On moving posts from Main to Discussion

post by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-07T15:34:26.215Z · score: 13 (25 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 44 comments

Yesterday, someone moved one of my posts from Main to Discussion without telling me.  Again.

I encourage the site administrators to show some basic courtesy to the posters who provide the content for the site.  I believe this would be a better way of doing things:

1. Have a policy on what has to happen to move a post from Main to Discussion.  Who can do it?  How many admins are there who can do this?  State this policy in a FAQ.

2. When you move a post from Main to Discussion, make a comment on the post saying you have done so and why you have done so.

44 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by JoshuaFox · 2013-04-07T20:13:52.007Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't understand how one is supposed to choose whether to post to Main or Discussion. Just on how important/well-written/engaging the article seems to you, the author?

Why not have everyone post to a single queue. Then either the editors, following karma whenever possible, either (1) just promote the best ones to Main, eliminating Discussion or (2) promote the best ones to Main, and the not-quite-best ones to Discussion.

comment by TimS · 2013-04-07T20:42:58.688Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why not have everyone post to a single queue.

The point of the current setup is that it doesn't need editors - what would be editorial decisions are crowd-sourced to upvoting and downvoting.

Some forums might need a different setup than used here, but I'm not sure LW is such a forum.

comment by satt · 2013-04-09T00:04:11.528Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why not have everyone post to a single queue.

The point of the current setup is that it doesn't need editors - what would be editorial decisions are crowd-sourced to upvoting and downvoting.

Incidentally, "have everyone post to a single queue" and "editorial decisions are crowd-sourced" aren't mutually exclusive. Kuro5hin combines the two: authors submit to a queue where other users vote submissions up or down. Submissions appear on the front page, get posted to a less prominent subsection, or get dumped, depending on the votes.

(This isn't to say LW needs or should use the same system. I'm just noting a possibility.)

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-04-07T18:31:18.349Z · score: 8 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

As far as I know, I'm the one who does this. I can try to leave comments, though it's not clear what benefit is thereby gained under those circumstances. I will not always have time to explain.

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-07T19:53:06.197Z · score: 17 (25 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Like magazine editors, you could have a few stock phrases, like "I believe this is incorrect", "I believe this is not sufficiently important", "I believe this is not relevant to LessWrong", or "I believe this is poorly-written".

But if you don't have the time to explain, you surely don't have time to read an article and decide whether to move it to discussion.

comment by wedrifid · 2013-04-08T04:11:45.922Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I can try to leave comments, though it's not clear what benefit is thereby gained under those circumstances. I will not always have time to explain.

Thankyou, it sounds like it'll be worth just making the "Moved to discussion" comment just for convenience when navigating the site and preventing confusion. I certainly wouldn't expect that to oblige you to engage in discussion as to why. Usually the reason is obvious and other readers are happy to explain for you.

Another advantage of "moved to discussion" comments is that you train people's understanding of what belongs where and so reduce the need for you to fiddle around in the future. A rather pointed dog training analogy may apply.

comment by FiftyTwo · 2013-04-07T20:18:23.189Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It might help if the guidelines for what goes in which area were made more obvious and clarified. Then people could see what they were doing wrong.

It seems that over time a lot of stuff that used to go in main has moved into discussion, and former discussion into the open thread. Which is fine, provided everyone is using the same standard.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-04-08T02:00:22.325Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There aren't strict guidelines, but if something isn't much upvoted and/or doesn't seem very important, I'll move it to Discussion. Trying to post to Main is not a crime. On the other hand, moving things back from Discussion to Main after an editor moves them is a crime.

comment by Neotenic · 2013-04-09T22:30:55.656Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What about the reverse? Moving from discussion to Main once the author notices that not only his introspective evidence says the text is good, but also others?

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-04-10T00:11:02.229Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have been known to do that as well.

comment by Neotenic · 2013-04-10T00:13:06.711Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

you read all posts?

