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Evaporative Cooling Effect

Last updated March 31, 2022

Sources: The Evaporative Cooling Effect in BumblebeeLabs and Evaporative Cooling of Group Beliefs in LessWrong

“The people who are the most eager to talk are the ones who the least number of people are interested in hearing.”

Evaporative Cooling is the slow decay of a community into mediocrity as its most ‘high energy’ or high value individuals exit.

It is a way to think about communities in terms of the average quality of its members.

When the most high value members realize there isn’t much left for them to gain, they leave (Groucho Marx rule: you stop attending any event which would have you as participant).

This drop the average quality of the community down and the next level notices and then also finds it underwhelming. This continues until you get to a point where the people in the community are so unaware they no longer notice/care.

“If anyone can join your community, then the people most likely to join are those who are below the average quality of your community because they have the most to gain.”

# Social Gating

Mechanisms which allow participants to self-select out of the group (vs traditional direct exclusion).

e.g.

# Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution

From the article of the same name


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