From the article:

If I know that a false argument sounds just as convincing as a true argument, argument convincingness provides no evidence either way, and I should ignore it and stick with my prior.

That's true, but it's just a restatement of your ignorance of a topic. When one is sufficiently ignorant of a topic, one isn't capable of evaluating the arguments.

But Yvain suggests that continued education left him unable to differentiate the quality of arguments. How much of that was that he was reading only nonsense. Reading competing Timecube-qualit... (read more)

skipping over the mechanisms for filtering good ideas from bad leaves me confused about the point of the post.

The point of the post is that most people, in most domains, should not trust that they are good at filtering good ideas from bad.

[LINK] Why taking ideas seriously is probably a bad thing to do

by David_Gerard 1 min read5th Jan 201343 comments


Yvain's blog: Epistemic learned helplessness.

A friend in business recently complained about his hiring pool, saying that he couldn't find people with the basic skill of believing arguments. That is, if you have a valid argument for something, then you should accept the conclusion. Even if the conclusion is unpopular, or inconvenient, or you don't like it. He told me a good portion of the point of CfAR was to either find or create people who would believe something after it had been proven to them.

And I nodded my head, because it sounded reasonable enough, and it wasn't until a few hours later that I thought about it again and went "Wait, no, that would be the worst idea ever."

I don't think I'm overselling myself too much to expect that I could argue circles around the average high school dropout. Like I mean that on almost any topic, given almost any position, I could totally demolish her and make her look like an idiot. Reduce her to some form of "Look, everything you say fits together and I can't explain why you're wrong, I just know you are!" Or, more plausibly, "Shut up I don't want to talk about this!"