The Rationalistsphere and the Less Wrong wiki

Hi ev­ery­one!

For peo­ple not ac­quainted with me, I’m Deku-shrub, of­ten known on­line for my cy­ber­crime re­search, as well as fairly heavy in­volve­ment in the global tran­shu­man­ist move­ment with pro­jects like the UK Tran­shu­man­ist Party and the H+Pe­dia wiki.

For al­most 2 years year now on and off I have been try­ing to grok what Less Wrong is about, but I’ve shirked read­ing all the se­quences end to end, in­stead fo­cused on the most pop­u­lar ideas trans­mit­ted by In­ter­net cul­tural os­mo­sis. I’m an am­a­teur so­ciol­o­gist and un­der­stand­ing Less Wrong falls within my wider pro­ject of un­der­stand­ing the differ­ent trends within the con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal tran­shu­man­ist move­ment.

I’m very keen to pin down to­day’s shape of the ra­tio­nal­ist­sphere and its crit­ics, and the best place I have found do this is on the wiki. Utilis­ing Cun­ning­ham’s Law at times, I’ve been build­ing some key nav­i­ga­tional and primer ar­ti­cles on the wiki. How­ever with the very low­est hang­ing fruit now ad­dressed I ask—what next for the wiki?

Distil­la­tion of Less Wrong

There was a his­tor­i­cal at­tempt to sum­merise all ma­jor Less Wrong posts, an in­ter­est­ing but in­com­plete pro­ject. It was also ap­proach with­out a use­fully nor­mal­ised ap­proach. Ideally, ev­ery ar­ti­cle would have its own page which could be heav­ily tagged up with meta­data such a themes, im­por­tance, length, qual­ity, au­thor and such. Is this the goal of the wiki?

Outreach and communications

Another ma­jor pro­ject is to fully in­dex the Di­as­pora across Twit­ter, Blogs, Tum­blr, Red­dit, Face­book etc and im­prove the flow of in­for­ma­tion be­tween the rele­vant sub com­mu­ni­ties.

You’ll prob­a­bly want to join one of the chat plat­forms if you’re in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved. Hell, there are even a few memes and prob­a­bly more to col­lect.

Ra­tion­al­ist research

I’ll ad­mit I’m ig­no­rant of the goal of Ar­bital, but I do love me a wiki for re­search. Cross refer­enc­ing and cit­ing ideas, merg­ing, split­ting, iden­ti­fy­ing and fully cap­tur­ing truly in­ter­est­ing and use­ful ideas from fan­ciful and fleet­ing ones is how I’ve be­come an ex­pert in a num­ber fields, just by be­ing the first to as­sem­ble All The Things.

Cer­tain ideas like the Paper clip max­i­mizer have some pop­u­lar­ity be­yond just Less Wrong, but Mur­der Gandhi doesn’t—yet. Pol­ish­ing these ideas with ex­ist­ing and ex­ter­nal refer­ences (and maybe blog­ging about them?) is a great way for the com­mu­nity dis­cus­sion of yore to make its way into the pub­li­ca­tions of lazy jour­nal­ists for dis­sem­i­na­tion. Hell, Ra­tion­alWiki has been do­ing it for years now, they’re not the only game in town.

If you have any ideas in these ar­eas, or oth­ers just a tech­ni­cal, let me know ei­ther here, on the Less Wrong Slack group, or on my talk page and maybe we can make Wikis Great Again? ;)