User talk:PeerInfinity

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Revision as of 07:50, 7 May 2009 by BJR (talk | contribs) (comment on dependency graphs)
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Hi, welcome to the LessWrong Wiki, and thanks for your edit to the User:PeerInfinity page. Please leave a message on my talk page if I can help with anything, and feel free to email if that doesn't work. You might like to read discussion of this wiki on LessWrong itself. -- BJR (Talk) 21:30, 9 April 2009

You are an admin

I hope none of you mind, I have made all of you admins. The current list of user accounts and now of admins is A soulless automaton, AnnaSalamon, BJR, Ciphergoth, Gjm11, PeerInfinity, Yvain. This means you can delete pages and block users among other things; see Help:Administrators' how-to guide for more information. I've done a lot of editing on Wikipedia so I know a little, but I've never been an admin before; still, let me know if I can help with anything. Also let me know if you prefer not to be an admin, and I can turn it off again. Thanks for all your productive edits, I think it's going well. Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) 22:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Peer, it was decided that you shouldn't create wiki pages for the articles/blog posts/etc., only for the concepts. Vladimir Nesov 17:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I'll stop creating pages for articles/blog posts/etc. ...though I still don't actually understand why we decided not to create wiki pages for articles. --PeerInfinity 17:40, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

What are your reasons for creating these pages? What I saw so far is boilerplate that doesn't make life easier in any way. If there is something to say about an article, it can as well be said in a related concept page. Although I still disagree that the concept pages should be necessarily kept short, I understand that realistically, doing otherwise would not be feasible in the near future. Vladimir Nesov 17:47, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree that The boilerplates that were created so far are entirely useless. The wiki pages for the articles won't actually be useful until we start adding more information to them.
For example:
        • category tags for the article's topics (these could be automatically generated from the Less Wrong's article's tags, and manually updated later if necessary)
        • a list of articles that the article refers to, used for automatically generating the dependency graph. A list of the articles and concepts that an article refers to could be automatically generated, but someone would still need to manually specify what each of the links is, for example: "Required Reading", "Side-Topic", or "Supplementary Reading".
        • short, probably one-line summaries of the articles. These of course would need to be written manually, not automatically generated.
Once this information is filled in for the articles, I can then make a script to read the tags from the wiki pages, and automatically generate the dependency graphs.
The purpose of the dependency graphs is to graphically show which articles you have to read first, in order to understand a specific article.
Though it doesn't necessarily need to be graphical. Even a text-only dependency tree could be just as useful.

Also, not that it really matters, but must of the article boilerplates were originally created by User:MrHen, not me.

Actually, after further consideration, I agree that it would make more sense to put all of this information on the concept pages, not the article pages. It's the concepts that really matter, not the individual articles about the concepts.
Still, the method to implement this that would make the most sense to me is to go ahead and create separate wiki pages for each article, and transclude the appropriate information from the article pages to the concept pages. That way, you can avoid duplicating content if, for example, an article introduces more than one concept. It would also make sense to show dependency graphs for the articles themselves. The dependency graph for a concept would then be the shortest dependency graph among the articles that attempt to define the concept.
If you don't want to clutter up the main namespace with pages about articles, we could set up a separate namespace for the article pages.

Perhaps the appropriate thing to do would be for me to set up an experimental version of this system on a sandbox wiki at, and then let everyone else decide if we want to implement this system on the main Less Wrong wiki, once we can see what the results would actually look like.

For more information about what I was planning for the dependency graphs, see the "Dependency Graphs" section on the How We Can Use This Wiki page.
--PeerInfinity 18:28, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

"The purpose of the dependency graphs is to graphically show which articles you have to read first, in order to understand a specific article. " -- a major point of the wiki format is to get away from these rigid models and to allow reading the material on-demand, checking out only the concepts you don't understand enough, depending on your own unique background. How do you know that having the dependency graphs is actually useful to enough people? Vladimir Nesov 20:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't actually know if these graphs will be useful to enough people to make it worth the effort to generate them. It was just an idea I had, which I may have gotten irrationally attached to. (digression: does this particular bias have an official name yet? Coming up with an idea that sounds brilliant at first, but turns out to not be what everyone else actually wants, and then being reluctant to abandon the idea?) Do you think it would be worthwhile to set up a poll to find out how many other people think the dependency graphs are a worthwhile idea? Or would everyone prefer if I just drop this whole idea? --PeerInfinity 20:33, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

There is also a cost to the users, not just to the contributors. The pages become more cluttered, there is an additional level of indirection is some places, and there is an additional administrative overhead on the contributors who don't care about this feature. As for the poll, I'm pretty sure you'll lose, though I'm not certain. --Vladimir Nesov 20:40, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Point taken. If I was really serious about implementing these dependency graphs, the next idea that comes to mind is to create a separate wiki for this purpose, but that doesn't seem worthwhile either. For now I'll just drop the whole idea of the dependency graphs. Sorry again for all the trouble I caused. --PeerInfinity 21:39, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think autogenerated or large scale dependency graphs are worth the effort either. Navigation aids/study guides for OB/LW would be useful, but I think they should take the form of handmade reading lists or series guides. BJR 21:50, 6 May 2009 (UTC)