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The Proper Use of Humility

61 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 01 December 2006 07:55PM

It is widely recognized that good science requires some kind of humility.  What sort of humility is more controversial.

Consider the creationist who says: "But who can really know whether evolution is correct? It is just a theory. You should be more humble and open-minded." Is this humility? The creationist practices a very selective underconfidence, refusing to integrate massive weights of evidence in favor of a conclusion he finds uncomfortable. I would say that whether you call this "humility" or not, it is the wrong step in the dance.

What about the engineer who humbly designs fail-safe mechanisms into machinery, even though he's damn sure the machinery won't fail?  This seems like a good kind of humility to me.  Historically, it's not unheard-of for an engineer to be damn sure a new machine won't fail, and then it fails anyway.

What about the student who humbly double-checks the answers on his math test?  Again I'd categorize that as good humility.

What about a student who says, "Well, no matter how many times I check, I can't ever be certain my test answers are correct," and therefore doesn't check even once?  Even if this choice stems from an emotion similar to the emotion felt by the previous student, it is less wise.

You suggest studying harder, and the student replies:  "No, it wouldn't work for me; I'm not one of the smart kids like you; nay, one so lowly as myself can hope for no better lot."  This is social modesty, not humility.  It has to do with regulating status in the tribe, rather than scientific process.  If you ask someone to "be more humble", by default they'll associate the words to social modesty—which is an intuitive, everyday, ancestrally relevant concept.  Scientific humility is a more recent and rarefied invention, and it is not inherently social.  Scientific humility is something you would practice even if you were alone in a spacesuit, light years from Earth with no one watching.  Or even if you received an absolute guarantee that no one would ever criticize you again, no matter what you said or thought of yourself.  You'd still double-check your calculations if you were wise.

The student says:  "But I've seen other students double-check their answers and then they still turned out to be wrong.  Or what if, by the problem of induction, 2 + 2 = 5 this time around?  No matter what I do, I won't be sure of myself."  It sounds very profound, and very modest.  But it is not coincidence that the student wants to hand in the test quickly, and go home and play video games.

The end of an era in physics does not always announce itself with thunder and trumpets; more often it begins with what seems like a small, small flaw...  But because physicists have this arrogant idea that their models should work all the time, not just most of the time, they follow up on small flaws.  Usually, the small flaw goes away under closer inspection.  Rarely, the flaw widens to the point where it blows up the whole theory.  Therefore it is written:  "If you do not seek perfection you will halt before taking your first steps."

But think of the social audacity of trying to be right all the time!  I seriously suspect that if Science claimed that evolutionary theory is true most of the time but not all of the time—or if Science conceded that maybe on some days the Earth is flat, but who really knows—then scientists would have better social reputations.  Science would be viewed as less confrontational, because we wouldn't have to argue with people who say the Earth is flat—there would be room for compromise.  When you argue a lot, people look upon you as confrontational.  If you repeatedly refuse to compromise, it's even worse.  Consider it as a question of tribal status: scientists have certainly earned some extra status in exchange for such socially useful tools as medicine and cellphones.  But this social status does not justify their insistence that only scientific ideas on evolution be taught in public schools.  Priests also have high social status, after all.  Scientists are getting above themselves—they won a little status, and now they think they're chiefs of the whole tribe!  They ought to be more humble, and compromise a little.

Many people seem to possess rather hazy views of "rationalist humility".  It is dangerous to have a prescriptive principle which you only vaguely comprehend; your mental picture may have so many degrees of freedom that it can adapt to justify almost any deed.  Where people have vague mental models that can be used to argue anything, they usually end up believing whatever they started out wanting to believe.  This is so convenient that people are often reluctant to give up vagueness.  But the purpose of our ethics is to move us, not be moved by us.

"Humility" is a virtue that is often misunderstood.  This doesn't mean we should discard the concept of humility, but we should be careful using it.  It may help to look at the actions recommended by a "humble" line of thinking, and ask:  "Does acting this way make you stronger, or weaker?"  If you think about the problem of induction as applied to a bridge that needs to stay up, it may sound reasonable to conclude that nothing is certain no matter what precautions are employed; but if you consider the real-world difference between adding a few extra cables, and shrugging, it seems clear enough what makes the stronger bridge.

