[META] Karma for last 30 days?

post by ArisKatsaris · 2012-08-30T10:33:19.781Z · score: 15 (18 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 179 comments

Has anyone yet mentioned or reported that for the last couple days, the "karma for last 30 days" is showing zero for everyone? And that we no longer can see the top contributors for the last 30 days either?

Do we have an explanation or estimation for a bugfix on this?

179 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T18:15:39.943Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm now getting notices when people reply to my articles in the comment section. These replies show up in my inbox. I'm not sure this is a new feature, but I know this didn't use to happen for me.

So cool!

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2012-08-31T20:55:57.614Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Definitely good news! That's something I've been wanting for a long time.

comment by lukeprog · 2012-08-30T18:56:42.730Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Last 30 days karma is disabled for now because it was interacting weirdly with a new feature; TrikeApps is working on the fix.

comment by matt · 2012-08-31T18:50:18.113Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Sorry people - I should have posted when we did this. Leaving y'all in the dark was unkind.

comment by DanArmak · 2012-08-31T18:38:57.254Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I notice it's enabled again. Thanks to TrikeApps!

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2012-08-30T10:50:21.577Z · score: 10 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Zero for me too, and others reported the same on the IRC channel. I think the site got an upgrade that zapped some state. More interesting than the local karma display breakage, there now seems to be a 5 karma point troll feeding fee whenever you want to reply to a comment that has been downvoted to -3 or below.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T11:07:24.131Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

More interesting than the local karma display breakage, there now seems to be a 5 karma point troll feeding fee whenever you want to reply to a comment that has been downvoted to -3 or below.

This will lead to more complaining from those who are frustrated at being down voted without explanation

Also I wonder if you take the 5 karma hit if you reply to your own under -3 karma post.

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2012-08-30T12:06:19.443Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This will lead to more complaining from those who are frustrated at being down voted without explanation

And from people who think they have attracted a stalker clique that downvotes everything they post.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T13:33:16.741Z · score: 8 (20 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And from people who have a stalker clique that downvotes everything they post.

comment by shminux · 2012-08-30T15:34:54.707Z · score: 10 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Or even one quick stalker with two socks.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T17:29:08.315Z · score: 9 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's a really good point. After this update, all one needs to stifle conversation with a trivial inconvenience is 3 + sockpuppets.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2012-08-30T18:57:42.593Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Bingo.

It's strange that with the incessant game theory analysis that goes on around here, anyone could think this is a good idea.

I'd rather filter the list by counts of votes, up or down. I've turned off filters as it is.

It will be interesting. I'd expect an increase of voting, which is good in itself, but probably that increase will be predominantly about gaming the system, and retaliating against perceived gaming. We'll see how surly people get.

I wish some of the developers from the old Extropian list would implement their filtering mechanisms here. I didn't use it much, but they seemed to put some decent thought into the function and mechanics of a ratings system, instead of just tossing out some knee jerk adjustment.

Let the Karma Wars begin!

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2012-08-31T15:32:28.215Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What were the extropian mailing list filters?

comment by buybuydandavis · 2012-08-31T18:42:33.931Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for asking, because I didn't realize the list was still in business.

http://www.extropy.org/emaillists.htm

The longest running transhumanist email list in the world. Now entering its second decade, the Extropy-Chat (formerly "Extropians") Email List is open to ExI members and non-members alike. It is a general-purpose discussion forum.

I actually think they're entering their 3rd decade now. I was on it early to mid nineties.

They seem to have gone moderated - see ""EXTROPY-CHAT" LIST AGREEMENT:" on the right side of the page.

They had an elaborate user customized filtering mechanism. Usenet had regexp controlled field specific filtering. I think they built on that and went as far as transitive ranking - you could have a weighted filter of what selected people filtered.

To the extent that all the griping over signal to noise is about a desire to control what you see, and not control what others see and say, there are decades old solutions to discussion filtering. The fancy shmancy Web has been a marked deevolution of capabilities in this regard. It's pitiful. No web discussion forum I know of has filtering capabilities even in the ball park of Usenet, which was available in the 80s. Pitiful.

comment by Emile · 2012-08-30T20:01:59.259Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It wouldn't work; as far as I know the total downvotes you are allowed to give is function of your own karma; sockpuppets without karma couldn't downvote, and maintaining three sockpuppets that post enough to get karma (by upvoting each other?) sounds like a pretty non-trivial inconvenience.

comment by thomblake · 2012-08-30T20:10:48.272Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The 'trivial inconvenience' described the experience for the commenter, not the experience for the stifler.

And it's not hard to get karma for sockpuppets - they can all write relatively innocuous comments and upvote each other.

comment by Xachariah · 2012-08-30T21:47:23.424Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Theoretically, the more sockpuppets you have, the easier it would be to give each one karma.

Then again I don't think sockpuppets are really a significant problem at the moment. Hopefully they won't grow with these changes.

comment by Bruno_Coelho · 2012-08-31T03:09:14.353Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So, there is a non-negligible chance of newbie become a future troll reading LW?

comment by Solvent · 2012-08-30T15:35:53.024Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How many people actually have that?

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2012-08-30T14:00:46.378Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also, do you lose points if you reply to a thread which starts from a -3 or below comment?

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T14:31:13.449Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

No, apparently not. I posted this: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/e96/an_anthropic_principle_fairy_tale/7apk And had 464 karma before and after.

comment by Kindly · 2012-08-30T17:50:21.231Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Does the reply get marked down to -5 to start with, or are the 5 karma points invisibly subtracted from one's total karma?

comment by Alicorn · 2012-08-30T18:32:44.263Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This confuses me too, actually. Before this feature, one's karma score was solely the sum of the scores of one's posts and comments. Adding another invisible feature means that your total karma can't be reliably reconstructed by looking at those features, even if you throw in information about the ancestors of the comments (because if you reply to a downvoted comment, that doesn't prevent it from later being upvoted). It adds an additional and uniquely nontransparent value.

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2012-08-30T21:00:43.995Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Since deleted posts and comments contribute, the system is already nontransparent.

comment by Kindly · 2012-08-30T18:42:43.432Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just realized that there's another problem with this scheme: anyone using the "Anti-Kibitzer" will have absolutely no clue why they're losing karma.

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2012-08-30T19:38:30.585Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nope. It pops up a warning that asks you if you want to blow karma by replying if you try to reply to a downvoted post, even if you have the Kibitzer on.

comment by Kindly · 2012-08-30T20:54:48.020Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's good -- it means the mechanics did get considered in detail. I should have tried replying to a negative-karma comment several times first.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T07:44:29.236Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What happens if I reply to a comment and later on it gets downvoted to -3? Or if I reply to a comment at -3 and it gets upvoted back up?

