Help:Style Guide

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Ciphergoth originally created a Less Wrong wiki on Wikia with the intention of making Less Wrong less impenetrable to newcomers - a highly important goal.

A wiki can do this in two major ways - by providing fast summaries of unfamiliar concepts, and by indexing the original content and long arguments put forth on the blog.

Ciphergoth also suggested that the Less Wrong wiki should not duplicate work that is being done better elsewhere - if Wikipedia has a better, longer article on something, then we should either (a) link to Wikipedia, or (b), if there is a little bit of special LW content on the subject, have a Less Wrong wiki page with a major reference to Wikipedia, a quick summary of the concept, and some minor references to the special content at LW.

Eliezer Yudkowsky suggested that the wiki should be used to summarize concepts and link to blog posts, and should not contain original content (except in special cases where an original work is more easily produced by collaborative multi-user editing, than by threaded discussion in the blog). The intended user experience is to bounce back and forth between the blog and the wiki - the blog links mainly to the wiki when referencing concepts, and the wiki summarizes the concepts and lists the relevant blog posts (with brief descriptions).


  • Use Template:Quote for quotations.
  • Use Template:cite journal for citations.
  • Templates for marking page status: {{stub}}, {{cleanup}}, {{featured article}}.
  • Wiki page names and section names are written in lower case (first word in upper case). Words in names of the sequences are capitalized.
  • Links to Less Wrong posts or other external links use the same capitalization as the post's title, even if that doesn't match the capitalization style of the wiki.

Article naming and redirect policy

Since there is no way to disable MediaWiki's case-sensitivity, if you accidentally get the capitalization wrong when trying to link to another wiki page, the link will not lead to the page you wanted to link to, but will instead link to a page with different capitalization. This same issue also applies to spacing and hyphenation in the article's title. For example, Paper clip maximizer versus Paperclip maximizer. When it's convenient to use a link with incorrect capitalization, make a redirect page that links to the correctly capitalized page.

Article structure

A typical article is short, and contains only a few references. If an article starts to encompass too many blog posts, it should be split into more narrowly-themed articles, to simplify navigation. The reference sections are formatted according to the following example, with unnecessary sections removed and example references substituted by the actual references. Alternatively, you can use Template:References. Blog posts should be listed first, then references, then the "See also" links, then footnotes.

==Primary article==

==Blog posts==
The Martial Art of Rationality] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]] - Basic 
introduction of the metaphor and some of its consequences.


==See also==


The footnotes section should use the <references/> tag, with footnotes included in the article inside the <ref></ref> tags. Everything else should be formatted as a list.

The blog posts section is only for the posts from Overcoming Bias and Less Wrong, posts from other blogs go in the external references section.

One of the blog posts or external references may be moved in the Primary article section.

In context, names of the sections can be changed. For example, "See also" can be replaced with "Related concepts", and "Blog posts" with "Other posts" after the primary article (primary posts).

See also