Intentionally Raising the Sanity Waterline

by Gleb_Tsipursky4 min read13th Nov 201491 comments

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Personal Blog

Hi all, I’m a social entrepreneur, professor, and aspiring rationalist. My project is Intentional Insights. This is a new nonprofit I co-founded with my wife and other fellow aspiring rationalists in the Columbus, OH Less Wrong meetup. The nonprofit emerged from our passion to promote rationality among the broad masses. We use social influence techniques, create stories, and speak to emotions. We orient toward creating engaging videos, blogs, social media, and other content that an aspiring rationalist like yourself can share with friends and family members who would not be open to rationality proper due to the Straw Vulcan misconception. I would appreciate any advice and help from fellow aspiring rationalists. The project is described more fully below, but for those for whom that’s tl;dr, there is a request for advice and allies at the bottom.

Since I started participating in the Less Wrong meetup in Columbus, OH and reading Less Wrong, what seems like ages ago, I can hardly remember my past thinking patterns. Because of how much awesomeness it brought to my life, I have become one of the lead organizers of the meetup. Moreover, I find it really beneficial to bring rationality into my research and teaching as a tenure-track professor at Ohio State, where I am a member of the Behavioral Decision-Making Initiative. Thus, my scholarship brings rationality into historical contexts, for example in my academic articles on agency, emotions, and social influence. In my classes I have students engage with the Checklist of Rationality Habits and other readings that help advance rational thinking.

As do many aspiring rationalists, I think rationality can bring such benefits to the lives of many others, and also help improve our society as a whole by leveling up rational thinking, secularizing society, and thus raising the sanity waterline. For that, our experience in the Columbus Less Wrong group has shown that we need to get people interested in rationality by showing them its benefits and how it can solve their problems, while delivering complex ideas in an engaging and friendly fashion targeted at a broad public, and using active learning strategies and connecting rationality to what they already know. This is what I do in my teaching, and is the current best practice in educational psychology. It has worked great with my students when I began to teach them rationality concepts. Yet I do not know of any current rationality trainings that do this. Currently, such education in rationality is available mainly through excellent, intense 4-day workshops the Center for Applied Rationality, usually held in the San Francisco area, which are aimed at a "select group of founders, hackers, and other ambitious, analytical, practically-minded people." We are targeting a much broader and less advanced audience, the upper 50-85%, while CfAR primarily targets the top 5-10%. We had great interactions with Anna Salamon, Julia Galef, Kenzi Amodei, and other CFAR folks, and plan to collaborate with them on various ways to do Rationality outreach. Besides CfAR, there are also some online classes on decision-making from Clearer Thinking, as well as some other stuff we list on the Intentional Insights resources page. However, we really wanted to see something oriented at the broad public, which can gain a great deal from a much lower level of education in rationality made accessible and relevant to their everyday lives and concerns, and delivered in a fashion perceived as interesting, fun, and friendly by mass audiences, as we aim to do with our events.

Intentional Insights came from this desire. This nonprofit explicitly orients toward getting the broad masses interested in and learning about rationality by providing fun and engaging content delivered in a friendly manner. What we want to do is use various social influence methods and promote rationality as a self-improvement/leadership development offering for people who are not currently interested in rational thinking because of the Straw Vulcan image, but who are interested in self-improvement, professional development, and organizational development. As people become more advanced, we will orient them toward more advanced rationality, at Less Wrong and elsewhere. Now, there are those who believe rationality should be taught only to those who are willing to put in the hard work and effort to overcome the high barrier to entry of learning all the jargon. However, we are reformers, not revolutionaries, and believe that some progress is better than no progress. And the more aspiring rationalists engage in various projects aimed to raise the sanity waterline, using different channels and strategies, the better. We can all help and learn from each other, adopting an experimental attitude and gathering data about what methods work best, constantly updating our beliefs and improving our abilities to help more people gain greater agency.

The channels of delivery locally are classes and workshops. Here is what one college student participant wrote after a session: “I have gained a new perspective after attending the workshop. In order to be more analytical, I have to take into account that attentional bias is everywhere. I can now further analyze and make conclusions based on evidence.” This and similar statements seem to indicate some positive impact, and we plan to gather evidence to examine whether workshop participants adopt more rational ways of thinking and how the classes influence people’s actual performance over time.