(Not that I care about my total karma score that much, anyway.)

comment by MugaSofer · 2012-11-09T11:21:34.305Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nothing.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-30T12:36:34.473Z · score: -22 (66 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's live now? Awesome! We've been needing that for... well, years, actually, but it got really bad a couple of months ago. "Troll feeding fee" is such a very apt description, too.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-08-30T16:07:56.954Z · score: 40 (44 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't recall this being discussed by the community at all. It seems like a bad idea. Valuable conversations can extend from comments that are already negative. -3 is also not that negative. This also discourages people from actually explaining why someone is wrong if there are a lot of people who downvote the comment. This will both make it harder for that person to become less wrong and make it more likely that bystanders who are reading the conversation will not see any explanation for why the comment is downvoted. Overall this is at best a mixed idea that should have been discussed with the community before implementing.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T17:45:25.164Z · score: 4 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't recall this being discussed by the community at all.

This isn't terribly relevant. Moderators that discuss every decision with the community and only act when they've built consensus fail prey to vocal minorities, e.g., Wikipedia. Then they tend to stagnate.

comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-08-31T02:52:07.627Z · score: 22 (24 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Instead of trying to build a consensus, Eliezer could have asked the community "Here are the consequences I intend/foresee with this change. Are there any important ones I may have overlooked?", which has no obvious downsides that I can see, other than the opportunity cost of writing out the question.

comment by wedrifid · 2012-08-31T10:09:03.303Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Instead of trying to build a consensus, Eliezer could have asked the community "Here are the consequences I intend/foresee with this change. Are there any important ones I may have overlooked?", which has no obvious downsides that I can see, other than the opportunity cost of writing out the question.

The obvious downside in such cases is that asking for and being told what the downsides are and then ignoring them is often perceived as even worse than not asking at all. If Eliezer anticipated that he would go ahead with his change regardless of what downsides are pointed out then it could be detrimental to ask.

(Note: That is the downside of asking, not a claim that asking would be a net negative.)

comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-08-31T17:57:10.381Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The obvious downside in such cases is that asking for and being told what the downsides are and then ignoring them is often perceived as even worse than not asking at all.

Do you think this is true even if one made it clear that one is not seeking a consensus but reserving the right to make the final cost/benefit judgement? If so, it's contrary to my expectations (i.e., I don't see why that would be perceived as being worse than not asking at all), and I would appreciate any further explanations you might have.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-08-30T19:18:50.430Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Moderators that discuss every decision with the community and only act when they've built consensus fail prey to vocal minorities, e.g., Wikipedia. Then they tend to stagnate.

Yes, discussing every decision with the community is probably a bad idea. But that doesn't mean that specific, large scale changes shouldn't be discussed.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T19:21:46.865Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Very well, then: why should specific, large scale changes be discussed?

I'm intentionally ignoring the implication that this specific change was a "large scale" one.

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2012-08-31T07:08:43.674Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because a community is made up of its users, and if people find the changes negative enough, they will stop using the site.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-08-30T19:33:24.825Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because the community has additional experience and may have thoughts about a proposal. The impression one gets when moderating something can be very different from the impression one gets in the general case. Discussing such issues in advance helps prevent severe unintended consequences from occurring.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T20:10:20.123Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In short, you're hoping for the positive part of WWIC, while hoping the negative half doesn't happen.

See references therein for applications to social websites.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T16:14:40.008Z · score: 2 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Valuable conversations can extend from comments that are already negative.

If a reply to a downvoted comment is not downvoted, replies to that reply are not punished, so good subthreads are unaffected.

-3 is also not that negative.

5 Karma points is not that much as well, so if it's really worth replying to, it's possible to continue the conversation. It's usually not worth replying though, and when not feeling any cost people would ignore that consideration, giving fuel to bad conversations as a result. The motivation I agree with is to stop bad conversations, not necessarily replies to individual bad comments, which is just the means.

comment by vi21maobk9vp · 2012-08-30T15:41:47.785Z · score: 31 (31 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So, if I post some honest argument but make a couple of stupid mistakes (I hope that such a post will get downvoted to around -5), anyone who explains me what I have missed will be punished?

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T15:56:48.291Z · score: 4 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, this policy decision doesn't happen to be one sided. What you describe seems to be a comparatively rare event though. If you actually want to get better, you'll have opportunities other than particularly downvoted blunders to seek feedback, and there is an obvious solution of making a non-downvoted separate comment that asks for feedback in such cases, so that said feedback would not be punished.

comment by Xachariah · 2012-08-30T22:22:50.392Z · score: 2 (10 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If I'm hearing you correctly, the plan to limit trolls is push them to make fewer posts inside the auto-hidden areas and more posts outside of the auto-hidden areas?

Well, uh, I suppose that's one way to deal with trolls.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T22:25:59.472Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The idea is that they'll make fewer posts if the non-trolls don't respond.

comment by vi21maobk9vp · 2012-08-31T13:10:08.386Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

But if saying something and creating a separate comment to ask for feedback would become accepatable, the trolls will create even more visible noise before they get into obviously malicious territory.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-08-30T16:58:48.677Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I agree that this is a failure mode, but it's not an absolute one: people could explain to you via PM. Then you'd be free to edit the comment, and if its score floated back up discussion could ensue below.

comment by DanArmak · 2012-08-30T20:40:18.379Z · score: 21 (21 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

PMd explanations are not publicly visible, so they don't help others who read the thread and make the same mistake as the downvoted poster. They can't be upvoted by others, which removes a big (in my experience) incentive to post the explanations.

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2012-08-30T20:51:15.413Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also, visible actions spread. Someone who posts a correction encourages other people to post corrections to other comments, while someone who PMs does not encourage that behavior. But it is also visible how many responses there are, so that people don't overwhelm an individual with responses, while they might overwhelm with PMs.

comment by prase · 2012-08-31T17:44:23.108Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also, with visible explanations everybody knows what already has been explained and what hasn't. If it were common to explain things via PM, some points would be raised multiple times while others not at all, depending on the number of readers estimating enough high probability that they are the first to comment on an issue and thus not wasting their time by making duplicite comments.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T17:06:03.477Z · score: 23 (27 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's live now? Awesome! We've been needing that for... well, years, actually, but it got really bad a couple of months ago. "Troll feeding fee" is such a very apt description, too.

