About: LessWrong

post by Ben Pace (Benito), habryka (habryka4), Raemon, jimrandomh, Vaniver · 2017-09-20T20:41:07.447Z · score: 58 (42 votes) · LW · GW · 21 comments

LessWrong is a community blog devoted to the art of human rationality.

In 2009, Eliezer Yudkowsky founded the site and went on to write several years' worth of daily blogposts about rationality. They've been edited and collected into Rationality: From AI to Zombies [LW · GW], which are the intellectual core of the site. In the intervening years, the site activity died down quite a bit, and Scott Alexander founded his own prolific blog SlateStarCodex, whose writings have been collected into The Codex [LW · GW].

In 2017, the LessWrong Team built a new backend and user interface for the site, and continue to work on building tools for making intellectual progress in the LessWrong community. As of launching in March 2018, the community has seen a resurgence of discussion and activity.

Our goal with the frontpage is to have a place where you can read the best content produced by the rationality community (subject to our moderation guidelines [LW · GW]). Historically insightful writing in the community can be found in the Recommended Reading and new ideas are discussed in the Featured and Recent sections.

Your user page is your very own LessWrong blog, where you can write about whatever you want. We're interested to know what ideas you've been thinking about lately! If you write a post that seems like a good fit for the frontpage, and you're happy for us to do so, then the admins or mods will move your post there. Once you've had a bunch of posts promoted to the front page, you'll be able to promote posts yourself.

The comment section is a space for you to discuss your thoughts on a post, and communicate the true reasons for your beliefs and disagreements. If you want a better idea of what posts and comments are a good fit for the frontpage, and what heuristics moderators use to make decisions, check out the Frontpage Posting and Commenting Guidelines [LW · GW].

If you notice any bugs, or want to let us know about something that could be improved, you can talk to us using intercom (the grey circular button in the bottom right-hand corner) or make a post in Meta [LW · GW] - a section of the site for discussing the site.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Sherrinford · 2018-08-01T21:45:10.052Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Some time ago, I stumbled over this rationality community thing, and over the last months, I read some texts of it here and there. However, I am still a bit puzzled by what the rationality community really is.

May I note that this "community" at first glance does not seem to be very inviting, if even this "about" page kind of presupposes that visitors to this page either know what the "rationality community" is, or do not need a clear explanation? (Or is this mostly meant to be read by "insiders" anyways?)

comment by Elo · 2018-08-01T22:29:01.700Z · score: 13 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The rationality community is a bunch of people interested in similar things that hang out in the same place.

For the most part we never want to force our ideas on anyone else because that would be the classic wrong style of proselytising that no one likes. In that sense we ended up in this weird balance where we don't try to reject anyone but we also don't put a lot of effort into welcoming people.

There's a philosophy that we start with ourselves. Fix ourselves then approach outwards. We got busy with our selves (not each other, but each to their own) and welcoming doesn't happen often.

But welcome! Do stick around, we don't bite.. We won't often tell you how to work things out, that would be annoying to everyone. But if you want to join the journey, please. We'll take you.

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2018-08-15T19:38:36.583Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Alas, we left up the open beta 'about' page for too long. I have now edited it to be somewhat clearer to newcomers.

comment by Sherrinford · 2018-09-01T20:38:24.395Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think this is useful, even though it is old:

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/TNHQLZK5pHbxdnz4e/references-and-resources-for-lesswrong [LW · GW]

comment by Sherrinford · 2019-01-06T15:52:38.269Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And here is something else which also talks about the rationality community:


comment by Fairy God-Viking · 2018-05-29T00:11:35.362Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am new(ish) where on earth do I begin?

comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2018-05-29T02:49:32.288Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The sequences [LW · GW] are usually the best place to start engaging with the content on this site, and are structured in a nice linear format. After (or concurrent to) that I would check out any of the sequences and collections listed in the Library [LW · GW] (many people found Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality [LW · GW] to be the most engaging way of getting started with the material of the site).

comment by Fairy God-Viking · 2018-08-10T22:56:06.305Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you very much!

comment by Wei_Dai · 2019-05-28T10:45:03.656Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'd like to suggest having a page that describes who are on the LW team and what each of their main roles are, and linking to it from this page. Currently the LW team is mostly an undifferentiated mass in my mind, and I'm not sure who is the best person to talk to about any particular concern.

comment by Vanessa Kosoy (vanessa-kosoy) · 2018-08-14T20:08:15.213Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think the open beta is over now, not so? Also, I feel strongly that we need an about page that would actually explain what the rationalist community is to newcomers.

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2018-08-15T19:39:04.773Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks - have made a few edits.

comment by Gunnar_Zarncke · 2018-04-06T20:56:43.949Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Does something like Open Threads exist in LW 2.0? When I create one how would anybody get to know about it?

comment by Elo · 2018-04-06T21:10:44.205Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just make one. I'll do it.

comment by noknots · 2018-03-29T18:46:53.400Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hi, similar to Paul Tru's post, I'm looking for an article on Lesser Wrong but can't seem to find it anymore.

It was a Magic The Gathering: Color Wheel Philosophy post, and it was great.

Here's the old link in case it helps: https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/KbaJsfBtdpGv7EKbC/the-mtg-color-wheel

If anyone knows where this article is living these days please let me know.


comment by Said Achmiz (SaidAchmiz) · 2018-03-29T20:38:18.306Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It was deleted by its author. (He deleted all his posts.)

Edit: Ditto for the post that Paul Tru asked about. (Same author.)

comment by DanielFilan · 2018-05-26T19:05:47.376Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The post is hosted here now: https://medium.com/s/story/the-mtg-color-wheel-c9700a7cf36d

comment by Paul Tru (paul-tru) · 2018-03-27T08:24:24.627Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Hi It seems I can't open the link to this post, I found in your search https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/PXqQhYEdbdAYCp88m/focusing-for-skeptics [LW · GW]

Any advice?

comment by DanielFilan · 2018-05-26T19:05:27.250Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It is now hosted here: https://medium.com/@ThingMaker/focusing-for-skeptics-6b949ef33a4f

comment by haziqa_ishtiaq · 2018-11-22T11:41:29.535Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


I'd like to know if we can add backlinks to our posts and will they be do-follow? Also, what's the difference between the personal blog and the front page?

Kindly, let me know at your earliest convenience.

comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2018-11-22T18:51:57.398Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think I understand what you mean by "do-follow".

Your personal blog is the default place where new posts show up. They can be really about anything you want, and there are little restrictions on what type of content you can post there.

If a post fits the frontpage guidelines [LW · GW], we will promote it to the frontpage, at which point it will be visible for more users, and we will actively help moderating it, and we might also curate it, at which point it will be shown to a lot more users.