The new Effective Altruism forum just launched

post by habryka (habryka4) · 2018-11-08T01:59:01.502Z · score: 28 (12 votes) · LW · GW · 6 comments

Contents

  Making progress as a community
None
6 comments

CEA just launched the new EA forum, now located at forum.effectivealtruism.org. It's based on the LessWrong codebase, and we've collaborated with them on getting everything up and running and making the codebase adaptable for them, as well as helping fix up various bugs and problems that they ran into while setting everything up.

I expect many LW readers will find some of the content there interesting, and I am also looking forward to how the changes they made to the site will work out, as that will inform how we develop LessWrong in the future.

Their opening post also had some interesting things to say about intellectual progress and the purpose of the platform, which also applies to LessWrong in at least some aspects:

[Quotes section from here]

Making progress as a community

Much intellectual progress is done as part of a community: even when an individual has an important new insight, it tends to take many people to bring the idea to maturity. Academic science is perhaps the most obvious example of this.

Intellectual progress is not just something done by professional philosophers. It’s something that everyone in the community can contribute to.

Just as you might donate some of your income without working full-time for a charity, you can contribute intellectually without becoming a full-time researcher. For example, you could aggregate data on the number of invertebrates in the world, tweak GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness model, or analyze the history of an interesting social movement. And you can also help by writing up explanations or summaries of others’ work. Whilst you do so, you’ll be sharpening your thinking, understanding others’ ideas better, and learning about important topics.

This is why open forums have historically been places where key ideas behind effective altruism have been hammered out -- for instance, Felicifia, LessWrong, SL4, and many on the EA Forum itself.

To make intellectual progress, the community needs the right infrastructure, amongst other things:

  1. A place to share ideas (e.g. journals)
  2. A way of getting feedback on intellectual work (e.g. discussion groups, online forums)
  3. An easy way to search for existing work (e.g. literature reviews)
  4. Shared norms of discussion, and standards for work (e.g. karma voting)
  5. Common knowledge of core ideas, so that ideas can be built upon rather than constantly rediscovered (e.g. textbooks)
  6. A place for contributors to find important open questions in the field (e.g. research agendas)

The EA Forum intends to provide this infrastructure, and so become the central place where EAs make intellectual progress online.

6 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by clone of saturn · 2018-11-10T08:12:27.779Z · score: 31 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I've added a GreaterWrong view of the new forum: https://ea.greaterwrong.com/. There are probably still a few bugs, let me know if you have any problems with it.

comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2018-11-10T18:52:31.594Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nice! I also recommend that you create a meta/community post on the EA forum about this. I expect the EA Forum similarly has people who prefer the design of greaterwrong.

comment by Max Dalton (max-dalton) · 2018-11-08T10:24:52.029Z · score: 26 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks so much to the LessWrong team for all your support - the Forum wouldn't exist as it does without you, and we've learnt a lot from conversations with you.

I wanted to link to our post explaining the goals of the Forum [EA · GW], which Oli's excerpt is from.

We are still in the process of rolling out additional features like sequences and the community section, but most of the things you’re familiar with should be there, and basically everything should be there eventually.

Some things we’re doing slightly differently: rather than having a “meta” category, we have a slightly broader “community” category, which is designed for organizational updates and discussion of community issues. We hope this means that new users will hit the intellectual side of the Forum before seeing community-focused discussion, whilst still leaving room for valuable coordination and information sharing. We also don't have a curated section.

As before, feel free to cross-post content which is relevant to both communities -- it will be moderated according to the standards of each community.

comment by Said Achmiz (SaidAchmiz) · 2018-11-08T11:38:02.842Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Does the EA forum have the same API as LessWrong?

comment by jp · 2018-11-08T18:12:50.108Z · score: 7 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Lead developer here. Yes. By "based off of," he means "forked from with fairly minimal changes."

comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2018-11-08T18:01:04.628Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Should be the case. Also available at the /graphiql endpoint [EA · GW].