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gwern 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: gwern 22 April 2009 01:55:18PM 39 points [-]

I'd like to weigh in with a meta-comment on this meta-discussion: y'all are over-thinking this, seriously.

In the vein of Eliezer's Tsuyoku Naritai!, I'd like to propose a little quasi-anime (borrowed from the Japanese Shinsengumi by way of Rurouni Kenshin) mantra of my own:

Aku soku zan! ("Slay evil instantly!")

Don't obssess over what fractional vote a read-but-not-downvoted comment should earn, don't try to juggle length with quality with low-brow/high-brow distinctions (as Wittgenstein said, a good philosophy book could be written using nothing but jokes), don't ponder whether the poster is a female and a downvote would drive her away, or consider whether you have a duty to explain your downvote - just vote.

Is it a bad comment? (You know deep down that this is an easy question.) Aku soku zan! Downvote evil instantly! Is it a useless comment? Aku soku zan!

(And if anyone replies to this with a comment like 'I was going to upvote/downvote your comment, but then I decided deep down to downvote/upvote' - aku soku zan!)

Comment author: Annoyance 22 April 2009 03:38:36PM 3 points [-]

Yes, yes, but we still need to think carefully about what qualifies as 'evil'.

If we go around slaying things instantly, we'd better be damn sure we know what those things are. Otherwise we're likely to destroy plenty of good stuff by mistake - not to mention being a menace to everyone around us.

Comment author: gwern 24 April 2009 01:12:39PM 15 points [-]

No no! This sort of comment is exactly wrong - Once you start second-guessing your qualification of evil, it's a small step to going with the majoritarian flow and thence to ever more elaborate epicycles of karma. Aku soku zan!