Really? Isn't hiding of down-voted comments enough? It protects people from seeing crap unless they explicitly ask for it (and they should be able to). There could still be a problem if comment threads were sprinkled with huge contiguous swathes of hidden comments but does that actually happen? (I think that the maximum number of contiguous hidden comments that I have seen is two.)

I find the fact that even obviously aggressive and stupid stuff tends to be replied to in a polite and informative manner one of impressive things about LessWrong. Some are concerned that this place appears dogmatic to newcomers. Having massive down-voting accompanied by explanations is one way in which those concerns can be alleviated.

Curiously, I initially wanted to downvote your comment but hesitated because I didn't want people replying to it being punished. On reflection, your comment might not actually merit downvoting (I think there was a bit of 'who the hell he thinks he is, treating LessWrong as his own private playground' knee-jerk reaction here), but this is not at all a good sign on what effects this will have on troll-fighting. There are comments that are stupid but seem to be made in good faith and thus be worthy of a response. If I don't feel like making that response, I might just downvote and be on my way. Now, downvoting will provide a disincentive to any potential educators which in turn discourages downvoting itself.

And finally, people who strongly dislike that change can decide to mentally subtract 5 points of karma from the score of each reply to a comment that's at -3 or below and then base their voting decision on that (which will tend to push the scores of such replies to 5 + whatever they would have gotten otherwise), so nyah!

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T17:19:33.832Z · score: 1 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There could still be a problem if comment threads were sprinkled with huge contiguous swathes of hidden comments but does that actually happen?

It doesn't happen often, and so doesn't seem to be a particularly serious problem, but when it does it's really bad and the growth of such subthreads is very hard to stop.

I find the fact that even obviously aggressive and stupid stuff tends to be replied to in a polite and informative manner one of impressive things about LessWrong.

See the hidden comments to this post for an example. Just one user causes the damage directly, but that wouldn't happen to the extent it did without the polite and informative replies of others that fuel the conversation. Good contributions to bad conversations have negative net consequences.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T18:00:32.963Z · score: 11 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

See the hidden comments to this post for an example. Just one user causes the damage directly, but that wouldn't happen to the extent it did without the polite and informative replies of others that fuel the conversation. Good contributions to bad conversations have negative net consequences.

So there is a dark part of LW archives, looking upon which might very well destroy your soul. Fortunately, you won't accidentally see it -- you have to consciously choose to unhide the top-level comment. I suppose the damage is that people are unreasonably drawn to that kind of thing and they are also unreasonably drawn to replying to stupid stuff even when it's obviously hopeless ('someone is wrong on the internet' syndrome) so we have to protect them from wasting their time. I guess I dislike paternalism enough that such an argument doesn't convince me (and less seriously, if someone feels inclined to waste time while they're browsing the Internet, then they are already doomed anyway).

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T20:56:58.093Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What are these negative net consequences? I enjoyed reading the good replies to that conversation. If you think the problem is the volume of conversation, then you have to explain why shutting down long "bad" conversations is worth losing shorter elegant responses to bad points.

Lesswrong puts a lot of stock in trying to fight human biases, which seems to me that saying "Don't do that!" with negative karma, and then rewarding people explaining why not, is exactly what we should be doing.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T21:05:49.326Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(It's much better now that all of the bad comments are removed either by the author or by moderators, so you are not looking at the problem as it presents itself in the wild, but you can imagine based on the number of downvotes.)

I don't think LW should be used for arguing with people who make too many errors. It's a different kind of activity completely from trying to obtain a better understanding of what constitutes good thinking.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T20:02:10.686Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I actively disagree. You don't have to read those threads, but polite and measured responses to dumb ideas is one of the best ways to get yourself out of those ideas. We literally have dumb question threads for exactly that purpose. I also think it's good to encourage people to be patient and explain things. What "damage" was caused? A couple hundred posts about something that you don't have to read, but which could very well be useful to other people.

You want to take a community of people that try to help others understand and instead silence all conversation along lines you disapprove of.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T20:19:32.320Z · score: -1 (21 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You don't have to read those threads, but polite and measured responses to dumb ideas is one of the best ways to get yourself out of those ideas.

In the example I gave, this clearly didn't apply.

We literally have dumb question threads for exactly that purpose.

There are important details that distinguish the conversations happening in stupid questions threads. These details also cause those threads to not be downvoted.

You want to take a community of people that try to help others understand and instead silence all conversation along lines you disapprove of.

You are throwing out relevant details again and distorting other details in the direction of your argument. The qualifier "all conversation" is inaccurate, for example. Alternatively, if disapproval is taken to be referring to a (value assignment) decision (rather than unreflective emotional response, say), it's tautological that I'd be trying to get rid of things I disapprove of.

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2012-08-30T20:56:51.984Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hi! I just want to test the new system.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T20:35:10.252Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And you are throwing out relevant details whenever you punish people for responding to downvoted comments.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T20:39:02.970Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't understand this point. Not punishing people in those cases would use the same information, so the amount of available information doesn't characterize any given choice of the effect.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T20:41:54.472Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Individual downvotes for bad posts are sensitive to details about those posts. Blanket downvotes for replies to negative posts are not.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T20:44:13.041Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(Edited the grandparent. My point is that lack of blanket downvotes for replies to negative posts is equally insensitive to details about those posts. This consideration doesn't help with the question of punish vs. not-punish.)

comment by coffeespoons · 2012-08-30T17:28:48.339Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why is it a problem if they're hidden to most users? It doesn't put off newcomers and people can avoid them. Are you concerned about time the time of LW users being wasted?

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T07:19:26.343Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(I think there was a bit of 'who the hell he thinks he is, treating LessWrong as his own private playground' knee-jerk reaction here)

Well he is LWs benevolent dictator.

comment by shminux · 2012-08-30T15:37:29.445Z · score: 18 (24 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That would only make sense for posters with, say, negative karma in the last month. Otherwise this results in (self-)censoring of controversial comments.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T16:00:36.439Z · score: 2 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's almost always possible to package controversial claims so that the posts/comments communicating them would be upvoted (and would be better for that).

comment by shminux · 2012-08-30T16:33:26.444Z · score: 8 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

True, though I hoped that this forum would not demand as high a level of political correctness. Especially given that there is a simple technical solution.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2012-08-30T18:59:39.858Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Censoring seems to be the point.

comment by shminux · 2012-08-30T19:06:34.687Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Censoring trolls seems to be the point, not censoring discussions of potentially controversial comments left by the respected forum regulars.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2012-08-30T22:22:07.790Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Where you see a troll, I may see an insightful fellow.

