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[SEQ RERUN] Absolute Authority

3 Post author: MinibearRex 18 December 2011 03:05AM

Today's post, Absolute Authority was originally published on 08 January 2008. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):

 

Those without the understanding of the Quantitative way will often map the process of arriving at beliefs onto the social domains of Authority. They think that if Science is not infinitely certain, or if it has ever admitted a mistake, then it is no longer a trustworthy source, and can be ignored. This cultural gap is rather difficult to cross.


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This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was The Fallacy of Gray, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.

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Comments (3)

Comment author: Nymogenous 18 December 2011 06:13:57AM 5 points [-]

Has it occurred to anyone else that referring to quantitative scientific thought as "the Quantitative way" or capital-s "Science" may be reinforcing this type of misconception? In my experience many of the non-science crowd are slow to spot some types of humor (or satire, whatever this is properly classified as), and would take this as actual cult behavior.

Just my 2 cents on this kind of humor.

Comment author: Gust 19 December 2011 06:54:37PM 0 points [-]

I agree. Actually I think that applies to the whole "Zen speaking" Eliezer often uses.

Comment author: Nymogenous 20 December 2011 05:13:55PM *  0 points [-]

Yeah, it does tend to lend sort of a cultish feel to the whole thing...I think Eliezer knows this, but underestimates how strongly people react to it. Remember, the general population is composed of the kind of people who think that dinosaurs and humans coexisted and don't know what a year is (or at least the general population in the US, I haven't seen similar studies from other areas). Don't expect them to be able to detect irony (if they even know that irony isn't an adjective relating to iron).