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Ways to promote the forum

This is what hard work looks like. Here is a list of sub-reddits for what is being done for Transpolitica, it can be used for sff too:
(This list is by no means comprehensive, neither accurate or finished. Is a work in progress that will take more time to produce some value).

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I’m reviving this old thread, because it’s becoming timely again. There are a number of people who are serious about going ahead with their projects while seeing themselves as part of this community. But without more active members we will have a hard time moving ahead quickly.

So, I’m currently doing some kind of sprint for improving the Fractal Future Forum. Also, I’ve realized the necessity to approach this also from a community building perspective, in addition to the technical and marketing perspectives. I’ve found and read two very interesting free community building guides:

  1. Brick by Brick: This is a short and very fitting guide that probably provides the most value per page.
  2. The Truly Monumental Guide to Building Online Communities: It’s a much longer guide that is more directed at companies who want to create online communities to improve their engagement with their customers. Therefore, it has a more commercial and technical feel to it, but it still provides a lot of useful advice.

My impression is that using Brick by Brick as basic guideline would be quite beneficial for growing the F3. I’m willing to use any trick from that book, and it would be great if you could help me with that.

Let’s start with the audience that we want to reach. Our topic is very general: A better future, but our current slogan “Envisioning and creating a better future” specifies that we look for visionaries, and creators. Finding those people would be our first strategical task. Whenever you find someone fitting that description, feel free to invite them to the Fractal Future Forum personally, over any communication channel that’s convenient.

I’ve been doing that for about a year, and the effectiveness of that approach, even if pursued in a diplomatic way, was close to zero. Most people seem to be glued to Facebook by their convenience. People who actually get stuff done are frustratingly rare. I found it to be more effective to search for those people and contact them individually.

oh, well in that case do i have your blessing to try it in my undiplomatic style? I guess a possible potential negative aspect of doing it my way is some people might misunderstand and think all F3 people are a bunch of arrogant tossers. But that wouldn’t worry me. The smart ones will get it, and I don’t care what the others think.

I’m half tempted to do it anyway without even asking for your permission, cos it will be funny. But I’ll respect your leadership role and let you make the call. Please say yes! Maybe existing members here can vote on if i should do it or not? (unless you’re so strongly against it that you feel you must veto it) ?

Vote yes to operation trollface!

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I feel giving you approval for this “mission” would hurt the F3 more than it would help it. I have been rather undiplomatic in the beginning, but it didn’t really work. My confidence in you being better at that than me is really low.

Instead, we should work on a strategy to pitch the F3 to different target audiences.

I don’t know why you insist on maintaining this delusion that you are better at marketing than I. Your marketing has been average at best. Myers-Briggs tells you, I’m an extrovert, you’re an introvert. The only question might be: is my tactic of telling people ‘if you don’t join us you probably suck’ unethical? Maybe, but the end justifies the means. And it’s true!

My exaggeration of how your way comes across is: like you’re grovelling/begging them to join us because we need them. ‘ohh please come and play with us, because we’re lonely and we want to feel popular’, and we don’t know what to do so we’ll just invite people and hope they will come and do their thing with us, so we can get some credit for their successes.

And it’s not even much of an exaggeration, cos I’ve had ‘invitations’ to many groups, and most of the time that is exactly how their invitation feels to me. The powerful groups don’t even need to ‘ask’, the marketing is just saying ‘we’re here, join us if you think you’re hard enough’

My way is saying to them: ‘we don’t need you, but you probably need us, and your chances of making progress without us are probably slim, and you should feel honoured that we’re giving you this chance to prove yourself in the big league, and the only reason for you to not be here is if you’re not good enough for us’

Who can resist the invitation to join the ‘Heavy Crew’?

See how my psychological hooks are much more enticing?

I am not confident in your marketing skills, because I don’t have much confidence in your social skills in general, which you should know, because we’ve already talked about that issue. You seem to have some significant degree of common sense and social intelligence, but for some reason you seem to assume that they are inferior to brute-force rationality. I strongly disagree with that assertion.

If it worked, I would probably be using it myself, but the point is rather that I don’t see that strategy working! Especially when it’s phrased and executed bluntly. Well, perhaps I should concede that this strategy sometimes can actually work, but usually only when a lot of people are collaborating on it in an intelligent way. Anyway, it’s a strategy that tends to burn bridges. One might not care about that in the short term, but in the long run, that could become a problem.

