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thomblake comments on The Martial Art of Rationality - Less Wrong

42 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 November 2006 08:00PM

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Comment author: thomblake 11 May 2011 10:37:59PM 2 points [-]

Re-reading this brings to mind the history of the Logicians in ancient China. Apparently, they fell out of favor because all that their skills seemed to be good for was winning arguments, and others already had much more effective ways of winning arguments. Advertising rationality as a way to win arguments, as suggested by some of the original commenters, could cause rationality to fall into a similar trap.

I think this problem is avoided by your (later) idea of a Bayesian Conspiracy; if practitioners of beisudo were demonstrably better at the various instrumental tasks they undertook, then that might be enough advertising to attract people to rationality.

I also wonder if cargo-cult rationality would be good or bad. It seems like it could go either way.