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Comment author: Error 05 February 2017 05:49:46AM 2 points [-]

Generally speaking, discussing political philosophy is fine. Also generally speaking, discussing hot topics of the day, especially in a partisan fashion, is not fine.

This bears repeating. I'd add another distinction: If you're talking about policy, you're probably OK; if you're talking about people, you're probably not.

(also, on a purely selfish note, the contemporary political shitstorm has taken over every other venue I communicate in and I really would rather not see it here)

Comment author: phl43 05 February 2017 09:04:37PM 2 points [-]

(also, on a purely selfish note, the contemporary political shitstorm has taken over every other venue I communicate in and I really would rather not see it here)

This is definitely something I can understand.

Comment author: Elo 04 February 2017 01:25:55AM 1 point [-]

These things often end up on the lesswrong wiki. It's an ongoing process to write everything up. Often if you ask, or google, or lesswrong search for it, the original post will come up.

Comment author: phl43 04 February 2017 03:55:53AM 1 point [-]

Thanks, I hadn't noticed that there was a wiki.

Comment author: Lumifer 04 February 2017 03:17:54AM 1 point [-]

Colorful language is perfectly fine. It's refusing to reason and to support one's arguments with evidence that is frowned upon.

Comment author: phl43 04 February 2017 03:48:46AM 1 point [-]

But of course I have done nothing of the sort.

Comment author: Elo 03 February 2017 05:16:41AM 2 points [-]

the verb "steelman"

Yes. You have that correct. Just because someone present an argument that may be week via their presentation does not mean the argument definitely does not have a stronger root. You should correct the argument to be stronger, then be able to defeat it anyway (provided you are right about things).

Comment author: phl43 03 February 2017 08:00:52PM 1 point [-]

Is there a glossary of your jargon somewhere?

Comment author: ChristianKl 03 February 2017 04:20:24AM 0 points [-]

so I think it should require strong evidence before people can assert it.

That a valid opinion but "other people should provide more evidence when they make claims on facebook" in not a good basis for a post on LW when arguing against a political opinion.

When addressing bad arguments made on facebook it's your burden to steelman them if you want to have a discussion about them on LW.

it's probably not true that almost everyone seemed convinced of the claim I was talking about, but any person who has normal conversations should be able to recognize that kind of rhetorical hyperbole when he sees

Engaging in hyperbole instead of rational discussion is a choice. You made it. Hyperbole doesn't help rational thinking about the subject.

Removing hyperbole from political discussions on LW is useful. Removing posts that engage in too much of it is useful.

Now, I agree with you that my tone in that post didn't invite charity and that rhetorical hyperbole doesn't help the argument, but that's not a reason to be voluntarily dense.

If you want to submit your posts to LW, you should expect to have them judged by LW's rhetoric standards. If you want to play with different rhetoric standards there are many fora on the internet who have other standards.

Comment author: phl43 03 February 2017 04:57:57AM 2 points [-]

Engaging in hyperbole instead of rational discussion is a choice.

I don't think the kind of rhetorical hyperbole I'm using in my post, that any normal person can recognize as such, is incompatible with rational discussion. Other than that, what you say is fair enough.

(On another topic, you're using the verb "steelman", which I think you already used before. I had never encountered this word before. I'm guessing that it's local jargon for the opposite of "to strawman", meaning something like "making the position you attack as strong as possible"?)

Comment author: phl43 03 February 2017 01:32:39AM 1 point [-]

Yes, I read it, there was a link in one of the first replies I got.

Comment author: phl43 03 February 2017 01:39:15AM *  2 points [-]

I find it funny, by the way, that people here are criticizing me for not giving evidence for a claim that is not only known to be true by almost everyone, but which can be verified in 5 seconds with Google if you have a doubt, while recommending a piece that begins with a very strong and arguably unverifiable claim about the evolutionary origin of the way in which humans talk about politics... (Which is not to say, to be clear, that I disagree with everything Yudkowsky says in that essay.)

Comment author: evand 03 February 2017 01:21:30AM *  0 points [-]

Have you read Politics is the Mind-Killer? I get the vague sense you haven't, and I see lots of references here to it but no direct link. If you haven't, you should go read it and every adjacent article.

Edit: actually there is a link below already. Oops.

Comment author: phl43 03 February 2017 01:32:39AM 1 point [-]

Yes, I read it, there was a link in one of the first replies I got.

Comment author: phl43 02 February 2017 10:50:40PM *  2 points [-]

The issue isn't what you see, the issue is what intelligent people from outside of your echo chamber see.

Okay, let me rephrase what I originally said: it's not incompatible. Do you think it's incompatible? Based on what you say later in your comment, I guess you do. So let me ask you a more general question: do you think there are no claims one can make, such that if someone denies them, one can reasonably conclude that the person denying it is not seriously engaging with one? I'm sure you don't (obvious counterexamples are not hard to come up with), so there must something about the particular claim I made, which makes you think it doesn't fall under that category.