The problem here, is that it’s true that we need other people to become successful. We don’t have the critical mass, yet, to succeed by leveraging some large inertia or community support. And that’s true for about all (non government, non corporate) transhumanist projects, which in itself is a good reason for not being such a transhumanist project, but a more open one. The only thing that an emerging group like ours can use for advertising itself are:

  • Its vision
  • Its people, and their skills
  • Common infrastructure and projects that have been worked on

Our current infrastructure is in a relatively good place now with the Discourse forum, but that alone gets the least people to join us (it’s just that a lack of infrastructure would drive certain valuable people away, which is a good reason to deal with infrastructure anyway). Most active people on this forum are here, because I invited them, and they know me from somewhere. This community has attracted some high profile thinkers, but they aren’t necessarily very active here.

Anyway, the core of this community should be its vision, and that seems to require some work. The vision of a fractal future might feel too abstract, too far out, and too ill-defined to be actually motivating. I’ve observed about the same problem in Zero State. Its principles were rather good, but the Zero State vision always remained kinda nebulous.

That is a strategy that can work, if you already are in a position of power and strength. If you don’t already have such a position, the only thing you’ll achieve with such a strategy is attracting ridicule. Making unbelievable claims doesn’t inspire people to join, it inspires people to stay away from that seemingly deluded bunch as far as possible.

See how I don’t buy your message?

Ah. I just have no idea how you fail to see that I’m special. It should be so obvious. It must be. How can it not be?

Ah! I got it! I think I know! OMG. It makes sense now. It’s not entirely your fault. How could you know, when you haven’t seen what I’ve seen? But here’s the thing, I’m telling you that I’ve seen it, and if you’d seen it you would believe me.

SO. Now there are two possibilities. Either

  1. I’m delusional, and the evidence that I think I’ve seen was just a dream/fantasy/mirage/illusion/wishful thinking.


  1. I’m right, and the evidence is there, it’s just that you haven’t seen it yet, and if you spend enough time with me eventually you will start to see it.

now, what do you think the probability is that I’m delusional? 90%? 50/50? what?

I’d say something around 98%.

Next question: If it turns out that you’re wrong, what will you attribute the mistake to? I mean, what is it that causes you to be 98% sure? Where is YOUR evidence for me being delusional? Do you have any evidence?

That’s an interesting question. I guess I would attribute it to you deliberately holding back evidence that would speak in your favour. You don’t seem to feel the need to present everything that might display you in a better light, because you don’t deem that kind of self-presentation necessary.

Most people who say delusional stuff are delusional. When they don’t even bother to come with good evidence in their favour, it’s even more likely that they are delusional. Let’s say that at this stage the probability of you being delusional was about 80%.

Now, I can add to that what I know about you, which doesn’t speak in your favour. There’s not a single significant large success that I am aware about that I would attribute to your skills. Sure, that might be because you’re still relatively young, or had to deal with some adversities. Or that you are especially ambitious and go all in with your highest hopes and goals. Which I think is quite likely, and not too dissimilar from my own level of ambition. Anyway, the overall lack of empirical success still doesn’t inspire confidence in me. At this stage the probability of you being delusional lies at around 85%.

You also claim to be good at social stuff, when I see hardly any evidence speaking in favour of that hypothesis. Granted, you may have some interesting approaches and skills, but they are usually relatively blunt. Perhaps that’s your preferred strategy, but I don’t see that working out very well. Anyway, in my discussions with you, you seemed to display a significant lack of (social) comprehension that I usually would attribute to asperger’s syndrome. In your case, it might be the result of optimizing for straightforward rationality applied to social affairs, which discounts possibly valid elements of social common sense. In both cases, this lack of understanding makes you seem socially unskilled to me. That by itself wouldn’t be so bad, if you didn’t insist that you were actually excellent at social stuff. At this stage the probability of you being delusional is about 95%.

The reason why I’ve gone up to 98% is that you seem to be very reluctant to even consider the possibility that you suffer from certain weaknesses. You have effectively shielded yourself from possible crucial (and unpleasant) self-insights that would help you to grow further and fix your current limitations. That’s a very critical form of weakness, a kind of meta-weakness that severely limits your effective potential. Perhaps eventually you will be able to overcome that limit somehow, perhaps even with my feedback. But I haven’t seen any evidence for you being open to that kind of self-questioning.

Now, you might want to get very defensive about all the points I’ve mentioned here. I’d suggest to you for once not to follow that impulse to become defensive – see it as experiment. Assume that what I’ve written was absolutely true, and follow that to its logical conclusions. What would be the next logical step of action, in that case?

