Running Lightcone Infrastructure, which runs LessWrong. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that’s not a great characterization of what happened. IIRC, Owen was not the person who “flew her out” (she was flown out for an unrelated job offer), he did not “surprise her” in the relevant sense (he was asked whether he could host her by other people), and they were in-general pretty close and had talked about adjacent stuff already.
Overall, my sense is Owen did mess up with a bunch of this stuff, but I don’t think it makes sense for that to follow him around to all random blogposts he writes. In-general posts on LW are pseudonymous and mostly (though not fully) judged on their content and local validity (though of course the expertise of the author does matter). I prefer the world where Owen writes under his normal name, but my guess is if this kind of stuff gets dug up on each post he might just post under a pseudonym, which I think would be his full right, but overall seems like it makes the world worse by both of our lights.
The EA Forum came up with the name when they adopted the “shortform” feature, and it seemed like a better name to me, so we copied it.
Ok, that’s definitely interesting (in the sense that it’s an implicitly registered prediction). Though conditional on that him arguing for it being a lab leak is also a bit less evidence.
(I don’t see any particular reason to trust this somewhat random professor more than the what seemed to me quite sane and exceptionally well-conducted Rootclaim debate. The linked tweet thread seems quite cursory and a lot of its content was indeed covered in the Rootclaim debate. I do still appreciate the links, since additional sources and takes seem good on the margin)
Oh, yeah, I totally think what happened here is “we had more rules/guidelines about COVID, which increased the complexity of the rules we had to follow, which caused us to be more inconsistent in applying those rules”. I didn’t mean to imply that we actually flawlessly followed the rules.
Not sure who you are referring to, but we made some tweaks to various parts of the system of the last few months, so decent chance it wouldn’t happen again.
I currently am reasonably happy when I review who gets rate limited when, though it’s definitely not easy to see the full effects of it. I think a time decay would make it a lot worse.
(Please don’t leave both top-level reacts and inline reacts of the same type on comments, that produces somewhat clearly confusing summary statistics. We might make it literally impossible, but until then, pick one and stick to it)
Actually ok now that I am thinking, why don’t downvoters have to select the text and provide the negative feedback in order to issue a downvote?
Forcing people to write a whole sentence or multiple paragraphs to signal that they think some content is bad would of course have enormous chilling effects on people’s ability to express their preferences over content on the site, and reduce the signal we have on content-quality a lot.
Downvoters never reply. I suspect because they are obviously afraid I will retaliate their downvotes with my own...
I would be quite surprised if it’s about vote-retaliation. I think it’s usually because then people ask follow-up questions and there is usually an asymmetric burden of proof in public communication where interlocutors demand very high levels of precision and shareable evidence, when the actual underlying cognitive process was “my gut says this is bad, and I don’t want to see more of this”.
That’s a nice to have, and I do think it reduces the correlation across time and so is a case for having the rate-limit decay with just time, but mostly the point of the rate-limit is to increase the average comment quality on the site without banning a bunch of people (which comes with much more chilling effects where their perspectives are not at all represented on the site, and while still allowing them to complain about the moderation and make the costs to them known)
For COVID in-particular we added a specific threshold that is “yes, this is news based, but important enough that we will frontpage the most important posts in this category anyways”. I think we announced it somewhere, let me look it up…
Here is the comment where we announced we would no longer frontpage Zvi’s COVID updates: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/EzcZ82QbTcB3Bn7JB/covid-3-17-22-the-rise-of-ba-2?commentId=mjn3uc9rPEzP3fEr9
Here is where Ruby writes about “Long COVID” posts being frontpage: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6uwLq8kofo4Tzxfe2/long-covid-is-not-necessarily-your-biggest-problem?commentId=LY3aKxbeC6P9DpXBT
I feel like I remember a comment or post where we stated publicly we would start frontpaging some COVID stuff, but I can’t find it quickly.
In any case, in the domain of COVID the frontpage/personal stuff is particularly confusing.
No, it’s if at least 7 people downvote you in the past 20 comments (on comments that end up net-negative), and the net of all the votes (ignoring your self-votes) on your last 20 comments is below −5 (just using approval-karma, not agreement-karma).
Yeah, it’s not crazy, but I currently am against it. I think if a user only comments occasionally, but always comments in a way that gets downvoted, then I think it’s good for them to maintain a low rate-limit. I don’t see how calendar time passing gives me evidence that someone’s comments will be better and that I now want more of them on the site again.
Hmm, I feel sad about this kind of critique. Like, this comment invokes some very implicit standard for posts, without making it at all explicit. Of course neither this post nor the posts they link to are literally “not based on anything”. My guess is you are invoking an implicit standard for work to be “empirical” in order to be “anything”, but that also doesn’t really make sense since there are a lot of empirical arguments in this article and in the linked articles.
I think highlighting any specific assumption, or even some set of assumptions that you think is fragile would be helpful. Or being at all concrete about what you would consider work that is “anything”. But I think as it stands I find it hard to get much out of comments like this.
Oh, I am an idiot, you are right. I got mislead by the variable name.
Then yeah, this seems pretty good to me (and seems like it should prevent basically all instances of one or two people having a grudge against someone causing them to be rate-limited).
Welcome! Hope you have a good time. Asking good questions is quite valuable, and I think a somewhat undersupplied good on the site, so am glad to have you around!
(The algorithm aggregates karma over the last 20 comments or posts a user has written. Roko has written 20 comments since publishing that post, so it’s no longer in the averaging window.)
Dialogues don’t run into any rate limits, so that is definitely always an option (and IMO a better way to have long conversations than comment threads).
It’s net karma of your last 20 comments or posts. So in order for one person to rate limit you, you would have needed to write 20 comments in a row that got basically no votes from anyone but you, at which point, I probably endorse rate-limiting you (though the zero vote case is a bit tricky, and indeed where I think a lot of the false-positives and false-negatives of the system come from).
I do think the system tends to fire the most false-positives when people are engaging in really in-depth comment trees and so write a lot of comments that get no engagement, which then makes things more sensitive to marginal downvotes. I do think “number of downvoters in the last month” or maybe “number of downvoters on your last 20 comments or posts” would help a bunch with that.
(People upvoted Roko’s comments after making this post, so presumably he is no longer being rate-limited. I think there were more negative comments a few hours ago)
In order for a rate limit to trigger the user needs to be downvoted by at least 4 different users for users below 2000 karma, and 7 different users for users above 2000 karma (relevant line of code is here).
This failsafe I think prevents most occasional commenters and posters from being affected by one or two people downvoting them.
I do think it fails to trigger for Roko here, since I think we only check for “total downvoter count”, which helps with new users, but of course over the hundreds of comments that Roko has acquired over the years he has acquired more than 7 downvoters. I think replacing that failsafe with “downvoters in the last month” is a marginal improvement, and I might make a PR with that.