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Raemon comments on The Value (and Danger) of Ritual - Less Wrong

29 Post author: Raemon 30 December 2011 06:52AM

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Comment author: Raemon 30 December 2011 04:03:52PM *  7 points [-]

This statement sounds sensible at first glance. But I don't think it actually is supported by anything.

Crafting rituals from scratch is hard (the next article is about that), and its easier to craft rituals if you have more history and source material to work with. But I think Less Wrong already has an array of powerful, interesting ideas to support songs and stories. I don't think there's any special amount of time you need to wait before you're suddenly allowed to have ceremonies.

Was there another reason why writing songs and stuff should wait till later?

Comment author: JoachimSchipper 30 December 2011 05:41:23PM 9 points [-]

A possible argument: rituals will help build a cohesive tribe, but harm recruiting efforts. LW is more valuable for its articles than for its community, so tribe-building is not that valuable. But there are lots of people who are not yet aware of LW's ideas/community who would be turned off by cultishness.

(I don't feel qualified to have a position on this issue myself.)

Comment author: Vaniver 30 December 2011 06:47:01PM 2 points [-]

A possible argument: rituals will help build a cohesive tribe, but harm recruiting efforts. LW is more valuable for its articles than for its community, so tribe-building is not that valuable.

Cohesiveness generally helps recruiting more than it hurts it, so I find this unlikely.

Comment author: Craig_Heldreth 31 December 2011 12:48:56AM 4 points [-]

I am reminded of an essay by the Anthropologist Edmund Leach, 'Once a Knight is Quite Enough' (p. 194ff in The Essential Edmund Leach Volume I 2000 Yale U. Press) where he details the parallels between his initiation into British knighthood by Q. Elizabeth II and a Borneo headhunter ceremony which he saw at the end of WWII. Headhunting was illegal at that time in Sarawak, but they got special permission as the two victims were Japanese soldiers. Anyway the idea was if you watched a silent movie of the two ceremonies and ignored the costumes, the two rituals were nearly indistinguishable. He also mentioned that the Sarawak ceremonial grounds were laid out like a typical English village church.

Here is a link to the headhunters ritual map from google books

Comment author: Spurlock 30 December 2011 06:23:29PM 2 points [-]

Less Wrong already has an array of powerful, interesting ideas to support songs and stories

Funny you should mention that.