It may be relevant that Will has talked elsewhere about certain important physical phenomena being evasive, in the sense that their likelihood of occurring is significantly inversely proportional to whether someone is trying to prove or demonstrate them.

When I value my interactions with an evasive phenomenon (the beliefs of shy people, the social rules of Guess cultures, etc.), one consequence is often that I can't actually talk about my real reasons for things; everything has to be indirect and roundabout and sometimes actively deceptive.

I am generally happier when I don't value my interactions with evasive phenomena, but that's not always an option.

Upvoted for giving two examples of real evasive phenomena. I'd previously only encountered that idea in anti-epistemological contexts, wherein "the universe evades attempts to seek the truth about X" was always clearly a desperate after-the-fact attempt to justify "so despite attempts to seek the truth about X which keep appearing to contradict my claims, you should still believe my claims instead".

But I suppose it's just common sense that you can't properly investigate much psychology or sociology unless you avoid letting the subjects... (read more)

This post is for sacrificing my credibility!

by Will_Newsome 1 min read2nd Jun 2012347 comments


Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Don't worry, there won't be future posts like this, so you don't have to delete my LessWrong account, and anyway I could make another, and another.

But since you've dared to read this far:

Credibility. Should you maximize it, or minimize it? Have I made an error?


Don't be shallow, don't just consider the obvious points. Consider that I've thought about this for many, many hours, and that you don't have any privileged information. Whence our disagreement, if one exists?