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Swimmer963 comments on Politics is the Mind-Killer - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 February 2007 09:23PM

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Comment author: Swimmer963 26 January 2012 02:43:30AM *  3 points [-]

I generally thought the consensus at LW was that adhering to Crocker's rules was a beneficial thing.

I think it's a beneficial thing. That being said, I believe it does state specifically, somewhere in the FAQ, that a poster has to declare Crocker's Rule over their discussion before it's okay to state things rudely. And even then, unnecessary, uncalled-for rudeness is not okay.

A lot of it boils down to this: most people, including us on LW however hard we try to improve our rationality, are neither free of emotions nor in perfect control of them. What I mean by that is "rudeness" and things that come across as excessively critical leave a bad taste in people's mouths. Including mine. The discussion may be interesting, and my ideal strategy is to respond anyway in a calm, polite manner (and hope the other person will do likewise.) However, there's still a primitive, emotional part of my brain that sees sentences unilaterally criticizing something and flinches away. It's not a good thing. It's not rational. But it's human nature, and as of yet we haven't delved deep enough to change it.

Examples of things my aforesaid primitive emotional brain finds painful to read:

The hipster attitude toward politics might be what I encounter in a brainless beer-filled bar full of drunk idiots.

and

intellectually weak downvoters.

(As an aside, I don't actually downvote people at all as a general rule, mainly because of the phenomena I've observed in myself, where if one of my posts gets downvoted I suddenly start feeling like everyone hates me. Even a little bit of this persecution complex kind of thing is not conducive to me actually wanting to have a reasonable discussion.)

Also, I haven't read Hayek or any of the other people you mentioned. The area generally referred to as "politics" is not something my brain is structured to find interesting. Still, I would be interesting in hearing why you hold the views you do, i.e. what evidence about the world you have considered in order to settle on those particular views. (This came across rather fragmented in the series of back-and-forth posts.)

I'm sad to say that I don't think your definition of rationality is very close to my own. I tend to think that death and human suffering is something that should be identified and avoided, for instance.

So does pretty much everyone on LW. We just disagree on methods. Remember that anyone who has a different opinion that you holds that opinion (usually) for what they consider to be a good reason, and can often pull up evidence to why they think it's a effective belief or opinion. Maybe in some of the cases where you disagree with many LWers, you really do have information that they lack...but lack of knowledge is not the same thing as "intellectual weakness", and accusing people of ignorance as if it's a moral failing is not going to make them feel kindly towards the discussion. There are an awful lot of fascinating things to learn about aside from politics, and never enough time to learn everything...the fact that some people have read books about physics instead of Hayek is not a moral failing.

Comment author: Vaniver 26 January 2012 03:11:08AM 0 points [-]

That being said, I believe it does state specifically, somewhere in the FAQ, that a poster has to declare Crocker's Rule over their discussion before it's okay to state things rudely. And even then, unnecessary, uncalled-for rudeness is not okay.

Strictly speaking, once someone has declared Crocker's Rules all rudeness is called for.

Comment author: Prismattic 26 January 2012 03:28:25AM 4 points [-]

Strictly speaking, once someone has declared Crocker's Rules all rudeness is called for.

It's accepted. That doesn't mean it's called for.

Comment author: Bugmaster 26 January 2012 03:48:23AM 2 points [-]

Under Crocker's Rules, rudeness is ignored, and is thus a waste of bandwidth. Therefore, if one posts a comment consisting of nothing but rudeness, one might as well not post at all.

Comment author: wedrifid 26 January 2012 06:40:18AM *  2 points [-]

Under Crocker's Rules, rudeness is ignored, and is thus a waste of bandwidth. Therefore, if one posts a comment consisting of nothing but rudeness, one might as well not post at all.

Where by "consisting of nothing but rudeness" you also mean "consisting of rudeness that itself does not also represent information"?

Comment author: Bugmaster 26 January 2012 11:38:50PM 1 point [-]

Sort of, except that I'd amend "information" to "useful information", because, mathematically speaking, rudeness does represent information (in that it takes up bytes on the network). But when an ideally Crockered (if that's a word) reader encounters rudeness, he ignores it, thus reducing its informational content to zero.

For example, when one reads something like, "only a total moron like yourself would commit the obvious ad hoc fallacy in line 5 of your argument, and also, you smell", he interprets it as "...ad hoc fallacy in line 5...", and is able to respond accordingly (or update his beliefs, as needed).