I note that we, as a culture, have reified a term for this, which is "sealioning."

Naming the problem is not solving the problem; sticking a label on something is not the same as winning an argument; the tricky part is in determining which commentary is reasonably described by the term and which isn't (and which is controversial, or costly-but-useful, and so forth).

But as I read through this whole comment chain, I noticed that I kept wanting Oliver to be able to say the short, simple sentence:

"My past experience has led me to have a prior that threads from you beginning like this turn out to be sealioning way more often than similar threads from other people."

Note that that's my model of Oliver; the real Oliver has not actually expressed that [edit: exact] sentiment [edit: in those exact words] and may have critical disagreements with my model of him, or critical caveats regarding the use of the term.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

by Raemon 1 min read3rd Jan 2020163 comments


A lot of the discussion on this post ended up being about LessWrong norms. I've moved that particular thread over to the comments here, and left a comment there pointing over here.

(Some of those comments, including the initial one, were object-level relevant to this post. I apologize for moving all of them indiscriminately. Our comment-moving-features are a bit janky and it's easier to move an entire thread than individual subthreads. I also apologize for breaking a lot of the comment-permalinks in that thread, and we'll look into fixing those. Meanwhile, you can actually still hover-over the comments in question on LW to see a preview of the comment, and you can also copy the comment-hash from the link and apply it to the new post to get a working link)