The lesswrong slack—an introduction to our regulars

About us

The less­wrong slack has been ac­tive for 2-3 years now. It’s a gar­den in as much as I try to keep it peace­ful.

A new mem­ber joined the slack re­cently. He asked: What are the mod­er­a­tion rules here?

I wrote the brief rules, but then I also was feel­ing par­tic­u­larly chatty so I also in­tro­duced sev­eral of our reg­u­lar char­ac­ters. Below is a log of that con­ver­sa­tion.

There are few rules. I am in charge. Only ever banned three guys. This is a pri­vate com­mu­nity. It’s rare that we have any prob­lems. And if we do we talk about it.

We know each other quite well. Th­ese are all my friends, also prac­ti­cally my fam­ily. I can in­tro­duce the reg­u­lars.

We have about 40 ac­tive users from the pool of 577 or so that have signed up to try out if we suit.

We are gen­er­ally quiet ~3000 mes­sages a week, Spread over sev­eral chan­nels. A fea­ture of be­ing quiet is that we all tend to read all the mes­sages, no mat­ter what chan­nel they ap­pear in. That keeps us close to­gether and good friends!


Com­mon chan­nels are:

  • AI—Ar­tifi­cial intelligence

  • Art_and_me­dia—shar­ing pic­tures, books, videos, music

  • Busi­ness_and_star­tups—talk­ing about busi­ness ideas

  • Campfire—talk­ing about our past and per­sonal stories

  • Cog­ni­tive_en­hance­ment—talk­ing about drugs and other rele­vant enhancers

  • Dai­ly­challenge—oc­ca­sional crit­i­cal life ques­tions to everyone

  • Diet­ing_and_food—diet, health, cook­ing hedons

  • En­light­en­ment—talk­ing about en­light­en­ment states and re­lated ideas

  • Fit—do you even lift? We do. We all do.

  • Goals_of_less­wrong—about lesswrong

  • Hu­man_re­la­tion­ships—hu­mans are hard.

  • Men­tal_health—day to day men­tal health check ins and fol­low­ing each other’s journeys

  • Open—anything

  • Par­ent­ing—yep.

  • Per­sonal_fi­nance—ap­proach­ing fi­nan­cial in­de­pen­dence and how to think about things

  • Philos­o­phy—yep.

  • Poli­ti­cal_talk—about poli­tics, not about agen­das.

  • Pro­gram­ming—prog.

  • Pro­jects—peo­ple re­port and share what they are work­ing on

  • Ra­tional_hell—where all the good rats go to be silly

  • Ra­tion­alfic—fiction

  • Ra­tion­al­ity—craft shap­ing meth­ods and strate­gies or questions

  • Real_life_ad­vice—ask the brains trust

  • Rss_less­wrong—rss feed

  • Rss_less­wrong_com­ments—rss feed

  • Rss_gen­eral—rss feed of our friends

  • Science_and_tech­nol­ogy—yep.

  • Sex­ual_prefer­ences—yep. Although we do a lot of talk­ing about talk­ing about sex.

  • To­day_I_did_this—re­port mini victories

  • Vuln­er­a­bil­ity—talk­ing about our pre­sent vuln­er­a­bil­ities. A place to re­port ex­pe­rience with­out ask­ing for help about our prob­lems.

  • Wel­come—ev­ery­one’s in­tro­duc­tions!

  • World_dom­i­na­tion—schem­ing and evil plans. Muhua­ha­haha!

The regulars

@jol­ly­bard is a mu­si­cian turned math­e­mat­i­cian, now study­ing. He is brilli­ant at any­thing he puts his mind to but ter­rible at any­thing he doesn’t. Cur­rently bal­anc­ing his own bad­brains (bipo­lar) with his SO’s. He is of­ten in #math and #art_and_me­dia.

@go­night. Queen of #ra­tio­nal_hell for writ­ing with the great­est pos­si­ble meme den­sity.

@adamz­erner works more hours in a day than any­one. He has a very strict sched­ule and is a pro­gram­mer. His hobby is poker and has been build­ing a soft­ware in #busi­ness_and_star­tups. He has non-stan­dard re­la­tion­ships and of­ten talks about the strange things that peo­ple nor­mally do that don’t make sense to him. I met him and he’s a very kind soul. I be­lieve he grew up with­out be­ing sur­rounded by very smart peo­ple. He was wor­ried he’d never find them, des­tined for a lonely life. But he even­tu­ally found us and other smart peo­ple and he’s happy that he made it.

