Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

sarahconstantin comments on EA Has A Lying Problem - Less Wrong Discussion

13 Post author: Benquo 11 January 2017 10:31PM

Comments (30)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: sarahconstantin 12 January 2017 07:01:10AM 2 points [-]

Hi, I wrote the post.

I think that it's actually fine for me to use spooky/mystical language to describe human behavior. I'm trying to hint very broadly at subjective impressions, and provoke readers to see the same things I do. I have the rough sense of something spooky going on in the zeitgeist, and I want to evoke that spooky feeling in my readers, so that some of them might say "I see it too." That's exactly the right use case for magical thinking.

There are degrees of certainty in making accusations. If you have hard evidence that somebody did a seriously bad thing, then that's one kind of situation. I'm not making any of those kinds of claims. (There was hard evidence that Gleb did a seriously bad thing, but that's not original to me, and that was dealt with before.)

What I'm doing is more like the sort of thing that goes on when, say, a journalist/blogger might accuse EA of being a movement full of "nerdy white males" and insinuating that this is associated with certain stereotypical biases, and maybe pulling a quote or two to support the claim. It's a "hey, this smells funny" kind of deal. It's about pattern-matching and raising suspicion and smearing it around a bit.

Comment author: hairyfigment 12 January 2017 07:43:44AM 2 points [-]

I do not think it's fine. I think you're poisoning the discourse and should stop doing it, as indeed should the blogger in your example if there isn't more to go on. Is your last sentence some kind of parody, or an actual defense of the reason our country is broken?

Comment author: Davidmanheim 12 January 2017 09:03:49PM 2 points [-]

This seems to be a mean-spirited way to poison the discourse in exactly the way it attacks Sarah for - is that irony intentional?