I always wonder why so many people assume that the censoring gun can only blast people they want censored.

comment by shminux · 2012-08-30T22:42:25.533Z · score: 9 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hence my suggestion of only applying it to those with negative 30-day karma. This excludes spuriously downvoted comments and prevents most malicious sniping strategies.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2012-08-30T22:58:05.734Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ok, I was speaking to the original policy.

Your policy looks well targeted to people I'd consider trolls. The thing is, I think the people in favor of the original policy have a much broader view of what constitutes a troll.

Seems like a sizable minority want a lot of other people to shut up.

comment by DanArmak · 2012-08-30T20:48:48.970Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In addition to what others said, people will be discouraged from explaining downvotes. (Or maybe encouraged to explain even minor downvotes.) Once a comment is at -3 without a (good) explanation in a reply to it, people will not want to pay a penalty to explain to a potentially well meaning poster what was wrong with their comment. Instead they will be incentivized to further downvote it without explanation.

Not all comments deserving -3 karma are trolls, some are merely stupid / insensitive / wrong / unoriginal.

This change will make people think: is this comment a troll? If it is, downvote it to -3 or beyond; if not, don't downvote below -2. If that's desirable behavior, and we come to agree about it, and -3 is the right level for it, then we will have many comments at -2 that previously would have been downvoted further, because people will not want to tell others "you're trolling" unless they really think so.

(And then people would probably want comments hidden at -2, not -3: the karma level of bad, though not quite trolling, comments.)

comment by buybuydandavis · 2012-08-30T22:14:26.190Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not all comments deserving -3 karma are trolls

Not all comments receiving -3 karma are trolls either.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-30T22:03:19.281Z · score: 3 (57 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The site was seriously going to hell due to long troll-started threads and troll-feeding. It's not a good use-case when intelligent comments are hidden by default, either. And I now see that contrary to the feature request, it's only asking for 5 karma for immediate descendants, not anywhere in the chain, so I shall go now and ask that to be updated.

I don't want to train readers to unhide things by default just because they might miss intelligent conversation in subthreads, I don't want intelligent conversation in places it's hidden by default from readers trusting the site mechanics, I want this site to stop feeding its trolls and would prefer a community solution rather than moderators wielding banhammers, and I want this site to focus its efforts positively rather than in amazing impressive refutations of bad ideas which is a primary failure mode of any intelligent Internet site. Threads with heavily downvoted ancestors should almost always not exist, because of their opportunity costs, the behaviors they reinforce, and other long-term consequences.

If this particular effort proves insufficient, the next step will be to make it impossible for users less than three months old (or with less than 1000 karma or something) to see comments under -3 at all.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-08-30T22:31:46.652Z · score: 45 (47 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

the next step will be to make it impossible for users less than three months old (or with less than 1000 karma or something) to see comments under -3 at all.

I am vehemently opposed to this. If the problem is out-of-control threads, make the newbies unable to reply to downvoted comments - don't make them unable to look at them! Don't they need negative examples too?

comment by William_Quixote · 2012-08-31T00:13:12.352Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

As someone who is a new user, I strongly agree with Alicorn.

More options don’t always make people better off, but seeing downvoted posts is an option that is actively useful for new users. One of my first comments initially got downvoted to -1, and on seeing this, I looked at other downvoted comments and was able to use what I learned to edit my post so it eventually got voted back into positive territory.

Mistake avoidance is worth learning and downvoted posts are helpful for this. I have benefited from looking at downvoted posts, and I have no reason to believe I’m atypical in this regard.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-09-01T23:12:05.191Z · score: 3 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Don't they need negative examples too?

Negative examples, if I'm a newcomer, mean that I stop reading the site because the discussion is not consistently high-quality. And newbies looking at negative examples mean that elder posters feel obliged to respond to bad comments, just in case a newbie reads them and gets fooled; it makes it mentally harder to downvote and walk away. This is a change I would strongly consider in any case.

comment by wedrifid · 2012-08-31T10:03:59.067Z · score: 42 (48 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And I now see that contrary to the feature request, it's only asking for 5 karma for immediate descendants, not anywhere in the chain, so I shall go now and ask that to be updated.

Please clarify this for me. If I am reading correctly it indicates that currently only the immediate descendent is punished but that your orders are that all descendents of that comment shall be punished too. If so that strikes me as ridiculously shortsighted. This makes us obliged to go through the entire ancestor history of a comment every time we wish to make a reply if we wish to avoid being arbitrarily punished.

If this particular effort proves insufficient, the next step will be to make it impossible for users less than three months old (or with less than 1000 karma or something) to see comments under -3 at all.

Eliezer, you should stop personally exercising your power over the forum. Your interventions are reactionary, short sighted, tend to do more harm than good and don't adequately incorporate feedback received. Consider telling someone else at SingInst what your desired outcome is and ask them to come up with a temperate, strategically sane solution that doesn't make you look silly.

comment by Alexandros · 2012-09-01T07:07:51.943Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Eliezer, I would take wedrifid's suggestion incredibly seriously. You have gone from problem diagnosis (not shared by most of the community it seems), to designing a solution (not agreed to be effective by most, even if the problem stood), to marshalling the extremely limited development resources this website has at its disposal to implement it. None of these steps seem to have had any agreement by the community, and if it wasn't for the bug dug out by Akis, we may not have had a chance to even discuss it after the fact.

Pacifism isn't the only failure mode for well-kept gardens. Moderator arbitrariness is a well-known other.

comment by drethelin · 2012-09-01T07:32:43.327Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I agree that well-kept gardens are better, but that means MODERATION. It doesn't mean indiscriminately spraying parts of your garden with herbicide to get rid of weeds.

comment by MixedNuts · 2012-09-01T19:57:54.294Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Do arbitrary moderators kill gardens? I've seen that happen only once, and there were many contributing factors - an exact clone people could switch to easily, moderators keeping their debater hat on, focus on punishment of specific instances rather than good generic policies, the venue being for socializing/kvetching which clashed with severity.

comment by satt · 2012-09-01T22:03:24.327Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Do arbitrary moderators kill gardens?

Death isn't the only type of failure mode.

comment by Armok_GoB · 2012-09-01T19:44:50.447Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

To clarify: HALT, MELT AND CATCH FIRE, OR THE SITE WILL DIE!

comment by prase · 2012-08-31T17:14:15.985Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This makes us obliged to go through the entire ancestor history of a comment every time we wish to make a reply if we wish to avoid being arbitrarily punished.