@mll is a brilli­ant re­searcher into chem­istry and biol­ogy and neu­rol­ogy. He can usu­ally say what any chem­i­cal can do. He hates be­ing wrong and is ob­sessed with be­ing cor­rect (as a weak­ness and a strength) you can find him in #cog­ni­tive_en­hance­ment #men­tal_health and #sci­ence_n_tech­nol­ogy among other places. If you have a hy­poth­e­sis about some chem­i­cal caus­ing some symp­tom he can usu­ally sug­gest whether it’s likely or not. Also he’s in #fit

@ray is our res­i­dent he­do­nist. He pur­sues food and sex so well he makes us proud to live aus­pi­ciously through his eyes. He is also study­ing busi­ness, ex­er­cis­ing when not do­ing the rest and is fa­mous for bi-hack­ing him­self and _shower beers_. He also coined the term “wild rats” for ra­tio­nal­ists that don’t know they are part of us yet. Always in #fit and #diet­ing_and_food

If you head to #sex­ual_prefer­ences we talk about all man­ner of pos­si­bil­ities.

You might meet @cpopell, pro­fes­sional dancer, lover, hacker of okc ac­counts. Weight lifter for 20 years...

@re­becca is usu­ally in #sex­ual_prefer­ences but only when her many poly re­la­tion­ships give her time to chat to us. She kind of co­or­di­nated a com­mu­nity in Seat­tle. How­ever she is oc­ca­sion­ally alone, some­times lead­ing to weird feel­ings. We love her de­spite her not hav­ing much time to visit. She also hangs out in #hu­man_re­la­tion­ships, #per­sonal_fi­nance, #men­tal_health and #real_life_ad­vice.

@wub­bles is a math­e­mat­i­cian and pro­gram­mer. He’s very tall and once met @hel­l­dalgo. He is cool and busy work­ing as a grad stu­dent in math at the mo­ment, lead­ing to much stress.

@hel­l­dalgo is ev­ery­one’s mother. She is also in some kind of tech busi­ness and man­ages ac­counts.

@faun is an eu­daimo­nia op­ti­mizer liv­ing in new Zealand. They have a great acu­men for con­cepts and pro­jec­tions be­cause they are so iso­lated from the real world (I joke). Also a #pro­gram­ming per­son. Has a cre­ative eye for the prob­lems of the world. Faun is also a writer of things story-like. And makes com­puter games that make you think hard about re­al­ity.

@s0ph1a lived in a barn in Belgium on top of a choco­late fac­tory. She moved to the UK and lived in a Ker­nel (a rat share­house). Old school less­wrong, dates back to olden days, vis­its via IRC. We of­ten ping her up when we’re look­ing for an old rat­sphere ar­ti­cle. Spent so long on pot that she had no mo­ti­va­tion. She taught her­self pro­gram­ming and is chang­ing her life di­rec­tion now and do­ing amaz­ingly well.

@jaydee is in Melbourne and joined us shortly af­ter end­ing a re­la­tion­ship. He is in the pro­cess of man­ag­ing his men­tal health and en­joy­ing get­ting his life to­gether while hold­ing down a job.

@blue­hawk is also in Melbourne and and works in a pro­duc­tion com­pany mak­ing ed­u­ca­tional videos for high school in Aus­tralia. He is hav­ing a lot of fun but has a big­ger pas­sion in mak­ing and di­rect­ing film than man­age­ment. He is mak­ing a lot of money and finds his work very re­ward­ing.

@deku-shrub is the pirate of Lon­don! http://​​pirate.lon­don . He is a cy­ber crime re­searcher who defeats the paid kil­ler scams on the dark Web. He also has a robot girlfriend saga which you can ask him about.

@gjm is a long time less­wronger. He’s a math­e­mat­i­cian, in in­dus­try in Cam­bridge. Gen­er­ally smart guy. Knows his stuff. Likes #math and #busi­ness_and_startups

@nish81 is also in Lon­don and makes money by play­ing on­line cas­ino games. Re­cently de­cided to quit that and re­tire. Is now look­ing at other op­por­tu­ni­ties, mainly in the stock trad­ing scene.