The vast majority of appeals that I witness to "rationalist's humility" are excuses to shrug.  The one who buys a lottery ticket, saying, "But you can't know that I'll lose."  The one who disbelieves in evolution, saying, "But you can't prove to me that it's true."  The one who refuses to confront a difficult-looking problem, saying, "It's probably too hard to solve."  The problem is motivated skepticism aka disconfirmation bias—more heavily scrutinizing assertions that we don't want to believe.  Humility, in its most commonly misunderstood form, is a fully general excuse not to believe something; since, after all, you can't be sure.  Beware of fully general excuses!

A further problem is that humility is all too easy to profess.  Dennett, in "Breaking the Spell", points out that while many religious assertions are very hard to believe, it is easy for people to believe that they ought to believe them.  Dennett terms this "belief in belief".  What would it mean to really assume, to really believe, that three is equal to one?  It's a lot easier to believe that you should, somehow, believe that three equals one, and to make this response at the appropriate points in church.  Dennett suggests that much "religious belief" should be studied as "religious profession"—what people think they should believe and what they know they ought to say.

It is all too easy to meet every counterargument by saying, "Well, of course I could be wrong."  Then, having dutifully genuflected in the direction of Modesty, having made the required obeisance, you can go on about your way without changing a thing.

The temptation is always to claim the most points with the least effort.  The temptation is to carefully integrate all incoming news in a way that lets us change our beliefs, and above all our actions, as little as possible.  John Kenneth Galbraith said:  "Faced with the choice of changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."  And the greater the inconvenience of changing one's mind, the more effort people will expend on the proof.

But y'know, if you're gonna do the same thing anyway, there's no point in going to such incredible lengths to rationalize it.  Often I have witnessed people encountering new information, apparently accepting it, and then carefully explaining why they are going to do exactly the same thing they planned to do previously, but with a different justification.  The point of thinking is to shape our plans; if you're going to keep the same plans anyway, why bother going to all that work to justify it?  When you encounter new information, the hard part is to update, to react, rather than just letting the information disappear down a black hole.  And humility, properly misunderstood, makes a wonderful black hole—all you have to do is admit you could be wrong.  Therefore it is written:  "To be humble is to take specific actions in anticipation of your own errors.  To confess your fallibility and then do nothing about it is not humble; it is boasting of your modesty."

 

Part of the Overly Convenient Excuses subsequence of How To Actually Change Your Mind

Next post: "The Third Alternative"

Previous post: "Don't Believe You'll Self-Deceive" (in previous subsequence)

Comments (33)

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Comment author: Robin_Hanson2 01 December 2006 09:33:37PM 21 points [-]

Most abstract beliefs most people have make pretty much no difference to their actions. They hold those beliefs not to advise action but to help them think and talk about interesting topics, so they can win friends (and mates and employers) and influence people. For these purposes, changing their minds may well not usually be a good deal.

Comment author: pdf23ds 02 December 2006 12:05:43AM -1 points [-]

"Most abstract beliefs most people have make pretty much no difference to their actions."

I'm pretty sure I understand well enough what you're trying to say. But this statement is literally false, since abstract beliefs include many general knowledge claims. If I were informed that my car had just been run into in the parking lot, that would certainly influence my actions.

Perhaps you mean to restrict "beliefs" to "moral beliefs"? Or maybe you mean "abstract" as in "related to one's daily life only tenuously, if at all"?

Comment author: Robin_Hanson2 02 December 2006 02:17:02AM 0 points [-]

pdf, yes, by "abstract" I mean about large abstractions, rather than the specifics of daily life. Some abstractions are useful of course, but most of them are only tenuously related to daily life.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 December 2006 05:30:47AM 0 points [-]

Robin, I'm not sure why you think the difference between "abstract" (?) and non-abstract beliefs is germane to the proper use of humility. It does seem germane to Dennett's distinction between professing and believing, but that is not the main topic of the essay.

Comment author: Robin_Hanson2 02 December 2006 01:46:11PM 1 point [-]

Eliezer, I just meant to point out that while your advice is great for someone who really cares about reducing belief error, it may understandably not be of much use for the usual purposes of most not-directly-practical conversations. Unfortunately this may well be the case for most of the advice we offer here at Overcoming Bias.