Since the system, as it works now, asks whether we really wish to spend karma, we wouldn't need to go through. Nevertheless I agree with the latter part of your comment.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-09-01T00:52:15.527Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If so that strikes me as ridiculously shortsighted. This makes us obliged to go through the entire ancestor history of a comment every time we wish to make a reply if we wish to avoid being arbitrarily punished.

Actually, you get warned as soon as you hit the Reply button.

comment by CarlShulman · 2012-08-31T06:20:18.044Z · score: 42 (42 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The site was seriously going to hell due to long troll-started threads and troll-feeding.

I really don't see this. It looks like the main clause of decline is that spontaneous top-level postings are not enough to make up for the loss of the enormous subsidy of a good writer posting as a full-time job. 3 examples of hellish troll-feeding would be nice.

comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) · 2012-08-31T21:15:13.433Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It looks like the main clause of decline is that spontaneous top-level postings are not enough to make up for the loss of the enormous subsidy of a good writer posting as a full-time job.

I think LW's high standards make the activation energy for writing new posts really high. I have lots of ideas for new posts, but when it comes to actually writing them, I think to myself "is this really something LW wants to read", "is this going to make me look like an idiot", etc. I've written a few reddit self posts in the past few weeks, and it was interesting to notice how much lower my activation energy was for submitting to reddit than to LW. It's almost as though I have an ugh field around writing LW posts.

Sure, you probably want people to have this high activation energy to a certain extent; it's a good way to keep the quality high. But if we want more spontaneous top-level postings, maybe we should experiment with trying to shift the activation energy parameter downwards a bit and looking for a sweet spot.

For example, one idea is to frame the moderation system as more of a filtering system than a punishment/reward system: "It's OK to write a lame post, because if you do, it'll just get voted down and no one will read it."

Another idea is to recognize that a given user's prediction of how much LW will like their post is probably going to be terrible, and tell people that if you never get voted down, you're not submitting enough.

I think the punishment of getting voted down is way more salient for me than the reward of getting voted up, and maybe I'm not the only one who's wired this way.

comment by khafra · 2012-09-04T19:03:42.862Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Would you mind sharing your reddit username? I generally like your writing and conclusions, and I'd hate to miss out on the long tail of them that may fall just below the LW margin.

comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) · 2012-09-04T22:33:12.715Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hey, thanks! I prefer to keep my reddit account mostly divorced from my real identity though, and I don't think LW would find the self posts I mentioned especially interesting.

I will likely write a bunch for LW at some point, but currently I'm focusing on other stuff.

comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-08-31T21:31:28.304Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It looks like the main clause of decline is that spontaneous top-level postings are not enough to make up for the loss of the enormous subsidy of a good writer posting as a full-time job.

Why don't SI people post more paper drafts and other writings here for discussion? Seems like a cheap way to both help improve the SNR here and give SI more ideas and feedback.

comment by CarlShulman · 2012-09-01T00:55:40.667Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's not rationality content. AI content is sort of grandfathered in because of the SI sponsorship and Eliezer's posting on it, but most of the LW audience is attracted by the rationality content, I think.

comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-09-01T04:30:34.346Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

AI content is sort of grandfathered in because of the SI sponsorship and Eliezer's posting on it

I thought AI content is considered on-topic here more because there is a strong argument, based on our current best understand of rationality, that we should make a significant effort to push the Singularity and hence the entire future of the accessible universe in a positive direction. I guess it's understandable that you might not want to overplay this and end up alienating people who are more interested in other rationality topics, but we seem still far from that point, judging from the relative lack of complaints and recent voting on AI and Singularity-related posts.

comment by Nornagest · 2012-09-11T18:38:40.338Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't know how much paper content CFAR is planning to produce, but it would escape this objection.

comment by gwern · 2012-08-31T23:34:43.816Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've been doing just that, and it often has been done by others - for example, Luke & Anna's "Intelligence Explosion: Evidence and Import" was posted several times, I believe. They may have improved the SNR, but I can't say there seem to be very much feedback or ideas...

comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-09-01T00:02:28.852Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm thinking of these papers which were posted here only after they were finished and published. Also this one which I posted here because Carl didn't. Also Paul Christiano posting stuff on his own blog instead of LW.

They may have improved the SNR, but I can't say there seem to be very much feedback or ideas...

That's strange. I find LW feedback useful on my posts, and assumed that would be the case for others. Can you give an example of a post that didn't gather useful feedback and ideas?

comment by gwern · 2012-09-01T00:23:45.487Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, look at your own links.

  1. In the first link, for three papers, there's exactly one substantive comment on a paper
  2. The second link has roughly 3 or 4 comment threads which revolve around a specific point which seemed to cause changes in the paper, with the rest of the comments being relatively unrelated.
  3. The third link contains some interesting comments about the paper on a meta level, but nothing that could be useful to the author, IMO.

As for my own feedback, I keep a public list in http://www.gwern.net/Links#fn2 Going backwards through the last 3:

  1. the power post's few comments are dominated by citation format, matriarchy and why anyone cares. None of these were useful to me except maybe the format carping.
  2. the Sobel post has maybe 2 or 3 comments of value
  3. the intelligence failures link garnered 1 comment of value
comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-09-01T00:59:00.807Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I guess it wasn't clear, but I was suggesting that if those papers had been posted here while they were still in draft form (as opposed to "finished and published"), they would have received more discussions since people would have more incentives to participate and potentially influence the final output.

As for your posts, I think the reason for lack of useful feedback is that they are mostly summaries of many academic papers and it's hard to give useful feedback without spending a lot of time to read those papers which nobody has an sufficient incentive to.

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2012-09-03T08:55:19.913Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I got some comments for my drafts. There were some valuable suggestions in both threads which I incorporated, but I had hoped for a little more feedback.

comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-09-03T21:36:05.926Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you post more drafts in the future, I think it would help to add more context: Who is the target audience? What are you hoping to accomplish with the papers? (If we knew that we might care more about helping you to improve them.) Do they contain any ideas that are new to LW?

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2012-09-04T06:46:17.424Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks, that's a good suggestion.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2012-08-31T15:46:55.022Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you. I haven't noticed an increasing problems with trolls and/or extremely low quality posts. Some of the worst seemed to be sincere posts by people with mental problems. I don't know whether there's a serious problem of LW potentially becoming a crank magnet.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-31T21:02:00.471Z · score: 2 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That would've been hard to find, but thankfully Gabriel did the work to find one example. Thanks Gabriel!