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-04-10T02:10:36.969Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Upvoted ones, usually.

comment by Neotenic · 2013-04-15T05:48:56.603Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I know my question sounded like "I doubt you read all posts", and I do, but regardless of that irrelevance, the important meaning should be: "Someone over 18 whose IQ looms large reads all posts?"

Isn't it a terrible use of your time?

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-13T14:33:29.003Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Do you read posts before moving them out of Main?

comment by wedrifid · 2013-04-08T02:23:21.284Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

On the other hand, moving things back from Discussion to Main after an editor moves them is a crime.

I'm confused. Phil seems to indicate that it wasn't him who moved the post to main. Is there some other way that this could have occurred that does not require anyone to have been deceptive?

comment by Benya (Benja) · 2013-04-08T15:52:31.543Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

wedrifid has seen this, but for the benefit of others: this is now answered in the discussion behind the link in wedrifid's comment.

comment by Kawoomba · 2013-04-07T18:53:12.153Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Vladimir Nesov does as well, from time to time. I'd say he always leaves comments, but then again how would I know :-).

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2013-04-07T21:11:33.351Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I usually move the posts that get (or are clearly going to get) large negative ratings. The de facto policy seems to be that if a post is below +5 or so after a while, it can be moved from Main.

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-08T02:06:55.584Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just came back and found my post had been moved back to Main. I began answering comments on it, and then suddenly it went away. It appears to have been deleted. My post, and all comments on it, are gone, without anyone contacting me about it.

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-08T02:16:26.207Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What probably happened is that I edited the post, neglected to change the setting at the bottom of the page from "Main" to "Discussion", clicked submit, and sent it back into main. Then Eliezer probably noticed it in main, assumed I'd put it there, and deleted it.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-04-08T02:44:35.187Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Okay... if it wasn't you who moved it back to Main a second time, I'll move to Discussion and undelete.

comment by mwengler · 2013-04-08T16:46:50.507Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That shit isn't even logged by who did it?

comment by wedrifid · 2013-04-08T02:17:17.298Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just came back and found my post had been moved back to Main. I began answering comments on it, and then suddenly it went away. It appears to have been deleted. My post, and all comments on it, are gone, without anyone contacting me about it.

Wow. This is a serious problem. Moving to discussion is one thing. But full deletion for what seems to be no particular reason is... not what I usually expect here.

I am taking from this comment that it wasn't you (Phil) who moved the comment back to main?

EDIT: Ahh, I see you have answered. A bug ('quirk') of the post edit page caused an accidental move which was interpreted as insubordination and punished in retaliation.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-04-08T02:46:35.338Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, yeah. I mean I moved it to Discussion once, it was deliberately moved back to Main, I moved it to Discussion again, then it was moved back to Main again, so I hit 'Ban'. Er, duh?

comment by wedrifid · 2013-04-08T02:58:28.790Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, yeah. I mean I moved it to Discussion once, it was deliberately moved back to Main, I moved it to Discussion again, then it was moved back to Main again, so I hit 'Ban'. Er, duh?

It seems it may have been accidental, rather than deliberate. If so that would seem to be a simple bug in the lesswrong source. ie. Almost certainly 1 line of code in the part that selects which option starts selected on the edit page.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-04-08T03:04:56.756Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And so I put it back in Discussion, of course.

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-08T16:05:34.299Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That wouldn't have helped, since I'd probably already loaded the page before it was moved back to discussion.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-04-08T18:34:50.243Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Something that detects edit conflicts, as on Wikipedia?

comment by Baughn · 2013-04-11T23:40:28.786Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It seems that you should reconsider that stance, given the apparent probability of bugs.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-04-08T02:16:57.807Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The saddest thing is that work on the comment deletion race condition situation is all lost; the whole thread will likely repeat itself at some later date.

comment by wedrifid · 2013-04-08T02:29:47.908Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The saddest thing is that work on the comment deletion race condition situation is all lost; the whole thread will likely repeat itself at some later date.

And 'lost' is a particularly good description here. Because the analysis is still there on user pages but it is now impossible to link to said comments directly.

