefficiencies are, could possibly lead to them losing a bunch of their money by making dumb bets that they think are smart.
Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

There is a chance that you are right. I feel like it's about 10% though. I apologize in advance if I am wrong. But I acted on the chance that I'm right and that I may save some naive altruistic student's money.

2hans_jonsson6ytheres a 10% chance hes right after hes to some extent verified my identity? i didnt wish to post my message very publicly cause it embarrassing and awkwardly like i was bragging when i wished to be honest, and hopefully show that im competent. how could my message of offering free education even be scammy? as i said i can prove it to vaniver and he can relay the information. im just looking for a smart person with the right priorities to educate on this so i can justify taking a break, and limit workload in general. i havent taken a single day off since i started aside from the very few days where there generally hasnt been any of the esport games that i focus on. the other message was from my "associate" who i asked to look into ways to maximize value, dont like seeing money go to waste if avoidable
Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

It is promoted now, so it will stay on the main page for a longer time. (I don't know how long the scammers will stay here.)

I reposted it in the facebook group.

Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

I also am not sure they're scams in the traditional sense.

If there is nothing fishy, why do they contact people via private messages instead of posting in the forum?

Typically the reason for contacting people individually, when the public announcement would be the natural way, is to prevent the contacted people from seeing each other's reactions.

3Vaniver6yFor the first, one may want to not have a public record of attempting to subvert systems; for the second, one may only want to discuss it with specific people instead of anyone who expresses interest. Note also that our anti-spam measures means that, as far as I'm aware, a new account can only start out posting about this sort of thing in the Open Thread, which may be non-obvious to someone who spends little time on LW.
Open Thread Feb 29 - March 6, 2016

moderator action: Old_Gold is banned

Another account of Eugine_Nier / Azathoth123 / Voiceofra / The_Lion / The_Lion2 is banned, effective now. I am posting this as a comment in Open Thread to avoid writing articles about banning the same person again and again, thus reducing the administrative cost of enforcing the already existing ban.

This specific change of policy does not apply to other potentially banned users (unless they are obvious spammers or scammers) who still deserve a separate post.

Is it ever likely to be feasible to undo all Eugine's votes? It seems clear that whack-a-mole banning is not terribly effective; since the main thing (I think) we want to disincentivize is unproductive mindkilled mass-downvoting, making that less effective (because likely to be undone after a while) might be worth the effort.

(My feeling is that this is an obvious enough point that probably it hasn't been done because doing it would be difficult, or because there's some strong objection I haven't thought of.)

[EDITED to add:] In the interests of full disclos... (read more)

Open Thread, Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2016

Thank you for the explanation! I posted a warning in a separate article. (Ironically, the second private message mentioned in the article was sent to my account.)

[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

Here are some existing Python scripts for LW.

If you can look at them, and then write a script that takes a number (or a list of numbers) as an input, and displays total number of LW users, and number of LW users with karma smaller than given number... well, that would be the first step. Otherwise, we need to wait until someone does it.

[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

Sounds like this could work.

Well, depends on how large fraction of votes currently comes from users with karma under 250. It would be bad to reduce the total number of votes drastically. They do have a positive role, in general; most people use them correctly.

1AspiringRationalist6yGood point. I'm not sure what the right threshold would be. How difficult would it be to look up the percentage of votes that come from different karma levels?
[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

Did he start out this way or did this develop over time as he got more frustrated?

I don't remember.

[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

Traditionally he posted quotes in Rationality Quotes threads to farm karma he could use for the downvotes. Maybe he got tired of doing that.

[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

Eugine's beliefs are "politically incorrect", but that's not completely unusual at LW. The main reason why we don't see them here often is that we don't debate politics often. And ironically, Eugine's downvoting crusades have contributed significantly to reducing the political debates on LW. There were times when we used to have a political debate in a separate thread or in an Open Thread once in a while. And at some moment, such debates started predictably ending with someone saying "I have disagreed with Eugine yesterday, and today I see I... (read more)

5Val6yThis is a very beautiful and short summary of how a lot of political discussions actually look like. This concept is not new for me, but I've never seen it summarized this well before.
1arundelo6yThis comment is an excellent summary of Eugine_Nier's history at LW and what's wrong with his behavior.
3Houshalter6yDid he start out this way or did this develop over time as he got more frustrated? I thought his comments got particularly worse after he got banned. Let me be clear, I'm just trying to understand why this happened. This behavior absolutely should be banned. Even if he had reasons for his actions, they were still wrong and he's still an asshole.
[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

NancyLebovitz is currently the main moderator, with the right to ban accounts, so you can send her a private message.

