Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Lexico comments on Politics is hard mode - Less Wrong

28 Post author: RobbBB 21 July 2014 10:14PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (107)

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Lexico 22 July 2014 07:37:57AM 3 points [-]

As a less wrong lurker this thread did a great job at putting into words the main reason I've been very hesitant to get more involved with the community.

I do think that anything politic is some of the hardest materiel to have any sort of discussion about while remaining rational and effective and not falling prey to our bias.

On the other hand from my experience I strongly agree that what is and isn't political is highly contextual and variable for different people. I worry that the aggregate limits of what can and cannot be discussed as political are to a degree driven by the group dynamics itself and can lead to group think fail cases. This can lead to fragmentation where different groups with different biases in their group makeup will still settle on different limits for what is political and apolitical, and create barriers between any sort of integration between those cultures.

An issue that is highly political from one perspective but not from another might still get discussed at some great length if the majority don't find that given topic political. This then creates a mine field that those in the minority that can be hard to address. Trying to address this problem in the first place often requires someone with a minority viewpoint trying to inform others that from their perspective something that was apolitical to the speaker was still political for others.

But then again this is a hard problem. I would argue that at the very least, the current approach of politics as a mind killer does have a lot of failure cases that can be harmful for the community, especially when it creates divides between a majority opinion on what is and isn't political. Any progress the community can make to improve the methods we use to deal with this problem to help minimize the failure cases is a step in the right direction. I don't see anyway this problem is one that can be solved with a greedy heuristic approach an optimal method. It's a fundamentally social problem, and social cognition is far too complicated and chaotic to ever be fully reduced.