Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Lightwave comments on Missing the Trees for the Forest - Less Wrong

63 Post author: Yvain 22 July 2009 03:23AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (159)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Lightwave 22 July 2009 07:54:41PM *  1 point [-]

This sounds to me to be the statement of someone who feels personally injured.

Btw, how is that different from Alicorn feeling 'personally injured' (or offended) by us having PUA discussions on LW? Can't SilasBerta feel offended by any attempts to censor the topic?

Comment author: lavalamp 23 July 2009 01:26:52AM 3 points [-]

I wasn't trying to say he shouldn't be offended. My implication was that because he's offended, SilasBarta is having trouble dealing with the issue rationally. If Alicorn has a similar bias, she hides it better. (Disclaimer: I haven't read all the comments on all the posts this has come up)

Comment author: Alicorn 22 July 2009 07:57:12PM 2 points [-]

Have I claimed to be "personally injured" anywhere? I don't think I have, but if I said something that sounds like that, I'd like to know.

Comment author: Lightwave 22 July 2009 08:02:34PM 0 points [-]

What I'm implying is that both you and SilasBerta are having a negative emotional reaction. Can you say your reaction is justified while his is not?

Comment author: Alicorn 22 July 2009 08:03:45PM 3 points [-]

I don't think I can answer that question unbiasedly, because SilasBarta routinely makes me very frustrated.

Comment author: MrHen 22 July 2009 08:03:18PM 3 points [-]

Can't SilasBerta feel offended by any attempts to censor the topic?

Well, he can, but I wouldn't put "being offended by [topic]" and "being offended by being offended by [topic]" in the same categories.

Comment author: Lightwave 22 July 2009 08:27:40PM *  1 point [-]

Alicorn is offended by a certain problem she perceives (objectification of women).

SilasBerta is also offended by a problem - silencing of discussions on a problem unrelated to Alicorn's problem, but discussions on which happen to possibly include objectifications of some sort.

I don't see why both shouldn't be on an equal standing.

Comment author: MrHen 22 July 2009 08:34:30PM 2 points [-]

I think there may be a typo in there somewhere.

I am not trying to downplay SilasBerta's feeling offended, and it is very possible that SilasBerta's offense and Alicorn's offense are about the same topic from different sides. If that is the case than my comment is probably out of place.

Comment author: pjeby 22 July 2009 08:17:44PM 0 points [-]

I wouldn't put "being offended by [topic]" and "being offended by being offended by [topic]" in the same categories.

Why not?

Comment author: MrHen 22 July 2009 08:27:36PM 2 points [-]

In my opinion, getting offended by [topic] reflects a potential issue with [topic] that may be worth addressing. Ideally, the offense as a result of the [topic] should disappear due to either (a) [topic] becoming less offensive or (b) the offended becoming unaffected by [topic].

Being offended by being offended by [topic] can be resolved by resolving the first layer of offenses. If there is a problem with the initial offense, getting offended doesn't actually help since the initial offense is not likely to be resolved with the secondary offense.

In addition, a terrible cycle can appear if the initial offended takes offense to the offensive of the initial offense. Granted, you do not always get to choose what offends you, but when dealing with multiple layers of offense I think it is best to deal with the initial offense.

So, perhaps "categories" can be replaced by "priorities."

Comment author: Lightwave 22 July 2009 08:30:48PM *  0 points [-]

Being offended by being offended by [topic] can be resolved by resolving the first layer of offenses.

Not if resolving the first layer depends on resolving the second layer first. I.e. he can't resolve his problem because he's being silenced when he attempts to discuss it.

Comment author: MrHen 22 July 2009 08:41:38PM 1 point [-]

Not if resolving the first layer depends on resolving the second layer first. I.e. he can't resolve his problem because he's being silenced when he attempts to discuss it.

The first layer problem existed before the second layer problem did. Why would the second layer have to be solved first?

Also, silencing someone is not really the same thing as being offended.

Unless you are talking about a scenario where silencing someone is the solution to the original problem? In that case the second layer really has nothing to do with offense to offense.

I feel there may be a huge misunderstanding here. I wouldn't be surprised if it was my initial comment's assumption that the second offense was an offense to an offense.

Comment author: Lightwave 22 July 2009 09:13:58PM 2 points [-]

The first layer problem existed before the second layer problem did. Why would the second layer have to be solved first?