If you go to Configurations and Amplitude and scroll down... then you'll suddenly find this really amazingly huge thread, much much larger than anything around it. What is this wonderful huge thread, you wonder? Why, it's this:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/pd/configurations_and_amplitude/6bwo

Finding this kind of conversation dominating Recent Comments, much less Top Comments, is something I find dishedonic and I don't think it helps the site either.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-31T21:21:23.220Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I thought you had something different in mind, but if it is this, I don't understand in what way is the solution of charging only for immediate replies to bad comments unsatisfactory. When I proposed this variant of the feature in the ticket, the thread you cited was exactly of the kind I was thinking about.

On the other hand, threads like this are rare, so (1) you seem to exaggerate their impact and (2) a month that you've suggested in the ticket won't be enough to see whether the direct-reply-fee solution helps, as we only get a few of these in a year.

comment by CarlShulman · 2012-09-01T09:05:53.533Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I saw that at the time. But as Vladimir_Nesov says, they seem rare enough to not much impair my reading experience. What is your estimate of their frequency per year or per month?

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-09-01T19:53:04.211Z · score: 0 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Here's a nice trollfeeding from today:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/ece/rationality_quotes_september_2012/7bbl

Of course this also indicates that the current countermeasure may be ineffective, or maybe it wasn't below -3 when Yvain replied. But if the discussion cuts out after two steps, that might be good enough. Perhaps it should just be impossible to reply to anything if there's more than two ancestors at -3 or below.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-09-01T20:06:40.846Z · score: 17 (21 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You know what would have prevented this?

If you'd told me in June, when I asked you for moderation guidelines beyond "kill shoe ads", that I should ban comments like that.

comment by Kindly · 2012-09-01T20:20:15.890Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

As far as I can tell, all three replies to that comment were made before it hit -3.

(I know that my reply was made with no penalty, and Yvain's reply was already there at the time; wedrifid's later comment also suggests that his reply wasn't penalized.)

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-09-01T22:04:02.987Z · score: -5 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

But not all the subcomments.

comment by thomblake · 2012-09-05T18:58:29.770Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(paid a karma cost to respond to this comment)

Perhaps it should just be impossible to reply to anything if there's more than two ancestors at -3 or below.

But then, the circumvention will be to stop using threaded comments properly and start new comment threads to reply to comments below the threshold.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T07:40:39.543Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The site was seriously going to hell due to long troll-started threads and troll-feeding.

Can you give a few examples of that that you think are are particularly bad?

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-08-30T22:38:24.300Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It may be worth considering whether your intuitions and priors about how serious a problem trolling is is at odds with the impression of the rest of the community. Or, it may be that most of the people you have attracted here are somewhat more tolerant of some amount of trolling. It seems at least from the general voting in this thread that most of the community is not happy with even this change, let alone the other changes you are suggesting.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-30T22:44:38.088Z · score: -1 (27 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Biased sample if those who flee the long-replies-to-downvoted-comments threads have already left. At the point where LW starts being unfun for me to read, I panic. If my standards are too high... well, there's worse things that could happen to a site, like my threshold for alarm being set too low.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-08-30T22:47:35.193Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Biased sample if those who flee the long-replies-to-downvoted-comments threads have already left

Valid point. How can we test this?

At the point where LW starts being unfun for me to read, I panic.

Being concerned about the signal to noise ratio is reasonable, but yes this sounds like panicking. Deciding that there's a problem is not the same thing as deciding that a specific course of action is a good solution to the problem. (I shouldn't need to tell you that.)

comment by David_Gerard · 2012-08-31T11:04:15.642Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The mental model being applied appears to be sculpting the community in the manner of sculpting marble with a hammer and chisel. Whereas how it'll work will be rather more like sculpting flesh with a hammer and chisel, giving rather a lot of side effects and not quite achieving the desired aims. Sculpting online communities really doesn't work very well.

comment by evand · 2012-08-31T03:12:05.101Z · score: 12 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Do you feel that this is an example of you being intolerant of other posters' tolerance of trolls? If not, why?

Personally, it seems to me that it is, but that it might well be justified anyway. I'm not a big fan of the approach taken, but I'm not yet completely against it either. I'm disappointed that it was implemented unilaterally.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T22:48:13.251Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Responding to the edit:

What are these opportunity costs, what behaviors are they reinforcing, and what are the long-term consequences you are trying to avoid?

When I respond to someone who is getting downvoted, do you think I'm likely to have been spending my time doing something better? I can't contribute usefully to a conversation about decision theory, but I can talk about plenty of other things to other people. Exactly what opportunities are being wasted, and why are they all of a sudden being wasted now it's not whatever golden age there was before the site was going to hell? Are you trying to say intelligent posters are not posting because somewhere else in some comment thread some idiot is being talked to?

Is the end goal of this simply to have any conversation stop as soon as something gets voted to -3? Really? Three random people or 1 person with 2 sockpuppets can just end a discussion? I don't understand why you can't trust people to have conversations but you can trust them to downvote wisely.

comment by endoself · 2012-09-01T19:22:33.305Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't want to train readers to unhide things by default just because they might miss intelligent conversation in subthreads

Another way of doing this would be a five second delay to unhide hidden comments. Waiting isn't fun and it prevents hyperbolic discounting from magnifying the positive reinforcement of reading something that someone doesn't want you to read.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-09-01T19:52:48.928Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is a really good idea. It's incentivizing, noncoercive, and could possibly even have the look-and-feel of ordinary site delay rather than censorship and avoid getting people's hackles up.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-08-30T22:42:47.512Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And I now see that contrary to the feature request, it's only asking for 5 karma for immediate descendants, not anywhere in the chain, so I shall go now and ask that to be updated.

Can you explain what this would accomplish at all? I'm not seeing anything that it accomplishes. If anything, it actively makes the problem of good threads that happen to have been started in a negatively downvoted comment worse. Moreover, it would lead to the situation where people are replying to a long-thread and then get a karma hit because it happens that way back up in the thread the initial bit got downvoted. That means that among other things, replying to threads where one is looking at single post or with a permalink becomes essentially a karma trap. This accomplishes nothing. The primary problem with trolling is that it clogs up the recent comments sections. High quality comments downthread of a bad comment don't have this problem. This seems like an even worse idea than the already implemented change by such an order of magntude that part of me is wondering if this is a deliberate use of the Dark Arts to make the current change more palatable in comparison.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T00:13:46.140Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There's a message warning about the impending karma loss that pops up before posting, right? Maybe the message alone would do the trick if it warned people that their contribution is going to be buried by default, informed them of the negative consequences of replying to crap and implored them to reconsider?

