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

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

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Comment author: HalFinney 20 February 2007 03:19:34AM 2 points [-]

I see politics as unimportant. For most of us, our political opinions have essentially no impact on the world. Their main effect is in our personal lives, our interactions with friends and family. On that basis, one should choose a political position that facilitates such "local" goals. There is little point in trying to be correct and accurate on large-scale political matters, other than as a bias-stretching mental exercise on a par with doing Sudoku.

Comment author: [deleted] 25 January 2012 03:57:05AM *  1 point [-]

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Comment author: lessdazed 25 January 2012 04:00:27AM 0 points [-]

one should choose a political position that facilitates such "local" goals

And if all candidate political positions entail discarding the principle that one should choose a political position that facilitates "local" goals?

Comment author: [deleted] 25 January 2012 09:51:07AM *  0 points [-]

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Comment author: thomblake 25 January 2012 03:28:29PM 5 points [-]

That's like saying "carjackers are unimportant." Well, OK. That's true until one is putting a gun in your face, then it's not at all true any longer, and it is something that actually was important all along, you just weren't aware of its importance.

Or, it was not really relatively important all along, and you just happened to get unlucky.

Lots of things can kill you. You don't need to talk about all of them every day. For example, you are making posts about politics rather than carjacking or meteor strikes.

Comment author: BlueAjah 12 January 2013 02:33:36PM *  3 points [-]

You couldn't be more wrong. What you should say is that you don't notice the impact your political opinions have on the world, because it happens slowly, because people with radically different political views tend to live in far off countries that you don't think about or in the distant past, and because currently people like you have somewhat sensible political opinions in terms of their short-term consequences (but not at all sensible in terms of their long-term consequences).

Your life would be very different if you lived under a different political regime (Islamism, Communism, Fascism, etc.). And the future of the world will be very different depending on the political views of people like you. It's just hard to see from your point of view.

There are multiple apocalypses headed your way within the next century, and you have limited time to take political action about them. So I'd encourage you to change your mind, and do those bias-stretching mental exercises, to work out a rational political response.