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Armok_GoB comments on The limits of introspection - Less Wrong

56 Post author: Yvain 16 July 2011 09:00PM

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Comment author: Armok_GoB 17 July 2011 04:36:03PM 4 points [-]

One simple policy to adopt in response to this is blacklisting certain types of questions and refusing to answer them. My current blacklist is "What is your favourite?" and "Why did you do that?" in their various forms.

Any other general categories like those two that needs to be on the list?

Any ideas on things to remember applying them and discovering more indirect phrasings of them, including nonverbal internal phrasings? (I think this might be related to the 5 second level stuff)

Any better ideas for what to return instead than "I don't remember" and "I don't know" when explaining the phenomena and linking to articles online is not an option? Most often it isn't, and using those oversimplifications I suspect might be making me forget the real reason and generally causing havock.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 17 July 2011 06:08:42PM 3 points [-]

My usual response to "what's your favorite X?" is "well, 'favorite' is hard, but here's are some Xes I like..."

Comment author: Armok_GoB 17 July 2011 07:41:14PM -1 points [-]

Well, that's what they usually ends up asking eventually, but I don't like answering a different question than the one actually asked due to how many won't notice. It feels like dark arts.

Comment author: Nisan 17 July 2011 10:50:45PM 7 points [-]

Oftentimes the role of "What is your favorite X?" is a conversation-starter. I think it's perfectly honest to interpret "What's your favorite kind of music?" as "What's a kind of music that you like and which you're willing to have a conversation about?".

An exception is "What's your favorite superhero?", because you may be called on to defend your choice in an argument.

Comment author: Armok_GoB 18 July 2011 12:26:00PM 0 points [-]

this is sometimes the case, but there are enough exceptions that one should not rely on it I think.

Comment author: Jade 25 July 2011 10:07:33PM *  3 points [-]

When asked for favorites or 'what do you like to do for fun,' I offer recommendations (for myself and/or the questioner). Or, to help the questioner generate recommendations, I give recent likes, potential likes, and/or liked/disliked characteristics. This way, we have ideas of what to do in the future and don't get stuck on past interests or activities that have become boring. The NY Times website also uses the word “recommend,” instead of “like,” on its Facebook-share button. [If you didn’t know this already: information about your preferences may be used by another’s (esp. a stranger’s) brain to calibrate how much to associate with or help you; see for example “Musical Taste and Ingroup Favouritism:” http://gpi.sagepub.com/content/12/3/319.abstract.]

"Why did you do that?" --> "Multiple factors..."

"What will you do" or "What should you do?"--> "Depends..."