On LessWrong, we have a sort of hierarchy of posts:
Open Thread / Short Form
Here I’d like to experiment with a fifth: the Babble Thread.
What is babbling? Babble is the post that introduced the concept, I believe. The Babble and Prune tag is also worth checking out. But for me, seeing the Babble Challenges as a concrete example is what made the concept click.
In this thread… babble away! About anything! Share your ideas, and don’t hold back! It’s ok if they end up being wrong or silly. The purpose here is just to babble. Some ideas for what to babble about:
Important problems like AI safety
Useful things like life hacks
World modeling, like how efficient you think the market for prestige in academia is
Reflections on your personal life
Trivial things like how hard it is to tuck your bed sheets in properly
Ideas for startups or scientific experiments
To this end, I think it’d make sense to avoid commenting on others’ babbles. It seems best to make this more of a safe space where you can babble without fear of being judged.
However, pruning does have a place too. I think a good balance would be to allow upvoting on top-level comments (babbles) as a means to do some initial pruning and identify ideas worth following up on for further pruning. If we want to be really strict about it I think we’d separate this upvote/initial pruning step from the generate ideas/babble step, but as a practical matter it’d be easier to upvote in this thread.
I’m not attached to this approach by any means, so please comment in the top level meta comment if you have thoughts on how this Babble Thread should be structured.