My rule is to not engage into specific arguments with anyone with clear signs of motivated cognition, since it is almost invariably futile, as their true objections are not in the arguments they put forward. I tend to try to figure out why it is important for someone in this state to believe what they believe. For example, it is pointless to discuss metallurgy with a 911 truther or a certain purported perpetual motion contraption with a free-energy crank.

Here are the signs of your motivated cognition: you use negative connotation-charged descriptions of ... (read more)

"promiscuity" instead of, say, "reduced incidence and duration of exclusive committed relationships",

I think "using one word instead of eight" is not very good evidence of motivated cognition. Maybe if Moss had said "sluttishness" instead you would have a point.

The best 15 words

by apophenia 1 min read3rd Oct 2013386 comments

12


People want to tell everything instead of telling the best 15 words.  They want to learn everything instead of the best 15 words.  In this thread, instead post the best 15-words from a book you've read recently (or anything else).  It has to stand on its own. It's not a summary, the whole value needs to be contained in those words.

 

  • It doesn't need to cover everything in the book, it's just the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't need to be a quote, it's just the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't have to be 15 words long, it's just the best "15" words.
  • It doesn't have to be precisely true, it's just the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't have to be the main 15 words, it just has to be the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't have to be the author's 15 words, it just has to be the best 15 words.
  • Edit: It shouldn't just be a neat quote--the point of the exercise is to struggle to move from a book down to 15 words.

 

I'll start in the comments below.

(Voted by the Schelling study group as the best exercise of the meeting.)