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T22:30:34.507Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And I now see that contrary to the feature request, it's only asking for 5 karma for immediate descendants, not anywhere in the chain, so I shall go now and ask that to be updated.

A lot of discussion happens without much use of the context in which it started. If a good conversation starts under (perhaps 4 levels lower than) a comment that will in the future sink to -3 or lower, that stops the conversation, without any convenient way of extracting it outside that thread. I don't believe the conversation should be discouraged in such cases. (Do you think it should? I expect it would be very inconvenient and annoying without the additional subthread-extraction feature.)

On the other hand, typical clueless-feeding conversations are mostly back-and-forth between a user in a failure mode and those who reply to them directly. The clueless normally gets downvoted, but those who reply to them are not, and the measure of Karma-punishing those who directly reply to downvoted comments would address that.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-30T22:41:10.241Z · score: -13 (41 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't want people to learn the habit of unhiding comments! Comments that will end up being hidden by default mostly shouldn't exist. If there's something amazingly intelligent to say, put it in a top-level comment to begin with, not somewhere it will be hidden by default!

comment by Eugine_Nier · 2012-08-31T02:41:25.107Z · score: 26 (28 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would simply like to point out the irony of having this discussion in a thread that is hidden by default due to being below a comment currently at -9.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-08-31T04:03:15.616Z · score: 15 (17 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And: Did anyone take a karma hit for this to happen? Or does it turn out that we're just incentivizing being quick on the trigger - so whoever's camping out on the site and can get to a comment before its score plummets gets to talk about it and no one else can without accepting the ding?

comment by DanArmak · 2012-08-31T06:41:23.150Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I paid 5 karma for making this comment. But if everyone in the subthread had to pay 5 karma, or if people below 1000 karma couldn't participate at all, then this thread would be much smaller. Comments of minor significance, like this one and others, would probably not exist. This ceteris paribus I would see as a loss.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-31T15:24:25.139Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have taken at least 3 karma hits to talk about this.

comment by DanArmak · 2012-08-31T18:37:44.613Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

or does it turn out that we're just incentivizing being quick on the trigger

Or worse, if someone wants to reply to a comment at -3, they will first upvote it to -2 just to avoid the penalty.

comment by Eugine_Nier · 2012-09-01T02:32:18.990Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, they can undo the up-vote afterwards.

comment by Kawoomba · 2012-09-01T05:53:30.055Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well upvote the grandparent so that there can be more responses, then.

Round and round it goes ...

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-31T05:19:55.272Z · score: -3 (51 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Meta-discussion is also a horrible slime-dripping cancer on a forum, so I'm okay with nobody ever seeing it again.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-08-31T13:19:58.098Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Meta-discussion is also a horrible slime-dripping cancer on a forum

Meta-discussion has to occur on fora if fora are going to function. It may be that non-functioning fora have more meta-discussion, but there are obvious correlation v. causation issues.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T19:27:28.767Z · score: 1 (11 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Meta-discussion has to occur on fora if fora are going to function.

You have some evidence for this?

In this thread and the perfectly superfluous other thread you made for this topic, I have observed a tendency to state ex cathedra beliefs on the nature of communities and what mechanisms are necessary for their survival.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-09-01T00:40:41.028Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You have some evidence for this?

Only some personal experience and general intuition. I don't think anyone, even Eliezer, is going to argue that zero meta discussion is optimal. The question then is how much is optimal. It is possible that a weaker version of my statement like starting it with "it seems that" might have been helpful.

In this thread and the perfectly superfluous other thread you made for this topic, I have observed a tendency to state ex cathedra beliefs on the nature of communities and what mechanisms are necessary for their survival.

I agree that there's a fair bit of stated beliefs without much evidence all around, although I'm puzzled by your description of the other thread as superfluous.

comment by radical_negative_one · 2012-09-02T05:58:07.517Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Do we have any reliable authorities on the sociology of internet forums yet?

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T15:54:54.065Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I agreed with this as a general principle strongly enough to pay a 5 karma penalty to say so. I don't think it should be as down voted as it is.

I can't recall having ever participated in a forum or blog and have the pay offs of meta-discussion be higher than discussing something else. More problematically it is way too engaging than it should be and is an attention sink.

comment by thomblake · 2012-09-05T19:03:19.806Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you really believe meta-discussions are inappropriate, delete the parent comment.

comment by Vaniver · 2012-08-31T02:33:19.408Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Er, I unhid all comments because I was curious. I know I've made my share of hidden comments over my time here. I was so glad when I learned there was the option to get rid of hiding by default.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-31T05:07:28.720Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Whatever you WANT to be the case, it's just not true that there are no worthwhile comments that end up hidden.

comment by Incorrect · 2012-08-31T05:10:01.224Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(bit of irony here :P)

Perhaps acceptable casualties.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-31T05:14:27.932Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I for one don't want a mess of top level comments responding to posts that have been hidden, with no organization. There's a reason this sort of thing is divided into threads.

comment by mrglwrf · 2012-08-31T02:04:44.155Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Comments that will end up being hidden by default mostly shouldn't exist.

Then why don't the grand-high muckity-mucks just censor the posts honestly? I do not see how that could possibly be less effective than this crowd-sourced star chamber scheme, which manages to be simultaneously opaque, unaccountable, and open to abuse by the trolls it's supposed to be suppressing.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T22:45:31.991Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I agree with this subgoal, but the inconvenience and annoyance of having your whole (good) discussion starting to get punished after it is well underway because of the properties of some grand-grand...-parent comment on an unrelated topic seems like a strong argument against. I think this shouldn't be done until a way of mitigating this problem is found.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-30T22:49:25.325Z · score: -5 (27 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd love to have a way to move comments. If anyone's willing to donate enough money, this site could hire a full-time programmer and have all kinds of amazing new features. Meanwhile the development resources just don't exist.

Threads with downvoted ancestors were already being punished. They got hidden by default with no warning to commenters that this is the case. Unless people have already learned to unhide by reflex - and then the site has no visual filter mechanism!

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T22:54:24.557Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That it's difficult to do this right is not an argument for doing it poorly. My point is that it'll have a negative effect on net if implemented without thread-moving, with the correct goal of discouraging bad conversations getting obscured by the problem I've pointed out. Only if the problem is mitigated (by thread-moving or something else) will it be a good idea to implement what you suggest. If it can't be mitigated with available resources, then nothing more should be done for now.

comment by vi21maobk9vp · 2012-08-31T06:33:57.825Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There seems to be a significant amount of people who browse with anti-kibitzer and full-unhide.