We have a website that takes this content globally, as well as social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The website currently has: - Blog posts, such as on agency; polyamory and cached thinking; and life meaning and purpose. We aim to make them easy-to-read and engaging to get people interested in rational thinking. These will be targeted at a high school reading level, the type of fun posts aspiring rationalists can share with their friends or family members whom they may want to get into rationality, or at least explain what rationality is all about. - Videos with similar content to blog posts, such as on evaluating reality clearly, and on meaning and purpose - A resources page, with links to prominent rationality venues, such as Less Wrong, CFAR, HPMOR, etc.

It will eventually have: - Rationality-themed merchandise, including stickers, buttons, pens, mugs, t-shirts, etc. - Online classes teaching rationality concepts - A wide variety of other products and offerings, such as e-books and apps

Now, why my wife and I, and the Columbus Less Wrong group? To this project, I bring my knowledge of educational psychology, research expertise, and teaching experience; my wife her expertise as a nonprofit professional with an MBA in nonprofit management; and other Board members include a cognitive neuroscientist, a licensed therapist, a gentleman adventurer, and other awesome members of the Columbus, OH, Less Wrong group.

Now, I can really use the help of wise aspiring rationalists to help out this project:

1) If you were trying to get the Less Wrong community engaged in the project, what would you do?

2) If you were trying to promote this project broadly, what would you do? What dark arts might you use, and how?

3) If you were trying to get specific groups and communities interested in promoting rational thinking in our society engaged in the project, what would you do? What dark arts might you use, and how?

4) If you were trying to fundraise for this project, what would you do? What dark arts might you use, and how?

5) If you were trying to persuade people to sign up for workshops or check out a website devoted to rational thinking, what would you do? How would you tie it to people’s self-interest and everyday problems that rationality might solve? What dark arts might you use, and how? What dark arts might you use, and how?

6) If you were trying to organize a nonprofit devoted to doing all the stuff above, what would you do to help manage its planning and organization? What about managing relationships and group dynamics?

Besides the advice, I invite you to ally with us and collaborate on this project in whatever way is optimal for you. Money is very helpful right now as we are fundraising to pay for costs associated with starting up the nonprofit, around $3600 through the rest of 2014, and you can donate directly through our website. Your time, intellectual capacity, and any specific talents would also be great, on things such as giving advice and helping out on specific tasks/projects, developing content in the form of blogs, videos, etc., promoting the project to those you know, and other ways to help out.

Leave your thoughts in comments below, or you can get in touch with me at gleb@intentionalinsights.org. I hope you would like to ally with us to raise the sanity waterline!

 

EDIT: Based on your feedback, we've decided that this post on polyamory and cached thinking is probably a bad fit for what we want to promote right now. We've removed it from the main index of our site. Thanks for helping!

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Could you have chosen a less political subject than polyamory for the top post? It is unnecessarily distracting to conservative readers.

Nor does it seem to do much to promote rational thinking about relationships at all. You compare the worst-case scenario for monogamous relationships to the best-case scenario for polyamourous ones - hardly a valid comparison. I can just as easily make up equally unfair comparisons in the opposite direction.

  • Let’s imagine Scenario 1, where Mary and Bob are a traditional couple representative of the American mainstream. Mary really struggles with what to do. On the one hand, Bob is a great husband, and she loves him. On the other hand, she’s head over heels for John, and wants to have a romantic relationship with him. Finally, she decideds to do the right thing, remaining loyal to her husband and honouring her vows. They live happily ever after.

  • Let’s imagine Scenario 2. Mary and Bob are part of the growing movement, especially widespread among young people like themselves, called polyamory. Polyamory, often abbreviated as “poly,” is the practice of having more than one romantic relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone in

... (read more)
0Gleb_Tsipursky6yYou make a fair comment about the article on polyamory [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] potentially turning off some conservative readers. We will post other articles in the future, of course :-) However, one of our orientations is to help advance the goal of de-stigmatizing polyamory, even though doing so might turn off some conservative readers. I'm curious on your take about the article not promoting rational thinking about relationships. There is plenty of research cited there about the nature of relationships, poly and non-poly ones alike, and I hope that getting our readers engaged with research on relationships would help promote more rational thinking. What do you think?

