Weirdness at the wiki

post by NancyLebovitz · 2015-11-30T23:37:44.283Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 83 comments

Richard Kennaway has posted about an edit war on the wiki. Richard, thank you.

Unfortunately, I've only used the wiki a little, and don't have a feeling for why the edit history for an article is inaccessible. Is the wiki broken or has someone found a way to hack it? Let it be known that hacking the wiki is something I'll ban for.

VoiceofRa, I'd like to know why you deleted Gleb's article. Presumably you have some reason for why you think it was unsatisfactory.

I'm also notifying tech in the hope of finding out what happened to the edit history.

83 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-01T09:25:43.655Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

Background: I'm a returning LW old hat and CFAR alum and worked briefly on the LW codebase a long time ago, but am not a moderator or authority of any kind; this is my summary based on publicly-accessible data.

The edit history is not inaccessible. What happens is that whenever an article gets deleted, all of its history entries move to https://wiki.lesswrong.com/index.php?title=Delete&action=history.

Gleb Tsipursky co-founded an organization called Intentional Insights, and is doing rationality training/outreach through it. He's been posting rationality materials on Less Wrong. He created an LW Wiki page for the org in March and made occasional updates, and on November 19 it had this text. That looks pretty reasonable, although I'd remove the language suggesting a possible CFAR collaboration unless it progresses past the "has talked with" stage. On November 29 and 30 VoiceOfRa deletes it and Gleb Tsipursky restores it, then Gjm wrote an alternative article which is intensely critical and based mostly on this thread.

That thread is too involved for me to do more than lightly skim it right now, but I will highlight this comment by jsteinhart:

My main update from this discussion has been a strong positive update about Gleb Tsipursky's character. I've been generally impressed by his ability to stay positive even in the face of criticism, and to continue seeking feedback for improving his approaches.

The content of the Less Wrong Wiki is pretty inconsequential; if not for this post it wouldn't be seen. But fights like this can be very destructive to motivation, and if I were in Gleb's shoes I'd be feeling unjustly attacked. I'd prefer to see that stopped, and replaced with something more constructive.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-01T17:15:32.318Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for clarifying the deletion history, much appreciated.

From my own perspective, I do feel attacked, by someone who has also engaged in ad hominem attacks against me and likely sock puppetry. It's been a pretty negative experience, and I'm trying to treat is as a "comfort zone expansion" opportunity.

I'd welcome you rewriting the wiki article since it seems that your comment received a lot of upvotes, indicating community support for your perspective.

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-02T01:21:40.186Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I've rewritten it to this version with a more neutral tone.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T05:11:33.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Really appreciate you taking the lead on this, thank you!

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-02T03:13:03.466Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you. Much more neutral.

comment by pianoforte611 · 2015-12-01T23:27:01.635Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The fact that two blatant ad hominem comments have positive karma is very very suspicious. How much effort would it be to figure out if there is a voting ring problem or puppet account problem?

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-02T01:17:32.452Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

two blatant ad hominem comments

Is one of them mine, by any chance?

comment by pianoforte611 · 2015-12-02T04:13:53.313Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

No, these two though mostly the first. I highly doubt that either one would have had positive karma on LW one year ago. I'm not only suspicious because of these comments though.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/mzw/link_a_rational_response_to_the_paris_attacks_and/cx9j http://lesswrong.com/lw/mzw/link_a_rational_response_to_the_paris_attacks_and/cwuz

Edit: these had higher karma when I linked to them, for reasons that are obvious in hindsight.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T05:10:05.443Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yup, this comment by VoiceOfRa in particular is something I would pay most attention to. When I originally saw it, it was below the threshhold for comments, and had negative six karma. Next time I saw it, it had positive 4 karma. Since attention was drawn to it, it went to positive 2 karma. Still, I have a lot of trouble believing actual Less Wrongers went below the threshhold, then actually upvoted it to positive 4. I would be willing to bet quite a bit of money sock puppetry was involved.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-12-02T10:58:37.929Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Given the tone of discussions I wouldn't be surprised if there's a highly bimodal distribution of opinions on the subject --- and I'm sure there are loads of LWers who read and vote but don't comment.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T16:35:09.999Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't be surprised either by bimodal distribution, but I have a strong probabilistic estimate that people won't click on below the fold comments just to read and upvote them. This is the reason for my statement of being willing to bet quite a bit of money on sock puppetry-style activities, either direct sock puppets or voting ring. I don't take making bets lightly :-)

comment by VoiceOfRa · 2015-12-02T00:39:57.640Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Seriously, Gleb tried to make arguments based on his credentials as an academic researcher and then complained when the worthiness of those credentials were questioned.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-02T03:12:16.481Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm with Gleb on that one-- it's much more appropriate to address the quality of his arguments rather than his credentials.