Because they've become interconnected.

I'm viewing PUA discussions as part of the solution to SilasBerta's problem. Imposing a ban on such discussions hinders SilasBerta, which is why he's offended. Basically, a ban on PUA discussions is effectively a ban on part of the solution to SilasBerta's problem.

Now, I'm not saying that Alicorn and SilasBerta are equally justified in their requests. But both need to be evaluated as valid concerns.

Comment author: pjeby 22 July 2009 09:45:15PM 3 points [-]

Basically, a ban on PUA discussions is effectively a ban on part of the solution to SilasBerta's problem.

Hardly. It's not like there aren't plenty of other places on the 'net to get information, free or paid, and if he lives in or near a major metropolitan area there's probably a "lair" he can join and the occasional professionally taught workshop or bootcamp.

Unless you're looking for specifically rationalist-friendly information, this isn't really the place to get it. It's only on-topic here to the extent it's relevant to various sorts of bias and akrasia issues. For example, the PUAs' "3 Seconds Rule" is relevant to akrasia, and I almost brought it up in reply to the "It's all in your head land" article, except that I'm really NOT wanting to start new PUA-related threads.

Comment author: Lightwave 22 July 2009 10:05:53PM *  0 points [-]

Hardly. It's not like there aren't plenty of other places on the 'net to get information, free or paid

Well, a ban is a hindrance to the extent that a rationalist community could develop more rigorous and testable theories, and incidentally, they will probably weed out all of the misogynist and objectificationist (is there such a word?) stuff.

Comment author: pjeby 22 July 2009 10:38:11PM 3 points [-]

Well, a ban is a hindrance to the extent that a rationalist community could develop more rigorous and testable theories,

You must be new here. ;-)

All kidding aside, this community could develop plenty of rigorous and testable theories. It's just incredibly doubtful that any of them would actually work in practice, for almost any definition of "work", unless they were developed by people who already had practical experience.

In particular, this community is inflicted with massive "should" bias -- i.e. confusing "ought" and "is", while vehemently insisting that things that do work, shouldn't, don't work, should, and coming up with ludicrous explanations for both sets of falsehoods.

See, for example, the recent complaints about "marketing"; e.g. deriding breaking cryonics cost down to $1/day. There's a reason marketers do that... and it's because marketers have forgotten more than most people posting on this site have ever known about overcoming akrasia.

Because, if a marketer can't overcome somebody's akrasia enough to get them to shell out actual money, the marketer doesn't get paid.

That's why I group PUA and marketing under the same heading, of Arts That Work. When they're too far wrong, the marketers don't get paid and the PUAs don't get laid, so there's an inherent control over how far they can stray from the truth. This control does not apply so well to general works of self-help, or to armchair ev-psych theorizing. I actually learned far more about akrasia and motivation from marketers and PUAs than I ever did from self-help books or science papers.

(Btw, the scientific principle behind using per diem breakdown is incredibly relevant to any sort of personal change project, and it involves a statistical rule discovered by Prochaska, Norcross et al regarding the precise number of standard deviations in a person's change of evaluation regarding the pros and cons of a decision that will make them shift from "contemplating" to "acting"... a rule that holds constant across a dozen different kinds of changes, such as quitting smoking, starting an exercise program, etc. Per diem breakdowns are just one of several tools that the adept marketer uses to prompt an individual to make this evaluation shift, though I don't know of any marketers who've made the connection between this statistical rule and the relevant practices. They do know, however, that persuasion must occur in the same sequence that the Prochaska rule says it does.)

Comment author: MrHen 22 July 2009 09:37:55PM 0 points [-]

Imposing a ban on such discussions hinders SilasBerta, which is why he's offended.

If this is the case, than he is not offended by Alicorn's offense. He is offended by a ban on such discussions. Which makes sense and has nothing to do with the layers I was talking about.

Like I said, I think there is misunderstanding of my original comment. To reword this:

Well, he can, but I wouldn't put "being offended by [topic]" and "being offended by being offended by [topic]" in the same categories.

As this:

I don't put "being offended by [topic]" and "being offended by being offended by [topic]" in the same categories, so hopefully that is not what he is doing. If he is offended by the proposed solution to the offense of [topic], that makes a little more sense.

Might help.