Comment author: Daniel_Fogelholm 02 December 2006 02:34:02PM 0 points [-]

Over at http://edge.org/discourse/bb.html ( An Edge Discussion of BEYOND BELIEF ) there seems to be a discussion slightly pertaining to the issue at hand. Anyone care to comment on what Scott Atran is putting forward?

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 December 2006 12:52:17AM 1 point [-]

Either I'm missing something, or all of these comments pertain to the general question of why one wants to be rational, with no specialization for the particular question of how to use humility in the service of rationality (assuming from the start that you want to be rational, on which the essay is obviously premised).

Comment author: Robin_Hanson2 03 December 2006 04:22:51AM 13 points [-]

Eliezer, perhaps we find your argument so clear and persuasive that we don't have much to say about it directly, but we want to comment on something so all will see we are paying attention. Perhaps blogs comments need some sort of smiley nodding icon option, letting us indicate our pleasure with your post without needing words. :)

Comment author: Matt_Simpson 25 April 2011 02:49:43PM 13 points [-]

Reading this comment 4 years after it was posted cause one of those "aha" moments for why we have the karma system.

Comment author: Davorak 29 April 2011 11:43:24PM 1 point [-]

I think it cuts down on the trolls significantly as well.

Comment author: Davorak 03 May 2011 06:33:43AM 1 point [-]

More significantly it provided a method of allowing the community as a whole condem or reward patterns of thought/expression.

Comment author: Matthew 03 December 2006 03:27:43PM 0 points [-]

The sort of humility required can inculcated by an openminded and continuous study of the human propensity to develop systems of thought that are often sealed from the admission of evidence which might contradict them.

cf.:

http://amethodnotaposition.blogspot.com/2005/10/how-to-become-crackpot.html

and:

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2006/12/hypnotized_by_s.html

My own personal view is that this needed form of humility is even more lacking in self-proclaimed rationalists than the population at large, probably for selection reasons.

I discuss some very interesting fMRI research bearing on this question here:

http://amethodnotaposition.blogspot.com/2006/10/confirmation-bias.html

To avoid this gaping pitfall to progress in our search for what is real, we ought consider deeply these words of Oliver Cromwell:

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken"

Comment author: HalFinney 06 December 2006 09:28:42PM 3 points [-]

I'd suggest that there is a relatively straightforward and unproblematic place to apply humility: to overcome the universal overconfidence bias. Many studies have found that when asked to give estimates with a confidence interval, error rates are far higher than would be expected if the confidence interval were accurate. Many of these find errors an order of magnitude or more than subjects expected.

You could take self-tests and find out what your overconfidence level is, then develop a calibration scale to correct your estimates. You could then use this to modify your confidence levels on future guesses and approach an unbiased estimate.

One risk is that knowing that you are going to modify your intuitive or even logically-deduced confidence level may interfere with your initial guess. This might go in either direction, depending on your personality. It could be that knowing you are going to increase your error estimate will motivate you to subconsciously decrease your initial error estimate, so as to neutralize the anticipated adjustment. Or in the other direction, it could be that knowing that you always guess too low an error will cause you to raise your error guesses, so that your correction factor is too high.

However both of these could be dealt with in time by re-taking tests while applying your error calibration, adjusting it as needed.

Comment author: Auguste_Hocking 05 May 2007 06:02:14PM 0 points [-]

An appeal to humility might just be an eloquent concession to difficulty. It may not achieve anything if there is something tangible to achieve (for example, your scientific applications). But on the profoundly abstract and inherently human questions it may have a place. In many cases I need to accept that I do not have an answer and will probably never have an answer if I am going to get any sleep at night. But that is a different thing to the 'good' humility which says (a) I am human and capable of making errors and, in fact, it is inevitable that I will err and so accordingly (b) I will implement safeguards against such error in the systems I create and administer. Differing shades of humility appropriate for differing applications?

Comment author: Ben_Killey 22 May 2007 11:47:34AM 0 points [-]

It is not only me who posts unannounced in the hope of demonstrating the efficacy I hold myself to but can't bring myself to test on a real and threatening medium.

