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David_Gerard comments on Politics is hard mode - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: David_Gerard 22 July 2014 10:41:18AM 2 points [-]

While "politics is hard mode" is technically closer to the truth than "politics is the mind killer", it fails to serve the phrase's social function as well.

I concur with the problem assessment: its social function in practice is to assure the group that other people's politics are mindkilled, whereas their own politics are just the normal background.

This has a number of fairly obvious problems.

Being mindkilled feels from the inside like clear thinking.

Comment author: Lumifer 22 July 2014 03:11:18PM 10 points [-]

Being mindkilled feels from the inside like clear thinking.

Seems to me that being mindkilled feels from the inside like being so sure about something that no thinking is necessary.

Comment author: David_Gerard 22 July 2014 08:52:29PM 1 point [-]

Yeah, I mean it feels like the obvious results of clear thinking, even if it was effectively cut'n'pasted in.

Comment author: wedrifid 22 July 2014 12:39:04PM 4 points [-]

Being mindkilled feels from the inside like clear thinking.

Not exactly. Clear thinking often has all those telltale feelings of humility where I change my mind and learn new things. Unfortunately most of our conclusions are cached and being mindkilled makes us incapable of (or uninterested in) distinguishing between cached clear thoughts, cached mind-killed conclusions or new mind-killed reasoning created on the fly.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 23 July 2014 01:59:14AM *  3 points [-]

I concur with the problem assessment: its social function in practice is to assure the group that other people's politics are mindkilled, whereas their own politics are just the normal background.

Maybe not. Only slightly more charitably, they may admit that they get mind killed in political arguments as well. Everyone does, there's no point in discussing it, no one will ever change their minds, etc.

That would be the usual taboo against arguing about strongly held views, whether religion, politics, morality, etc.

I'd emphasize that the phrase tends to only be applied to arguments with The Other, not discussions with Our Side, though logically the other side of the pancake would have the same issue. I predict that a lot of people who use the phrase against political discussion here, still have tons of political discussions with like minded people.

Fundamentally, it's a general memetic protection tactic, that successfully prevents serious encounters with conflicting memeplexes. Christianity has "never argue with the Devil, he's smarter than you and has had more practice in arguing". Other ideologies find similar strategies to keep the Bad Ideas away. The ideas that possess people, are the ones that work to keep them.