comment by JP Addison (jpaddison) ·
2019-09-13T14:07:21.971Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
I want to write a post saying why Aaron [EA · GW] and I* think the Forum is valuable, which technical features currently enable it to produce that value, and what other features I’m planning on building to achieve that value. However, I've wanted to write that post for a long time and the muse of public transparency and openness (you remember that one, right?) hasn't visited.
Here's a more mundane but still informative post, about how we relate to the codebase we forked off of. I promise the space metaphor is necessary. I don't know whether to apologize for it or hype it.
You can think of the LessWrong codebase as a planet-sized spaceship. They're traveling through the galaxy of forum-space, and we're a smaller spacecraft following along. We spend some energy following them, but benefit from their gravitational pull.
(The real-world correlate of their gravity pulling us along is that they make features which we benefit from.)
We have less developer-power than they do (1 dev vs 2.5-3.5, depending on how you count.) So they can move faster than we can, and generally go in directions we want to go. We can go further away from the LW planet-ship (by writing our own features), but this causes their gravitational pull to be weaker and we have to spend more fuel to keep up with them (more time adapting their changes for our codebase).
I view the best strategy as making features that LW also wants (moving both ships in directions I want), and then, when necessary, making changes that only I want.
One implication of this is that feature requests are more likely to be implemented, and implemented quickly, if they are compelling to both the EA Forum and LessWrong. These features keep the spaceships close together, helping them burn less fuel in the process.**
*(and Max [EA · GW] and Ben [EA · GW])
** I was going to write something about how this could be a promising climate-change reduction strategy, until I remembered that carbon emissions don’t matter in outer space.