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Mulciber comments on Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism - Less Wrong

105 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 April 2009 02:44AM

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Comment author: Mulciber 21 April 2009 10:17:26PM *  4 points [-]

I didn't vote the post in question up or down, but I would speculate that it was received negatively simply because the tone came across as rude.

There's sometimes a tendency in rationalists to observe (accurately) that our society overemphasizes politeness over frankness, and then to take it upon ourselves to correct this. Unfortunately, being human, we tend to do this selectively: by being ruder to others, sometimes to an overcompensating extent, while still reacting poorly to the rudeness of others. At least, that's an issue I've had in the past. Your mileage may vary.

My personal take on it is that keeping to the standard level of etiquette is less trouble than the alternative, especially when trying to function in a conversational setting with a wide range of people. The metaphor of apparently unnecessary politeness as a "social lubricant" of sorts has been helpful to me in this regard.

But as I said, I'm only guessing here. I think you'd be within your rights to simply stop caring about the votes you get, be they positive or negative. Just be aware that you may be giving up on useful feedback information that way.

Comment author: ciphergoth 23 April 2009 01:03:34PM *  2 points [-]

There's sometimes a tendency in rationalists to observe (accurately) that our society overemphasizes politeness over frankness, and then to take it upon ourselves to correct this.

Great comment, agreed on all points. One of my mottos is "As polite as possible; as rude as necessary".

I can't see anything in Annoyance's writings that could not be conveyed with less rudeness except their urge to ensure we all understand the contempt they hold us all in.

Comment author: Mulciber 23 April 2009 08:55:06PM *  0 points [-]

I like that motto a lot. Another one that bears on this is Postel's Law: "Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others."

In the case of wanting to deemphasize politeness, this would suggest being more lenient in the amount of rudeness you allow from others, but not increasing it in your output. Sort of the principle behind Crocker's Rules.

Comment author: Mulciber 23 April 2009 08:57:07PM -1 points [-]

That comment could equally well have gone in "The ideas you're not ready to post," come to think of it.

Comment author: gjm 21 April 2009 10:45:18PM 2 points [-]

There's sometimes a tendency ... to observe ... politeness over frankness, and then to take it upon ourselves to correct this.

And, then again, some people just enjoy being obnoxious.