Pretty much nobody would say that because they wouldn't do Y if X wasn't true, X is their actual goal for Y.

I think this reveals our fundamental disagreement: I am describing people, not repeating people's self-descriptions, and since I am claiming that people are systematically mistaken about their self-descriptions, of course there should be a disagreement between them!

That is, suppose Alice "goes to restaurants for the food" but won't go to any restaurants that have poor decor / ambiance, but will go to restaurants that have good ambiance and poor food. If Bob suggests to Alice that they go to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant with great food, and Alice doesn't like it or doesn't go, then an outside observer seems correct in saying that Alice's actual goal is the ambiance.

Now, sure, Alice could be assessing the experience along many dimensions and summing them in some way. But typically there is a dominant feature that overrides other concerns, or the tradeoffs seem to heavily favor one dimension (perhaps there need to be five units of food quality increase to outweigh one unit of ambiance quality decrease), which cashes out to the same thing when there's a restricted range.

I prefer a poorly reviewed book that costs $10 to a well reviewed book that costs $5000. By your reasoning I "care more about the price than about the reviews".

I think you do care more about the price than about the reviews? That is, if there were a book that cost $5k and there were a bunch of people who had read it and said that the experience of reading it was life-changingly good and totally worth $5k, and you decided not to spend the money on the book, it's clear that you're not in the most hardcore set of story-chasers, but instead you're a budget-conscious story-chaser.

To bring it back to MetaMed, oftentimes the work that they did was definitely worth the cost. People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment of serious conditions, and so the idea of paying five thousand dollars to get more diagnostic work done to make sure the other money is well-spent is not obviously a strange or bad idea, whereas paying $5k for a novel is outlandish.

That's fighting the hypothetical.

I don't see why you think that. You could argue it's reference class tennis, but if your point is "people don't do weird thing X" and in fact people do weird thing X in a slightly different context, then we need to reevaluate what is generating the weirdness. If people do actually spend thousands of dollars in order to read a book (and be credentialed for having read it), then a claim that you don't want to spend for it becomes a statement about you instead of about people in general, or a statement about what features you find most relevant.

(I don't know your educational history, but suppose I was having this conversation with an English major who voluntarily took college classes on reading books; clearly the class experience of discussing the book, or the pressure to read the book by Monday, is what they're after in a deeper way than they were after reading the bookt. If they just cared about reading the book, they would just read the book.)

I am describing people, not repeating people's self-descriptions, and since I am claiming that people are systematically mistaken about their self-descriptions, of course there should be a disagreement between them!

I'm complaining about your terminology. Terminology is about which meaning your words communicate. Being wrong about one's self-description is about whether the meaning you intend to communicate by your words is accurate. These are not the same thing and you can easily get one of them wrong independently of the other.

I think you do care

... (read more)

Open Thread, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2016

by [anonymous] 1 min read27th Dec 2015145 comments

10


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