Brief comment on frontpage/​personal distinction

I recently moved a post back to personal, a decision which caused some confusion and had some pushback. Rather than have discussion on the post about the site (i.e. about not-the-post), I’ve copied my comment here instead.

A short background on this particular guideline (not having meta/​community discussion on frontpage) and its purpose:

  • The purpose of the rule is to make sure we have a clear, well-defined space that users can go to and not expect to discover internal discussion or political discussion.

    • To contrast, my facebook wall often has interesting discussion followed by AGH ANGSTY TRIBAL CONFLICT, and if you think of Frontpage as analogous to how academic physics has journals where the best work goes in, it would be bad to also have internal /​ political discussion in those.

  • And to clarify, this isn’t at all a question of quality. Resolving tribal conflict is an important part of rationality. But there are many many many many excellent posts that do not belong in Frontpage.

With that common knowledge, I read the structure of this post as being

  • Observation about the community

  • Laying out model of what’s going on

  • Suggesting a different solution for the community

Which is a fine and good post. But I think it addresses a problem that many communities don’t have, and so is fairly this-community-specific.

To give further information: a solution that would be totally fine-and-dandy would be to take the model of communities, status and reinforcement and write it as its own post on the Frontpage, then separately write a personal blog post on using to analyse this community. That way it could contribute to the ongoing building of knowledge while not being very context heavy (e.g. someone else could build on the theory alone), and also discuss the important community aspects.

People will naturally tend to read the social stuff a lot. I think this rule pushes against the direction of entropy where this is everything on LessWrong, rather than a thing that happens on LessWrong but not the point of LessWrong.