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T05:49:05.641Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am unsure; I believe Ra asked for evidence of what Gleb had said followed by Gleb declaring his academic status as evidence enough to be an authority on . This led Ra to criticize his academic status.

While it is true that Gleb is an academic; it is also true that "because I said so" is not a good enough answer to a request for more information(especially not here on LW) (I am unsure if the request was polite or not)(I am also unsure of the exact wording of Gleb's response). I am unsure as to the state of that whole thread;

Ra could probably compile the best history as he is right in the thick of it.

It could certainly be said that adressing the arguments is the most significant thing, not the person who made it. If the arguments are not clear enough to address; That would lead to asking for more evidence and lead us to here and now. I am unclear as to all the details to be able to understand this all.

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-02T06:52:09.252Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

By my reading of that thread, he was not leaning on his own authority but on that of an academic consensus. James Miller replied by claiming to distrust academia in general on the matter, and mentioned relevant incentives that might push them towards an incorrect conclusion. Gleb replied that "peer review is peer review". Up to that point, everyone was being reasonable.

Then VoiceOfRa jumped in, was very rude and seemed to thoroughly misunderstand what was going on. See this comment where he says:

For example, you've claimed several times that people should believe you because you are an academic historian.

But both of those links lead to comments by Gleb which link to sources!

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T08:05:03.984Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

this comment: (By Gleb)

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/mzw/link_a_rational_response_to_the_paris_attacks_and/cwzh

includes the line:

Do you consider my credibility as an academic historian to be evidence?

Before seeing that comment I was confused as to whether Ra was talking about words (that Gleb said) to the effect of that or literally those words; now I see it was those words exactly.


this thread also brings to light something interesting:

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/mzw/link_a_rational_response_to_the_paris_attacks_and/cx6p

Gleb: I can't really summarize whole books.

RichardKennaway: er, what (link to Gleb's summary of thinking fast and slow where it was 30,000 words long)

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/mzw/link_a_rational_response_to_the_paris_attacks_and/cx75

Gleb: Lol, fair enough. You caught me well on that one. Let me update my statement to being unwilling to summarize whole books.

but then Gleb failed to actually add information from the book.

While I expect that the book holds claims to the effect of what Gleb intended to say; I feel like he didn't do his full effort in supporting his claims; instead relying on his "credibility as an academic historian" to try to pass as the truth, as well as getting away without actually answering the question for providing more information.

I genuinely do not care about the topic; I admit that Gleb put in some effort to try to help offer insight to people; but I feel he did not put in the right effort in the right places, leading it to look like he was relying on his "credibility". I can't fault Ra for jumping on the issue; I can fault Ra for not doing it as gently and in good faith (and steelmanned) as possible. But from there; Gleb refused to continue the discussion and cited it as a personal attack.

looks like all parties at fault for that mess.

It's now probably worthwhile suggesting a strategy for not having this happen again in the future: I wrote one up recently here:

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/mzz/open_thread_nov_23_nov_29_2015/cwyl

a two-pronged approach to offence. in regards to:

  • a statement could be taken the offensively
  • it was taken offensively by someone.

On the part of Ra:

1: clean up the statement so that it is harder to take offensively (steelman)

On the part of Gleb:

2: encourage less personal offence from the original statement

both sides are needed to make discussions more productive. Either person could have put in more effort to improve the state of the discussion.

As an explicitly specific instruction: When you are feeling like a comment was an attack on you;

  • quote it;
  • say "did you mean X, otherwise that sounded like an attack; can you clarify?"
  • where X is a version of the statement that does not hold the attack; but still holds a debatable point.
comment by VoiceOfRa · 2015-12-02T06:23:36.826Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Something like that Gleb replied to James_Miller with a somewhat ridiculous assertion along with:

Do you consider my credibility as an academic historian to be evidence?