:-) However, one of our orientations is to help advance the goal of de-stigmatizing polyamory

Are you trying to promote rationality or de-stigmatize poly? Because those are in conflict. If I wanted to promote X, I would start with the most broadly accessible, least controversial part of X. Or, you know, just talk about X and not a completely unrelated topic Y.

:)

4Gleb_Tsipursky6yThat's a great point :-) As you can see from the diverse posts [http://intentionalinsights.org/living-intentionally-3-steps-to-gaining-agency] on the website, we are writing about a wide variety [http://intentionalinsights.org/what-is-the-meaning-of-life-for-you] of topics. A rational perspective on relationships is one of several topics. But your comments are duly noted, and we will be working on another post soon. Thanks for helping incrementally update my beliefs [http://lesswrong.com/lw/ij/update_yourself_incrementally/]

Take the sentence "Moreover, research on poly relationships show that people with consensual non-monogamous relationships are happier, especially with their sex lives, than those who are in traditional monogamous relationships, and communicate more openly."

"Research" links to no peer reviewed paper. "Happy" links to another mainstream media article. "Communicate more openly" a published paper but that published paper isn't a decent study that compared poly people with nonpoly people but it's about a focus group discussion among poly women.

If you want to get people engaged with research than cite a bunch of papers directly and discuss them.

6Gleb_Tsipursky6yI notice I'm confused. In the Intentional Insights article about polyamory [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] , the word "research" links to the following article in Psychology Today [http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/strictly-casual/201404/whos-really-interested-in-alternate-relationships] that cites a wide variety of research papers. The word "happy" also links to a similar article [http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/open-relationships-reduce-jealousy-12-surprising-facts-about-non-monogamy?page=0%2C1&paging=off#bookmark] We think it's quite appropriate to direct readers to an article that cites many research-based papers, as opposed to citing the papers themselves - it's a pretty efficient goal factoring [http://rationality.org/schedule/] approach. Moreover, the large majority of our target audience for the blog posts - people who are early onward in the process of gaining more rational thinking - would be unlikely to read research studies in-depth, and would be much more likely to read articles informed by research studies. So please keep that in mind as you read the Intentional Insights website. Our goal is to raise the sanity waterline by translating complex content for broad audiences.

In the Intentional Insights article about polyamory, the word "research" links to the following article in Psychology Today that cites a wide variety of research papers. The word "happy" also links to a similar article

Part of rationality is not trusting a mainstream media article to accurately represent the state of scientific knowledge. To the extend that you implicitly try to teach that a post titled "Open Relationships Reduce Jealousy? 12 Surprising Facts About Non-Monogamy" is equivalent to peer reviewed research because it includes citations, you aren't raising the sanity waterline.

You are not discussing the arguments for whether or not polyamory raises happiness. The argument in that article is also pretty stupid. Just because a poll that only targeted Swingers shows that the Swingers in that study were more happy than average census takers doesn't mean you can generalize. That's no controlled study setup.

If you actually want to teach rationality than you should teach people not to trust claims made based on non-controlled observational studies. At least I would guess that's what most people on LW would expect from a project that tries to te... (read more)

5Gleb_Tsipursky6yI'm curious, do you believe that the goal of translating complex content for broad audiences is a value-less endeavor? If so, then I accept we have a difference of opinion. As part of doing so, we believe that raising the sanity waterline [http://lesswrong.com/lw/1e/raising_the_sanity_waterline/] requires creating cognitive ease for audiences who do not yet have advanced rational analysis skills. If we disagree, then I accept we have a difference of opinion.

I don't have any issue with someone trying to change beliefs of society. That are many cases where belief change is useful.

On the other hand that's not the same thing as teaching people critical thinking or raising the sanity waterline.

Eliezer counts "...what constitutes evidence and why;" as one of the things of raising the sanity waterline. By teaching people that they should treat uncontrolled surveys and research done in a participant-led, qualitative, feminist framework as good evidence you are part of the problem and not part of the solution as far as raising the sanity waterline goes.

