The new Effective Altruism forum just launched
CEA just launched the new EA forum, now located at forum.effectivealtruism.org. It’s based on the LessWrong codebase, and we’ve collaborated with them on getting everything up and running and making the codebase adaptable for them, as well as helping fix up various bugs and problems that they ran into while setting everything up.
I expect many LW readers will find some of the content there interesting, and I am also looking forward to how the changes they made to the site will work out, as that will inform how we develop LessWrong in the future.
Their opening post also had some interesting things to say about intellectual progress and the purpose of the platform, which also applies to LessWrong in at least some aspects:
[Quotes section from here]
Making progress as a community
Much intellectual progress is done as part of a community: even when an individual has an important new insight, it tends to take many people to bring the idea to maturity. Academic science is perhaps the most obvious example of this.
Intellectual progress is not just something done by professional philosophers. It’s something that everyone in the community can contribute to.
Just as you might donate some of your income without working full-time for a charity, you can contribute intellectually without becoming a full-time researcher. For example, you could aggregate data on the number of invertebrates in the world, tweak GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness model, or analyze the history of an interesting social movement. And you can also help by writing up explanations or summaries of others’ work. Whilst you do so, you’ll be sharpening your thinking, understanding others’ ideas better, and learning about important topics.
This is why open forums have historically been places where key ideas behind effective altruism have been hammered out—for instance, Felicifia, LessWrong, SL4, and many on the EA Forum itself.
To make intellectual progress, the community needs the right infrastructure, amongst other things:
A place to share ideas (e.g. journals)
A way of getting feedback on intellectual work (e.g. discussion groups, online forums)
An easy way to search for existing work (e.g. literature reviews)
Shared norms of discussion, and standards for work (e.g. karma voting)
Common knowledge of core ideas, so that ideas can be built upon rather than constantly rediscovered (e.g. textbooks)
A place for contributors to find important open questions in the field (e.g. research agendas)
The EA Forum intends to provide this infrastructure, and so become the central place where EAs make intellectual progress online.