Comment by salguod on Finding interesting communities · 2013-05-30T17:09:58.896Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The gelling of truly awesome and useful communities is hard to achieve through a deterministic, step-by-step process. What I find useful to focus on is a more iterative, trial and error process along these lines:

(1) Be where communities are forming – density generally means more opportunity. Per ModusPonies, move downtown or wherever you need to be to improve your odds of achieving initial critical mass.

(2) Be prepared to adapt and flex. A community is made up of… wait for it… multiple people. Who may have somewhat different skills, goals and values and may want something similar, but different to what you were initially looking for. A tight filter and a rigid template not only lowers your odds but might lead you to miss a maximization opportunity you hadn’t thought of.

(3) Nurture the initial tender shoots of community and cherish existing high-functioning communities when you find yourself in them. Along the lines of Peopleware’s concept of “teamicide”, realize that it’s much more efficient to not disrupt, degrade or kill off existing high-functioning communities than to start over from scratch.

Comment by salguod on Welcome to Less Wrong! (5th thread, March 2013) · 2013-05-29T05:26:53.047Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hi folks --

In high school I became obsessed with Gödel, Escher, Bach; in college in the 80s I studied philosophy of language, linguistics and AI; then tracked along with that stuff on the side through various career incarnations through the 90s (newspaper production guy, systems programmer, Internet entrepreneur, etc.). I'm now a transactional attorney who helps people buy and sell services and technology and work together to make stuff -- sort of a meta-anti-Lloyd Dobler.

I'm de-lurking because I finished HP:MoR a month ago and I'm chewing through the sequences at a rapid clip; it's all resonating nicely with my decades-long marinade in a lot of the same source materials referenced in the sequences. It's also helping me to systematize a lot of ad-hoc observations I've made over the years about the role that imperfect cognition plays in my life and my corner of the legal world.

Looking forward to hanging out here with you folks!

Comment by salguod on Be a little bit more trusting than most people think sensible · 2013-05-29T04:37:38.809Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The point that's stuck with me from Fukuyama's book on this topic ( is that there's not just one fungible bucket of trust -- the types of people and institutions that attract trust within a society tend to shape and limit the types of organizations that can be formed and sustained. He argues that what permits organizations to both scale (relatively) smoothly and then subsequently persist over multiple generations is the ability of essentially random people to form bonds of trust (as opposed to forming those bonds with family members or relying on the government).