Why are lesswrongers so against involvement in politics? The fact that tribalism exists and is bad is fairly well known, but it remains the case that the vast majority of power and resources in the world as it exists at the moment is controlled via political processes.

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Piggyback question on this: why aren't LessWrongers finding and exploiting cognitive biases in markets in order to raise funds for their projects?

I realize that (a) it's really hard to do this or everyone would do it; and (b) there probably are individual LessWrongers working in finance. But to the extent that LW tends to think that entire fields of experts can be blind in their disciplines in ways disciplined rationalists are not (theologians, philosophers, doctors, politicians, educators, physicists), there would seem to be the prospect of some massively profitable arbitrage or prediction somewhere. And it's not like any of LessWrong's projects are allergic to funding.

2mwengler7yTribalism is bad? Without tribe affiliation you die and so probably do your memes. I think in your case your thinking about tribalism may be like a fish's thinking about water: it is ubiquitous, transparent, and you can't imagine life without it, and so you treat it as if it were nothing. As to why lesswrongers seem less involved in politics... my thoughts. As wonky creative types we are way more interested in policy than the sausage-making of winning. We would be more interested in advising the president than in being the president, because we would be more interested in considering 22 different unrealistic policies and their implications than we would be in buttonholing 22 senators and trading pork with them for votes on the one policy which has percolated to the top which I do not have the time to truly understand myself because I need to get it passed. Most politics is like driving a bus on the same route every day, and in local politics the route is not very big.
2Qiaochu_Yuan7yI don't have the impression that LWers are against involvement in politics.

More "Stupid" Questions

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read31st Jul 2013498 comments

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This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.