I hope the ban on the post can be reversed. This intervention was annoyingly destructive (at the 'nuisance' level).

comment by Larks · 2013-04-07T16:22:29.595Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It would be polite to PM the poster about the action, but I can't see much case for having an explicit policy about when to move unless we have clear cases of abuse of this - posts that were moved that shouldn't have been. The point of a benign dictatorship is that the dictator can do as he wants.

comment by wedrifid · 2013-04-07T17:03:04.424Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It would be polite to PM the poster about the action

Yes. Or, as I have often seen Eliezer do, a comment saying "Moved to Discussion".

Wait. Is PhilGoetz one of the people with whom Eliezer has a professed non-engagement policy?

comment by [deleted] · 2013-04-07T17:21:23.931Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

More or less.

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-07T19:51:31.845Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Interesting. I never saw that response.

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-07T16:56:24.769Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

"The point of a benign dictatorship is that the dictator can do as he wants." Yes, that's the point, for the dictator. How does it benefit you not to have rules saying the benign dictator can't beat you for no reason?

Also, we don't know who the dictator is, or how many of them there are.

comment by Larks · 2013-04-07T21:43:42.899Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How does it benefit you not to have rules saying the benign dictator can't beat you for no reason?

It allows the dictator to beat up other people that I want beaten up for reasons that weren't obvious at the time the rules were being written.

comment by PhilGoetz · 2013-04-08T02:09:28.891Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Then you are a bad person, for wanting other people beaten up when it doesn't benefit you.

In our analogy here, it would be reasonable to say that you want other people forced to pay taxes, or imprisoned for crimes. That's the equivalent of having to pay a fee for a website, or being banned for violating policies. It would not be reasonable for you to say that you want the dictator to be able to beat people up for no reason. It is not reasonable for you to say that you want the admin to be pointlessly rude to people.

comment by Larks · 2013-04-08T18:00:11.973Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Then you are a bad person, for wanting other people beaten up when it doesn't benefit you. Then you are a bad person, for wanting other people beaten up when it doesn't benefit you.

What? Firstly, I said "for reasons that weren't obvious at the time", not for no reason. Things can benefit me in non-obvious ways.

Even without that, it is sometimes morally laudable to want people beaten up when it doesn't benefit me. For example, suppose I lived in New Zealand, 1940. I'd like members of the Gestapo to be so badly beaten up they couldn't do their jobs. This is at least prima facie a good desire to have, but I (living a very long way away, being Aryan so unlikely to be attacked even if one day National Socialism rules the entire world, etc.) wouldn't benefit from it at all.

It would not be reasonable for you to say that you want the dictator to be able to beat people up for no reason.

If they voluntarily (without duress, etc., etc.) came into the country, understanding that this was the way it worked, and the dictator was generally enlightened, and his actions were more conducive to peace and liberty and prosperity than the relevant alternatives, and so on, I don't think it's obviously unreasonable for me to want him to be able to beat people up for reasons not previously disclosed.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2013-04-08T08:39:28.028Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

"for reasons that weren't obvious at the time the rules were being written" isn't "for no reason"

comment by V_V · 2013-04-07T21:14:45.950Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Even dictatorships have laws.

People tend to be generally happier and more productive in social environments where reasonably well defined and fairly enforced policies exist, even when these policies have been set unilaterally.
That's why states have written laws, and organizations have written statutes, guidelines, codes of conduct, etc.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2013-04-08T08:59:37.259Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How does it benefit you not to have rules saying the benign dictator can't beat you for no reason?

When one can rely on the benignity, probity, and sound judgement of the dictator, such rules are unnecessary, although publishing general guidelines can be useful to let everyone know where they stand.

Also, we don't know who the dictator is, or how many of them there are.

The dictator is Eliezer, acting directly or through whoever he delegates any matters to.

comment by Pavitra · 2013-04-08T02:07:41.789Z · score: -5 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Downvoted because I hate you.

(Nothing personal; I'm using the anti-kibitzer.)