Rampant Status-seeking Behavior

Lack of community goals / projects

Too many former regulars left

Both not enough deep, original ideas, not enough courage to express them, fear of failure that one's ideas are stupid AND not enough erudite people who know actual mainstream ideas. As a result, most discussions simply rehash same shallow ideas over and over again.

No safe space for getting feedback on ideas you're exploring, interesting ideas posted are ruthlessly picked apart/criticized (often by people who are not actually philosophically competent/careful) rather than steelmanned.

Focus on nitpicking instead of community building

No particular focus on formal specialized roles within the community (ex., fact-checkers, argument-analyzers, creative-synthesizers, brainstormers, other specialists, etc.).

focused in geographic areas in which I do not live. The greatest population of LWers I have lived near was probably when I was in Portland, OR, at which time I had other, overlapping, social groups

I say "Not Enough In-Person Interaction" because I'm isolated from pretty much everyone I'm interested in talking to. I don't know anything about actual meetups or the Bay.

Too smug.

Hyper-decentralized community that's hard to bond with others inside of if you aren't already a Famous Rationalist.

Delusions of grandeur, leading to pseudoscience and crackpottery.

Yudkowsky finished writing the sequences, I finished reading them, so there's nothing for me to come for.

People left, not sure entirely why

I don't know what its problems are because I'm not interested enough in the site to go find out

It's hard to compete with the rationalist-adjacent Tumblr diaspora; yeah, sure, there could be stuff on LW that I'd read, but... Would I read/check it as much as The Unit of Caring's blog? Probably not.

Too much arrogance/hostility.


Most of the practically inclined people left or moved to EA

The design on the original site is pretty awful

Decline in new content from founders because they're focused on more direct work than blogging about rationality

Can't get anything done.

Evaporative cooling where the awesomer people leave, becaues they are busy and because the replies to their posts/comments provide them with more annoyance than value.

Strange combination of too libertarian and too hierarchical

Failure to demand high quality political argument.

not overly high standards, just not a very civil or welcoming climate . why write content for free and get trashed when I can go write a grant application or a manuscript instead?

People just seem to have said most of the things they have to say about the core topics; it takes tremendous effort to add anything new.

In-person Rationalists have anti-neurotic effects and tailor the discussion level better



cannot say

Irrationally dismissive instead of rationally skeptical

The life cycle of internet based communities seems to be finite by its nature. LW is old, and people are moving on from it.

It's hard to get to a higher level when the people who could pull you up all left.

Broad but shallow knowledge base. Overestimate own competencies.

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? Is there a magical beast that can do this to a website?

The whole thing with the Main/Discussion/Open-Thread split. I hate it and no one knows where their post best belongs.

Has a reputation for being already abandoned.