Comment by delton137 on A Return to Discussion · 2016-11-27T21:23:41.175Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

As far as "playing the comments game", I admit I am guilty of that. At a deeper level it comes from a desire to connect with like-minded people. I may even be doing it right now.

We like to think people post because they are genuinely intellectually engaged in the material we've written, but the truth is people post comments for a myriad of different reasons, including wanting to score comment 'points' or 'karma' or engage in a back-and-forth with a figure they admire. People like getting attention. [even shy nerdy people who are socially isolated or socially awkward, for which commenting on an internet blog may count as a significant social engagement] As you point out, the 'comments game' motivation isn't necessarily bad in terms of the consequences -- it gets debate and discussion going. Given the importance of the topics discussed on LW and elsewhere, even low quality discussion is better than no discussion, or shutting people out.

Obviously though, there is a tension in the 'rational-sphere', though between wanting to draw in lots of new people and wanting to maintain a sense of community, or people who are on the 'same wavelength'. This tension is not at all unique to rationalism, and it typically leads to some type of fragmentation -- people who want to 'spread rationalism' and grow the movement go one way and the people who want to maintain a sense of community and maintain purity go another. I've seen the same dynamic at work in the Libertarian party and in Christian churches. I think we have to accept both sides have good points.

But getting back to your post, it seems like you are more on the 'we need to maintain a sense of community' side. Personally I haven't been very active in forums or online communities, but from what I have seen, maintaining a community online is possible , but it takes work - it requires considerable organization, active moderators and administrators, etc. Some platforms are more conducive to it than others. I can't really comment on the viability of LW, since I'm kinda new here, but it seems to be a good place.

As a side note, I'm not sure how much 'social trust' is required for commenting. While I might be very hesitant to talk to someone at a cocktail party for fear of annoying them, or because I don't trust them to take me seriously, I don't feel that way about commenting, or if I do, it's to a much lower extent. There is a difference - talking to someone in real life requires really interrupting them and taking their time, while writing a comment doesn't really interrupt someone as they can always ignore it if they want to. What you said about more socially privileged people being more trusting or confident is definitely true though.

Comment by delton137 on Open Thread, Aug. 22 - 28, 2016 · 2016-08-23T01:05:21.826Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Its funny because 90+% of articles on are 'godawful clickbait' in my opinion -- with this one being one of the exceptions.

Comment by delton137 on Open Thread, Aug. 22 - 28, 2016 · 2016-08-23T01:04:27.916Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Decent article but pretty basic. Still, a glimmer of reason in the dark pit of Salon.

Didn't know Y Combinator was doing a pilot. They don't mention how many people will be in the pilot in the announcement, but it will be interesting to see.

One thing I never understood is why it makes sense to do cash transfers to people that are already wealthy - or even above average income. A social safety net (while admittedly more difficult to manage) consisting solely of cash income seems to makes more sense. I guess the issue is with the practical implementation details of managing the system and making sure everyone who needs to be enrolled is.

Comment by delton137 on A Review of Signal Data Science · 2016-08-15T23:39:53.072Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the review. I just submitted my application today (before I saw your post). I was a bit wary, due to fluttershy's post you mentioned, but more because of the lack of results (ie actual job placements) on their website compared to more established programs. The main benefit I see to this program is being in a space with other people who you can easily bounce ideas off (ie, the social experience). I tend to work bettered in a structured environment, also. Its also good to hear that it is useful for networking as well. I wasn't sure about that, because whereas other data science programs have working relationships with major companies, I didn't get that impression when reading about Signal.

Comment by delton137 on An update on Signal Data Science (an intensive data science training program) · 2016-08-10T03:09:21.143Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'd love to see some results as well, and I'm assuming as soon as you have them they'd be posted. I looked under 'projects' and looked at the available LinkedIn profiles, and it looks like three of the students got jobs (well, more specifically 2 jobs and an internship). Those students already had impressive resumes going into the program, but this is quite encouraging to see.

Comment by delton137 on An update on Signal Data Science (an intensive data science training program) · 2016-08-10T03:08:23.686Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW
Comment by delton137 on Low hanging productivity - improving your workspace · 2016-08-09T21:42:55.020Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am currently working from home and my laptop is now considerably more powerful than my desktop, which is 8 years old.

Anyone have a suggestion for a good external video card that would allow me to use two monitors to my new laptop? [it has a mini DisplayPort output and free USB]

Comment by delton137 on Open Thread, Aug. 8 - Aug 14. 2016 · 2016-08-09T21:38:42.775Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast interviewed Grant Richey about this. He notes that some of the headlines were misleading, because the study did find that when flossing is performed by a dental hygienist on children, it has positive effect. So, a better encapsulation of the recent review is that improper flossing doesn't have any positive effect. On the other hand, its very unlikely to hurt you, unless you damage your gums in the process.

in case anyone wants a detailed review of the literature from before this study, Grant Richey did a blog post on it a few months ago: