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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 November 2014 06:42:30AM 8 points [-]

I don't have time to evaluate what you did, so I'll take this as a possible earnest of a good-faith attempt at something, and not speak ill of you until I get some other piece of positive evidence that something has gone wrong. A header statement only on relevant posts seems fine by me, if you have the time to add it to items individually.

I very strongly advise you, on a personal level, not to talk about these things online at all. No, not even posting links without discussion, especially if your old audience is commenting on them. The probability I estimate of your brain helplessly dragging you back in is very high.

Comment author: XiXiDu 27 November 2014 10:51:41AM *  15 points [-]

I don't have time to evaluate what you did, so I'll take this as a possible earnest of a good-faith attempt at something, and not speak ill of you until I get some other piece of positive evidence that something has gone wrong.

This will be my last comment and I am going to log out after it. If you or MIRI change your mind, or discover any evidence "that something has gone wrong", please let me know by email or via a private message on e.g. Facebook or some other social network that's available at that point in time.

A header statement only on relevant posts seems fine by me, if you have the time to add it to items individually.

Thanks.

I noticed that there is still a post mentioning MIRI. It is not at all judgemental or negative but rather highlights a video that I captured of a media appearance of MIRI on German/French TV. I understand this sort of posts not to be relevant posts for either deletion or any sort of header.

Then there is also an interview with Dr. Laurent Orseau about something you wrote. I added the following header to this post:

Note: I might have misquoted, misrepresented, or otherwise misunderstood what Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote. If this is the case I apologize for it. I urge you to read the full context of the quote.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 24 November 2014 09:28:40PM 21 points [-]

I respect both updates and hostile ceasefires.

  • You can update by posting a header to all of your blog posts saying, "I wrote this blog during a dark period of my life. I now realize that Eliezer Yudkowsky is a decent and honest person with no ill intent, and that anybody can be made to look terrible by selectively collecting all of his quotes one-sidedly as I did. I regret this page, and leave it here as an archive to that regret." If that is how you feel and that is what you do, I will treat with you starting from scratch in any future endeavors. I've been stupid too, in my life. (If you then revert to pattern, you do not get a second second chance.)

  • I have not found it important to say very much at all about you so far, unless you show up to a thread in which I am participating. If carrying on your one-sided vendetta is affecting your health and you want to declare a one-sided ceasefire for instrumental reasons, and you feel afraid that your brain will helplessly drag you back in if anyone mentions your name, then I state that: if you delete your site, withdraw entirely from all related online discussions, and do not say anything about MIRI or Eliezer Yudkowsky in the future, I will not say anything about Xixidu or Alexander Kruel in the future. I will urge others to do the same. I do not control anyone except myself. I remark that you cannot possibly expect anything except hostility given your past conduct and that feeding your past addiction by posting one little comment anywhere, only to react with shock as people don't give you the respect to which you consider yourself entitled, is likely to drag you back in and destroy your health again.

Failing either of these actions:

I am probably going to put up a page about Roko's Basilisk soon. I am not about to mention you just to make your health problems worse, nor avoid mentioning you if I find that a net positive while I happen to be writing; your conduct has placed you outside of my circle of concern. If the name Alexander Kruel happens to arise in some other online discussion or someone links to your site, I will explain that you have been carrying on a one-sided vendetta against MIRI for unknown psychological reasons. If for some reason I am talking about the hazards of my existence, I might bring up the name of Alexander Kruel as that guy who follows me around the 'Net looking for sentences that can be taken out of context to add to his hateblog, and mention with some bemusement that you didn't stop even after you posted that all the one-sided hate was causing you health problems. Either a ceasefire or an update will prevent me from saying any such thing.

I urge you to see a competent cognitive-behavioral therapist and talk to them about the reason why your brain is making you do this even as it destroys your health.

I have written this note according to the principles of Tell Culture to describe my own future actions conditional on yours. Reacting to it in a way I deem inappropriate, such as taking a sentence out of context and putting it on your hateblog, will result in no future such communications with you.

Comment author: XiXiDu 26 November 2014 12:23:27PM *  18 points [-]

Since you have not yet replied to my other comment, here is what I have done so far:

(1) I removed many more posts and edited others in such a way that no mention of you, MIRI or LW can be found anymore (except an occasional link to a LW post).[1]

(2) I slightly changed your given disclaimer and added it to my about page:

Note that I wrote some posts, posts that could previously be found on this blog, during a dark period of my life. Eliezer Yudkowsky is a decent and honest person with no ill intent, and anybody can be made to look terrible by selectively collecting all of his quotes one-sidedly as I did. I regret those posts, and leave this note here as an archive to that regret.

