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handoflixue comments on Fictional Bias - Less Wrong

0 Post author: thomblake 02 April 2012 02:10AM

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Comment author: handoflixue 03 April 2012 12:27:45AM 3 points [-]

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)

Comment author: Raemon 03 April 2012 03:53:42AM 9 points [-]

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.

Comment author: handoflixue 03 April 2012 08:33:03PM 0 points [-]

Hmmm, you make a fair point! I might not have valued the post, but that doesn't mean it wasn't valuable to others.