[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

We don't even have a good specification yet. Even if you add a specific number, "casting too many votes" isn't really what we need.

Ironically, I believe the problem could actually be not enough voting by the regular users. That gives a rabid voter such large fraction of the total votes on the website.

For the record, I would support a software solution, but it would be one that would do data analysis in order to find various kinds of voting abuse (retributive downvoting, sockpuppetry, etc.) and would provide reports to moderators. Clicking the &qu... (read more)

[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

I am sorry, this is an announcement post; I will not handle the requests posted here. This was a one-time action for me, and I will soon return to hibernation as a moderator.

The currently active moderator is NancyLebovitz. If you have a strong suspicion that something wrong is going on, please send a private message to her.

[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

In theory, yes. However, LW is based on Reddit code, and the code and the database structure are quite difficult. (See some example database scripts here.)

Exactly. Eugine/Azathoth/Ra/Lion was already sufficiently transparently banned in 2014.

He either didn't get the memo, or he pretends to be dumb for the sake of scaremongering, or maybe he actually is delusional. I don't care which one; the outcome is the same.

Communities: A single moderator is often superior to the wisdom of crowds

There are about 30 accounts banned during the whole history of LW.

Most of them are spammers, who created their accounts, posted one or ten spam comments, subsequently had their accounts banned and comments removed. (The comments of the banned users have to be removed separately; banning the user merely disallows them to log in again.)

For curious people, the spam does not seem related to LW context. There were spam accounts promoting:

  • iPhones,
  • wedding rings,
  • silver earrings,
  • silver necklaces,
  • a Korean casino,
  • astrological service,
  • a computer ga
... (read more)
An Experiment In Social Status: Software Engineer vs. Data Science Manager

Reminds me of a joke:

(at a job interview)
Q: "What is your biggest fault?"
A: "Sincerity."
Q: "Well, I don't think that sincerity is a fault."
A: "Well, I don't give a fuck about what you think."

Social status hacks from The Improv Wiki

Uhm, countersignalling? "I am so powerful that I do not need this ability."

Specifically: "I am so powerful that I do not need the abilities that make cooperation easier; others obey me anyway."

What have we learned from meetups?

Depending on the day. But most of the time, yes. As a chatting club, we were rather okay. As a rationalist group... not so much.

2Elo7ythat was how we were in the begining. It got better.
How has lesswrong changed your life?

I didn't have any specific article in mind. It is just a topic that I am aware of in my life. For example, I love learning new things, but instead of using them I often just jump to learning another thing. Which seemed like widening my options, until a few years later I realized that I keep forgetting the old things and that I actually never used most of them. Thus learning is an enjoyable hobby for me, but to make it useful, I have to go beyond mere learning.

There is such thing as "learning too much", or more precisely, being so obsessed by lear... (read more)

How has lesswrong changed your life?

The eternal conflict between exploration and exploitation. Keeping your options is what keeps the good options within your reach, and prevents you from going too far in the blind alleys. But at the end, if you have walked through the whole shop and didn't buy anything, you leave empty-handed. At some point you gotta have a job (or other source of income) and people are going to pay you for something specific.

I think this is even more complicated when people are not explicitly aware of the skills they really have. They may feel like they don't specialize in... (read more)

0Creutzer7yAsides like this should be forbidden as cruelty to animals... I mean readers. I think the kind and compassionate thing to do is to either say what it is, link to it, or never, ever mention it.
0[anonymous]7yI vaguely remember having read one article about this, but was not aware it is a big topic. Got linx?
2[anonymous]7yThis is interesting - I have never assumed people would not know themselves. Now I wonder if I know my own strengths and weaknesses. I communicate so little that I have no idea what opinion people have of me. No feedback at all. I don't remember anyone ever telling me something is my fault when some things did not work out as expected. I don't really remember any praise either beyond the kind of praise that is mostly just politeness. Yes, but they are not open-ended. They are more structured, trainings at specific times of the week etc. I tend to think the other way around, this is what weirds me out. I won't set a target body weight to myself with Beeminder, I would rather decide I am not happy with the current one, and make a change, and see what happens. If still not happy, another change. I commit to the method, not the goal. I started boxing to lose weight and gain courage, but right now I care about boxing, not weight or courage, if it makes sense. This is because otherwise it would be hard to keep up with the willpower. Looking at a mountain 10 km away and walking to it is hard if you keep your eyes on it and constantly think I want to get there, I want to get there. But if you just remove the goal from your mind and identify with the walking, just telling yourself you are a walky guy, this just what you are, it is in your nature to walk, it is very easy. So I guess I have all sorts of goals but they are buried under the methods to reach them. The disadvantage is not being able to change methods if they don't work well, the advantage is not needing a lot of willpower. I think your story is more about not caring at all, because it is not her problem how much the people on the other department suffer. This sounds familiar, this is why we hated salespeople when I worked at consulting companies. Perhaps it can fixed much higher up with different incentives (no commission paid after services sold that were fulfilled in overtime, and instead that commission goe
How has lesswrong changed your life?