@regex has been busy re­cently but is study­ing while try­ing to solve a con­cen­tra­tion prob­lem in their headspace for about six months now. They have tried many many things. Re­cent progress: grape juice. (fol­low up: turns out it was de­pres­sion and med­i­ca­tion helps)

@er­ra­tio is in Syd­ney with me and @tim. @er­ra­tio started #vuln­er­a­bil­ity and #en­light­en­ment with me to ex­plore those top­ics. Vuln­er­a­bil­ity came about when I had an en­tire work­ing model of the world that didn’t ac­count for that branch of com­plex­ity. I was con­fused and we started a chan­nel to talk about it. She’s very knowl­edge­able about psy­chol­ogy and ther­apy stuff.

@tim is a weight lifter at age 60 and study­ing physics and read­ing fi­nance pa­pers. He has difficulty know­ing whether to trust peo­ple so he had to teach him­self how to work that out on his own. He is also brilli­ant but hum­ble as all hell. Reads a lot of pa­pers. Cur­rently likes figur­ing out how bad the repli­ca­tion crisis is. He’s work­ing on 3rd year physics on his own and study­ing min­ing en­g­ineer­ing.

@freyley is in busi­ness and en­joys talk­ing start-ups and busi­ness. He’s also a #par­ent­ing reg­u­lar and he’s awe­some at it.

@mind­spillage is a lawyer and is su­per cool. She works in tech and IP law, or patent law or space law or both. Or en­vi­ron­men­tal law, but for the light side of the Force (free soft­ware, free cul­ture, free speech). Or all of the above. She also has amaz­ing hair. Oh, and she has a mu­sic de­gree and plays the bas­soon.

@ruthan is our res­i­dent bad at com­mu­ni­cat­ing that she has the hots for ev­ery­one in her life\ and spins off hilar­i­ous sto­ries all the time. When not busy hav­ing a crush on ev­ery hu­man, she writes code and sings a lot. She has like 3 choirs she sings with. She hangs out in #campfire, #vuln­er­a­bil­ity and #hu­man_relationships

@yaa­cov is study­ing CS, and will soon be work­ing at a big evil com­pany that you prob­a­bly hate. He runs a Jewish stu­dent hous­ing coop in his free time.

and we all drive around in a van and solve mys­ter­ies. But ac­tu­ally we all hang out and solve each other’s prob­lems.

Did I men­tion I have a crush on all my friends? Cause I do.

Er­ra­tio: more like a minibus. with that many of us _:stuck_out_tongue:_

@names­pace is highly com­pe­tent and wrote the last two less wrong sur­veys. Names­pace has strong opinions on how the world is bro­ken by bad sys­tems. He is cur­rently work­ing on mak­ing the world a bet­ter place by his own darn hard work.

@aaron doesn’t know who he is yet but is med­i­tat­ing on it and will get back to you.

@fasteir is a bit newer.

#to­day_i_did_this is our cel­e­bra­tion channel

Ruthan: @elo, since I see he did not bio him­self, he is a re­lentlessly kind and full of in­ter­est­ing met­rics (like his friends rank­ing.) I don’t re­mem­ber what he does day-to-day but I would not be sur­prised to learn it in­volved some ran­dom agrar­ian en­deavor like os­trich farm­ing.

Jol­ly­bard: @elo likes to man­age com­mu­ni­ties, like the syd­ney ra­tio­nal­ity dojo

@Aza­tris is great! He’s a pro­gram­mer who up traded coun­tries for more money. He is be­ing paid a great sum to do what he was do­ing a few months back. Last I heard he was try­ing out re­la­tion­ships and look­ing for a squad to go squad­goals on

@un­con­ben­tional is a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher by trade. And he has the best and cutest of cheeks.

@gy­rodot did his AI PhD while with us. He had a lot of stress in his life at the time be­tween his ex and his 4 year old (and grow­ing) kid. He is sup­ported by his won­der­ful par­ents, his amaz­ing friends and he is grow­ing the french ra­tio­nal­ity com­mu­nity al­most sin­gle hand­edly. Be­cause you can’t hold a good man back from his goals.

@tomaff is a free think­ing pro­gram­mer type who has been get­ting into act­ing classes in his spare time. He’s hav­ing a lot of fun dis­cov­er­ing how to be so­cial.


If you are cu­ri­ous what it’s like, feel free to join us. PM me your email ad­dress for an in­vite as per Less Wrong Slack—Less­wrong­wiki.