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helldalgo comments on Fact Posts: How and Why - Less Wrong

72 Post author: sarahconstantin 02 December 2016 06:55PM

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Comment author: helldalgo 01 December 2016 05:12:48PM 19 points [-]

I have about six of these floating around in my drafts. This makes me think that maybe I should post them; I didn't think they were that interesting to anyone but me.

Recently, I spent about ten hours reading into a somewhat complicated question. It was nice to get a feel for the topic, first, before I started badgering the experts and near-experts I knew for their opinions. I was surprised at how close I got to their answers.

Comment author: Yvain 05 December 2016 06:04:21AM 7 points [-]

I have about six of these floating around in my drafts. This makes me think that maybe I should post them; I didn't think they were that interesting to anyone but me.

Please!

Comment author: sleepingthinker 06 February 2017 08:43:57PM *  0 points [-]

I am the same way, although I think that I have much more than 6 drafts of these types of posts. :) I have hundreds in fact! I often start writing on something, and then switch to a different topic without finishing my essay on the first one!

It's the first time I see the concept of a "fact-post", however in my experience writing posts on history is a good practice for this. Of course, "history" is often biased and many history books have slants based on ideologies, biases or other perspectives, but there are such things as dates, names, events...etc. which are facts and if you start putting them in chronological order, you can arrive at good fact posts.

Once you start digging a bit deeper and writing more in depth history posts, you also start noticing your inherent biases a lot more. Oftentimes you might skip over some fact, event or name just because it doesn't fit with your internal vision of the world. For example, I have a hard time accepting that some dinosaurs had feathers, since I have already formed a preconceived ideal type of what dinosaurs looked like in my head and when I write about dinosaurs, i conveniently try to skip recent paleontological findings pointing to evidence that indeed some types of dinosaurs had feathers at least on parts of their bodies.

However since I write these things down, I am forced to internally confront this inherent bias and maybe over time it lessens.