Welcome to Less Wrong!

If you’ve re­cently joined the Less Wrong com­mu­nity, please leave a com­ment here and in­tro­duce your­self. We’d love to know who you are, what you’re do­ing, or how you found us. Tell us how you came to iden­tify as a ra­tio­nal­ist, or de­scribe what it is you value and work to achieve.

If you’d like to meet other LWers in real life, there’s a meetup thread and a Face­book group. If you’ve your own blog or other on­line pres­ence, please feel free to link it. If you’re con­fused about any of the terms used on this site, you might want to pay a visit to the LW Wiki, or sim­ply ask a ques­tion in this thread. Some of us have been hav­ing this con­ver­sa­tion for a few years now, and we’ve de­vel­oped a fairly spe­cial­ized way of talk­ing about some things. Don’t worry—you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.

You may have no­ticed that all the posts and all the com­ments on this site have but­tons to vote them up or down, and all the users have “karma” scores which come from the sum of all their com­ments and posts. Try not to take this too per­son­ally. Vot­ing is used mainly to get the most use­ful com­ments up to the top of the page where peo­ple can see them. It may be difficult to con­tribute sub­stan­tially to on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tions when you’ve just got­ten here, and you may even see some of your com­ments get voted down. Don’t be dis­cour­aged by this; it hap­pened to many of us. If you’ve any ques­tions about karma or vot­ing, please feel free to ask here.

If you’ve come to Less Wrong to teach us about a par­tic­u­lar topic, this thread would be a great place to start the con­ver­sa­tion, es­pe­cially un­til you’ve worked up enough karma for a top level post. By post­ing here, and check­ing the re­sponses, you’ll prob­a­bly get a good read on what, if any­thing, has already been said here on that topic, what’s widely un­der­stood and what you might still need to take some time ex­plain­ing.

A note for the­ists: you will find LW overtly athe­ist. We are happy to have you par­ti­ci­pat­ing but please be aware that other com­menters are likely to treat re­li­gion as an open-and-shut case. This isn’t group­think; we re­ally, truly have given full con­sid­er­a­tion to the­is­tic claims and found them to be false. If you’d like to know how we came to this con­clu­sion you may find these re­lated posts a good start­ing point.

A cou­ple tech­ni­cal notes: when leav­ing com­ments, you may no­tice a ‘help’ link be­low and to the right of the text box. This will ex­plain how to ital­i­cize, linkify, or quote bits of text. You’ll also want to check your in­box, where you can always see whether peo­ple have left re­sponses to your com­ments.

Wel­come to Less Wrong, and we look for­ward to hear­ing from you through­out the site.

(Note from MBlume: though my name is at the top of this page, the word­ing in var­i­ous parts of the wel­come mes­sage owes a debt to other LWers who’ve helped me con­sid­er­ably in work­ing the kinks out)