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wedrifid comments on Politics is hard mode - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: wedrifid 23 July 2014 11:30:14AM *  10 points [-]

‘Hard Mode’ lets you speak as the Humble Aspirant rather than the Aloof Superior. Strive to convey: ‘I’m worried I’m too low-level to participate in this discussion; could you have it somewhere else?’ Or: ‘Could we talk about something closer to Easy Mode, so we can level up together?’

Playing humble and stroking other people's egos is an often useful tool for influencing others. But it is far from generally applicable and remarkably prone to backfiring when people do not already perceive you as such. People sometimes see it as condescending, which they should because that's precisely and literally what it is.

Pick an influence and signalling strategy that actually works for you when you use it and (where possible and sufficiently convenient) conveys what you actually mean.

When people start debating notoriously political subjects using the same tired, shoddy motivated cognition that I've seen a hundred times before I have no particular inclination to convey "I'm worried I'm too low-level to participate". I'm not going to participate in such conversations for the same reason I try not to feed trolls. It would be outright dishonest to pretend that I considered myself unable to participate in the conversations when the actual message is that the conversation is a disgrace, completely at odds with the core value of the site and makes most of the participants look utterly stupid.

"Politics is the mind-killer" at least avoids the all too common Fundamental Attribution Error. That is, it rightly attributes the failure to think coherently to the circumstance rather than ascribing intellectual incompetence to the particular individuals.