Breaking the vicious cycle

To be honest, I had you pegged as being stuck in a partisan spiral. The fact that you are willing to do this is pretty cool. Have some utils on the house. I don’t know if officially responding to your blog is worth MIRI’s time; it would imply some sort of status equivalence.

Also, you published some very embarrassing quotes from Yudkowsky. I’m guessing you caused him quite a bit of distress, so he’s probably not inclined to do you any favors. Mining someone’s juvenilia for outrageous statements is not productive – I mean he was 16 when he wrote some of the... (read more)

Also, you published some very embarrassing quotes from Yudkowsky. I’m guessing you caused him quite a bit of distress, so he’s probably not inclined to do you any favors.

If I post an embarrassing quote by Sarah Palin, then I am not some kind of school bully who likes causing people distress. Instead I highlight an important shortcoming of an influential person. I have posted quotes of various people other than Yudkowsky. I admire all of them for their achievements and wish them all the best. But as influential people they have to expect that someone mig... (read more)

5John_Maxwell5yStill, it could be nice if XiXiDu put some kind of disclaimer he came up with himself at the top of his posts.
34lukeprog5yFor the record, I genuinely object to being thought of as a "highly competent CEO." I think "non-natural CEO working hard and learning fast and picking up lots of low-hanging fruit but also making lots of mistakes along the way because he had no prior executive experience" is more accurate. The good news is that I've been learning even more quickly since Matt Fallshaw joined the Board, since he's able and willing to put in the time to transfer to me what he's learned from launching and running multiple startups.

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 ;-)