I replied that he had greatly damaged his credibility with his assertion. At which point Gleb flipped out about ad hominem.

comment by gjm · 2015-12-01T10:42:52.145Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW, "my" version was intended to be neutral (it says what InIn is trying to do and the criticisms that have been made on LW, and adds that it isn't known how correct either "side" is about InIn's effectiveness) and Gleb has said on the article's talk page that he's OK with it.

It was made in response to Richard Kennaway's post about the edit war, in the hope of stopping it by having an InIn article that demonstrably isn't just promotional puffery. [EDITED to add: that is not an accusation that Gleb's version was just promotional puffery; but clearly it looked that way to VoiceOfRa, and probably to others too.]

So far as I can tell, the wiki weirdness is a combination of suboptimal cache-control headers and the odd way deletion is implemented, and is not a consequence of hacking or other abuse.

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-02T01:23:12.611Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I do realize you were trying to be neutral, but it didn't come out that way. The main problem was that the bit discussing criticism was full of fnords; there's no sentence you can put next to "lowbrow oversimplified caricature creepy unnatural offputting" that can result in an overall impression of neutrality.

comment by gjm · 2015-12-02T10:02:43.485Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You may be right. On the other hand, the "anti" side of the debate was really strongly negative and there's something to be said for conveying that. Regardless, your re-re-written version of the article looks fine and I hope it will suffice to stop the likes of VoR deleting it again.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-01T16:24:41.144Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

That looks pretty reasonable

It looked like self-promotion which InIn does very... energetically. I don't think that the wiki should consist of press releases. In fact, I would support the rule that the subject of the wiki article is prohibited from touching it.

I'd prefer to see that stopped

What is "that" which you want stopped?

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-02T03:03:09.403Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

This thread from last August pre-dates this entire incident, and it calls for the banning of VoiceOfRa. That thread also presents evidence that VoiceOfRa is the same person as Eugene_Nier, who was previously banned for retributive mass-downvoting. Reviewing VoiceOfRa's comment history since then, I found rather a lot of abuse in the past month. Each of those links is an unrelated interaction with a different person. I also note that some comments in his history have numbers of upvotes that seem implausible.

I'm not going to second the call for a ban; it'd be kind of pointless. But, VoiceOfRa, I am going to politely ask you to step back and reconsider what you're doing here. Some of your posts offer a useful alternate perspective, which no one else is bringing. But sometimes you seem to get angry, and... there's a line between debating and attacking and you end up on the wrong side of it. This causes the other person to get defensive, and it ends up exploding into hundreds of low-quality comments. People who skim the site looking for high-quality conversation see that, and they leave. There's an art to avoiding this trap, and I admit to having fallen into it in the past, but I really want to see less of it.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-12-03T03:20:23.266Z · score: 7 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I am calling for a ban. In fact I call for a ban on anyone likely to be Nier - though it seems premature to include any other accounts I know of - because that is how you defect against someone who has openly defected on behalf of an ideology. I don't care if he tries to "step back and reconsider", that would not deter a hypothetical VNM-rational ideologue or an ideology-maximizer.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-12-03T14:52:02.804Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This always ends well.

comment by Jiro · 2015-12-04T04:52:47.356Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Anything I post which touches on being anti-religion gets a -1. Considering that I was the person harassed by Nier before, and that the number of -1s is all out of proportion to the number of -2s (implying a single person doing the downvoting), this is obviously Nier, downvoting just few enough posts of mine that it is less than the threshhold that moderators are willing to look at.

But since it is less than the threshhold that moderators are willing to look at, there is nothing I can do about it other than sit and watch my reputation get destroyed. (People who see a post with a negative mod are not likely to take it as as credible as if it didn't have one.)

comment by entirelyuseless · 2015-12-04T15:02:55.686Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It is not always him. I have downvoted many of your anti-religious comments, including some which were at 0 at least at the time I downvoted them. I do not have a general policy of downvoting anti-religious comments. There is nothing wrong with pointing out falsehoods in religion. But I am against ignorant and bigoted comments and many of yours have been exactly that.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-04T20:00:42.960Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for adding some information.

comment by Jiro · 2015-12-04T15:49:52.419Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, this comment was really bigoted. And this one.. And this one..

comment by entirelyuseless · 2015-12-04T15:52:29.678Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I presume you are referring to the parent comment, which is yours, talking about the prohibition of alcohol on Good Friday. I did not downvote that comment, and upvoted it just now. You may be right that that was VoiceOfRa downvoting.

comment by VoiceOfRa · 2015-12-05T02:18:54.959Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I did not downvote that comment, and upvoted it just now.

