Pontor's Shortform

by Pontor3rd Nov 20206 comments
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Schelling talks about “the right to be sued” as an important right that businesses need to protect for themselves, not because anyone likes being sued, but because only businesses that can be sued if they slip up have enough credibility to attract customers.

-- Scott Alexander

I think about this every couple of weeks. Seems deep and underappreciated.

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Schelling talks about [...]

-- Scott Alexander

I would recommend actually reading Schelling's The Strategy of Conflict. Popularizers like Alexander do great and important work in exposing the highlights to a large audience, but there's no real substitute for getting the details from the primary literature.

Seconded. Also Skyrms' "Evolution of the Social Contract".

I just encountered the term "semi-intentional" in a post on Everything Studies.

I think it's a decent candidate for filling the apparent lexical gap written about on SSC in Against Lie Inflation and by Zack M. Davis in Algorithmic Intent.

It seems like everyone can agree that Twitter is an awful platform and it makes people awful. I have a couple hazy ideas for solutions (maybe just bandaid solutions, but seemingly better than nothing):
I imagine an alternate world wherein one blue check can cast umbrage on another blue check by saying something like, "He's just logically rude. I will no longer argue with him without explicitly asking him to stick his neck out from the start" or "She's a cryptonormativist--notice that she hasn't spelled out her personal frame anywhere. Really, go look for it. I'll wait. [some kind of sassy emoji string]".
Maybe they could also accrue status more robustly and wholesomely by writing and then sharing their Line of Retreat or their Hypothetically Apostasy.

The concepts and tools linked here are not airtight against bad-faith tweeters, but I think they might really raise the bar a little if they became more common. And I think there is demand for raising that bar--not as much demand as for tribal affirmation and outgroup scandal--but enough demand that such norms might catch on in certain Twitter clusters, thereby making those clusters a little more visibly virtuous.

On the other hand...

Notable Serious Thinker Scott Alexander says in his Twitter bio: "I have a place where I say complicated things about philosophy and science. That place is my blog. This is where I make terrible puns." This seems like an optimal choice for him, and maybe for lots of other serious thinkers too. There is a decent case to be made that Twitter (at least in it's current state) ought to be treated like an internet ghetto...Superfund site...vice-business zone (...or something).

I think both views have merit, and I'm still pondering how to reconcile them.

Giving a kid a chemistry set and helping them build a trebuchet is cool, but what if you saved up some money and gave them a ride on a zero-g plane too? https://www.gozerog.com/the-zero-g-experience/