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James_Miller comments on LW mentioned in influential 2016 Milo article on the Alt-Right - Less Wrong

6 Post author: James_Miller 18 March 2017 07:30PM

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Comment author: James_Miller 18 March 2017 07:31:27PM 6 points [-]

"Elsewhere on the internet, another fearsomely intelligent group of thinkers prepared to assault the secular religions of the establishment: the neoreactionaries, also known as #NRx."

"Neoreactionaries appeared quite by accident, growing from debates on LessWrong.com, a community blog set up by Silicon Valley machine intelligence researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky. The purpose of the blog was to explore ways to apply the latest research on cognitive science to overcome human bias, including bias in political thought and philosophy."

"LessWrong urged its community members to think like machines rather than humans. Contributors were encouraged to strip away self-censorship, concern for one’s social standing, concern for other people’s feelings, and any other inhibitors to rational thought. It’s not hard to see how a group of heretical, piety-destroying thinkers emerged from this environment — nor how their rational approach might clash with the feelings-first mentality of much contemporary journalism and even academic writing."

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Comment author: Zack_M_Davis 18 March 2017 09:00:05PM 11 points [-]

But, but, this is not historically accurate! I'm sure there's a much greater overlap between Less Wrong readers and Unqualified Reservations readers than you would expect between an arbitrary pairing of blogs, but the explanation for that has to look something like "Yudkowsky and Moldbug both attract a certain type of contrarian nerd, and so you get some links from one community to the other from the few contrarian nerds that are part of both." The causality doesn't flow from us!

Comment author: Elo 18 March 2017 09:20:47PM 12 points [-]

history is written by the people who write it down. if you want to change history; write something different down.

Comment author: James_Miller 18 March 2017 10:25:23PM 7 points [-]

Because of Trump's surprise victory, hundreds of books are destine to be written on the alt-right and any future scholar of such will certainly read the linked article so here would be a good place to correct the record.

Comment author: Zack_M_Davis 18 March 2017 09:26:19PM 5 points [-]

I agree! Indeed, your comment is a response to the something different that I wrote down! If I cared more about correcting this particular historical error, I would do more research and write something more down in a place that would get more views than this Less Wrong Discussion thread. Unfortunately, I'm kind of busy, so the grandparent is all that I bothered with!

Comment author: Viliam 21 March 2017 05:05:35PM *  2 points [-]

Sigh.

It makes sense for NRs to associate themselves with rationalists. For a fringe movement, any (fiction of) support is good support, and "rationality" seems like a reasonable applause light.

It makes sense for SJWs to associate NRs with rationalists. It supports the homogeneity-of-outgroup narrative about evil white nerdy males.

No one gives a fuck about what LW says, or what actually happened.

Welcome to the future of journalism!

Later, this article will probably be used as a "reliable source" by Wikipedia. Explanations that LW didn't actually "urge its members to think like machines and strip away concern for other people's feelings" will be dismissed as "original research", and people who made such arguments will be banned. Less Wrong will be officially known as a website promoting white supremacism, Roko's Basilisk, and removing female characters from computer games. This Wikipedia article will be quoted by all journals, and your families will be horrified by what kind of a monster you have become. All LW members will be fired from their jobs.

Comment author: Lumifer 21 March 2017 05:22:46PM 4 points [-]

Less Wrong will be officially known as a website promoting white supremacism, Roko's Basilisk, and removing female characters from computer games. This Wikipedia article will be quoted by all journals, and your families will be horrified by what kind of a monster you have become. All LW members will be fired from their jobs.

REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Comment author: CellBioGuy 17 April 2017 01:51:18PM *  0 points [-]

...Sometimes I REALLY wish downvoting still happened.

Comment author: eternal_neophyte 24 March 2017 06:54:43AM 3 points [-]

the future of journalism future

This has been journalism since forever.

Comment author: bogus 19 March 2017 05:40:08AM *  2 points [-]

"LessWrong urged its community members to think like machines rather than humans. Contributors were encouraged to strip away self-censorship, concern for one’s social standing, concern for other people’s feelings, and any other inhibitors to rational thought. It’s not hard to see how a group of heretical, piety-destroying thinkers emerged from this environment — nor how their rational approach might clash with the feelings-first mentality of much contemporary journalism and even academic writing."

Yeah, that seems backwards to me. Contemporary mainstream politics, influenced by centralized institutional arrangements like journalism or academia (what NRx call 'The Cathedral'), is much closer to a general idea of "Rationalism in Politics" (to use Michael Oakshott's term) than anything from the NRx camp. Of course one could argue that these institutions aren't being very rational after all, but more to the point, their overall stance is one that values the results of formalized, logical (and thus, 'rational') deliberation and of ambitious "social engineering" efforts - as opposed to, say, preserving or reviving those enduring traditions that have "stood the test of time" and thus proven some kind of inherent worth or sustainability.