What is Slatestarcodex and why is it such a good filter for people like me?

See original post and follow up discussion on /r/slatestarcodex here

(I’ve been an active member of the SSC community for many years)

According to Scott, Astral Codex Ten is a blog about ṛta. I don’t know what this means. If I had to describe SSC, I would say it’s some guy blogging about a myriad of topics through an analytical lens.

I feel like people in the SSC community resonate with me in a way that very few people in my life otherwise do. When interacting with people online who read SSC, and when I’ve met some members of this community in person, I feel a huge overlap in identity – a part of my identity that is quite core to my being that I often struggle to connect with other people in my life with.

In my life, there are lots of things I am fascinated by and lots of conversations I want to have. Very few people I know are excited by these things in the same way I am. Some of this is intellectual in nature but a lot of this is not. Rather, it seems to reflect an approach to questioning/thinking about different topics.

I grew up in a pretty homogeneous ethnic community where people are very similar to me in terms of background/culture/expectations. I am also quite comfortable and successful socially, so I don’t think it’s an issue of not being able to connect with people in the general sense. I used to work in a very selective field and am generally surrounded by highly educated/successful people, so I don’t think it’s a matter of there being a lot of “smart” members of the community.

There are also a huge number of ways I am dissimilar to many members of this community. A number of my biggest passions seem to not be hugely popular in this community. For these things, I have a much easier time connecting with other people IRL with. I also do not have a programming/math background, which seems to be quite popular here.

Based on this, I am curious about three specific things:

  • do other people in this community find they resonate with other SSCers in a fundamental way?
  • What is this “thing” that unites me with other SSCers
  • What is it about SSC, a random blogger writing about a myriad of topics, that attracts and filters people for such traits?