What we’re losing

More and more, LessWrong’s posts are meta-ra­tio­nal­ity posts, about how to be ra­tio­nal, how to avoid akra­sia, in gen­eral, with­out any spe­cific ap­pli­ca­tion. This is prob­a­bly the in­tended pur­pose of the site. But they’re start­ing to bore me.

What drew me to LessWrong is that it’s a place where I can put ra­tio­nal­ity into prac­tice, dis­cussing spe­cific ques­tions of philos­o­phy, value, and pos­si­ble fu­tures, with the goal of find­ing a good path through the Sin­gu­lar­ity. Many of these top­ics have no other place where ra­tio­nal dis­cus­sion of them is pos­si­ble, on­line or off. Such ap­plied top­ics have al­most all moved to Dis­cus­sion now, and may be de­clin­ing in fre­quency.

This isn’t en­tirely new. Ap­plied dis­cus­sions have always suffered bad karma on LW (statis­ti­cally; please do not re­spond with anec­do­tal data). I thought this was be­cause peo­ple down­vote a post if they find any­thing in it that they dis­agree with. But per­haps a lot of peo­ple would rather talk about ra­tio­nal­ity than use it.

Does any­one else have this per­cep­tion? Or am I just be­com­ing a LW old geezer?

At the same time, LW is tak­ing off in terms of mee­tups and num­ber of posts. Is it find­ing its true self? Does the dis­cus­sion of ra­tio­nal­ity tech­niques have a larger mar­ket than de­bates over Sleep­ing Beauty (I’m even be­gin­ning to miss those!) Is the old con­cern with val­ues, ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence, and the Sin­gu­lar­ity some­thing for LW to grow out of?

(ADDED: Some ra­tio­nal­ity posts are good. I am also a luke­prog fan.)