Clueless World vs. Loser World

by michael_vassar2 1 min read7th Oct 201724 comments


In reply to Different Worlds;

It was a huge disappointment for me when Ben Hoffman compellingly argued in favor of parallel social worlds coexisting unobtrusively adjacent to one another without causing a large shift in our community discourse. It was consequentially a huge source of relief when the blog of record, made a similar argument almost exactly a year later, and the discussion was everything I could have hoped for.

The most common type of comment appeared to be the relating of instances where type two errors would have been natural if group identifiers were reversed. Such stories make good morality tales for an ethos that fears apophenia and endorses Hanlon's Razor in spite of Hanlon's Dodge. Most SSC readers reported having a low tendency to perceive threats, which is what one would expect from either the type one error heavy tone of the blog or the requirements of signaling. My favorite comment pointed out that even when people don't consciously notice threats, if they have a functioning amygdala, they are still regularly taking action to protect themselves from a mix of perceived threats which tolerates a much higher risk of type two error than they might accept when forming a narrative.

Another common sort of comment echoed James Damore in suggesting that complaints about gender discrimination come only from people who aren't good at engineering. Somewhat related were comments that suggested that people ought to leave workplaces where harassment occurs. Both of these attitudes presuppose the perspective that jobs are readily available and that people ought to try to excel in the objectively measurable. Unfortunately, the reality is that under any possible social arrangement, most people are not going to be exceptionally good in the domains that are most rewarded by society. For those who can afford not to play politics whether due to their excellence in engineering or in camming, it's wise to maintain a low sensitivity to threats. This avoids feeding the trolls and protects them from the self-fulfilling prophecies which can arise out of threat sensitivity. For the 80% of corporate employees who aren't at the top however, politics is the only way they can be in the game at all. Their higher threat sensitivity may exhaust them and leave them unhappy, but it allows them to capture more value than they contribute instead of less than they can afford to.

In a world where there are 5.17-6.56% more bureaucratic positions to compete for every year and the ability to afford necessities is in rapid decline for those unable to find a bullshit job, doing otherwise would be maladaptive self-sacrifice.