Most Rationalists Are Elsewhere

Most healthy in­tel­lec­tual blogs/​fo­rums par­ti­ci­pate in con­ver­sa­tions among larger com­mu­ni­ties of blogs and fo­rums. Rather than just “preach­ing to a choir” of read­ers, such blogs of­ten quote and re­spond to posts on other blogs. Such re­sponses some­times sup­port, and some­times crit­i­cize, but ei­ther way can con­tribute to a healthy con­ver­sa­tion.

If folks at Less Wrong saw them­selves as a part of a larger com­mu­nity of ra­tio­nal­ists, they would re­al­ize that most ra­tio­nal­ist au­thors and read­ers are not at Less Wrong. To par­ti­ci­pate in a healthy con­ver­sa­tion among the wider com­mu­nity of ra­tio­nal­ists, they would of­ten re­spond to posts at other sites, and ex­pect other sites to re­spond of­ten to them. In con­trast, an in­su­lar group defined by some­thing other than its ra­tio­nal­ity would be in­ter­nally fo­cused, rarely par­ti­ci­pat­ing in such larger con­ver­sa­tions.

To­day at Over­com­ing Bias I re­spond to a post by Eliezer here at Less Wrong. Though I post oc­ca­sion­ally here at Less Wrong, I will con­tinue to post pri­mar­ily at Over­com­ing Bias. I con­sider my­self part of a larger ra­tio­nal­ist com­mu­nity, and will con­tinue to riff off rele­vant posts here and el­se­where. I hope you will con­tinue to see me as a part of your rele­vant world.

I worry a lit­tle that Less Wrong karma score in­cen­tives may en­courage an in­ward fo­cus, since karma is so far only scored for in­ter­nal site ac­tivity.