This internet shears the communication from each of us and puts those ideas out on their own; more or less free from predjudice or the risk of reflecting unflatteringly back on any of us.

I don't hold out any possibility of my meek few lines attracting attention of anyone but me. As for influence?

It's the power of invisibility, only none of us are seen. I think it kind of takes a bit away from it all.

It's all about me.

Comment author: see 02 January 2011 06:09:55AM -1 points [-]

I'd just note that if you believe in a deity, it actually isn't particularly less rational to believe that it can be three and one at the same time. How would you prove the invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire isn't simultaneously one and three?

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 January 2011 06:24:42AM 4 points [-]
Comment author: see 21 January 2011 05:15:16AM 0 points [-]

Hmm. To clarify my meaning:

Since anyone who applies Occam's Razor in the correct form will reject theism to start with, I strongly doubt that any such person has, in fact, wasted the time to actually work out whether the vast convolutions necessary to "rationalize" theism are ultimately made more or less simple by the introduction of a variant of multiple personality disorder into the theistic godhead.

So, I doubt anybody is actually in a position to say that unitarian theism is, in fact, simpler than trinitarian theism. A rational person would never spend the time and effort to work out which ridiculously convoluted theory is actually simpler, because he's already discarded both of them, and there's no point in debating which is more ridiculous. The irrational can't be trusted to do the reasoning correctly, and thus the rational can't leverage their results.

Therefore, it's optimal when making the case for rationality to avoid comment on trinitarianism. A rationalist is unlikely to actually be able to demonstrate it is actually inferior to unitarian theism, and he wouldn't get any benefit from bolstering the relative case for unitarian theism anyway.

Comment author: MarkusRamikin 26 June 2011 09:38:32AM *  6 points [-]

Hm... this doesn't seem right. Let me take a stab at this.

What you're saying assumes that rationality - or such specific tools of it as Occam's Razor - get applied equally to everything. Theists are making this big salient mistake, and so we assume they make this mistake everywhere. Which is not how people work. Like you have overall successful people who happen to also be, say, creationists.

To say that everything in theism is equally worthless is the outside view: we can see the whole field is based on an undeservedly priviledged hypothesis, so to us everything in that volume of theory space is not worth distinguishing between. Like distinguishing between two conditional probabilities where the condition itself is extremely unlikely; not practically useful. But from the inside, where the condition is already granted - there's still bound to be some things that make considerably more sense than others. To deny that is to just say that you're not interested in the distinction (which is reasonable), not that it couldn't be made for good reasons.

The irrational can't be trusted to do the reasoning correctly

I haven't studied it, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that theology, past the fact that it takes its theistic assumptions as a given, contained quite a lot of good thinking and that historically it contributed to our understanding of logic and valid reasoning. The reason I think so is that for long periods of time in history, becoming a clergyman was the main way of getting an education and getting to work on anything science-like, so at least some of the greatest minds in history were clergymen. Like Thomas Bayes. ;)

So I see a warning sign whenever aspiring rationalists dismiss theists as idiots.

(I'm probably failing to signal my allegiance to the tribe here ;) )

Comment author: see 03 September 2011 08:49:58PM 5 points [-]

Taken out of context, my statement is too general, yes, and does look like the dismissing-theists-as-idiots thing, yes.

What I was saying was intended to be understood as "Those who accept theism can't be trusted to have correctly reasoned about the specific nature of the theos, because the very same influences that caused them to be theists are going to be inducing them to defend a specific theos whether it makes more or less sense than the alternative."

Given the tendency of people to put things in domains, I will, in fact, (reasonably) trust what a Vatican astronomer says about the Andromeda Galaxy, or a Creationist nuclear engineer says about Three Mile Island, et cetera. But the existence of a theistic deity and the nature of a theistic deity seem closely-enough related, domain-wise, that I won't trust a theist to tell me he's rationally evaluated whether God is One or Three, rather than rationalized it.

And, from my outsider perspective, I'm just not going to guess whether trinitarianism is more complicated, or if it just seems more complicated when you don't know what problems it solves. In physics, I trust that if the more-complicated-seeming answer of relativity didn't give better answers than the simpler-seeming Newton, physicists wouldn't use relativity. In theistic theology, I can't trust either proponents or opponents of trinitarianism to be giving me a rational evaluation as to whether the Trinity is an overcomplication or, overall, simplifies things.

