bendini's Shortform

by bendini19th Dec 20191 comment
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Yesterday I noticed that some of what I'd attributed to cultural differences in communication strength between myself and the LessWrong audience was actually due to differences in when I would choose to verbalise something. I originally thought this was me opting to state my positions clearly instead of couching them in false uncertainty so they would sound less abrasive, but yesterday I left some comments where I found myself wanting to use vocabulary that was a significantly more "nuanced" than it used to be (example) and yet I didn't feel like I was being insincere.

I don't think this is a case of learning from my youthful hubris or assimilating into rationalist culture, as I still endorse both the opinion and the tone it was expressed in. The real difference seems to be the *stage* at which I voiced my opinion. In the old comment, I was discussing a topic I had spent a lot of time thinking about and researching, and came to the conclusion that the community was making insane decisions because they were the default option. Whereas in yesterday's set of comments, I had a few strong points, but I hadn't reached a strong conclusion overall before I entered the discussion.

I think this raises an important problem with our discussion norms. If you've figured out that the community has made a big mistake, you are at a disadvantage if you've managed to "read ahead of the class" because effective persuasion requires you to emulate ignorance of information more than a few inferential steps ahead of the audience.