Humans obviously can't communicate.

-Peter de Blanc

Miscommunication is something we talk about Less Wrong a lot, what with the illusion of transparency, the double illusion of transparency, and the 37 Ways Words Can Be Wrong sequence and better disagreement and levels of communication and mental metadata and this (not to mention Robin Hanson's Disagreement is Near/Far Bias). I thought about writing a new top-level post about it with some of the links I've found, but I figure they say all I could have said.

Here you go:

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3 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 11:55 AM

Regarding Wiio's Laws: The author of that piece seems to be holding an unreasonable standard for what counts as "successful" communication. Human communication is generally far from perfect, but it's usually good enough.


Wiio's Laws. This is the big one. This is the one that says it all. Do read them. Apparently, this doesn't happen to everyone, but after reading that page I started seeing Wiio's laws everywhere.

Or is it the linguistic analog of the Law of Fives? An old friend of mine, obsessed with Star Trek, started seeing 47 everywhere, but of course it was just confirmation bias at play.

If Wiio's Law is true, then a good part of the Internet is completely useless, and is better to acess only technical content( we already know that), the point is in what proportion. When people try to refrase what was said, it's because occur a failure of comunication, or a misinterpretation, generating unecessary disagreement. Disputing definitions is a signal of something goes wrong in the process.