If you want us to stop using such option combinations, maybe putting a warning into preferences would be a reasonable first step?

comment by Epiphany · 2012-09-14T08:28:44.517Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A web developer volunteered to help improve the site. Sorry that the link to the volunteer offer goes to a slime-dripping cancer meta thread, but that is where it happens to be. The link. drinks a chaser for my -5 karma points

comment by V_V · 2012-09-15T11:09:16.561Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I reply to you post because the system doesn't allow me to reply directly to Yudkowsky since I don't have enough karma (karma can become negative due to downvotes but not by paying the penality, apparently).


You might want to consider splitting LW off SI and operating it a a separate charity, because there might be people who would wish to donate to LW but not to SI.

comment by William_Quixote · 2012-08-31T00:22:26.365Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd love to have a way to move comments. If anyone's willing to donate enough money, this site could hire a full-time programmer and have all kinds of amazing new features. Meanwhile the development resources just don't exist.

How much would part-time or one-off single feature development work cost? If you are going to tell the public that a problem is easily solved with money, you should aim to give the public a sense of the problem’s scope.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2012-08-31T15:41:15.224Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm proceeding to answer anyway. I have karma to burn.

Does the karma subtraction happen if for answers to comments which are -3 or below when the comment is posted, or does that -5 cost come and go depending on the karma of the comment being answered? Or is the loss permanent regardless of what the karma of the comment being answered becomes?

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T22:57:50.216Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Threads with downvoted ancestors are already punished. They're hidden by default with no sign to commenters that this is the case.

If we distinguish filtering and feedback, that doesn't work as a disincentive for people who participate.

comment by V_V · 2012-09-01T01:02:43.693Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Let's say this gets downvoted

comment by V_V · 2012-09-01T01:24:30.545Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

One can post a child comment like this, or a sibiling comment to get the answers without karma penalities on those who respond.

You may well end up encouraging forum mechanics abuse with these policies.

comment by MugaSofer · 2012-11-09T11:35:55.599Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

No, you can't, which is why I just paid 5 karma.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T22:06:22.525Z · score: 1 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

[citation needed]

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-31T07:31:01.883Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think it was Grognor is right when he pointed out in a different thread that LWers pay lipservice to gardening but don't engage in it. We've developed a very strong aversion to being down voted and as a result don't down vote enough.

A polite, reasonable but utterly useless or inane comment should be at -1 or -2 or -3, so people who want to make good use of their time don't waste it on that.

Whatever future changes you consider I think really should be geared at getting LWers to start behaving like this. Perhaps make it so that posters below or above a certain karma score have to make about as many up votes as down votes. Or maybe in the same way we already limit the number of down votes to equal to the persons positive karma, why not have the same limit for up votes?

comment by Will_Newsome · 2012-09-01T13:40:30.151Z · score: 10 (20 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Guess whose comment I just had to pay 5 karma to respond to? Yours, Eliezer. Yours.

comment by Kindly · 2012-09-01T13:53:40.870Z · score: 25 (27 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Don't feed the troll.

comment by Will_Newsome · 2012-09-01T20:24:03.848Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

All of a sudden you are one of my favorite humans. (I also dig your maths.)

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T22:31:12.024Z · score: 7 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So, if "score <= -3" means one is a troll...

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2012-08-30T22:39:37.938Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A poorly-fitting word doesn't mean much and shouldn't be a topic of discussion.

comment by Will_Newsome · 2012-09-01T13:50:13.821Z · score: 5 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well then impress upon Eliezer how much of an idiot he is, Vladimir, instead of getting snippy with army1987. Eliezer is the one who's using the word so much, Vladimir.

comment by Strange7 · 2012-09-14T03:52:43.709Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If it fits so poorly, why is it the definition used by the site?

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-30T19:29:32.357Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So Quirrel points exchange for karma at a rate of 5 to 1.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2012-08-31T15:51:45.726Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In general, I'm opposed to automated karma modification. I'm pleased with my relatively high karma, and it's because I respect this community and the karma score is the result of upvotes (and rather few downvotes) from human beings.

If we ever get ems (and possibly AIs) on LW, my default would be to get their up and down votes the same weight.

comment by evand · 2012-08-31T03:19:57.120Z · score: 5 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So, I think it might just be poll time. Do you like the new anti-troll-feeding policy?

comment by evand · 2012-08-31T03:20:29.922Z · score: 19 (23 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Vote here if you think the policy is a net negative.

comment by evand · 2012-08-31T03:20:16.750Z · score: 3 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Vote here if you think the new policy is a net good.

comment by evand · 2012-08-31T03:20:37.693Z · score: -14 (20 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Karma sink.

comment by Dr_Manhattan · 2012-08-30T14:21:36.594Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

0 here, but I know I got at least one point!

comment by acephalus · 2012-08-31T12:22:30.901Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Seems fine now.

*adding keywords to suck in ctrl+f karma: fixed,working,back,patch,works,repaired,restored,okay

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T16:46:05.758Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The FAQ says "karma is mainly useful for letting people know how great you are." The (now disabled?) 'Karma for the last 30 days' tally suggests karma also has some relation to time.

I propose adding a function of karma decay. Over n-amount of time time, x-amount of karma is lost. This is also useful for letting people know how great you are.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2012-08-30T16:48:25.336Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I propose not messing with what isn't broken.

And fixing what is broken.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-08-30T16:56:35.681Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I propose adding a function of karma decay. Over n-amount of time time, x-amount of karma is lost.

Loss aversion would make this upsetting, perhaps more upsetting than gaining karma is pleasing.

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2012-08-30T21:02:56.817Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Loss aversion was my first reaction to the 30 day karma feature.
I wonder if the point was get people used to loss?
Also, since it causes continual loss, it might make people less likely to notice isolated downvotes.

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2012-08-31T07:13:54.039Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't get loss aversion from the 30 day karma feature because it dropping doesn't mean that I'm losing karma, it only means that I'm gaining it slower.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2012-08-30T17:34:53.728Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I propose adding a function of karma decay. Over n-amount of time time, x-amount of karma is lost. This is also useful for letting people know how great you are.

That would just weight the karma score to favour more recently obtained karma. That function is already performed, in a slightly different way, by the last 30 days karma score.

comment by Pentashagon · 2012-08-30T16:12:13.933Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I also seem to have increasing karma despite recent downvotes. I may just have missed some older positive votes, though.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-30T22:28:43.596Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I may just have missed some older positive votes, though.

Probably.