Why? The comment contains three points. One is completely false, the other two are nit-picky bordering on irrelevant.

comment by entirelyuseless · 2015-12-04T16:01:37.528Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also, I agree that he tends to downvote everything he disagrees with, even when that disagreement is about motivation rather than about the truth of the comment. And I agree that that is a very bad practice and may even justify banning.

comment by VoiceOfRa · 2015-12-05T02:15:41.125Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, those comments aren't bigoted, they are, however, incredibly stupid.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-12-04T14:29:16.881Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Superrationality implies a course of action: Stop taking posts and comments with negative scores less seriously.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-04T05:02:58.778Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

and watch my reputation get destroyed

I think you're confusing your reputation with Internet Points.

I, for one, have no idea what your karma score is and couldn't care less. More Internet Points won't give you respect and less won't get you thrown out of this genteel establishment.

comment by gjm · 2015-12-04T07:16:32.384Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think Jiro is concerned not with total karma but with some combination of (1) the effect on individual comments' reception of their having a negative score and (2) the effect on his reputation of lots of his comments being negatively rated. Of course the latter is going to correlate with total karma but it's more like total recent karma, and it seems like the short of thing readers could be affected by without explicitly noticing.

As to whether it's Nier/Azathoth/Ra again: I wouldn't be surprised, but I'm not sure "way more -1 than -2" is very strong evidence that one person is responsible for all the downvotes. It could equally be a few people who all dislike that sort of comment but don't think it's bad enough to bother downvoting them when they're already negative.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-04T15:35:39.151Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

the effect on individual comments' reception of their having a negative score

An excellent opportunity for budding rationalists to practice resisting anchoring, I would think X-)

comment by Jiro · 2015-12-04T07:07:28.802Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not referring to an overall karma score, but to each individual post. Posts at -1 are much less credible to readers than posts which aren't at negative values. And unlike one's overall karma score, the -1 is right there where everyone can easily see it and react.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-04T15:34:17.534Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So it's not your reputation that gets destroyed but the credibility of your posts? I still don't see it. Maybe I'm a unique snowflake, but I treat comment karma as the attitude of the hivemind with a lot of noise added, so a comment at -1 means to me that 1 (one, single, solo) person disliked it. So what? A comment universally liked is probably too bland and restates the obvious, anyway.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T05:16:06.101Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I want to note that Azathoth123, the other name for Eugene_Neir previously negatively engaged with Intentional Insights, and that my karma went from 1009 to 838 after VoiceOfRa began criticizing me several days ago.

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T05:30:56.820Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I want to note that Azathoth123, the other name for Eugene_Neir previously negatively engaged with Intentional Insights, and that my karma went from 1009 to 838 after VoiceOfRa began criticizing me several days ago.

why? This post is not a productive thing.

This comment puts me in the "I don't care who started it" (http://lesswrong.com/lw/yp/pretending_to_be_wise/) mood. As in - (To be extra clear) you are acting like a child.

Maybe if you spent less time on Ra, and more time improving your content; you wouldn't be having this problem. I am sure that Ra would thank you for it too.

This is the internet; haters will exist. if his reasons are valid or not, you need to be better than this. Especially given your attempt at having a status holding position atop a rationality organisation.

(words redacted, to the effect of - your post and the motivations behind it is an example of the cause of people finding your actions disagreeable)

I want you to write a list to yourself of "most important things that Gleb has to do today". Then order it by significance - if "complain about Ra" is on that list; keep going. If not - you have a list of things to do.

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-02T05:50:54.378Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

While I agree that, tactically speaking, it would be better for Gleb to remain above the fray, I can't help but notice that you just called him a "spider-in-a-human-suit". What the fuck?

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T06:01:20.339Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

edited. I agree; it was uncalled for. This war appears to be sucking me into the fray.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T16:40:00.021Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Elo, I'm confused by why you chose to rewrite the wiki page after jimrandomh rewrote it and NancyLebovitz explicitly approved his rewrite. Can you please explain your motivations?

EDIT Edited for a typo

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-02T17:50:37.502Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am not in charge of the wiki-- my saying that I like a particular version (and I still like that version better) is not the same thing as my approving it.