You said that you were worried that you might have to ban me at some point, and that it might be ugly. Don’t be. I’ll give you my word: If you ask me stop posting on F3, then i won’t. It won’t even be a ‘ban’, just you sayin’ that you think I’m doing more harm than good. Or indeed if you want to moderate me, and only allow posts that you’ve vetted, that’s fine too.

Firstly I’d want to understand exactly how I managed to make the mistake of not realising sooner. So i’d look at what I thought was my evidence more deeply. And look at the techniques I use to detect delusions early, and see how they failed.

The fact that I claim to have such checks in place should tell you a lot.

The fact that I accept that my being delusional is possible, and the fact that I was actually nervous while waiting for the evidence for your 98, should tell you a lot.

How many delusional people admit that it’s possible that they’re wrong and just delusional? Is that a common thing for delusional people to do? I’m guessing it isn’t.

Would you say I’ve been ‘defensive’ in this (or the next) replies? I’m not sure exactly what you mean by it.

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Circular. But I think you mean " ‘most people who say-stuff-that-sounds-like-it-might-be-delusional’ are likely to be delusional". Well that’s true, but there is reason I sound delusional. So argument is just that delusional-sounding delusional people are statistically much more common than delusional-sounding people that aren’t delusional. So if you didn’t have any other evidence, you might go off this and say 90+ % likely that I’m delusional., granted.

It sounds like you’re taking this claim/possibility very seriously. If that’s the case then you should be assigning it a high (over 10%) probability. So already your 98 is looking suspect.

Unless they have a good reason for not supplying all the evidence.

Again, you’re taking my claim seriously.

You know perfectly well that there are some delusional people in the transhumanist community. Quite a lot of them. (talking about crazy distant futures attracts nutjobs). But you don’t take them seriously. And I think you’ll admit that they sound nothing like me, and I sound nothing like them.

My parents would agree with you. They also tell me that I’m delusional about all this stuff. And they’ve known me my whole life. But they behave much like you do: by saying that they think I’m delusional, but their actions suggest that they think there is a decent chance that I might be right.

I think you underestimate yourself. So it’s not surprising that you also underestimate us. We are the heavy crew. If you know of a better place and community than F3, please point me there, and I’ll be on my way. And if there is a better place, why did you bother creating f3? Sure, other groups have more ‘members’, but so what if they’re all light weights?

Some evidence for you: Why do so many top people invest their precious time in me? You, Spencer, Lodewijk, Kanzure, Alcuin, David.

jrayhawk: Unethical: Would depend on the system of ethics. Kanzure dumped a lot of unproductive-to-him time into you; you have significant negative social capital with him. Apparently it worked out for you in a solipsistic sort of ethics, at least.
jrayhawk: it’s possible kanzure noticed the truth-seeking and ostensible humility and instinctively had enough respect for you to continue talking; it’s actually somewhat unfathomable to me that he did.
jrayhawk: “I am not willing to spend time helping you comprehend me, but I will continue talking to you anyway” just seems bizarrely counterproductive.
jrayhawk: A troll moves conversations in directions ostensibly undesirable to other participants. It seems like a fair term, here.
phm: I guess you ban people if they seem to move too many conversations in undesirable directions.
jrayhawk: Yeah, I’m quite surprised that didn’t happen. I personally didn’t do it because watching kanzure bash his head against a wall for several hours is actually kinda funny.
jrayhawk: So maybe not all participants.

Do all those people think that I’m delusional, and they only spend time on me to study something broken-in-an-interesting-way? Not likely, is it? So what’s going on? Is it just a ‘party trick’, a con that they’re all falling for?

I offered you an easy way to veto Operation Trollfish. The fact that you left the door ajar is a sign to me that you are a much better leader than Amon.

I will also make the offer to any F3 member reading this. (providing the account wasn’t created after this post was posted).

If any F3 member thinks ‘Op Trollfish is likely to be bad for F3’, they can reply to this post saying ‘I’m taking you up on the offer to veto Op Trollfish’ or however they’d like to phrase it, and I won’t do it.

What do you think Amon would have done in this situation? read and tell me if you think Amon is a good leader for an online group of transhumans.

And I didn’t just post that to say ‘I told you so’, and to @nuzz: ‘who’s laughing now?’. But, … I told you so. Who’s laughing now?

(and I’m only pickin’ on @nuzz because I know it’s not going to hurt his feelings :slight_smile: )

The ZS reaction to the boundary testing wasn’t surprising, and nobody came off looking ‘bad’, but only a handful of people came off looking good.

Another point: we talked in chat about where the boundaries for f3 are. And you said something like ‘it’s flexible’, which for me is as good as hearing that there aren’t any boundaries, and I’m happy to take your word for that without needing to test it. Contrast that with how Amon dealt with it.