The reason for this alteration is that my blog has been around since 2001, and for most of the time it did not contain any mention of you, MIRI, or LW. For a few years it even contained positive referrals to you and MIRI. This can all be checked by looking at e.g. archive.org for domains such as xixidu.com. I estimate that much less than 1% of all content over those years has been related to you or MIRI, and even less was negative.

But my previous comment, in which I asked you to consider that your suggested header would look really weird and confusing if added to completely unrelated posts, still stands. If that's what you desire, let me know. But I hope you are satisfied with the actions I took so far.

[1] If I missed something, let me know.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 24 November 2014 09:28:40PM 21 points [-]

I respect both updates and hostile ceasefires.

  • You can update by posting a header to all of your blog posts saying, "I wrote this blog during a dark period of my life. I now realize that Eliezer Yudkowsky is a decent and honest person with no ill intent, and that anybody can be made to look terrible by selectively collecting all of his quotes one-sidedly as I did. I regret this page, and leave it here as an archive to that regret." If that is how you feel and that is what you do, I will treat with you starting from scratch in any future endeavors. I've been stupid too, in my life. (If you then revert to pattern, you do not get a second second chance.)

  • I have not found it important to say very much at all about you so far, unless you show up to a thread in which I am participating. If carrying on your one-sided vendetta is affecting your health and you want to declare a one-sided ceasefire for instrumental reasons, and you feel afraid that your brain will helplessly drag you back in if anyone mentions your name, then I state that: if you delete your site, withdraw entirely from all related online discussions, and do not say anything about MIRI or Eliezer Yudkowsky in the future, I will not say anything about Xixidu or Alexander Kruel in the future. I will urge others to do the same. I do not control anyone except myself. I remark that you cannot possibly expect anything except hostility given your past conduct and that feeding your past addiction by posting one little comment anywhere, only to react with shock as people don't give you the respect to which you consider yourself entitled, is likely to drag you back in and destroy your health again.

Failing either of these actions:

I am probably going to put up a page about Roko's Basilisk soon. I am not about to mention you just to make your health problems worse, nor avoid mentioning you if I find that a net positive while I happen to be writing; your conduct has placed you outside of my circle of concern. If the name Alexander Kruel happens to arise in some other online discussion or someone links to your site, I will explain that you have been carrying on a one-sided vendetta against MIRI for unknown psychological reasons. If for some reason I am talking about the hazards of my existence, I might bring up the name of Alexander Kruel as that guy who follows me around the 'Net looking for sentences that can be taken out of context to add to his hateblog, and mention with some bemusement that you didn't stop even after you posted that all the one-sided hate was causing you health problems. Either a ceasefire or an update will prevent me from saying any such thing.

I urge you to see a competent cognitive-behavioral therapist and talk to them about the reason why your brain is making you do this even as it destroys your health.

I have written this note according to the principles of Tell Culture to describe my own future actions conditional on yours. Reacting to it in a way I deem inappropriate, such as taking a sentence out of context and putting it on your hateblog, will result in no future such communications with you.

Comment author: XiXiDu 25 November 2014 11:24:15AM 22 points [-]

I apologize for any possible misunderstanding in this comment. My reading comprehension is often bad.

I know that in the original post I offered to add a statement of your choice to any of my posts. I stand by this, although I would have phrased this differently now. I would like to ask you to consider that there are also personal posts which are completely unrelated to you, MIRI, or LW. Such as photography posts and math posts. It would be really weird and confusing to readers to add your suggested header to those posts. If that is what you want, I will do it.

You also mention that I could delete my site (I already deleted a bunch of posts related to you and MIRI). I am not going to do that, as it is my homepage and contains completely unrelated material. I am sorry if I possibly gave a false impression here.

You further talk about withdrawing entirely from all related online discussions. I am willing to entirely stop to add anything negative to any related discussion. But I will still use social media to link to material produced by MIRI or LW (such as MIRI blog posts) and professional third party critiques (such as a possible evaluation of MIRI by GiveWell) without adding my own commentary.

I stand by what I wrote above, irrespective of your future actions. But I would be pleased if you maintain a charitable portrayal of me. I have no problem if you in future write that my arguments are wrong, that I have been offending, or that I only have an average IQ etc. But I would be pleased if you abstain from portraying me as an evil person, or that I deliberately lie. Stating that I misrepresented you is fine. But suggesting that I am a malicious troll who hates you is what I strongly disagree with.

