I’m spending today being anxious and intimidated and shouting at my brain “QUICK! SAY SOMETHING INTELLIGENT! FAMOUS PEOPLE ARE LOOKING!”. But nothing is coming out except, as always, terrible puns. So probably time for another of the semimonthly open threads. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. Also:
1. The fifth annual Less Wrong survey is up and running. I’m deliberately not linking to it because I don’t want a bunch of SSC readers who don’t identify with the site going and taking it just cause it’s there. But if you’re a LWer, you probably know where to find it and should take it before the end date in mid-November.
2. Ozy’s thinking of starting a blog again, but can’t think of any good blog names. I told them to wait, lest they end up like me and be stuck forever with a failed anagram as a blog title (darnit, I should have gone with Astral Codex Ten) and promised I’d ask you guys for suggestions. Topics are…predictable if you know Ozy, and likely to include rationality, effective altruism, and social justice issues. Figure something out.
3. Thanks to everyone who helped me with advertising last month. I’ve added a text explanation and link to Amazon on the sidebar, included a suggestion that readers change their Amazon bookmark, and gotten a little more success.
4. Comments of the month: Daniel tries to patch up the schematics for socialism, JRM is always interesting and knowledgeable when he talks about law and needs to start his own blog, and Jaime Astorga on the effect of tech progress on different goods.
Also, seriously. Sometimes I forget to add “no race or gender in the open thread” at the end of these, and then people joke about how they’re going to post the most controversial things about race and gender they can think of, which is fine, but then they actually do that, which isn’t. Talking about really controversial race and gender stuff is sort of tragedy of the commons-ish. If one person does it, they get to have a fun, rambunctious discussion on tribal politics. If everyone does it, it crowds out everything else, this becomes a Race And Gender Blog, everybody who is freaked out or offended by that kind of thing leaves, and we get evaporative cooling down to only one of the many demographics who could be a good audience here.
Not only is that bad for the people who don’t hold controversial opinions about race and gender, but in the long run it’s bad for the people who do, because there’s less of an interface between them and the general public, and they have less ability to spread their views in a neutral and trustworthy space. And it’s also bad for me if someone discovers I run a blog where everybody is saying scary offensive things all the time. There is room for blogs that are totally about race and gender, and some of them are good blogs. This is not one of them, and I would prefer these topics be kept to a minimum (unless I start it, because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak).
Once Ozy has a blog again, you can offload all of your terrible gender discussion there.
[EDIT: This happened]