Nobody regularly posting consistently good new content (ie. no Eliezer)

Bad commenters drive out good ones. The site has very little for adults who have their shit together, and tends to make the ones it has around quit by episodes of weirdness or constant low-key crappiness (see Shpitser, Kennaway dropping out this year)

talks big about ingroup/outgroup but uncritically treats ingroup as ingroup, which makes it fun to be a part of but probably less productive than otherwise

needs more community value interest. people who want the community.

even more tolerant of idiots than it once was

Too few people. In particular, most of the people who were active on LW at its peak are now gone.

Meta Contrarianism

Figuratively a cult. Not literally.

I remember that there used to be an interest in PUA techniques on LessWrong. I was interested in PUA techniques too when I was an autistic teenager who didn't know any better. PUA is only interesting if you're too autistic to understand the difference between social skills and manipulation. Now that I've overcome autism, I find the knowledge provided by the "Authentic Man Program" organization to be much more useful and effective and less bullshitty.

Note: trolls/cranks sometimes include community members who react poorly to each other. Every. Damn. Time.

All of the best content makers left.

Too few tiers, the Jargon and High standards make things more interesting but they overwhelm, lower tiers ought to exist in parallel

I don't really use the website except when linked to a specific posts. I follow the LW Facebook group and read Slate Star Codex. I've been meaning to read the sequences.

Not tolerant enough of neoreaction or progressivism

Inferior to other content filters

I am not involved enough to know

Bikeshed effect, too much politics, navel gazing and fluff

Drive-by downvoting giving powerful negative reinforcement tools to random careless people.

Too much smugness

Easy to get high karma by posting a lot of mediocre comments

Decline due to diaspora

Nancy is a fucking horrible moderator, I have no idea why she's still there but she's in part responsible for the site's decline. Get rid of her.

Too tolerant of people who are only there to play status games.

Community is splintered and LessWrong is no longer the default place to seek out or share good content

Not enough avenues for "creative interest groups" or other mechanism for creating quick, experimental iterations in new philosophical schools.

Diaspora (most of my interaction with the LW-o-sphere is either on tumblr or SSC)

A lack of effort (or perhaps ability) to think about what someone was trying to say in a post or why someone posted something before responding to it.


Difficulty to accept new people in. Barrier to entry causes strange filtering of people coming in not that the high phase is over.

The Sequences were probably the largest source of discussion on the forums.

Overly Low Standards for Content Submission-- I can get mediocre content anywhere on the internet. I feel (perhaps unreasonably; I read very little LessWrong that isn't something SSC links to, the promoted posts section is pretty barren and useful anyway, and furthermore the rating system probably filters for quality) that what's going on now on LW is mostly just dilution.

Very thin-skinned and singleminded; critics tend to get dogpiled far out of proportion

Unwelcoming for newcomers and of people who are not familiar with ALL the jargon

Possibly dilution, though the rating system should hypothetically deal with that

still too many recurring arguments that never get anywhere

harassment of LW critics

I don't really follow LW much anymore, because it seems like there isn't much in the way of new content that is relevant to my interests. However, I think much of the issue is just that people have had time to think more deeply about the Sequences. By now, most of the "old guard" has probably come to disagree with enough of the points in them that they want to start other discussion groups where some of the Sequence arguments aren't taken as axioms.

A few weeks ago a guest poster, invited by Gleb, tried to present a way that spiritual experiences are rational. That Gleb thought it appropriate for such hogwash to be exhibited at LW makes me concerned about what LW members think LW is for.

too much dismissal of cultural norms as "irrational", followed by finding out why the cultural norms were there in the first place

Still too narrow, not wide enough variety of topics (politics is the mind killer etc.).

not enough people in the community, and definitely not enough high quality people posting on the website

Too introverted

I was, until relatively recently, a prime example of the dunning kruger effect. Interacting with the community helped to change that.

Too tolerant of idiots

Scott Alexander's insight porn black hole / cesspit

Don't feel like I can contribute anything.

Broadly assumes you read other blogs/live in California. LW makes no little to provide enough context to follow.

Too tolerant of PUA

Too tolerant of *impolite* proponents of Neoreaction and related beliefs.

Same defensiveness problem as mentioned last question

Too much egalitarianism (lack of clear hierarchy, few visible leaders)

No clear induction path. The Sequences are good for "how do I learn all this", but there's nothing clear for "How do I participate in this community?", when starting from scratch

Not "literally a cult", no - but certainly smacks of cultiness at times. Did they have to be called the "Sequences"?

Unavoidable, unrecoverable bad PR (people who would otherwise be excellent LW members dislike it because they've got bad perceptions of LW)

The need to Be Rational Lest Ye Be Judged And Then Ignored By All.