As evidence that I mean what I write I now deleted my recent comments made on reddit.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 25 November 2014 07:24:07AM *  10 points [-]

I wouldn't want you to delete the interview series anyway. The things that most offended me was this: the title of "http://kruel.co/2013/01/10/the-singularity-institute-how-they-brainwash-you/" is absurdly offensive and inappropriate if you don't believe in the deliberate ill intent of MIRI. If you don't want to delete the post altogether, at least rename it to "How they convince you". When you use 'brainwash' or 'trick' or 'con', you're accusing them of being criminals. Only say such words if you really believe it.

I'd also like the deletion of http://kruel.co/2012/05/12/we-are-siai-argument-is-futile/ Putting words into SIAI's mouth as if it accurately presents its side of the case is unfair.

I was also primarily going to say to delete all the contents of your 'mockery index' , which I believe you yourself had already admitted was unfair mockery, but it seems you have already delete them. I'm glad and pleasantly surprised.

Assuming the mockery index pages remain deleted, and you delete or rename the 'how they brainwash you' page, I DO promise to refrain from discussing you again in any way (reasonable caveats like you not discussing me are assumed), and will certainly be open to a more positive interpretation of your character (not that you'll be able to tell, since I won't be discussing you). Also keep in mind that my opinion of other Rationalwiki editors remains unchanged, and I'm still free to criticize and condemn Rationalwiki for reasons unrelated to your connections there.

As a sidenote, I also suggest and encourage you to consider the things that other people here (like Halfwitz) have said annoyed them.

Comment author: XiXiDu 25 November 2014 09:10:58AM *  13 points [-]

I already deleted the 'mockery index' (which had included a disclaimer for some months that read that I distant myself from those outsourced posts). I also deleted the second post you mentioned.

I changed the brainwash post to 'The Singularity Institute: How They Convince You' and added the following disclaimer suggested by user Anatoly Vorobey:

I wrote the post below during years in which, I now recognize, I was locked in a venom-filled flamewar against a community which I actually like and appreciate, despite what I perceive as its faults. I do not automatically repudiate my arguments and factual points, but if you read the below, please note that I regret the venom and the personal attacks and that I may well have quote-mined and misrepresented persons and communities. I now wish I wrote it all in a kinder spirit.

I also completely deleted the post 'Why you should be wary of the Singularity Institute'.

Yesterday I also deleted the Yudkowsky quotes page and the personality page.

Comment author: Luke_A_Somers 24 November 2014 09:19:14PM *  10 points [-]

So let me get this straight - you did a psychiatric diagnosis over the internet, and instead of saying, 'obviously I'm using the term colloquially' you provided evidence.

...

and then you are surprised when you get attacked, and even now characterize these attacks by like as coming from a mindless horde...

when the horde was actually 4 people, only one post was against you personally as opposed to being against that one thing you said, and there were roughly 2 others on your side. And your comments there are upvoted.

Comment author: XiXiDu 25 November 2014 08:53:51AM *  19 points [-]

Yes, it was a huge overreaction on my side and I shouldn't have written such a comment in the first place. It was meant as an explanation of how that post came about, it was not meant as an excuse. It was still wrong. The point I want to communicate is that I didn't do it out of some general interest to cause MIRI distress.

I apologize for offending people and overreacting to what I perceived the way I described it but which was, as you wrote, not that way. I already deleted that post yesterday.

Comment author: lukeprog 24 November 2014 06:28:43PM 20 points [-]

I haven't figured out what to say yet. :)

The short version is that I'm not sure we want to make counterclaims at the top of Alexander's blog posts. I mostly just wish Alexander was more consistently constructive in his criticism, like many of our other critics are. I think I'm far from alone in the impression that his criticisms are an uneven mix of kinda fair criticisms, deliberate straw men ("the intelligence explosion hypothesis is a tautology"), largely irrelevant character assassination (digging up embarrassing things Eliezer wrote when he was 16), and more. But I was resisting saying even this much, because I worry about putting Alexander in a position where he again feels he's being misrepresented and needs to defend himself.

Well, I guess let's see what happens. But I can't promise I'll think it's wise for me to reply further.

Comment author: XiXiDu 24 November 2014 06:48:54PM *  36 points [-]

To make the first step and show that this is not some kind of evil ploy, I now deleted the (1) Yudkowsky quotes page and (2) the post on his personality (explanation on how that post came about).

I realize that they were unnecessarily offending and apologize for that. If I could turn back the clock I would do a lot differently and probably stay completely silent about MIRI and LW.

Comment author: Halfwitz 24 November 2014 04:57:20PM *  7 points [-]

The stuff that bothers me are Usenet and mailing list quotes (they are equivalent to passing notes and should be considered off the record) and anything written when he was a teenager. The rest, I suppose, should at least be labeled with the date they were written. And if he has explicitly disclaimed the statement, perhaps that should be mentioned, too.

