Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.
You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all
comments and the full post content.
You are viewing a single comment's thread.
Show more comments above.
I actually think it's pretty useful for Less Wrong to have occasionally wrong articles that force us to maintain constant vigilance. I do think they should be labeled as such somewhere, but not obtrusively, to give people time to be "tested."
I was embarrassed that I failed the test (I tend to skim articles and say "yeah, sounds plausible", and I appreciated the "reality check."
While I agree with you in principle...
http://xkcd.com/169/ - I know people who actually feel that it is amazingly clever to say things like this, and a lot of them self-identify as Rationalists. I don't feel that there is much benefit from determining whether I am dealing with someone who truly thinks like this, or merely a troll.
... so I really don't think this article qualifies as such a useful test. Why would I bother reading the citations if the article is already clearly bunk? It doesn't matter if he can back up his assertions, because the article is useless/wrong with or without that additional proof. If he'd made it a bit more obvious, perhaps, but this is pretty much indistinguishable from what I'd actually expect to see posted here occasionally (albeit normally under "Discussion" or at least not Promoted)
I appreciated it in part because there have been a few Less Wrong posts that HAD citations (or at least a bunch of links going to articles that looked fairly legit) which I took at face value, and I lazily threw the links at people without having read them thoroughly, only to find that they didn't say what I thought they said, or the evidence wasn't nearly as compelling.
It was a wake up call that you can't to outsource your rationality to someone else, even a community of rationalists. So essentially I try to always treat Lesswrong articles as if they are an April Fool's prank, either doublechecking them or not flagging them as "obvious truth" until I've read more background material.
I think having an occasional article that explicitly reminds of this is useful.
Hmmm, you make a fair point! I might not have valued the post, but that doesn't mean it wasn't valuable to others.
All it takes is a username and password
Already have an account and just want to login?
Forgot your password?