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Benquo comments on Wait vs Interrupt Culture - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Benquo 27 November 2013 03:38PM

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Comment author: Benquo 24 November 2013 05:42:35PM *  1 point [-]

That's pretty much the attitude I started with. An upside of this is that you can nail down specific points of agreement and vocabulary and proceed methodically, if you can exert enough dominance over the conversation to pull it off.

A downside is that it precludes dialectic conversation, which depends on allowing certain confusions to sit there for a while or be played with instead of untangled explicitly. The other thing I've learned is that sometimes people may let points I think questionable or arguable go unquestioned because they don't find that direction as interesting as I do.

Recent example from my own life:

I was talking with other people under a strong "wait" norm about the question of whether one can have an ethical relation towards nature, land, or the biome. The methodical way to proceed would have been to narrow down what each of us meant by "ethical relation" and dissolve the question into a bunch of narrower component questions, cutting through the confusion and letting us all clearly state our prior opinions.

What we did instead was to let the term stand undivided, and instead think through examples of what an "ethical" relation to land might be, look at ways where our language or ideas already seemed in harmony with that, explore some hypotheticals where the term seemed a bit of a stretch, and jointly work through what it might mean to have a land ethic. We didn't end with explicit agreement on all the particulars of what is right, but we ended up instead with a new, fleshed-out idea or concept to apply to relationships with things.