Deciding that you are rational and therefore can see that polyamory should be better respected in society and then using whatever way to convince people whether or not that way has anything to do with rational argument isn't what I consider raising the sanity waterline.

4Gleb_Tsipursky6yCan you clarify why you believe that such research is unacceptable as a form of Level III evidence [http://libguides.ohsu.edu/content.php?pid=249886&sid=2079582]? After all, some evidence is better than no evidence for actually changing one's mind [http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/How_To_Actually_Change_Your_Mind]. Polyamory research is a very new field, and descriptive studies are pretty much the best there is at this stage. But if you find other relevant research on polyamory that we missed, I would be happy to update my beliefs.
4ChristianKl6yI don't see a good reason to believe that it's representative of all polyamorous people. There's a certain scene that very much values openness but there are other people who live polyamorously and who aren't very open. Just because the feminist who runs the study is herself very open in her communication and interacts with others who are also very open doesn't mean that everybody is. You also did present it as fact in your article and especially if you are writing for a naive audience telling them about the uncertainty is useful if you want to train critical thinking. Skepticism is a default for critical thinking. If there no evidence either way, than there no evidence. Feynman held his cargo-cult science [http://neurotheory.columbia.edu/~ken/cargo_cult.html] speech about reasoning with better quality. If you also sincerely believe that we should put more weight on science done with an explicit feminist framework that's a position worthy writing an article about because I guess that you are holding a minority position under self-labeled rationalists. A core question of rationalism is: "Why do we believe what we believe? In this case you don't tell the reader why you think the particular material you reference should make him believe that poly people are happy and open.
2Gleb_Tsipursky6yI'm curious why you attribute that position to our blog post - that's the opposite of a steel man [http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Steel_man] move. In fact, the Intentional Insights blog post [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] did not make the claim you seem to attribute to it. What we claimed was the following, which I am quoting from the blog post: "research on poly relationships show that people with consensual non-monogamous relationships are happier, especially with their sex lives, than those who are in traditional monogamous relationships, and communicate more openly." If you have research - any sort of research - demonstrating otherwise, I would be happy to update my beliefs. I think we can agree that the quality of evidence should be the deciding factor :-)
1ChristianKl6yI think the common meaning of the phrase "research shows X" is "research shows X is true". If that's not what you want to argue you can use phrases like "research suggests X". If the thing you want to teach is evidence based reasoning it would be still useful to explain a naive audience the strength of the evidence. A post either has mistakes or it doesn't. The point of steelmanning is to change someone's argument to make it better. I'm not denying that it's possible to steelman the claim that polyamory increases happiness or openness but that's not what I care about here. The thing that matter is whether or not this post encourages critical thinking. Using "show" when you mean "suggest" doesn't help for that goal.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yI agree that the common meaning of the phrase "research shows X" is "research shows X is true." However, can you clarify to me where you believe the post makes mistakes in its use of "show" vs. "suggest"? The statement I made in the salient blog post on the Intentional Insights website [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] was as follows "research on poly relationships show that people with consensual non-monogamous relationships are happier." I believe that the evidence I cited there supports the notion that "research shows X is true" when X = "on poly relationships shows that people with consensual non-monogamous relationships are happier." For examples of such evidence, see this article [http://www.ejhs.org/volume3/swing/body.htm], or this book [http://www.amazon.com/Polyamorists-Next-Door-Multiple-Partner-Relationships/dp/1442222956] or this article [http://spr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/03/31/0265407514529065.abstract]. If I did make a mistake, as you suggest, I'd be glad to update my beliefs - I love to be convinced to do so :-) Indeed, I acknowledged in an earlier comment that the post went a little too strongly into using cognitive ease strategies [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blqc] to make its points. So we'll work to tone down the cognitive ease strategies in the future, and thank you for being one of the people to help update my beliefs incrementally [http://lesswrong.com/lw/ij/update_yourself_incrementally/].