Almost the same for me (just replace Python with Android or Unity, and "playing videogames I don't really enjoy" with "reading websites I don't really enjoy").

How has lesswrong changed your life?

I don't really expect a huge change, because rationality is all about aiming the arrow better, but it does not change how strong you pull the bow or how many arrows you have in the quiver.

To continue in your metaphor, a small improvement in aiming can in some situations significantly increase the ratio of arrows that hits the target. Of course assuming that precision was the problem, instead of e.g. distance or lack of arrows. Returning from the metaphor, the benefits of (LW-style) rationality probably also depend on what kind of problems you solve, and... (read more)

3[anonymous]7yHere is an interesting thing. EY often warns people not try long chains of reasoning as probability drops with every step, or don't try to think too far ahead. But things like choosing a career or partner are precise those things where you cannot just think one or two steps ahead i.e. where you can predict with some reasonably high probabilty, you have to think far ahead while you know you don't really have much a chance predicting how things will work out. This is one of the cases where I think Taleb's anti-fragility shines, it is hard to filter out the good stuff from all the overly brilliant showing-off from his books but this is the good stuff part. That the idea is not so much to plan ahead but to make the kinds of choices that are resilient or even gain from surprises that you did not foresee at all. ESR calls it maximizing the breadth of your option tree [] as in, not choosing narrow paths. Choosing so that in the future you have many choices, many options available. So when the unforeseen, unpredicted happens, you have many options to deal with it. This is probably what anti-fragility is. Basically avoiding commitment to a narrow path as long as possible. But alas, this also have huge drawbacks! Avoing commitment to narrow paths can often mean languishing in lukewarm tepidity, as highly achieving people have always chose narrow paths and worked their butts off to go ahead on them as narrow paths concentrate the effort more. And avoiding commitment is means you are a generalist and if you want to live in a city, that sucks, cities, high pop densites want specialists. Usually. And having options can very well be a bad thing, psychologically, paradox of choice, akrasia and all that. I know a guy who never rented his apartments, always bought them on mortage and the idea being that he does not have the willpower to save up voluntarily, but if he is committed to paying a mortgage then he will do it, and that builds equity better
Status - is it what we think it is?

it seems to me that most people are willing to settle for a certain status depending on how good the benefits are and the difficulties involved in getting there.

It is also my impression that people who "prefer being low status" are actually just afraid of possible punishment for claiming too much status.

Suggested experiment: Select a group of people who "prefer being low status" and let them interact with each other for a long period of time. Prediction: Some members of the group will gradually become more comfortable with acting high-status within the group.

What have we learned from meetups?

What do you suppose are the dominant positive outcomes of your meetups?

Meeting interesting people.

Unfortunately, at the meetups I've organized we didn't get further.

2Elo7yDid you at least talk about interesting things?
Effective Sustainability - results from a meetup discussion

Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment


[meta] New LW moderator: Viliam_Bur

Or perhaps to make it easy to read: "1 point" with "+2 -1" in the tooltip.

0gjm7ySorry, yes, that was what I actually had in mind.
[meta] New LW moderator: Viliam_Bur

At the moment I am reading this, there seem to be no votes (no upvotes, no downvotes) on two of those three comments:

At least this is how I interpret "0 points, 0% positive". If someone would downvote it, it would not be 0% positive.