Also, "caricature of rationality" strikes me as both harsh and false. I hadn't gotten it into words before, but I'm concerned that you're not teaching rationality at all, just conveying the idea that "rationality" is an applause light. Do you have methods for checking on what you're actually teaching?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T18:41:50.544Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

NancyLebovitz, this is a very important question! Yup, we do have methods of checking in on what we are teaching.

For example, let's take our meaning and purpose content, which is essentially about teaching people to be oriented toward the long term and achieving their long-term goals. We have an app that has a psychometric test to measure people's level of meaning and purpose prior to engaging with our content, and then after they engage with our content, including continuing follow-up going forward. The continuing follow-up is meant to address the issue of attention bias and Hawthorne effect, namely to test whether people just got an immediate boost or if there a long-term benefit to people engaging with our content.

We are developing similar apps for other types of content, such as an app for planning fallacy.

We also intend to run randomized control studies on our content's impact, as described in our theory of change. We have written up proposals for those studies, and are currently trying to get funding for these studies.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-02T19:01:06.829Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

We have an app that has a psychometric test to measure people's level of meaning and purpose

That's not a link to an app, that's a link to a sign-up sheet which wants to know my family income. Really?

Besides that, the idea of measuring the "level of meaning" implies that there is a unit of meaning. What might that be?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T20:19:22.346Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

That's the link to the sign-up page for the app. As you can see from the footer, that information is gathered for the purpose of doing demographic analysis as part of our data analysis.

If you want to know the scientific literature on meaning and purpose, there are plenty of sources available. Here's a good overview, and you can follow the footnotes to learn more.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-02T20:30:36.561Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am not asking for psychological literature on meaning. I am asking what your app is using as a unit of meaning.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-03T04:12:17.064Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As I stated earlier, this app uses a psychometric test. It uses a 1-10 Likert scale and a series of questions drawn from scientific literature measuring meaning. The test measures answers on questions, as do other psychometric tests of states of mind such as depression or happiness. In other words, there is no unit measure of "meaning" just as there is no unit measure of "depression" or "happiness." I guess you could try to measure it in terms of Shannons if you really wanted, but that's not what the scholarly literature uses for these types of exams.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-03T15:29:57.068Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

there is no unit measure of "meaning"

If you assign a numeric value to something you call "meaning", there must be a unit measure.

For example, consider IQ points. The unit measure (one IQ point) is 1/15 of the standard deviation of the distribution of IQ scores (which are basically normalised ranks) in white populations. We can argue what it corresponds to in the underlying reality, but at least it is well-defined.

comment by gjm · 2015-12-03T18:20:39.749Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The unit measure, however, may be entirely defined by the scale in question. Gleb could say "my unit measure is 1/9 of the full range of possible answers on my Meaning Measuring Scale". That would be pretty useless, but so is "my unit measure is 1/15 of one standard deviation on my Cleverness Measuring Scale".

Perhaps it's better to reference scores to standard deviation rather than the full possible range -- I guess it depends on the particular case. The other advantage IQ has is that there are now lots of IQ tests and they tend to get somewhat correlated results (suggesting that maybe they're measuring something real) that also correlate with other interesting things (suggesting that maybe the real thing they're measuring is useful) and they get used quite a lot (so that if you quote an IQ score there's a good chance that the people you're addressing will understand roughly what you mean).

Those are all genuine (or at least possibly-genuine) ways in which IQ scores are more useful than Gleb Meaningfulness Metric scores. But I don't see that IQ is any better off than Gleb Meaningfulness Metric in terms of unit-measure-having. One IQ point doesn't correspond to a fixed increment in thinking speed or memory capacity or ability to solve any particular kind of problem, or anything like that; it's just a certain fraction of how much variation there is in one kind of brainpower score. One Gleb Meaningfulness Metric point, likewise, is just a certain fraction of how much variation is possible in one kind of feeling-like-your-life-has-meaning score.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-03T20:59:30.092Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps it's better to reference scores to standard deviation rather than the full possible range -- I guess it depends on the particular case.

Yep, that highly depends on the shape of the distribution.

One Gleb Meaningfulness Metric point, likewise, is just a certain fraction of how much variation is possible

Well, we (or at least I) haven't seen Gleb's Meaninfulness Metric, so I have no idea if it's defined via population standard deviation like IQ. It may or it may be. I brought up IQ as an example of a unit which does not directly correspond to, say, thinking speed or working memory capacity -- it's entangled with the test itself, but it does make the numbers interpretable.

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T20:18:17.280Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

this is a very important question!