3ChristianKl6yMy core issue isn't about the availability of research but about the research that you cited. If you want to teach evidence based reasoning than you have to give people good sources. You don't want to teach people to treat media articles titled 12 surprising facts about X as real evidence. It would raise the sanity waterline to teach people that such articles don't constitute evidence. You cited a link citing the first article. From Ioannidis we know that in general observational studies are pretty unreliable. This article isn't even a good observational studies. The gave their questionnaire only to Swingers and then compare those Swingers with external values from the literature. There no reason to believe that's a good idea for a value like self reported happiness. As far as the second article goes. First as far as I see you didn't cite it. If you think that it's an important article that someone should use for forming an evidence based view on the subject, you should cite it. Secondly it says: "However, inconsistent with our predictions, anxiety was unrelated to current relationship status". I don't see how that translates into them being more happy. As far as the book goes, it doesn't seem to be a peer reviewed study. Even when it might reference them.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yIt's great to see we are both committed to using evidence, and the debate is now focusing on the nature of the evidence. I believe I had earlier stated the following in my comment above [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blrj] As that comment illuminates, I used the kind of evidence available currently. For the second article [http://spr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/03/31/0265407514529065.abstract], it states "a sizeable minority of people engage in CNM and report high levels of satisfaction." CNM is the common acronym for consensual non-monogamous relationships. To me, "high levels of satisfaction" equates to being "happy." However, I accept that we might interpret the term "high levels of satisfaction" differently - to me, it equates to being "happy," but it might not to you. I think that's primarily a semantic issue, though, and would rather not pursue it. I am confused by your claims that the book is not a peer reviewed study. It is published by Rowman & Littlefield, a well-known and well-respected publisher, which has a solid peer review process [http://www.rowmaninternational.com/our-publishing]. I would appreciate your clarification on what you meant when you suggested it was not.
1ChristianKl6yThe link you give for Level III evidence means that it's "controlled trial without randomization". Controlling against a literature value isn't a controlled trial. Just given your questionaire to swingers that want to take a questionaire about swingers and presumably give the world a good impression about what it means to be a swinger to some average census value or literature value doesn't work. The feminist paper says that it uses a qualitative approach. In the hierarchy that you linked that's Level VI. To the extend that currently there isn't strong evidence available, you shouldn't use definitive language like "show" but suggest to illustrate that the evidence isn't strong. When reading that your first reaction should be "How do they know?" In this case this is part of their discussion of previous work and a result that comes out of the data they gathered and that they discuss in the methods section. The first paper I looked at from that pile contains lines like "A social constructionist discourse analytic approach was taken to the data.", so again qualitative. The second is also again qualitative. If it's multiple qualitative studies that's in your linked scheme level V. "Sizable minority" is also a term that doesn't tell you whether the average member of the population is better or worth then average. It's a book and no study.Books are generally not primary sources.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yRegarding the book, I want to draw your attention to the content of my comment above [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blw6]: Can you please point out to me where we disagree regarding the book being a peer-reviewed study? That was the issue you raised, and that was what I responded to. So please let me know what your thoughts are about this matter.
-1ChristianKl6yBooks often help to understand a subject matter in more depth. On the other hand they are usually no primary sources and therefore not that good for demonstrating the evidence for particular claims.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yI notice I'm confused over your claim about books and primary sources. My brief monograph [http://carlbeckpapers.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/cbp/article/view/172], for example, is flush with primary sources. The specific book I cited earlier [http://www.amazon.com/Polyamorists-Next-Door-Multiple-Partner-Relationships/dp/1442222956] , the one from the Intentional Insights blog post on polyamory [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] , is a 15-year ethnographic study, and is thus quite full of primary sources. Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow [http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/0374533555] is also a book, and has plenty of primary sources. So can you please clarify to me your comments about books? Appreciate it :-)