0brazil846yMy recollection is that at that time, a comment started with one point and you ended up with 0 points only if someone downvoted you. You disagree with this?
2gjm7yCorrect. (Of course it's possible that someone downvoted those comments and then removed the downvotes later.) The way LW displays votes is a bit strange. From the points total and the %positive, you can deduce the numbers of up and down votes in all cases except for "0 points, 50% positive", from which you can tell only that there were some positive number of upvotes and the same number of downvotes. (Well ... if the numbers are really large then the rounding-to-integer of the percentages gets in the way a little.) I think that given (1) the usually-small number of total votes and (2) the generally high level of numeracy of the LW readership, the only disadvantage to changing from "1 point, 67% positive" to "+2 -1" is that it would require someone actually to make the change, and there are very few Round Tuits[1] available for that task. [1] "Oh yes, that's a good idea. I'll do it when I get a round tuit." I have seen shops selling Round Tuits. Unfortunately they don't actually generate increased motivation or spare time.
Political topics attract participants inclined to use the norms of mainstream political debate, risking a tipping point to lower quality discussion

Not anymore, but yeah, this is where my frustration is coming from. Also, for every obvious example of voting manipulation, there are more examples of "something seems fishy, but there is no clear definition of 'voting manipulation' and if I go down this slippery slope, I might end up punishing people for genuine votes that I just don't agree with, so I am letting it go". But most of these voting games seem to come from one faction of LW users, which according to the surveys is just a tiny minority.

(When the "progressives" try to push t... (read more)

Political topics attract participants inclined to use the norms of mainstream political debate, risking a tipping point to lower quality discussion

In recent months there were a few comments with flame-war potential which were quickly "downvoted into oblivion", but the next day their karma was above zero.

Either it means we have a group of people who prevent their "side" from being downvoted below zero (although they don't bother to upvote it highly when it already is above zero), or we have a group of people who believe in something like "no comment should be downvoted just because it has a flame-war potential" who prevent downvoting below zero in principle regardless of ... (read more)

Political topics attract participants inclined to use the norms of mainstream political debate, risking a tipping point to lower quality discussion

SSC is one-person dictatorship with a benevolent dictator. It would be much worse there if people could play voting games in comments: upvoting everyone on their "side" and downvoting everyone on the opposing "side".

Also, on SSC people are banned more often than on LW, although most of the bans are temporary.

Political topics attract participants inclined to use the norms of mainstream political debate, risking a tipping point to lower quality discussion

An alternative without programming changes would be biweekly "incisive open threads", similar to Ozy's race-and-gender open threads

Feel free to start a "political thread". Worst case: the thread gets downvoted.

However, there were already such threads in the past. Maybe you should google them, look at the debate and see what happened back then -- because it is likely to happen again.

and downvoting customarily tabood in them.

Not downvoting brings also has its own problems: genuinely stupid arguments remain visible (or can even get ... (read more)

2hairyfigment7yI don't understand this word "was" - I just lost another 9+ karma paperclips to Eugine Nier. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this seems less like a problem with political threads and more like a problem with someone driving most of the world's population (especially the educated western population) away from existential risk prevention in general and FAI theory in particular.
3seer7yJust out of curiosity, I looked at the latest politics thread in Vaniver's list. Despite being explicitly about NRx, in contains only two references to "Cthulhu", both by people arguing against NRx. Rather anyone who isn't sufficiently progressive gets called a neoreactionary.

I upvoted for this:

However, there were already such threads in the past. Maybe you should google them, look at the debate and see what happened back then -- because it is likely to happen again.

And, to further drive home the point, I'll link to the ones I could easily find: Jan 2012, Aug 2012, Dec 2012, Jan 2013, Feb 2013, more Feb 2013, Oct 2013, Jun 2014, Nov 2014.

3Lumifer7yY'know, you do sound mindkilled about NRx...
Political topics attract participants inclined to use the norms of mainstream political debate, risking a tipping point to lower quality discussion

I like your example and "learning environment" vs "testing environment".

However, I am afraid that LW is attractive also for people who instead of improving their rationality want to do other things; such as e.g. winning yet another website for their political faction. Some people use the word "rationality" simply as a slogan to mean "my tribe is better than your tribe".

There were a few situations when people wrote (on their blogs) something like: "first I liked LW because they are so rational, but then I was dis... (read more)

3[anonymous]7yThis is all fine, but what is missing for me is the reasoning behind something like "... and this is bad enough to taboo it completely and forfeit all potential benefits, instead of taking these risks" - at least if I understand you right. The potential benefits is coming up with ways to seriously improve the world. The potential risk is, if I get it right, that some people will behave irrationally and that will make some other people angry. Idea: let's try to convince the webmaster to make a third "quarantine" tab, to the right from the discussion tab, visible only to people logged in. That would cut down negative reflections from blogs, and also downvotes could be turned off there. An alternative without programming changes would be biweekly "incisive open threads", similar to Ozy's race-and-gender open threads, and downvoting customarily tabood in them. Try at least one?
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