This is a nicety; while appreciated it looks like you are trying to suck up to Nancy.

(taking into account what Lumifier said about the app) in your description;

We also intend to run randomized control studies on our content's impact, as described in our theory of change. We have written up proposals for those studies, and are currently trying to get funding for these studies.

Is the only thing you said are doing to be checking on what you're actually teaching. And it's something that has not happened yet. (granted these things take time). I read the entire post as; "nothing yet, but we want to - in these ways...".

randomized control studies on our content's impact

depending on the method (if done with web content) could be described as A/B split testing. Which is standard these days for internet behaviour of groups spreading clickbait, not an accountable test.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-03T04:23:11.749Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I would suggest not taking Lumifer's description of his initial impression of the sign-up page as indicative of the app itself. I think there's sufficient evidence of Lumifer being not unbiased in describing Intentional Insights content. So consider checking out the app itself.

Here are the study proposals themselves, which you can evaluate yourself for whether they are A/B split testing: 1, 2.

EDIT Forgot to mention, my comment on the nature of NancyLebovitz's question had to do with my own desire to signal that this is a very important question to me, not give praise.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-02T16:57:38.350Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Aren't Elo's motivations obvious?

It could be you are actually asking why did anyone change the "approved" version. The answer is that there ain't no such thing as "approved" versions -- this is a wiki, open to edits. No one needs to ask for permission to change the page.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T17:11:52.902Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Nope, Elo's motivations are not obvious to me. I don't want to suffer from the typical mind fallacy here, so I used the first virtue of curiosity to get more information.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-02T17:27:47.512Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So let's try the obvious default thing: Elo thinks that the old version does not reflect the character of InIn properly and changed the page to make it -- from her point of view -- better / more accurate. Any particular reason you find the obvious motivation unsatisfying?

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T19:46:44.622Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I don't want to suffer from the typical mind fallacy here, so I used the first virtue of curiosity to get more information.

Really really sounds like you are using these things to imply, "I am more rational than the others on this forum", compliments to @Lumifier for not taking it that way.

"Elo's motivations are not obvious to me. I am asking because I was curious about why he did this"

Would be a better way to say the same thing, without saying "I used the virtue and mentioned a fallacy (that's all about what rationality is about right?), reward me with internet gold".

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-12-02T20:16:05.397Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Why assume the ugliest possible interpretation of his meaning?

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T20:31:29.819Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would call this an example of tell culture.

sounds like you are...

Was the phrasing used, instead of ("you are..."). To try to point out what it sounds like he is saying... (probably could have said - "to me it sounds like...", but that should be a given - I am posting the post...)

Ugliest or not; it's an interpretation that I chose to share. I also tried to improve the statement to make it less "ugly".

I don't know - should I not do that at all?

Can you help with what it "sounds like" I am doing? (keen to learn and change)

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-12-02T20:50:35.955Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't oppose drawing interpretations, but the whole InIn discussion has been tainted by opponents attacking each other's motivations for what they said instead of the content of what they said.

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T21:13:56.477Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

True.

in light of that: "to me it sounds like..." is probably more appropriate.

My state is that Gleb is trying to do good things - i.e. raise the sanity waterline (as a goal).

As yet he has made a lot of noise and not shown success in the process; or produced content worthy of respect. It remains to be seen if he:

  1. improves;
  2. continues to further offend seasoned members (through various methods i.e. weak content); or
  3. quits.

Given those seem like the options; I would rather 1 then 3 then 2.

I expect from glebs perspective it looks like:

  1. invest more effort into the content to the point where it seems not worth it
  2. fight the haters and win, then keep doing more of what has happened.
  3. give up on a serious dream to improve the world.

where his preference order is 2, 1, 3.

I hope we can meet in the middle; and given that "fight the haters and win on the internet" is a statement of comedy itself, I am keen to see the content improve.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-02T21:22:32.144Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am not sure there is agreement about the direction of improvement.

Gleb has posted how he finds it difficult to write sleazy scummy content, but overpowers his reluctance and through great personal sacrifice does write it. I would expect that "improvement" for him means more concentrated snake oil or, perhaps, less personal discomfort with producing it.

I don't think this is what Elo would consider "improvement".

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-02T22:28:06.739Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Gleb has posted how he finds it difficult to write sleazy scummy content, but overpowers his reluctance and through great personal sacrifice does write it. I would expect that "improvement" for him means more concentrated snake oil or, perhaps, less personal discomfort with producing it.

