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Duncan_Sabien comments on Double Crux — A Strategy for Resolving Disagreement - Less Wrong

61 Post author: Duncan_Sabien 29 November 2016 09:23PM

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Comment author: Duncan_Sabien 30 November 2016 07:07:32AM *  11 points [-]

I think you're basically making correct points, but that your conclusion doesn't really follow from them.

Remember that double crux isn't meant to be a "laboratory technique" that only works under perfect conditions—it's meant to work in the wild, and has to accommodate the way real humans actually talk, think, and behave.

You're completely correct to point out that "middle school students should wear uniforms" isn't a well-defined question yet, and that someone wanting to look closely at it and double crux about it would need to boil down a lot of specifics. But it's absolutely the sort of phrase that someone who has a well-defined concept in mind might say, at the outset, as a rough paraphrase of their own beliefs.

You're also correct (in my opinion/experience) to point out that "should" statements are often a trap that obfuscates the point and hinders progress, but I think the correct response there isn't to rail against shoulds, but to do exactly the sort of conversion that you're recommending as a matter of habit and course.

People are going to say things like "we should do X," and I think letting that get under one's skin from the outset is unproductive, whereas going, ah, cool, I can think of like four things you might mean by that—is it one of these? ... is a simple step that any aspiring double cruxer or rationalist is going to want to get used to.