4ChristianKl6yHas primary sources and is a primary source are two different things. When determining a specific claim such as is there research that proves that polyamorous people are happy than I care about the specific set up of a study to evaluate the evidence. In general in academia everybody who runs a decent study wants to have the study in a citable paper and that paper is usually the best source for understanding what was done. In addition to his book Kahneman published a variety of papers. I don't have an issue with the sentence: "A major 15-year ethnographic research project showed the richness and diversity of poly families, within which individuals form relationships with a wide variety of partners and enjoy emotional and sexual freedom. " Showing richness and diversity is something that a qualitative ethnographic research project can do. I think especially the claim about polyamory people being happier is not established. I opened a question on skeptics stackexchange about that claim. http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/23807/are-polyamorous-people-happier [http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/23807/are-polyamorous-people-happier]
-1Gleb_Tsipursky6yI have expressed confusion above over your claim regarding books, where you stated that they are "not that good for demonstrating the evidence for particular claims." Can you please respond to that specific request for clarification? You made an argument that books are not helpful for demonstrating claims. First, you stated that the book I cited was not peer reviewed. I pointed out that the book was actually peer reviewed [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blwi]. Would you please respond to my statement and avoid making further claims until you actually respond to my statement? I pointed out a number of books, including my book and Daniel Kahneman's book, that are based on primary sources [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blwq]. There is no difference, in fact, between a peer-reviewed academic article and a book - they are both peer-reviewed pieces, and are both based on primary source evidence. Do you disagree? If so, please explain your disagreement. After all, if you do not take books to be good evidence, that is a basic difference in our worldviews, and I have no interest in further engaging in this matter.
1ChristianKl6yI said "Peer reviewed study". That phrase not only contains "peer reviewed" but also study. In general high quality studies get published in papers. A good scientific textbook refers to a bunch of peer reviewed studies but it usually isn't the primary source. In this case it might be that some gender study folks have different idea of how to do science. After all they want to do science in a feminist framework. That might result in a study really being published in a book. I think most people on LW do have alarm bells that ring if a gender study folks say they don't like the way science is done traditionally and they rather want to follow a feminist framework. A book that is based on primary sources is a secondary source, it's not itself a primary source. A much better secondary source than a click-bait mainstream media article but still a secondary source.
4Lumifer6yThat depends, in particular on whether "some evidence" is a representative sample. If the only evidence you see is a selected subset, it might well be worse than no evidence at all.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yGood point about a selected subset, I agree. We have tried, in that post, to be representative of the current research on polyamory. If you happen to find contradictory research, I would be happy to update my beliefs.
4shminux6yThe belief you ought to update (and reject), based on the evidence that is the almost unanimous comments to your post, is that, regardless of whether polyamory advocacy is rational, it is useful to keep it prominently visible on your site.
4Gleb_Tsipursky6yThat's a fair point, which I accept, and we are working on additional posts. In fact, we just posted one about dual process theory [http://intentionalinsights.org/499467]. Do you think that post is better suited for promoting rationality?
1ChristianKl6yIn general yes, but you started the OP with arguing that LW has too much jargon. In that post you invent new jargon with "autopilot system" and "intentional system". If I google those terms there are only 4 hits with both and most of them aren't even relevant hits.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yHm, we intended the "autopilot vs. intentional" to communicate things more clearly to a broad audience, but I see the point you're making, something to think about for the future.
1ChristianKl6yWhen it comes to the specific terms, "intentional" isn't what I would use to label System II. When meditating I can be focus my intention without being in analytic mode. Wikipedia suggests that the terms explicit system, the rule-based system, the rational system, or the analytic system. All of them are probably less misleading than "intentional". But that isn't the biggest issue here. Jargon is often invented because the speaker thinks it's useful. At the same time inventing new jargon makes it harder for outsiders to follow you. If you reuse the terms in another article an outsider doesn't exactly know what they are referring to. It also makes it harder for someone who read your introductory material to afterwards read the existing academic literature because he has to learn new concepts. You make superficial arguments against jargon instead of addressing the existing arguments for inventing jargon to justify your project and then you go and invent new jargon that suggests you didn't deeply engage into thinking about the issue. The real problem here isn't that inventing new jargon is bad. The problem is that you aren't committing to any principles and follow them. You lack strategic commitment. That's a problem for the kind of organisation that you want to build that's bigger than any specific mistake to be found in the few posts that you wrote till now. In this case I'm not particularly happy with the terms System I and System II either. I think there a case for using more descriptive words. But if you want to do so, the proper thing would be to review the different terms that are in use in the literature and the arguments people make for using one term over another. That takes research and is hard work but it would probably lead to a better blog post than going the lazy route and simply inventing your own terms. Going the lazy route for inventing jargon is why things got the way they are on LW. Discussing the semantics by looking at advantages of differ