I don't think it's okay to put those words ("sleazy scummy concentrated snake oil") in someone else's mouth, unless it is part of an actual quote.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-02T22:35:15.107Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am not quoting Gleb, I'm rephrasing his comment in my own words and from my own point of view. I think this is his original comment, but he repeated this in other places as well.

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-12-02T23:01:30.413Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Gleb described having had to overpower reluctance to write in the style that publications like Lifehacker want, expressed some reservations about that style in morally-neutral language, and gave reasons for using it anyways. Separately, you and others (but not Gleb) described that style as sleazy and scummy. Mix these two things together and discard the attributions, and you've created the impression that Gleb thinks of the style as sleazy and scummy, and writes in it anyways. That would reflect negatively on his character if it were true, but it isn't. Having to use an actual quote would have made this mistake impossible.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-03T00:22:06.659Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I wasn't trying for any gotchas, my point was -- and remains -- that in this case the word "improvement" is likely to be understood differently by different people.

I am not passing any moral judgments or making insinuations about anyone's character.

By the way, if you're aiming for accuracy, the verb Gleb used was "cringe". You chose to render it as "reluctance" which, I think, also changes the flavour albeit in another direction. It's up to you to decide whether cringing and still writing "would reflect negatively on his character" :-P

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T23:48:25.846Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

that sounds like 2 not 1. yes. Now what (should be done)?

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T20:19:27.237Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Information can be found in the talk page:

https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Talk:Intentional_Insights

And thank you @Lumifier for being reasonable.

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T05:56:23.234Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Apologies OrphanWilde was the first to comment that here:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/mz4/link_lifehack_article_promoting_lesswrong/cw8n

not VoicesOfRa

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-02T14:32:05.829Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I am sure that Ra would thank you for it too.

While I agree that Gleb would do better to work on his content than to quarrel with Ra, I'm not sure Ra has thanked anyone here for anything. I would be glad to be proven wrong.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T06:24:55.035Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I am engaging in Tell Culture here, providing useful information for the community. Please note that I did not complain to the admin when this mass downvoting took place. I did not bring this out on the open thread, although I could have. However, since this is now a topic of conversation, I am bringing this information out for consideration for the community.

I try to generally orient toward being open and transparent about my activities and motives. I do not feel it appropriate for me to withhold information that the community mind find useful. This is why I chose to share about it. You might find my Tell Culture approach inappropriate here, but I stand by my choices.

Notice also I did not choose to complain about the unedited version of your post, this was something brought up by another Less Wronger below.

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T07:43:06.935Z · score: -4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Tell culture

Hiding behind the label "Tell culture" - in this case can also be described as selectively sharing things that forward your interests. Which is what I took it as. Which is wasting your time; Ra's time; Jim's time; My time; and anyone else's time.

Generally orient toward being open and transparent about my activities and motives.

being open about activities is fine; but different to being too loud; and different to polluting the rationality space with too many posts by you.

withhold information that the community mind find useful.

Selective sharing for information that benefits you again. This is not tell culture. Tell culture is private messaging the admin, not publicly slinging accusations like (as I said before: (To be extra clear) you are acting like a child.)

being open about motives is different to being open about activities. The act of saying you are open about motives and then acting as you have here ("I want to note that Azathoth123, the other name for Eugene_Neir previously negatively engaged with Intentional Insights, and that my karma went from 1009 to 838 after VoiceOfRa began criticizing me several days ago.") and here ("lease note that I did not complain to the admin when this mass downvoting took place. I did not bring this out on the open thread, although I could have."); really is again an indication of what is trying to be said to you.

Notice also I did not choose to complain about the unedited version of your post, this was something brought up by another Less Wronger below.

This offends me. Are you expecting a medal for it? You successfully did the neutral action. complaining about it again. not progress.

In the interests of:

being open and transparent about my activities

as you said.

I have one single request (as I stated before):

write a list to yourself of "most important things that I have to do today"

Since you are interested in being open about your activities; please posts that list.

To be clear: If you do anything other than the simple task of being open about your activities (by making a list) right here and now you would be betraying your interests by demonstrating that you are not being open about your actions.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-02T14:45:31.532Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure that what Gleb wrote is a good example of tell culture. However, karma anomalies (especially negative karma anomalies) is one of the things I need to hear about. I don't as yet have a strong opinion about whether they should be mentioned publicly or messaged to me, though I'll note that I'm more likely to see personal messages.

