Open Thread, May 1-15, 2012
[anonymous]8y16

Related to: List of public drafts on LessWrong

Article based on this draft: Conspiracy Theories as Agency Fictions

I was recently thinking about a failure mode that classical rationality often recognizes and even reasonably competently challenges, yet nearly all the heuristics it uses to detect it, seem remarkably easy to use to misuse. Not only that they seem easily hackable to win a debate. How much has the topic been discussed on LW? Wondering about this I sketched out my thoughts in the following paragraphs.

On conspiracy theories

What does the phrase eve... (read more)

nearly all the heuristics it uses to detect [a failure mode], seem remarkably easy to use to misuse.

Related: Reversed stupidity is not intelligence; Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People.

An argument against a conspiracy theory is probabilistic, because we don't deny that conspiracies exist, only that in this specific case, a non-conspiracy explanation is more probable than a conspiracy explanation, therefore focusing on the conspiracy explanation is privileging a hypothesis.

People are not very good at probabilistic reasoning. So some of them prefer an in... (read more)

9David_Gerard8yPolish this and it will make a decent discussion post.

Open Thread, May 1-15, 2012

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read1st May 2012267 comments

7


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.