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yThanks for the feedback. I'm curious what makes you believe we did not review the literature? System 1 and 2 are used by Kahneman [http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/0374533555] and Stanovich and West [http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=72449&fileId=S0140525X00003435] , while Thaler and Sunstein [http://books.google.com/books?id=bt6sPxiYdfkC&pg=PT436&dq=thaler+sunstein&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8oBnVKDWMZKiyASz94CgCA&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=thaler%20sunstein&f=false] use automatic and reflective, Goleman [http://books.google.com/books/about/Social_Intelligence.html?id=mEKCDGXHVmMC] uses lower and higher, and others use different terms for dual process theory. A good summary of the literature and the wide variety of terms used is available here [http://link.springer.com/article/10.3758%2FBF03196730]. On our Board of Directors [http://intentionalinsights.org/intention-insight-board-of-directors], we have a cognitive neuroscientist whose input on using the terms "intentional" and "autopilot" we used to inform our choice, as well as a licensed therapist who has a great sense of how to communicate complex ideas from psychology to broad audiences. For another example of how therapists use terms such as "intentional," check out this blog post [http://www.willmeekphd.com/three-frames-of-mind/]. Of course, we can have a further discussion about the benefits of dual process theory and using metaphors such as elephant and rider [http://lesswrong.com/lw/531/how_you_make_judgments_the_elephant_and_its_rider/] . Your thoughts? However, again, I appreciate the feedback, and we will consider our use of these terms in the future. *Edited term "automatic" to "autopilot"
1ChristianKl6yYou don't provide reasons in your article of why you prefer the term intentional over the other terms that are used. I can see the motivation to avoid System I/System II. Why use "intentional" when Kahneman used "reflective". Why do you think using "intentional" is more clear to a new audience than "reflective"? Why doesn't your article include those reasons, so that the reader knows why you choose your terms? Then where does "autopilot system" come from? If you used a different term that your board member advised you to use, you screwed up even more.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yI believe that I did provide the reasons we preferred the term "intentional" - based on the feedback of the cognitive neuroscientist and licensed therapist on our Board of Directors [http://intentionalinsights.org/intention-insight-board-of-directors], with the latter especially helpful for the perspective of someone who has wide experience with how complex psychological terms are explained to broad audiences. As I pointed out above, the term "intentional" is widely used by therapists to explain how our minds work, especially the System 2 part, to broad audiences not well educated in psychology. Since our goal is to explain complex ideas drawn from cognitive neuroscience and psychology to broad audiences, that is why we made the choice to go with "intentional." We have an experimental attitude, of course, and will see how much this term is helpful for broad audiences, and revise our use of it if it seems to be suboptimal. Thanks for pointing out the spelling error, I meant to write "autopilot" in the comment I made above [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blvf]. I edited the comment based on your noticing the error.
1ChristianKl6yThat's not a description of why you think the term is better. Especially sufficiently better that it warrants inventing new jargon. If you simply use the term because other board members prefer that term, then why do those board members prefer it over the Kaheman term reflective? To me reflective also seems like a word used by therapists. If you (including your board) think some people would be confused by reflective and have a better idea upon the concept when they hear intentional that's an interesting opinion. Explaining why that might be the case in your article that introduces the terminology would be useful because then your audience would understand a way to misunderstand the concept and more likely understand the concept in the right way. If your arguments are good you even have the change to motivate other people to copy your newly invented jargon.