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khafra comments on Politics as Charity - Less Wrong

29 Post author: CarlShulman 23 September 2010 05:33AM

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Comment author: khafra 23 September 2010 08:07:45PM 4 points [-]

That was a beautiful, useful, and tactful exposition of the basic reasons I refrained from reversing the downvotes. Along with not voting, I didn't say "it sounds a bit unfair and self-aggrandizing to expect Carl to use a decision theory you've invented, but have not actually explicitly described;" because that's minimally useful, except in contrast to your essay.

Comment author: JenniferRM 23 September 2010 09:22:54PM 4 points [-]

Ah, I think I see. You subscribe to an author oriented theory of moderation with strong emphasis on moral reward/punishment... and you don't have a lot of charity here...

I generally just try to promote interesting content. I downvote into negative territory only when I expect content to be a net negative in terms of epistemic hygiene as when people go into conflict mode and stop sympathizing with their conversational partners. Trolling, spamming, and sometimes even just content "above out sanity waterline" deserve negative votes in my book. This seems like none of those things.

Honest mistakes growing out of inferential distance (IE assuming that because Eliezer understands his own theory and wrote about it in public that now everyone can deploy it), that are related to deeply worthwhile content given the big picture (IE that TDT is an early draft for an optimization algorithm that might be able to recursively and safely self improve around morally fraught issues in a self-correcting way) seems like the kind of thing that need more attention rather than less. So I vote up in order to increase the attention it receives instead of down to express moral displeasure.

Every so often I see something that seems to have been downvoted where I can plausibly imagine that the content was interesting, but there seem to be inferential distance problems between the voters and the commenter and I see if I can bridge the distance. Seeing as the comment is down to -3 now, I seem to be failing in this case. But maybe this will bring it up? :-)

Comment author: wedrifid 23 September 2010 09:55:25PM 1 point [-]

Seeing as the comment is down to -3 now, I seem to be failing in this case.

You may have been more successful if you avoided telling people how they should vote, particularly with wording implying prohibition. Stating your own decision, reasoning and preference without presumption in general makes me more inclined to accommodate.

I may have voted up the comment in question if Eliezer had included even a single sentence description on what difference using TDT instead of Lame DT would have made to the question of 'politics as charity'. That would have been a real contribution to the thread. As is it is more of a 'complete the pattern' then rant response that does not indicate that Eliezer even considered what TDT would mean in the context.

(It would change the example in the introduction and change the framing in some of the remainder. Politics would still be charity, even though what that means is changed somewhat.)

Comment author: NihilCredo 26 September 2010 11:59:20PM 0 points [-]

I downvoted because in any piece of public writing "I am right" should never be offered as a postulate, and my opinion of those who do so is best left unsaid.