Comment author: TimFreeman 11 August 2011 01:04:49PM 2 points [-]

If "humility" can be used to justify both activities and their opposites so easily, perhaps it's a useless concept and should be tabooed.

Comment author: Navanen 18 December 2012 05:50:09AM *  0 points [-]

Where people have vague mental models that can be used to argue anything, they usually end up believing whatever they started out wanting to believe.

"Humility" is a virtue that is often misunderstood. This doesn't mean we should discard the concept of humility, but we should be careful using it.

It seems to me to be the case that when confronting rationalists, those who have a belief they're motivated to continue to hold will attempt to manipulate rationalists into withdrawing skepticism or risk social disapproval. For example, when creationists ask something like "how can you be sure you're absolutely right about evolution?", I believe the actual intention is not to induce humility on the part of the evolutionist, but to appeal and warning for the evolutionist not to risk the creationist's disapproval.

So, it's crucial to identify the difference between when someone else wants you to be humble, and when someone wants you to be socially modest so you don't frustrate them by challenging their beliefs.

There's better discussion than what I can produce on when humility is and isn't useful in the comments of the SEQ RERUN of this post

NOTE: edited for simplicity and grammar.

Comment author: Arandur 13 August 2011 01:52:19AM *  1 point [-]

Matthew 6:16-18:

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Sorry to spread my Christian-flavored ideas around, but it reminded me. :3 The old joke among me and my siblings, when I was growing up, was that we would proclaim ourselves to be "the humblest one" of us all. I thought it was a joke, until I grew up and interacted with people who actually adhered to a similar philosophy...

Very well-written post, sir. I greatly appreciate the ones where you take a common word or phrase, and reduce it to its proper and true state.

Actually, what this really reminds me of is a recent altercation between me and a roommate. The word at the heart of this altercation was "selfishness"... my erstwhile roommate (subleaser, really) said that my and my wife's decision to fail to renew their lease was "selfish", because, apparently, in our religion we are supposed to give everything we have to anyone who asks of it. Logically, it can be well demonstrated that this does not follow; if we were to be "charitable" under this definition, we would give all our shelter and money to the starving and homeless, and die of starvation and exposure.

How strange the unflinching hypocrisy of mankind.

Comment author: lessdazed 13 August 2011 05:45:26AM 0 points [-]

Logically, it can be well demonstrated that this does not follow

That is possible, but you didn't show it. Who knows what would happen if we gave all our shelter and money to the starving and homeless? Perhaps they'd listen if we asked for it back, or a miracle would produce more? And how do we know we aren't supposed to die of starvation and exposure?

There are certainly biblical statements implying one shouldn't. There may even be two or three pages worth of such excepts for every one page implying the opposite, but once the principle of explosions explodes you, there's really no putting the pieces back together.

If the logical demonstration depends on assuming something at all like biblical consistency, you can say so, but biblical quotes are worthless for some purposes because it may be assumed there is one supporting P and one supporting ~P for a great many things. This is true for the Old Testament alone, the New testament makes it exponentially worse, which is like having a fatal wound or disease be exponentially more fatal than fatal...I can't even imagine adding the Book of Mormon to the mix.

For this reason biblical quotes are not ideal, unless there is doubt that any passage supports a particular position, or there is some other good reason. But the default assumption is that if there is a debate, biblical quotes can be found to support any side.

In any case, one should be careful to not accept a false dichotomy that arose from a clash of two opinions, but to seek better alternatives, particularly those similar to the opposing position, and to throw away fake justifications that worked against the real interlocutor, but not the idealized one.

Comment author: Arandur 13 August 2011 06:50:56AM *  2 points [-]

I thank you for your caution, but my argument was actually non-Biblical in nature, and it was a proof by contradiction. Ran something like this:

So, you think that I should give away everything to those who ask for it, without exception?
Every resource I consume is a resource that is then unavailable for others who ask for it.
Therefore, in order to give away every resource I might have otherwise consumed, I must not consume any resources, and therefore dies.
Your moral system prohibits suicide.
Therefore, your original proposition is inconsistent with your professed morality, QED.
Also therefore, get out of my house before I call the cops.

