Re: [sl4] Re: META: closing the list

From: Toby Weston (
Date: Tue May 10 2011 - 06:04:32 MDT

That is not dead which can eternal lie...

I like to think the: "Singularity is upon us" news flash, will be posted via SL4. And when the machines are at the door, SL4 will respond with a watertight algorithm for Friendliness to save mankind.

In my opinion it would be a shame to see it closed.

On 10 May 2011, at 05:21, Gwern Branwen <> wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM, Gwern Branwen <> wrote:
>> In 2010, there were a grand total of 144 emails on SL4, or less than 1
>> email every 2 days. Looking through , most of
>> those emails seem to be joins, link posting, or announcements. The SL4
>> home page claims that 'The SL4 list currently has around 200 members.
>> Usual volume is five to ten messages per day, with occasional
>> intervals of pleasant silence, and flurries of high activity.' but I
>> suspect both sentences are drastic over-estimations now.
> To follow up; it has been almost 2 months since I sent this email. In
> the 3 list archive periods for that month
> (
>, there have been exactly *9*
> emails unrelated to my list closure suggestion. (I think, anyway. I'm
> not sure whether the archives are not broken, since I didn't see some
> of the emails it claims were sent about the list closure, and the last
> email on record, , links to a
> 2000 email as the 'next message'!) Of those 9 emails, at least 3 were
> simply announcements or pointers to announcements elsewhere; at least
> 2 were vapid and added nothing; and <3 were simply offtopic or of
> entirely questionable relevance. One would think that proposing the
> equivalent of the death sentence for a mailing list would stir a
> little more traffic...
> In an interesting comment on my original email, it was forwarded to
> the Extropy-chat ML, where it met with no public reply of any kind:
> In that 2 month-long period, incidentally, Extropy-chat has seen
> approximately 1800 emails. LW has seen approximately 128 Articles
> (, approximately 322 Discussion
> posts*, and it's more than a little difficult to calculate this but
> around *14,000* comments†. MoR, with a few updates, has received an
> additional >504 reviews in that period‡. Robin Hanson now posting
> alone on OB has >50 posts since March 13th or so, and with what looks
> like an average of 20-30 comments per posting, >1000 comments! Hell,
> my own personal site has had more comments in the past few days(some
> fairly substantial, eg.
> than SL4 has had emails in the past 2 months.
> To re-mention
> says that SL4 is useful for "Shuttering SL4 would be a huge loss —
> unless you need to restrict and control the conversation."; I will
> note that he has not posted once in the past 2 months besides the list
> closure thread.
> To summarize: *no one is using SL4*. If a ML is not being used, why
> should it remain active?
> Now. I could keep this up for the indefinite future, posting
> statistics about how other sites are literally 1000x more active than
> SL4 is. But if all the points I have presented are insufficient, then
> it's hard to see why simply repeating them with slight variations as
> the statistics change would make them sufficient. I'm done; my case
> has been presented. I'll stick around for a month for whatever is left
> to discuss, and then unsubscribe - voting with my feet, as it were.
>> 'Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."'
> * see &
> † Since 8 May began, there have been ~400 comments proper, judging
> from how far back I had to go to reach 7 May comments:
> is 9
> May. Assume just 150 Article comments a day, and undercounting to get
> 56 days, that's 8400 comments. Discussion seems to have a lower rate
> of around 100 comments a day judging from
> so that adds on another 5600.
> ‡ 14 reviews per page on, and 36 pages before 12 March and 13
> March reviews start showing up
> --
> gwern

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