I've in light of the previous opinions survey, I've added some nuances to my model, which yields a new opinions survey: Opinions survey 2.

I'm mainly posting it here because I'm curious how well my factor model extrapolates. I want to have this data available when I do a more in-depth analysis of the results from the census. I don't necessarily think the rationalism scores will do great at characterizing rationalists, but they might.

I scored 12/18. If I add this to my score from my previous survey, I get 26/42.

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Especially given the popularity of hpmor, I’m confused to learn that it’s common for rationalists to not want to fight bullying.

If you look at the analytics, it turns out most rationalists do believe you should fight bullying. The model used to construct the test was just wrong.

Do you have a link to an explanation of what you're hoping to learn?  "how much of a rationalist you are" is ... a strange thing to poll about.  "How rational you are" would make sense, bu would have very different questions.

I looked out of curiosity, and I am a bit uncertain what framing I should use for "ought" and "should".  My modal preference (it'll vary, of course, with circumstances, but there's a "most common" answer I can pick)?  My prediction of the LW median?  My prediction of your weighting of "rationalist" answers?

The very first question "Movie protagonists ought to be physically attractive." stumped me.  Movie protagonists tend to be visually distinct, most often attractive.  As a consumer, I don't have an "ought" to apply.  If I were making a movie, it'd be a point of debate to figure out the main reasons for different presentations of protagonist, and pick someone who fits well with the vision.  

I had addiitonal problem with things like "Curiosity is for boring nerds. ".  Using two dimensions of description, and not including the other endpoint ("curiosity is not for exciting jocks"?) made it hard to give a linear answer.  Curiosity IS for more for interesting nerds than boring nerds, but it's also for everyone else.

I gave up and did not answer.  Sorry.

Thanks.  I guess it's just more evidence that I am not a rationalist.  I did get 13/18 when I took it as best I could.  There was no option for "don't care", so I picked the middle one for things I just didn't connect with, or where it was a conjunction and I agreed with one half and disagreed with the other half.  This was a majority of the "X because Y" questions.  

I wish the scoring were a lot more precise - like standard deviations from mean, or log-distance from mode.  I also wish you'd show the "correct" range for the ones I was in-range, just so I could see how close to the edge I was.  But really, I wish there were more discussion of the analytics and interpretation of questions - I currently don't see how/whether I should change my views on the cult based on this.

Specific disagreements with your scoring, likely because of phrasing or misunderstanding of question:

You should believe your friends if they tell you they've seen ghosts. 

Unless they're known to lie/exaggerate, you should believe that they've seen things which they feel "ghosts" is the best description.  Believe your friends, and liars aren't friends.

Charity organizations should... 

Ok, likely a real disagreement with other poll-takers.  I don't think all or most charity organizations (or non-charity organizations, for that matter) "should" bundle lifestyle choices with employment compensation and mission alignment.  SOME organizations do so, and successfully, but it doesn't generalize AT ALL.

Driving cars gives you a lot of independence.

Maybe an interpretation thing.  "Driving cars", as in the ability to drive a car when useful, CLEARLY expands one's options for independent transportation and location choices.   "Driving cars", as in the societal assumption that it's the only or primary way for people to move about, and that it's necessary for most people to spend a lot of time isolated in their car is far less desirable.  But it DOES increase independence, just not the good kind of independence.

It is bad to buy and destroy expensive products in the name of "art".

Genuinely surprised that people think it's not bad to intentionally destroy value.  I wonder if there's a different availability heuristic being used for WHICH expensive products are being destroyed.

The model is under development. I would like to discuss these things but in order to say much about how rationalist beliefs are distributed, I need to run some surveys on rationalist beliefs first. Will take some time to write up the results.

I got 7/18.

I got 13/18.


(Spoiler warning)

(Also I didn’t check the previous survey nor the comments there, so expect some level of redondance)

The score itself (8/18) is not that informative, but checking the « accepted » answers is quite interesting. Here’s my « errors » and how much I’m happy making them:

You should be on the outlook for people who are getting bullied, and help defend them against the bullies.

I agree some rationalist leaders are toxic characters who will almost inevitably bully their students and collaborators, and I’m happy to keep strongly disagreeing with that. [actually most rationalists taking the survey agree with the statement, see tailcalled below]

Modern food is more healthy because we have better hygiene than people did in the past.

I strongly agree, LW accept weaker position. Ok, maybe I don’t have the data for a period of time in the past where food was not that bad. (Slight update on both the content and the need to countercheck the data myself).

It should be easy to own guns.

Seriously, is that even a question? Aren’t rationalists supposed to look at the data at some point?

Statistics show that black people still are far from catching up to white people in society.

I strongly agree, LW accept weaker position. But what I had in mind was the situation in Canada, so maybe I just don’t have the relevant data for the USA. Yes, that’s my kind of humour.

It is bad to buy and destroy expensive products in the name of "art".

I thought I disagree, but ok I admit I could imagine good examples. Like a statue from melting guns involved in murdering children at school.

You should believe your friends if they tell you they've seen ghosts.

That’s an interesting one. I would not believe ghosts caused this perception, but I will not negate the perception itself, nor believe that establishing the truth about ghosts is what should occupy my mind in this situation.

Charity organizations should offer their employees dream vacations in the tropics to make the employment more attractive and enjoyable, thereby attracting more people to the charity.

I thought everyone got the memo it did hurt the whole movement. Am I wrong or the « correct » answer is just outdated from pre SBF times?

There is no God. Supernatural claims are never true

That’s the only two questions where I firsthand did expect to differ, for complicated reasons that I just find this week was better expressed by Aella. (In short, it’s more useful to keep a sane dose of agnosticism)


(I should also credit Scott Aaronson for best showing QM allows supernatural claims such as « there’s free will »)

Curiosity is for boring nerds.


Please remember:

Warning: this is not necessarily an accurate or useful test; it's a test that arose through irresponsible statistics rather than careful thought.

The test is a wild extrapolation based on a little bit of data about rationalists and a tons of data about what random nonrationalists believe.

If you want to see what rationalists actually believe, you should view the analytics: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSclPFQb2xUddV0opa8eY7Z1SA-yRCP0jVesUhr-TXt5_c8ehw/viewanalytics

I got 9/24 on the first one and 12/18 on this one, so 21/42