Breaking the vicious cycle

There's no "fight". You've been a very aggressive and mean-spirited critic of LW/MIRI/EY for a few years. Doesn't mean that there's a fight. Doesn't mean anyone "wins" if, say, you shut up and go away.

Your suggestion is not constructive, because coming up with retorts to mean-spirited past posts and endorsing them would be a poor use of MIRI's time, and would only add to drama rather than reduce it. Here's what you should do instead:

First, consider just going away. It may be best for your physical and mental health to stay away from LW... (read more)

Showing 3 of 4 replies (Click to show all)

First, consider just going away. It may be best for your physical and mental health to stay away from LW and LW-related topics.

XiXiDu should discount this suggestion because it seems to be motivated reasoning.

8Brillyant5yAnd... 4. Fashion yourself a large scarlet letter to wear on your clothing.
17XiXiDu5ySounds good. Thanks. Hmm...the state of criticism leaves a lot to be desired currently. The amount of criticism does not reflect the amount of extraordinary statements being made here. I think there are a lot of people who shy away from open criticism. Some stuff that is claimed here is just very very (self-censored). I have recently attempted to voice a minimum of criticism when I said something along the lines of "an intelligence explosion happening within minutes is an extraordinary claim". I actually believe that the whole concept is...I can't say this in a way that doesn't offend people here. It's hard to recount what happened then, but my perception was that even that was already too much criticism. In a diverse community with healthy disagreement I would expect a different reaction. Please take the above as my general perception and not a precise recount of a situation.

Breaking the vicious cycle

by XiXiDu 1 min read23rd Nov 2014131 comments


You may know me as the guy who posts a lot of controversial stuff about LW and MIRI. I don't enjoy doing this and do not want to continue with it. One reason being that the debate is turning into a flame war. Another reason is that I noticed that it does affect my health negatively (e.g. my high blood pressure (I actually had a single-sided hearing loss over this xkcd comic on Friday)).

This all started in 2010 when I encountered something I perceived to be wrong. But the specifics are irrelevant for this post. The problem is that ever since that time there have been various reasons that made me feel forced to continue the controversy. Sometimes it was the urge to clarify what I wrote, other times I thought it was necessary to respond to a reply I got. What matters is that I couldn't stop. But I believe that this is now possible, given my health concerns.

One problem is that I don't want to leave possible misrepresentations behind. And there very likely exist misrepresentations. There are many reasons for this, but I can assure you that I never deliberately lied and that I never deliberately tried to misrepresent anyone. The main reason might be that I feel very easily overwhelmed and never had the ability to force myself to invest the time that is necessary to do something correctly if I don't really enjoy doing it (for the same reason I probably failed school). Which means that most comments and posts are written in a tearing hurry, akin to a reflexive retraction from the painful stimulus.


I hate this fight and want to end it once and for all. I don't expect you to take my word for it. So instead, here is an offer:

I am willing to post counterstatements, endorsed by MIRI, of any length and content[1] at the top of any of my blog posts. You can either post them in the comments below or send me an email (da [at]


I have no idea if MIRI believes this to be worthwhile. But I couldn't think of a better way to solve this dilemma in a way that everyone can live with happily. But I am open to suggestions that don't stress me too much (also about how to prove that I am trying to be honest).

You obviously don't need to read all my posts. It can also be a general statement.

I am also aware that LW and MIRI are bothered by RationalWiki. As you can easily check from the fossil record, I have at points tried to correct specific problems. But, for the reasons given above, I have problems investing the time to go through every sentence to find possible errors and attempt to correct it in such a way that the edit is not reverted and that people who feel offended are satisfied.

[1] There are obviously some caveats regarding the content, such as no nude photos of Yudkowsky ;-)