Hi : )

I used to use smileys in my writing all the time (more than I do now!).  but then I read Against Disclaimers, and I thought that every time I used a smiley I wud make people who don't use smileys seem less friendly (bc my conspicuous-friendliness wud be available as a contrast to others' behaviour).  so instead, my strategy for maximizing friendliness in the world became:

if I just have the purest of kindness in my heart while I interacting with ppl, and use plain words with no extra signalling, I will make plain words seem more friendly in general.

this was part of a general heuristic strategy: "to marginally move society in the direction of a better interpretive equilibrium, just act like that equilibrium is already true."  I think that's an important insight, and explicitly stating the equilibrium u's try cultivate can often be less effective.

but the number of times my writings (especially comments) have been interpreted as combative while I is honestly try be cheerfwl makes me think I might be inadvertently nudging ppl's interpretive priors in the opposite direction to what I want.

when the way ppl signal that they belong to a more advanced category is to countersignal against the preceding step, this often collapses to looking like there only exists two steps (and society penduluming between them).  in order to readily differentiate from that whole spaghetti, u's behaviour has to be so different that it overcomes the interpretive gravity of preexisting priors.

thus, smileys. ^^[1][2]

smileys until friendliness becomes so generally expected that I no longer need to overtly signal it.

  1. ^

    incidentally, evy time this smiley is interpreted as sarcasm, I die inside.

  2. ^

    I not try claim this conclusion is adequately nailed down by the post.  I merely offer some considerations, and end by saying where my intuition has landed.  that intuition incorporates a lot more stuff that isn't contained in this post.

New Comment