I apologize for the ambiguity; I did not mean to explicitly ascribe any moral valuation to committing suicide, though I should hope it could be inferred that I do not, in fact, advocate suicide. :P

As for "the homeless giving it back", why, to even ask would be selfish!

Comment author: lessdazed 13 August 2011 04:25:13PM 0 points [-]

There is a difference between not consuming anything and giving away anything if asked.

said that my and my wife's decision to fail to renew their lease was "selfish", because, apparently, in our religion we are supposed to give everything we have to anyone who asks of it.

So apparently in his religion one is supposed to give away everything if asked, but nothing is implied if one is not asked.

Comment author: Arandur 13 August 2011 07:27:34PM 1 point [-]

That is a good point, but the error comes in my statement of he problem, not in the argument. Otherwise, why would we ever give to charity, unless explicitly asked to? What would constitute "asking", anyway? Could we pass by a homeless man on the street and, as long as he didn't actually say anything to us, safely ignore his sign?

Comment author: lessdazed 13 August 2011 07:50:50PM *  2 points [-]

Otherwise, why would we ever give to charity, unless explicitly asked to?

I don't understand. Mostly, because your argument is along the lines of: A, because if not A, then why B? And B," and I can think of many other reasons for B, not merely just A or just one besides A. How is this not an argument from incredulity? You're accusing the roommate of unflinching hypocrisy, but I don't see it.

Comment author: Arandur 13 August 2011 08:13:27PM 2 points [-]

Then perhaps I was incorrect in my accusation. I apologize that I'm not able to present my side more clearly; this happened a while ago, and the data is muddled.

Comment author: lessdazed 16 August 2011 07:24:27AM *  5 points [-]

I hadn't myself understood why I disliked one style of biblical quotations until I had to explain it to you.

Other reasons for biblical quotes are fine, such as showing how telling a story several times and differently has an effect, or showing something about how people then likely thought, or having an old source for "Nothing new under the sun", etc. There's nothing about the books that makes quoting them magically a bad thing to do, it's just that there's enough contradictory stuff (probably in Exodus or Numbers or Deuteronomy alone, much less the Pentateuch, much less the Old Testament, much less...) that saying there is Biblical warrant for something similar to one's position is the most unspectacular thing one can say. A quantity of quotes from among sources showing preponderant and/or broad and consistent would be something else and as valuable as perhaps a small quote from a dissimilar source, but by definition that's not something that fits in a reasonable amount of space and is more of a thesis paper.

The first sentence of this comment is the important one, we can probably constructively generalize from it.

Comment author: [deleted] 19 May 2012 02:45:11PM 1 point [-]

As an atheist in hiding knowing the bible well can be extremely useful though. Due to how you can support nearly any position using biblical quotes, it becomes a lot easier dealing with strongly religious people when you disagree with them if you can argue based on their own priors. Telling someone about a logical fallacy, information colelcted using carbon dating, etc only works when they actually assign weight to your sources.

Another bonus, when people find out I am an atheist and I have been liberally trolling them for years it might shake up their faith in the community if I am lucky, but I am not sure how I would test this.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 27 November 2011 06:59:13AM 4 points [-]

To be humble is to take specific actions in anticipation of your own errors. To confess your fallibility and then do nothing about it is not humble; it is boasting of your modesty.

I don't know why EY was taking grief for this. It's a good distinction, well phrased.

On the other side of the pancake, I'd say that intellectual arrogance is often similarly misconstrued.

People often take open disagreement as a sign of intellectual arrogance, while it is a display of respect and humility; showing respect with the honest acknowledgment of your disagreement, and showing humility in affording the other person a chance to defend themselves and prove you wrong. To say nothing is to treat that person's beliefs dismissively, as if they don't matter, and then assume that discussion was futile because they're incapable of understanding the truth, and of course, couldn't possible have anything to teach you.

Comment author: [deleted] 19 May 2012 03:24:17PM 0 points [-]

If someone could convince people at large that this is true it would make intelligent dicussion much easier. Trying to convince people to abandon the treasured perks of high status might prove difficult however.