I’m doing with F3 exactly what i was doing with ZS, and for the exact same reasons, (but it got me into trouble there). But I don’t think it will get me into the same trouble here. You will pass the tests.

In our chat I already revised my probability to 95%. Even if you have some significant information that I don’t have, it’s still very much unclear how much that information really puts you into a more favourable light.

Anyway, all I’m saying is that you seem to be delusional about some of your skills. I didn’t quantify that claim. You might only slightly delusional about them. Or you might be massively delusional. The higher you estimate your own skills, the more plausible it appears that you are more delusional about them.

Estimating your own skills and abilities correctly is an important meta-skill. Being slightly too optimistic about them might have net positive effects, if it leads you to do things you would otherwise not have dared. On the other hand, being overly optimistic about your skills may prevent you from practising them at the right pace. If you think, you can do everything already, what reason is there to learn and grow?

I don’t feel confident enough to guess who you would consider “delusional” to answer this question. Please don’t answer to this point publicly, but contact me in private about it, if at all.

This needs more qualification. Better for what purpose? Better at doing what? Better in which class?

What are your criteria for a person to be in the “top”?

You invest a lot of time and energy into touching sore spots and rubbing it in. And you’re quite good at that. That is, until your lack of diplomacy causes people to reject you. Detecting sore spots is seen as valuable skill, because it is. The historic Socrates was great at it. Was he infamous for what he did? Pretty much. Was he liked for doing that? Not by those people that he owned! It eventually got him killed. Do you see yourself as acting in the way that Socrates did?

I don’t even know how Operation Trollfish really looks like. Do you think it would be a good idea to discuss a hypothetical strategy here in this thread?

No, the trouble you might get into here will be of a different kind. Perhaps something along the lines of having to answer 100 difficult questions that nail you to the cross. :wink:

@ Radivis :

maybe you should consider, that in teal organizations everybody is encouraged to work in his own style on his own initiative. is it really clever to stop somebody who wants to do a job for you?

but probably you have a point here:

to mention the possible negative aspect could be considered as bad marketing! although especially this particular point convinced me to vote for operation trollface. and if his approach works for me, because i am an arrogant tosser for all my life and i don´t care…( i believe so…i guess…maybe) his approach could also work for others that are like me.
so why stop him? if he fails and could not tempt any new person to join this forum, you have proof that his marketing skills are not better than yours. but if he has the power to ruin the reputation of this f3 he has proven his point, because to achieve that he must have acquired very good marketing skills! i think this is a win-win situation, so i think you should let him try! :sunglasses:

@ Peter :


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In the case that the person in question would be doing more harm than good, then yes.

Are you sure attracting more of your kind into the F3 is a good idea? :wink:

We need a good mixture of personalities here, not a bunch of people who think they are better than everyone else without actually getting anything done. I’m not saying this description fits to anyone in particular in this forum. Also, I’m not saying this description doesn’t fit anyone in particular in this forum. :wink: It’s just meant as prototype of a character that wouldn’t further the actual goals of the F3: To envision and create a better future. We need to attract actual visionaries and creators. If we make ourselves too attractive for the wrong character type, we’ll just stay an insignificant talking club forever.

I’m pretty sure that ruining the reputation of a group is easier than improving its reputation to the same degree. So, I wouldn’t see that result as proof of “very good” marketing skills.

It’s easy to see win-win situations everywhere, if you redefine “loss” as “win”. :smirk:

sometimes you are too serious and sober for my taste. if transforming the world into a better place would be such a disciplined, strategic and grave business :expressionless: like it often seems to be when i read your lines and not the creative, explosive and playful funprocess :sun_with_face: i always hoped for, then maybe you have your explanation why it is so difficult to lure people into this…

definitely! do you have any doubts about that? ( please don´t answer this ! :raised_hand: :rage: )

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I sense wrong dichotomies. Playing games if often a very disciplined, strategic, and grave business, but it’s fun in the end, nevertheless. It’s too bad that this doesn’t seem to be intuitive common sense. Work hard = play hard

Work is fun. Fun is work.

heh. I wrote this on ZS in 2013:

ZS Principles: I think there is one missing: FUN.

Don’t take yourselves too seriously. Relax. Be happy. Be calm. Be zen.
Be chilled. Laugh. Joke. Smile. Have fun!

(what is the point of doing anything if you’re always miserable?)

If someone starts getting all butthurt and talking like a pompous
stick up their ass; you remind them of the principle of FUN!

This will solve a lot of problems, I feel.

They did not respond with so many smiles :frowning:

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