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persephonehazard comments on Your Strength as a Rationalist - Less Wrong

69 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 August 2007 12:21AM

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Comment author: persephonehazard 07 June 2011 10:33:45PM 3 points [-]

"Do you, on that basis, habitually assume that a random stranger engaging in casual conversation with you is a liar?"

Yes. Absolutely. Almost /everyone/ lies to complete strangers sometimes. Who among us has never given an enhanced and glamourfied story about who they are to a stranger they struck up a conversation with on a train?

Never? Really? Not even /once/?

Comment author: Alicorn 07 June 2011 10:43:55PM 0 points [-]

Yes. Absolutely. Almost /everyone/ lies to complete strangers sometimes. Who among us has never given an enhanced and glamourfied story about who they are to a stranger they struck up a conversation with on a train?

Never? Really? Not even /once/?

If everyone regularly talked to strangers on trains, and exactly once lied to such a stranger, it would still be pretty safe to assume that any given train-stranger is being honest with you.

Comment author: persephonehazard 08 June 2011 02:55:40AM 1 point [-]

Actually, yes, you're entirely right.

In conversations I've had about this with friends - good grief, there's a giant flashing anecdata alert if ever I did see one, but it's the best we've got to go off here - I would suspect that people do it often enough that it's a reasonable thing to consider in a situation like the one being discussed here, though.

Not that I think it's a bad thing that the person in question didn't, mind you. It would be a very easy option not to consider.