Young Eliezer was a little crankish and has pretty much grown out of it. I feel like you're criticising someone who no longer exists.

Also, the page where you try to diagnose him with narsisism just seems mean.

Comment author: XiXiDu 24 November 2014 06:32:38PM 2 points [-]

Also, the page where you try to diagnos him with narsisism just seems mean.

I can clarify this. I never intended to write that post but was forced to do so out of self-defense.

I replied to this comment whose author was wondering why Yudkowsky is using Facebook more than LessWrong these days. To which I replied with an on-topic speculation based on evidence.

Then people started viciously attacking me, to which I had to respond. In one of those replies I unfortunately used the term "narcissistic tendencies". I was then again attacked for using that term. I defended my use of that term with evidence, the result of which is that post.

What do you expect that I do when I am mindlessly attacked by a horde of people? That I just leave it at that and let my name being dragged into dirt?

Many of my posts and comments are direct responses to personal attacks on me from LessWrong members.

Comment author: Halfwitz 24 November 2014 03:20:27PM *  5 points [-]

As far as I can tell, Yudkowsky basically grew up on the internet. I think it is more like you went through all the copies of Palin's school newspaper, and picked up some notes she passed around in class, and then published the most outrageous things she said in such a way that you implied they were written recently. I think this goes against some notion of journalistic tact.

Comment author: XiXiDu 24 November 2014 04:27:21PM *  4 points [-]

I think it is more like you went through all the copies of Palin's school newspaper, and picked up some notes she passed around in class, and then published the most outrageous things she said in such a way that you implied they were written recently.

This is exactly the kind of misrepresentation that make me avoid deleting my posts. Most of the most outrageous things he said have been written in the past ten years.

I suppose you are partly referring to the quotes page? Please take a look, there are only two quotes that are older than 2004, for one of which I explicitly note that he doesn't agree with it anymore, and a second which I believe he still agrees with.

Those two quotes that are dated before 2004 are the least outrageous. They are there mainly to show that he has long been believing into singularitarian ideas and that he can save the world. This is important in evaluating how much of the later arguments are rationalizations of those early beliefs. Which is in turn important because he's actually asking people for money and giving a whole research field a bad name with his predictions about AI.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 24 November 2014 02:43:00PM *  24 points [-]

This comment ruined my (initially very high) impression from your article. I appreciate that you are trying, and I believe in your good intentions, it's just... you are doing it somewhat wrong. Not sure if I can explain it or provide a better advice.

Probably the essence is that you were strongly emotionally driven in your critique, but you seem to be also strongly emotionally driven in negotiating peace, and your offers are not well calibrated. You want to stop an unproductive debate, but your offer to MIRI to publish something on your blog seems like another round of the same debate. If you feel there was something wrong about your articles, why can't you write it there, using your own words? (If I happen to step on someone's toe, I apologize to them using my own words, instead of inviting them to post something on my facebook page.)

Even if you want to tap out of the debate instead of apologizing, you could do it by writing an article on your blog called "why I am tired of debating MIRI", describing your reasons to stop debating it, or just the decision to stop debating it, even without any specific details. And then you could add the link to that article from the old MIRI-related articles. And then, just stop writing about MIRI, and stop editing any wiki pages about MIRI in any wiki. And that's all. And to make it obvious to the "other side", post the link to the article on your blog to LW. End of story.

Sorry for using this analogy, but once I had a stalker, and she couldn't resist sending me e-mails, a few of them every day. And anything I did, or didn't do, was just a pretext for sending another e-mail. Like, she wrote ten e-mails about how she wants to talk with me, or asking me what am I doing right now, or whether I have seen this or that article on the web. I wrote her to stop writing to me, because I don't want to see her anymore, or talk with her anymore, or interact with her in any way anymore. She wrote back one e-mail saying she is sorry, another e-mail asking me to meet her so we can discuss our misunderstandings, another e-mail apologizing for asking me to meet her, another e-mail retracting the previous apology and saying she has nothing to apologize for and she actually hates me, yet another e-mail apologizing for the previous angry e-mail saying she didn't mean it, and then another e-mail asking who is the girl I have recently "friended" on facebook. (Long story short, I blocked her on every social network, deleted all her e-mails without a reply, and kept debating only on English-speaking websites for a few years, because I know she doesn't speak English.)

