Yesterday, I mainly talked about Hufflepuff Cynicism from the cynic's end. However, there's a lot to be said about the receiving end. Hufflepuff cynicism can come off as a very patronizing strategy. Is this a point against it?
In the original conversation where I came up with the idea of Hufflepuff cynicism, I was talking about norms for aspiring rationalists around trying to get other people to be more rational. Maybe we agree that double crux is a good conversation procedure, but should we try to convince someone of that? Should we try to get them to double-crux with us about it? Maybe we believe you should bet or update when a disagreement hasn't been resolved, but what should we do with a disagreement about the bet-or-update rule?
My argument from the Hufflepuff Cynicism side was in favor of chesterton-fencing such disagreements. Don't try to convince others about rationality norms; at least, stop after the first explanation falls on deaf ears. Instead, figure out why the person isn't already following the norm. It seems likely that there's some important reason; if you can figure it out, maybe you can come up with a better norm which would address the concern (in much the same way bet-or-update addresses objections to the simpler strategies "bet on disagreements" or "talk out disagreements until you converge").
To my surprise, not everyone wants to be treated so carefully. Some people find this attitude patronizing or overly cautious, and request that I just tell them what they are doing wrong, possibly telling them more than just one time if they don't get it the first time. This is, more or less, an invocation of Crocker's Rule.
To quote the sl4 wiki on Crocker's Rules:
Declaring yourself to be operating by "Crocker's Rules" means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you. Crocker's Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind - if you're offended, it's your fault. Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor. (Which, in point of fact, they would be. One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone's afraid to tell you you're wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.) Two people using Crocker's Rules should be able to communicate all relevant information in the minimum amount of time, without paraphrasing or social formatting. Obviously, don't declare yourself to be operating by Crocker's Rules unless you have that kind of mental discipline.
Note that Crocker's Rules does not mean you can insult people; it means that other people don't have to worry about whether they are insulting you. Crocker's Rules are a discipline, not a privilege. Furthermore, taking advantage of Crocker's Rules does not imply reciprocity. How could it? Crocker's Rules are something you do for yourself, to maximize information received - not something you grit your teeth over and do as a favor.
(This seems like really just one rule to me, so I tend to call it Crocker's Rule.)
A problem I've encountered, which has reinforced my Hufflepuff Cynicism, is that people can invoke Crocker's Rule and then get upset about feedback I give anyway.
My advice is this: Crocker's Rule is a promise not to punish others for giving you negative feedback. If you don't want to be patronized by Hufflepuff Cynics like myself, don't make that promise unless you're sure you can keep it. Instead, show others through your words and actions over an extended period of time that you are both able and happy to accept negative feedback. Don't make a standing request for negative feedback. Ask for it explicitly again and again, and thank others for giving it to you. If you can't thank them genuinely, you've learned something about yourself and can adapt accordingly.
But, maybe I'm too much of a Hufflepuff Cynic. I don't know. Maybe I should... hold people to their own standards, sometimes...?