Today's post, Imaginary Positions was originally published on 23 December 2008. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):


People who are not members of a minority group may somehow come to believe that members of this group possess certain traits which seem to "fit". These traits are not required to have any connection to the real traits of that group.

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2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:13 PM

Just read the OP. My primary response is OH GOD WHY.

I realize now that I have had several possibly-Imaginary Position misconceptions in the past, including the following:

  • LW is almost entirely dominated by libertarians (seem very common but there is diversity)
  • All singularitarianism is Kurzweilian (I definitely don't believe his idea) And in particular (I think this one is actually an Imaginary Position that resists contradiction):
  • Transhumanists/Singularitarians want to create or are likely to inadvertantly create a successor race and obsolete humanity in a way distinct from self-upgrading or having better children than the parents.

I've repeatedly heard people say, "Well, it's not always smart to be rational, because other people aren't always reasonable." What rationalist said they were?

I've behaved in a manner consistent with my belief that other people would always be reasonable and rational. I updated that belief only slightly slower than I should have.