The point I want to make here is that while you believe your offer to MIRI is generous, to MIRI it may seem like yet another step in an endless unproductive debate they want to avoid completely. Like me receiving an e-mail with an apology from my stalker, when what I really wanted was that she would simply stop writing me new e-mails and preferably forget that I exist, so I can forget her, too. I can't speak for MIRI, but my guess is that what they really want from you is simply to stop; not to provide them yet another avenue for debate. Just fucking stop and let everyone gradually forget the past. Even writing the one last good-bye article on your blog is likely to lead to another "this time really last, but I had to clarify a few details" article, etc. This is the only real way to break the cycle, and only you can do it.

Comment author: XiXiDu 24 November 2014 03:25:11PM *  6 points [-]

If you feel there was something wrong about your articles, why can't you write it there, using your own words?

I made bad experiences with admitting something like that. I once wrote on Facebook that I am not a high IQ individual and got responses suggesting that now everyone can completely ignore me and everything I say is garbage. If I look at the comments to this post, my perception is that many people understood it as some kind of confession that everything I ever wrote is just wrong and that they can subsequently ignore everything else I might ever write. If the disclaimer was written by a third independent party, then I thought that this would show that I am willing to let the opponents voice their disagreement, and that I concede the possibility of being wrong.

I noticed that many people who read my blog take it much too seriously. I got emails praising me for what I have written. Which made me feel very uncomfortable, since I have not invested the necessary thoughtfulness in wirting those posts. They were never meant for other people to form a definitive opinion about MIRI, like some rigorous review by GiveWell. But this does not mean that they are random bullshit as people like to conclude when I admit this.

Sorry for using this analogy, but once I had a stalker, and she couldn't resist sending me e-mails, a few of them every day. And anything I did, or didn't do, was just a pretext for sending another e-mail. Like, she wrote ten e-mails about how she wants to talk with me, or asking me what am I doing right now, or whether I have seen this or that article on the web.

Hmm...I think my problems would be analog to loving you but wanting to correct some character mistakes you have. Noticing that you perceive this to be stalking would make me try to communicate that I really don't want to harass you, since I actually like you very much, but that I think you should stop farting in public.

The point I want to make here is that while you believe your offer to MIRI is generous, to MIRI it may seem like yet another step in an endless unproductive debate they want to avoid completely.

This seems obvious when it comes to your stalker scenario. But everything that involves MIRI involves a lot of low probability high utility considerations which really break my mind. I thought years about whether I should stop criticizing MIRI because I might endanger a future galactic civilization if the wrong person reads my posts and amplifies their effect. But I know that fully embracing this line of reasoning would completely break my mind.

I am not joking here. I find a lot of MIRI's beliefs to be absurd, yet I have always been susceptible to their line of argumentation. I believe that it is very important to solve this meta-issue of how to decide such things rationally. And the issues surrounding MIRI seem to be perfectly suited to highlight this problematic issue.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 24 November 2014 01:24:45PM *  2 points [-]

But because of people like ArisKatsaris, paper-machine, wedrifid and others with a history of vicious personal attacks against me, I am unable to just delete everything, because that would only leave their misrepresentations of my motives and actions behind.

Is that an offer on your part to delete a percentage of your posts discussing Lesswrong/MIRI, if I delete a similar percentage of my posts discussing your motives and actions? What percentage of these posts will you delete if I delete all my comments where I discuss you (or retract them if they were made in any forum that doesn't allow deletions), and do I get to choose which ones of your posts get deleted?

And yet I offer you the chance to leave this battle as the winner by posting counterstatements to my blog

Letting aside your views on what 'winner' means, who is the 'you' here? You offered MIRI the ability to post counterstatements, and I'm not affiliated with them.

Comment author: XiXiDu 24 November 2014 02:46:22PM *  9 points [-]

You don't need to delete any of your posts or comments. What I mainly fear is that if I was to delete posts, without linking to archived versions, then you would forever go around implying that all kinds of horrible things could have been found on those pages, and that me deleting them is evidence of this.

If you promise not to do anything like that, and stop portraying me as somehow being the worst person on Earth, then I'll delete the comments, passages or posts that you deem offending.

But if there is nothing reasonable I could do to ever improve your opinion of me (i.e. other than donating all my money to MIRI), as if I committed some deadly sin, then this is a waste of time.

I would be willing to delete them because they offend certain people and could have been written much more benignly, with more rigor, and also because some of them might actually be misrepresentations which I accidentally made. Another reason for deletion would be that they have negative expected value, not because the arguments are necessarily wrong.

And if you agree, then please think about the Streisand effect. And if you e.g. ask me to delete my basilisk page, think about whether people could start believing that I take it seriously and as a result take it more seriously themselves. I have thought about this before and couldn't reach a conclusive answer.

This is obviously not an agreement to delete everything you might want, such as my interview series.

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