never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

I don't tend to yield to force or overwhelming might of what counts as my enemy. I do not consider this trait to be 'good sense'. Damn propaganda.

...yeah, it's not a brilliant rationality quote, but there's a bit of a good point in it nonetheless: this is a case in which precommitment is necessary, because despite the fact that you would prefer not to be subject to the assault of an enemy, you don't want to establish that every threat will be profitable, however imaginary. Naive calculations neglect the effect of your decision method on the actions of others. (It's like in cryptography - your strategy has to work even if other people know the function.)

Rationality Quotes November 2009

by Eliezer Yudkowsky 1 min read29th Nov 2009281 comments


A monthly thread for posting rationality-related quotes you've seen recently (or had stored in your quotesfile for ages).

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be voted up/down separately.  (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments.  If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote comments/posts on LW/OB.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.