A simple exercise in rationality: rephrase an objective statement as subjective and explore the caveats

by shminux 1 min read18th Apr 20157 comments


"This book is awful" => "I dislike this book" => "I dislike this book because it is shallow and is full of run-on sentences." => I dislike this book because I prefer reading books I find deep and clearly written."

"The sky is blue" => ... => "When I look at the sky, the visual sensation I get is very similar to when I look at a bunch of other objects I've been taught to associate with the color blue."

"Team X lost but deserved to win" => ...

"Being selfish is immoral" 

"The Universe is infinite, so anything imaginable happens somewhere"

In general, consider a quick check whether in a given context replacing "is" with "appears to be" leads to something you find non-trivial.

Why? Because it exposes the multiple levels of maps we normally skip. So one might find illuminating occasionally walking through the levels and making sure they are still connected as firmly as the last time. And maybe figuring out where the people who hold a different opinion from yours construct a different chain of maps. Also to make sure you don't mistake a map for the territory.

That is all. ( => "I think that I have said enough for one short post and adding more would lead to diminishing returns, though I could be wrong here, but I am too lazy to spend more time looking for links and quotes and better arguments without being sure that they would improve the post.")