In general, I've come to believe that if your mind goes to a single negative motivation for an action you don't like, you're probably at least missing some nuance, may just plain be wrong about the motivation, and could be doing some inappropriate obsessing.

To be clear: If you do anything other than the simple task of being open about your activities (by making a list) right here and now you would be betraying your interests by demonstrating that you are not being open about your actions.

I am comprehensively squicked by this, though not at the potential ban level. I'm not sure whether you've made an inappropriate demand for rigor, but it does seem like an invented and intrusive standard. You are not in charge of Gleb and you are not in charge of Tell culture.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T07:56:26.505Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, by making a list I would be indicating my agreement with your statements. I do not agree with your statements.

You presume to read my mind when you ascribe motivations to me. Please provide evidence when you make claims about me "hiding behind" the label of Tell Culture. What evidence do you have? You already acknowledged you are not a neutral observer, and are interpreting my actions through a negative lens. I encourage you to consider whether it's possible that you are reading my actions excessively negatively, and try to read my previous statement through a steel man lens. Thanks!

comment by Elo · 2015-12-02T08:28:42.333Z · score: -2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

.1. G: Please provide evidence when you make claims about me "hiding behind" the label of Tell Culture.

.2. As I stated in the post above - I explicitly talk about this action when I described you as (""hiding behind" the label of Tell Culture"):

.3. E: selectively sharing things that forward your interests.

.4. example (stated again):

.5. G: I want to note that Azathoth123, the other name for Eugene_Neir previously negatively engaged with Intentional Insights, and that my karma went from 1009 to 838 after VoiceOfRa began criticizing me several days ago.


.6. G: You presume to read my mind when you ascribe motivations to me.

.7. no, I read your words. When you say:

.8. G: Generally orient toward being open and transparent about my activities and motives.

.9. And now have responded with not being able or willing to:

.10. E: write a list to yourself of "most important things that I have to do today"


.11. G: You already acknowledged

.12. Yes, I directly quoted OscarWilde in his descriptions of "spider-in-a-human-suit", then on being notified that it was uncalled for, I modified the original post with words to a similar effect. I know exactly what I did, and what I said.

.13. You then said:

.14. G: you are not a neutral observer

.15. yes. As I said (and edited the original post);

.16. E: I agree; it was uncalled for. This war appears to be sucking me into the fray.

.17. You then said:

.18. G: Notice also I did not choose to complain about the unedited version of your post, this was something brought up by another Less Wronger below.

.19. To which I took offence (and outlined in my next post; and again) here:

.20. E: This offends me. Are you expecting a medal for it? You successfully did the neutral action. complaining about it again. not progress.


.21. G: and are interpreting my actions through a negative lens.

.22. I am laying out in this post the nature of my interpretation of everything you have said. This should clear everything up; and has been a monumental waste of time.


.23. G: try to read my previous statement through a steel man lens.

.24. This is offensive and not relevant. you are avoiding doing the thing you said you would do, ("Generally orient toward being open and transparent about my activities and motives.") by attacking my character.

.25. each point is now numbered so that I and you can quote the number in future responses and stop quoting the same words.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-02T16:32:59.372Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm actually not interested in further continuing the discussion, as there is an effort made at reading minds and motivations. I think there's way too much danger of typical mind fallacy and illusion of transparency from both sides, and I don't want to make statements that I would later regret. So I'm tapping out.

comment by bogus · 2015-12-01T13:42:35.441Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I don't necessarily have an opinion about this dispute, but upvote for escalating the matter to the main LessWrong site as soon as the need for that became clear. The LW wiki is quite useful, and it should get more attention than it currently gets.

comment by VoiceOfRa · 2015-12-01T02:38:32.937Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The article consists of Gleb self-promoting his "rationality" organization. Near as I can tell, it's "rationality" is rather dubious.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-01T03:00:43.417Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks. Could you be more specific about what strikes you as not as rational as you'd like to see?

comment by gjm · 2015-12-01T11:51:13.657Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Note that "the article" as you see it now is not the one that VoiceOfRa deleted twice.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-01T15:59:50.503Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's fine. I still want to know what VoR was objecting to.

comment by gjm · 2015-12-01T16:05:26.717Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Understood, of course. I just wanted to forestall some possible confusion.