Indeed, in the second part of that comment, you say that for someone like you this claim wasn't obvious. I believe you when you say that you had no idea about this, but I also think that, for any random person, it's highly unlikely they are in your epistemic situation with respect to this claim. And I don't think I have to provide evidence for claims that, in all likelihood, an overwhelming proportion of my readers already know to be true.

Even if you disagree with that, it wouldn't change the fact that, if you had a doubt, it would have taken you 5 seconds to assuage it by looking this up on Google. I just searched "trump hate crimes election" and got plenty of evidence that a lot of people were saying that after the election. Now, if what you mean is that, given my tone and the fact that you don't know me, it was reasonable of you not to make any effort to ascertain the plausibility of that claim, then I'm happy to concede that. But I took you, perhaps mistakenly, to be making a stronger claim.

Comment author: phl43 02 February 2017 11:17:53PM 1 point [-]

But look, I think we're both wasting our time here, since I've already decided to tone down my language and not to post anything here that is directly related to politics. So I'll just leave it at that, because I really have work to do :-p

Comment author: Lumifer 02 February 2017 10:21:00PM *  1 point [-]

I don't see how that's incompatible

The issue isn't what you see, the issue is what intelligent people from outside of your echo chamber see.

when I say that immediately after the election a lot of people were asserting that Trump's victory had caused a substantial increase in the number of hate crimes and someone denies it or claims not to be sure it's true, I think it's perfectly reasonable of me to conclude that they are not seriously engaging with me.

Well, let's take me (me! me! :-D). I don't live on Facebook and don't pay much attention to political noise. I have no idea how many people were asserting what kind of things about the number of hate crimes after the election. I also have no reason to just take your word for it. So unless you show some actual evidence, I would be inclined to consider you just another blowhard. The habit of presenting doubtful claims as gospel truth is... widespread on the 'net and while you have full confidence in yourself, I don't.

Theory of mind is a pretty useful thing to have. Kids acquire it early :-P

Comment author: phl43 02 February 2017 10:50:40PM *  2 points [-]

The issue isn't what you see, the issue is what intelligent people from outside of your echo chamber see.

Okay, let me rephrase what I originally said: it's not incompatible. Do you think it's incompatible? Based on what you say later in your comment, I guess you do. So let me ask you a more general question: do you think there are no claims one can make, such that if someone denies them, one can reasonably conclude that the person denying it is not seriously engaging with one? I'm sure you don't (obvious counterexamples are not hard to come up with), so there must something about the particular claim I made, which makes you think it doesn't fall under that category.

Indeed, in the second part of that comment, you say that for someone like you this claim wasn't obvious. I believe you when you say that you had no idea about this, but I also think that, for any random person, it's highly unlikely they are in your epistemic situation with respect to this claim. And I don't think I have to provide evidence for claims that, in all likelihood, an overwhelming proportion of my readers already know to be true.

Even if you disagree with that, it wouldn't change the fact that, if you had a doubt, it would have taken you 5 seconds to assuage it by looking this up on Google. I just searched "trump hate crimes election" and got plenty of evidence that a lot of people were saying that after the election. Now, if what you mean is that, given my tone and the fact that you don't know me, it was reasonable of you not to make any effort to ascertain the plausibility of that claim, then I'm happy to concede that. But I took you, perhaps mistakenly, to be making a stronger claim.

Comment author: Lumifer 02 February 2017 09:26:22PM 0 points [-]

because if someone denies it, I simply don't believe they are saying that in good faith

I thought you said something about attracting intelligent people and not wanting to live in an echo chamber..?

Comment author: phl43 02 February 2017 09:57:27PM 1 point [-]

I don't see how that's incompatible. If I say that Trump often speaks unintelligibly and someone denies it or even claims not to be sure that it's true, provided that person is intelligent and has a decent mastery of the English language, I would not believe they are saying that in good faith. Similarly, when I say that immediately after the election a lot of people were asserting that Trump's victory had caused a substantial increase in the number of hate crimes and someone denies it or claims not to be sure it's true, I think it's perfectly reasonable of me to conclude that they are not seriously engaging with me.

Of course, people here didn't deny it, they just asked me to provide evidence for that claim. But I don't see the point of asking for evidence for a claim that you agree with unless you have some serious reason to think that you might be wrong in believing it's true. (In this case, if someone had any doubt, Google would solve that problem in 5 seconds.) To my mind, this isn't really being rational, it's pedantry that can only serve to avoid dealing with the part of the argument that is actually contentious, which in this case was my argument that the evidence doesn't support the claim that Trump's victory had caused a substantial increase of the number of hate crimes.

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