Which subreddits should we create on Less Wrong?

Less Wrong is based on red­dit code, which means we can cre­ate sub­red­dits with rel­a­tive ease.

Right now we have two sub­red­dits, Main and Dis­cus­sion. Th­ese are dis­t­in­guished not by sub­ject mat­ter, but by whether a post is the type of thing that might be pro­moted to the front page or not (e.g. a meetup an­nounce­ment, or a par­tic­u­larly well-com­posed and use­ful post).

As a re­sult, al­most ev­ery­thing is pub­lished to Dis­cus­sion, and thus it is difficult for busy peo­ple to fol­low only the sub­jects they care about. More peo­ple will be able to en­gage if we split things into topic-spe­cific sub­red­dits, and make it easy to fol­low only what they care about.

To make it eas­ier for peo­ple to fol­low only what they care about, we’re build­ing the code for a Dash­board thingie.

But we also need to figure out which sub­red­dits to cre­ate, and we’d like com­mu­nity feed­back about that.

We’ll prob­a­bly start small, with just 1-5 new sub­red­dits.

Below are some ini­tial ideas, to get the con­ver­sa­tion started.

Idea 1

  • Main: still the place for things that might be pro­moted.

  • Ap­plied Ra­tion­al­ity: for ar­ti­cles about what Jonathan Baron would call de­scrip­tive and pre­scrip­tive ra­tio­nal­ity, for both epistemic and in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity (stuff about bi­ases, self-im­prove­ment stuff, etc.).

  • Nor­ma­tive Ra­tion­al­ity: for ar­ti­cles about what Baron would call nor­ma­tive ra­tio­nal­ity, for both epistemic and in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity (ex­am­in­ing the foun­da­tions of prob­a­bil­ity the­ory, de­ci­sion the­ory, an­throp­ics, and lots of stuff that is called “philos­o­phy”).

  • The Fu­ture: for ar­ti­cles about fore­cast­ing, x-risk, and fu­ture tech­nolo­gies.

  • Misc: Dis­cus­sion, re­named, for ev­ery­thing that doesn’t be­long in the other sub­red­dits.

Idea 2

  • Main

  • Epistemic Ra­tion­al­ity: for ar­ti­cles about how to figure out the world, span­ning the de­scrip­tive, pre­scrip­tive, and nor­ma­tive.

  • In­stru­men­tal Ra­tion­al­ity: for ar­ti­cles about how to take ac­tion to achieve your goals, span­ning the de­scrip­tive, pre­scrip­tive, and nor­ma­tive. (One difficulty with the epistemic/​in­stru­men­tal split is that many (most?) ap­plied ra­tio­nal­ity tech­niques seem to be rele­vant to both epistemic and in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity.)

  • The Future

  • Misc.