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Comment author: Chris_Hibbert 11 August 2007 02:34:34AM 19 points [-]

"I should have paid more attention to that sensation of still feels a little forced."

The force that you would have had to counter was the impetus to be polite. In order to boldly follow your models, you would have had to tell the person on the other end of the chat that you didn't believe his friend. You could have less boldly held your tongue, but that wouldn't have satisfied your drive to understand what was going on. Perhaps a compromise action would have been to point out the unlikelihood, (which you did: "they'd have hauled him off if there was the tiniest chance of serious trouble"), and ask for a report on the eventual outcome.

Given the constraints of politeness, I don't know how you can do better. If you were talking to people who knew you better, and understood your viewpoint on rationality, you might expect to be forgiven for giving your bald assessment of the unlikeliness of the report.

Comment author: cidcilver 24 December 2015 09:10:22PM *  0 points [-]

I saw someone on FB reposting this post today.

Makes an interesting point about not doubting your own models in certain circumstances I guess, but the original post leaves out relevant issues of trust and pragmatism.

Sure people probably gullibly believe untrue stories more often than they should, but biases also often cause us to discount anecdotes that are actually representative of real, lived experiences (such as the subtle experiences of those who suffer from racism and sexism). - http://ntrsctn.com/science-tech/2015/12/tech-guys-allies/

Just because a bug is unusual or difficult to locally replicate/experience doesn't mean you should discount the bug reports.

Also (obviously) faith in even medical experts/institutions should be absolute.

Finally there's nothing wrong with offering someone good advice even if you think they may have lied to you/are trolling... there's still a chance they were not trolling, and arming them with good information might be good for them in the short term or long term.