Are there any large significant interesting "dark net" conversations happening?
The question's come up in conversation elsewhere, and my own first response on reflection is "no".
Not that there aren't any dark net conversations happening. Of course there are.
But the requirements for either large or sufficiently useful conversations outside a very few specialized fields (mostly having to do with security and privacy themselves, or exceptionally highly dependent upon them) is that the frictions of trying to find and participate in such conversations is high enough that they don't generally happen.
Instead, you'll find the smart people on the Open net, in general, or leveraging other selection structures (academia, research organizations, specific interest groups, blogs), and relying on either moderation, gatekeepers, or other friction to keep the idiots out (or at least slow their arrival somewhat).
Or am I wrong?