It seems unlikely that any given human will stick with frequenting any venue (eg LW) for 5 or 10 years or longer. Thus I think it is unsurprising that many of the original highly active posters of LW have moved on to other venues/ventures.

The really interesting parts seem to have largely been subsumed by MIRI

Too tolerant of arrogance and narcissism

Too harsh

The original forum was less of a community and more of a blog. I would prefer a platform that encouraged individual discussion and source citation, and allowed people to maintain their own blogs instead.

Lack of thought and due vigilance before expressing ideas.

diaspora not participating

Not enough Scott.

Too much inperson interaction- the community moved offline.

not enough social skills

Site not mobile friendly

The design of the website is overall confusing.

Overly focused on Yudowsky, to the point of being almost a cult of personality.

Excluding the occasional post from Anna, which is as good as the old stuff used to be

Failure to be charitable

I'm not around Less Wrong right now

group insecurity - too much worry about why you are declining is self fulfilling

Condescension towards people with certain beliefs/practices

Same as then

many people are too sure of themselves and too dismissive of others


Split between multiple forums, and a main focus being Tumblr which has horrible software

Content isn't organized well

I cant upvote & i dont know why.

Plenty of good new content, but too scattered -- have to find the correct tumblrs, wordpress blogs, etc, to read the good posts, and then find the correct tumblrs and FB posts to read the discussion of those posts. Basically impossible to keep track of all the good discussions unless you read both tumblr and FB constantly.

too high-threshold for newcomers (everything is like "the sequences are a good start!" and I read some of them and some just seemed obvious and I kind of just never got through them all so I mostly stayed away)

I don't know what the current state of the community is.

Many good content creators moved elsewhere, and I can only follow so many blogs.

Insufficiently tolerant of trolls/cranks

STILL needs more humanities nerds!

Not tolerant enough of not-yet-rationalists

Not the optimal place for sharing ideas.

It's over.

People make so much of the "main" "discussion" "open thread" distinction that I wonder why I even check it once a week anymore. Back when people were adding _content_, a regular post would be posted, not be debated whether it should be a -1, 0, 1st, 2nd or 3rd level comment under a specific threads meta discussion meta-top-comment.

Tendency toward naive rationalism (a la Taleb)

Too weak incentives for good content & no one motivated enough to make good content without incentives

Could use more stuff written by Scott Alexander

exit of early community members with limited succession planning, combined with early members' apparent disdain for LW as it exists

Not Literally A Cult

Too much New Athiesm.

same as above

Too much stuff that isn't about _how to be less wrong_

everyone is a douche

Scott Alexander stole my soul.

Failure to know that sources even exist

Most of the good discussion moved to facebook

More audio and video (eventually vr) content. The internet is bigger then a bulletin board.

Mostly the main writers left. But also the NRx vote manipulation.

Spread out among too many platforms

EY stopped writing and other authors could not appeal to enough of the broad base he brought in

Overwhelming; lots of interesting things, but where to start? Constant fear that I'm not reading the _best possible content_ on there.

I don't know. I don't really interact with anyone.

Posts about "controversial" topics, where Aumann agreement cannot be reached, should be moved to a separate topic

Still too much Eliezer


I do not participate sufficiently to be aware of any problems.

Too tolerant of Thought Police

No new content from the people who wrote content worth reading (e.g. Eliezer, Brienne, Julia, Kaj, Scott... exception: Daniel Dewey)

not autistic enough

Decline in new content because of lack of remaining low-hanging fruit (not that it was especially low to begin with)

The over abundance of jargon makes lesswrong very hard to get into if you're new which has the side effect of making it seem very cultish. Depending on who you ask this might be a positive thing, as it keeps the weeds out of our garden.

Still too few women or older people, too young, male and privileged

No one really knows if their new ideas are LW appropriate now that Eliezer and Scott who had set the tone have retired

I wouldn't really know because I don't go there because of the lack of traffic. Coordination games!

Too critical of it's members. Perfectionist to a fault.

It seems like a lot of its appeal is in intentionally being anticorrelated with public thought. While I think "reality" is POORLY correlated with public thought, a lot of LW seems to be knee-jerk "Well the average person thinks this way, therefore the OPPOSITE, no matter how awkward or tortuous it is, must be the right answer"

Too much of an echo chamber

No emotional warmth (maybe that's included in "too autistic", but I know people on the spectrum who wouldn't screw up ... "vibe")

A lack of "things being tied together". Eg back when the sequences were posted, there was one person producing reliably interesting posts that fit together in an overarching narrative. They were also not dumped at once, forcing readers to come back regularly and discuss things with other people who are at a similar point of working through the content.

