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

In response to Emotional labour
Comment author: Friendly-HI 25 August 2017 07:17:12PM *  1 point [-]

Two counter-examples involving my SO in cases where we both chose option 1 and both felt it was the correct decision.

Event + option 1: I became aware I was pregnant with your child right before you left in order to visit your parents over the Christmas and New Year holidays. I kept it from you during all of your vacation because I knew it would screw up your whole stay with your parents and friends. I predicted you'd prefer to deal with it later and in person.

Event + option 1: I (not known to be paranoid about personal health) found a very suspicious lump in a very suspicious place in my body. I immediately went to get it checked, but since I predicted you'd be extremely worried about me I did not tell you about it until after my second check-up months later, so you would not have to worry about losing me to cancer like you recently did one of your parents.

We agree that in both cases these were good decisions, but those are rather extreme cases with a very high emotional cost to the other person compared to breaking a vase or something in the low range of suffering.

My suspicion: Preferring option 2 over option 1 across all applicable cases seems too generalized and wrong. I suspect there is a point of magnitude in emotional cost to another person, after which you might also feel that option 1 would be preferred by both parties - what do you think?

Another real-world-example I'm personally familiar with that feels very related to this one, but without the intention to ever let the emotionally impacted person actually know (i.e. direct lying) is this situation: Dear god-fearing bed-ridden grandma, your poor son died peacefully of a heart attack. (As opposed to slit his wrists in the bathroom while drunk).

Comment author: lmn 26 August 2017 04:27:55PM 0 points [-]

I'm reminded of an incident in Richard Feynman's "What do you care what other people think?" involving his then girlfriend, later wife, Arline and her illness. Her family chose to go with (1) both Feynman and her where rather annoyed when they found out. I don't remember the exact details right now and don't have the book in front of me.

Comment author: ChristianKl 19 August 2017 04:39:30AM 0 points [-]

I don't think that it depends on them. The fact that you think it does, indicates that the context of politics puts you into a defense way of approaching this conversation and that's a state in which it's unlikely that it's easy to complicate a complex subject, and there's no real reason for me to put in that work.

Comment author: lmn 19 August 2017 06:07:32AM 0 points [-]

I don't think that it depends on them.

Then why are you asserting them?

Comment author: ChristianKl 15 August 2017 02:46:36AM *  1 point [-]

This doesn't exactly inspire me to trust

The goal of my post isn't to convince you. There's a bunch of politics involved and additionally, it's about the distinction of states for which I believe jimmy to which I have replied to have mental models, but where there's a good chance that you don't. The best way to explain those to you would likely to talk about hypnosis in a nonpolitical context and I don't want to get into that at this point.

Comment author: lmn 17 August 2017 07:45:46PM 2 points [-]

There's a bunch of politics involved and additionally, it's about the distinction of states for which I believe jimmy to which I have replied to have mental models

And why does this discussion of psychological states depend no you asserting false statements about contemporary politics?

Comment author: jimmy 15 August 2017 05:58:11PM 0 points [-]

You don’t think it’s the same thing as what Trump is doing, or the same thing that Scott Adams is referring to when he says trump is doing it?

There are a bunch of things that are getting mixed up here. Clearly Trump tells lies that lead to people believing simple factual falsehoods. That much doesn’t even contradict that main thesis here, and it also applies to anyone that believed Bernie when he said that America is the richest country on earth.

I think what you meant is probably that Trump says things that lead people to be mislead on the things that actually matter (as judged by you) and that he’s not actually a great example of saying the “truest” things, in this strange but important sense. I actually agree with you there too, though I think I blame Trump less for this than you do because I think he’s legitimately bad at figuring out what is true and so when he might say something about vaccines causing autism, for example, it’s more about him being genuinely wrong than knowing the right answer and maliciously lying about it. Hanlon’s razor, basically.

Additionally, I think you’d argue that Trump isn’t doesn’t seem to care enough about the truth and is reckless in that way, and I’d probably agree with you there too. None of this challenges Adam’s main point here though, which is that Trump’s messages, despite being easily fact-checked as false, contain (other) things which Trump does not actively disbelieve and are evaluated as both important and true by his followers - even if Christian (or Jimmy, or anyone else) thinks that those things are false as well.

It’s important to look at how people respond to proof that his statements don’t pass the fact checks. If they feel betrayed by trump or if there’s cognitive disonnance induced, then your criticism is valid and it’s simple lying and pandering to wishful thinking. If, on the other hand, you get “lol, don’t care” then you’re missing the point and aren’t actually addressing what they think is important and true. I see both in Trump’s followers, but the interesting part is that I see far more of the latter than I have with any other politician. In other words, I think Adams has a point.

Comment author: lmn 16 August 2017 03:28:21AM 1 point [-]

Clearly Trump tells lies that lead to people believing simple factual falsehoods.

I don't think this is clear at all. At least the statements of his that people object to the loudest aren't lies.