I didn't check "too tolerant of neoreaction," because I don't think that's the actual issue. I think it's more that certain things are labeled political and others aren't, despited those things being roughly equally political.


Cotent did not evolve with the community: The community has gone the way of CFAR, or other organizations (MiriX, EA), and has fractured. LessWrong was not suited for this .

Bad PR (bad perceptions causing people to dislike what they think is the LW culture and disdain to be involved with it)

The software & culture is bad at filtering the best content to the top and making the worse content less visible

Not literally a cult, but since most members do not have an educated understanding of what religion is, they do not see how the group operates like one and therefore tend to be hypocritical/foolish when dismissing religions or denying they are one (not that they are one by most definitions; only by some)

Too tolerant of people with IQs below 130.

Social Justice Entryism

Mostly posts about decline of LW

wait are you duplicating the same questions under different headers?

Past its peak

Not enough (good) engagement if you do post something

nt much turning up in my RSS feed.

Aside from sequences, I don't have a good algorithm for finding high-expected-value reading at a glance

Size increase leading to lower average content quality

Too tolerant of stupid people. Also too much guilt trip about the lack of women in LW. When there are not that many woman with 130+ IQs compared to men.

Too tolerant of anti-rationalists, e.g. religious believers.

Most of the ~10 people posting good content left to start own blogs.

No good, easy to find overview/"Getting Started" section

I would like to go to meetups but the community seems to have stopped organizing them

I don't understand much stuff, or don't understand the relevance quickly enough.

Too "lame", (not Autistic)

There seem to be no leaders here any longer - only followers and pedants

Too much focus on the medium. A lot of people seem to care too much and talk too much about upvotes/downvotes like they're money into or out of pockets.

Slate Star Codex and other blogs are more interesting to me now.

Not enough deep diving on ideas such as SSC's moloch, The Last Psychiatrist's writings on narcissism, and all of the sequences. Too much fluff and human interest.

I've gone full diaspora; I follow Scott and Ozy on Tumblr and am generally annoyed with anti-LW types and also nrx-defensive types there, but never visit LW proper.

Too happy to act like an epilogue to EY's Sequences.

Not enough members of the community have joined the Zaudunyani.

Seems to blame "irrational" people for their irrationality (e.g. religious people who were raised religious)

No idea what it's like now

Can't find a general RSS feed for new posts

Looking from the outside, sense that the community is insular and has high standards for accepting new members

All the people I like interacting with are active elsewhere

Tendency of comments to attack side issues and not reply to the real problem that is beeing discussed, leading to a tendency of the discussion to move away from the original topic

Participating in a meaningful way has a huge knowledge barrier to entry.

Lumifer (one of the site's most active users) is a jerk and drives people away--never submits anything himself, just criticizes submissions of others

same as previous answer.

all the interesting people have left, leaving the parts of the community I'd prefer not to interact with (weird people who don't seem very socially competent and are still too focused on seeming smart above all else)

Too many links in every post.

Departure of many of the best posters from the main site.

If you are asking the question that "are you a cult" then you are a cult. Remove this question - or make changes that make you remove this question.

too unwieldly - requires too much investment to dabble

No opinion

Cult leaders decided they want to start their own personal cults of personalities and everything fragmented.

So new here that I'm not sure.

Scott pulled a lot of the most interesting discussion onto his own blog. Now there's a fledgling "post-rationalist" community spread across blogs and Twitter. All this contributes to diaspora independent of anything LessWrong proper does.

Content has largely moved elsewhere and become decentralized, thus hard to find.

Too contrarian. (A lack of kindness)

Don't know since I don't read LW proper anymore

No opinion

Too self-referential.

Self-important. Makes up proper nouns.

Valid responses to issues raised are not considered and do not generate any discussion.

Maybe everybody is procrastinating? Waiting for others to do something? Just questions, not statements.

I think people mostly moved to reddit? Which is ok, but then what is LessWrong for? The wiki and Sequences are fantastic, but the website feels more like a monument now than the magnificent living, jiggling, flying Spaghetti Monster it was when Eliezer posted regularly. So the problem is... petrification? Wait, is there a magical beast that can do this to a website? I'll have to check. The library! (and step on it)

The pillar of the community left, so the roof caved in, home no longer feels like home.

Collapsed below critical mass: The best LW-style writing is now known to be scattered around the Internet

Too much nitpickery and showing-off-of-finding-flaws

Excessive downvote culture, lack of upvotes and other social rewards for good content, overly pedantic, nitpicky, and otherwise discouraging replies in comments. Probably unavoidable though, but seriously discourages submission of original content. I swear someone could completely solve FAI, and post the answer to lesswrong, and get downvoted.

Feeling of having read everything non-boring

No 'star' authors who will attract people to consistently read the site.