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 15 August 2017 04:52:53AM *  0 points [-]

Can anyone offer a linguistic explanation for the following phenomenon related to pronoun case and partial determiners:

  1. None of us want to go to school tomorrow.
  2. None of we want to go to school tomorrow (**).
  3. We want to go to school tomorrow.
  4. Us want to go to school tomorrow (**).
Comment author: lmn 15 August 2017 06:17:51AM 2 points [-]

In (1) the subject is the word "none". The word "us" is part of the prepositional phrase "of us".

Comment author: Bound_up 13 August 2017 01:17:55AM 0 points [-]

Some of what Trump says is both emotionally and empirically wrong. The concept of "emotional truth" isn't a carte blanche to claim that anything you want is "true in some way;" it's a different way of communicating, and can be used to deceive as well as inform.

Some things Trump says are empirically wrong, but emotionally true, and those I have some measure of sympathy for.

Comment author: lmn 15 August 2017 12:55:25AM *  1 point [-]

Honestly, I'm not sure how much Scott Adams even believes what he says. I suspect part of it is that his target audience is people for whom "don't worry Trump doesn't actually believe these things, he's just saying them to hypnotize the masses" is less threatening then "actually these things Trump says are true". If you want the latter, I recommend Steve Sailer.

Comment author: ChristianKl 14 August 2017 08:54:53PM 0 points [-]

I'm sorry, I good the name wrong. I meant to say John Oliver and got the last name wrong. I referencing information from one of his videos on Trump. I think Last Week Tonight generally follows at least Karl Roves 100% truth test.

Pieces of trivia make good examples because they are less politically charged. If you read "politics is the mindkiller" and understand it than you make effort in choicing nonpolitical examples to be able to think more rational.

Rationally analyzing a person like Trump isn't easy and looking at examples that are in that trivia reference class instead of looking at highly charged political examples is much better if your goal is to understand the kind of person that Trump happens to be.

Which was? I'm guessing it was something along the lines of "America is the richest country on earth therefore we can afford to adopt <my stupid economic policies>".

I think it was something about how America has more people who suffer in poverty than many European countries.

Comment author: lmn 15 August 2017 12:49:58AM *  1 point [-]

I'm sorry, I good the name wrong. I meant to say John Oliver and got the last name wrong.

This doesn't exactly inspire me to trust your memory about other details of the story.

I referencing information from one of his videos on Trump.

Specifically, he appears to have made a joke that could reasonably be interpreted as an invitation to Trump (specifically inviting an alias Trump once used), then said "that was only a joke" when Trump called him on it.

I think Last Week Tonight generally follows at least Karl Roves 100% truth test.

I admittedly haven't watched it, but isn't that the show that perfected the "laugh track in place of counter-argument without other breaks so viewers don't have time to rationally process what's being said" format.

Comment author: lmn 13 August 2017 08:47:09PM 0 points [-]

This reads like the author has such a strong external locus of control that he can't even imagine how an actual internal locus works. The whole point of an internal locus of control for things you can actually control is to control them. For example, rather than the rationalization for inaction:

My house is a mess, it's my fault but I don't care.

the actual internal locus of control behavior is:

My house is a mess and I'm going to clean it up right now, that mean before replying to this comment.

Comment author: ChristianKl 12 August 2017 08:40:12PM 1 point [-]

I don't think it's the same thing. Trump's speech leads to people adopting wrong beliefs.

There are many issues where Trump lies about an issue where the truth would be simple to explain and be understood by average people. When Trump tells the public that John Stewart invited Trump multiple times when John Stewart did no such thing it might be "emotionally true" in the sense that people who watch Trump want to emotionally belief.

Trump tells lies that are wrong on a very simple factual level and lead to people believing simple factual falsehoods.

The post has more to do with lies that other politicians tell. Berny Sanders for example said in on of the debates that America is the richest country on earth. There are countries with a richer per capita GDP but that's besides the point that Sanders made for the debate.

Comment author: lmn 13 August 2017 07:04:34PM 2 points [-]

There are many issues where Trump lies about an issue where the truth would be simple to explain and be understood by average people. When Trump tells the public that John Stewart invited Trump multiple times when John Stewart did no such thing it might be "emotionally true" in the sense that people who watch Trump want to emotionally belief.

It's interesting that the best example you could come up with appears to be an obscure bit of trivia. I wasn't able to figure out the exact details by searching, but Jon Steward certainly said many things that sounded like he was implying he'd love to have Trump on his show, e.g., this. I suspect, what may have happened is that Jon Steward (whose whole schtick is telling lies and half-truths, using a laugh track in lieu of a counter-argument, and pleading "just joking" when called on it) likes to imply he would totally beat Trump in an argument. A much more fun thing to say until Trump implies you're just desperate to have him on the show for the ratings boost.

Berny Sanders for example said in on of the debates that America is the richest country on earth. There are countries with a richer per capita GDP but that's besides the point that Sanders made for the debate.

Which was? I'm guessing it was something along the lines of "America is the richest country on earth therefore we can afford to adopt <my stupid economic policies>".

Comment author: lmn 13 August 2017 06:41:54PM 2 points [-]

Honestly, the problem with this approach is that it tends to degenerate to "when my side tells lies, they're still emotionally true; when the other side makes inconvenient statements that are true, I can dismiss them as emotionally false".

View more: Next