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yI notice I'm confused. In the comment I made above [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blvm], I believe I provided clear reasons for why we preferred the term "intentional." Just in case it was not clear, our use of the term is based on the feedback of the cognitive neuroscientist and licensed therapist on our Board of Directors [http://intentionalinsights.org/intention-insight-board-of-directors], with the latter especially helpful for the perspective of someone who has wide experience with how complex psychological terms are explained to broad audiences. As I pointed out above [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blvf], the term "intentional" is widely used by therapists to explain how our minds work, especially the System 2 part, to broad audiences not well educated in psychology. Since our goal is to explain complex ideas drawn from cognitive neuroscience and psychology to broad audiences, that is why we made the choice to go with "intentional." Moreover, scholars use the term "intentional system" to refer to agency and agents [http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/michael.wooldridge/pubs/ker95/subsection3_2_1.html] , and also see this one [http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/papers/intentionalsystems.pdf]. Since one of our goals is to promote greater agency, we decided to use the term intentional, and orient toward tying the two concepts together in our content targeted at broad audiences [http://intentionalinsights.org/living-intentionally-3-steps-to-gaining-agency]. We have an experimental attitude, of course, and we will see how much this term is helpful for broad audiences. We will update out beliefs and revise our use of this notion if it seems to be suboptimal for the target audience we're going for. Appreciate your helpful comments on this, it's always great to get such thoughtful engagement and helpful consideration on the benefits of using different terms.
1ChristianKl6yThanks for providing an actual motivation this time around. I think that's the core problem with the term. You suggest that doing things via system I isn't agency. I think that's a Straw Vulcan position. There's no reason why intuition can't be agency. If I set the intention to meditate for 20 minutes and then meditate for 20 +-1 minutes without an external timekeeping device I have agency. There no reflective logical reasoning involved to get that timing. My understanding of Kahneman would be that's using a System I process. Do you think that's a System II process?
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yI am curious why you ascribe to me the position that "doing things via system I isn't agency." Can you please clarify to me where you believe I made that claim? I think I was pretty careful to avoid saying silly things like that. The claim I did make is that we can use our System 2 to train our System 1 [http://intentionalinsights.org/499467] to have more rational thinking and feeling patterns, ones better suited to achieving our long-term goals, and thus gaining agency [http://intentionalinsights.org/499467]. After all, agency [http://lesswrong.com/lw/5i8/the_power_of_agency/] is about achieving the goals that we believe would actually fulfill our desires. Certainly, doing things via System 1 can be used very effectively as an agentive move [http://lesswrong.com/lw/kov/roles_are_martial_arts_for_agency/], if one trains one's elephant well [http://lesswrong.com/lw/531/how_you_make_judgments_the_elephant_and_its_rider/] .
1ChristianKl6yYou say that scholars use the term intentional system to refer to agency. You want to use the term intentional system to describe System II. That associates system II with agency. If I set a "I meditate for 20 minutes intention" I would not call that a reflective, logical process. Maybe it's reflective if I go through a process of thinking whether 15 or 20 minutes are better. I don't think it's reflective if I do have a habit of meditating for 20 minutes and just set up that intention at the beginning of meditating. I think there are very intuitive processes that do have intentions and agency but my understanding of the terms System I and System II is that those intuitive processes are System I. System II suggests to me that I analyze what I have to do to make my intention become real. If I just trust my intuition to guide me and tell me when 20 minutes are over, I don't understand that as System II. Do you think that having an intention to meditate for 20 minutes and then trusting that everything will work by intuition is partly a system II process?
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yAs I stated in the comment above [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blw7], I do associate System 2 with agency, but in a very specific way. Namely, I stated that we can use our System 2 to train our System 1 [http://intentionalinsights.org/499467] to have more rational thinking and feeling patterns, ones better suited to achieving our long-term goals, and thus gaining agency [http://intentionalinsights.org/499467]. In other words, I did not say that using System 1 is not being an agent. Being intentional about how one uses System 1, and training it [http://lesswrong.com/lw/kov/roles_are_martial_arts_for_agency/], to be better suited to match one's goals that we believe would actually fulfill our desires, is what I referred to as gaining greater agency [http://lesswrong.com/lw/5i8/the_power_of_agency/]. Yup, I think that having an intention to meditate for 20 minutes and then trusting that everything will work by intuition is partly a System 2 process. It's about framing [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framing_%28social_sciences%29] oneself well, and training one's intuition [http://lesswrong.com/lw/kov/roles_are_martial_arts_for_agency/]. Hope that clarifies things :-)

As people become more advanced, we will orient them toward more advanced rationality, at Less Wrong and elsewhere. Now, there are those who believe rationality should be taught only to those who are willing to put in the hard work and effort to overcome the high barrier to entry of learning all the jargon.

I think that's a strawman. I haven't meet anyone who argued that the entry barrier of learning all the jargon is important.

The main problem is that giving someone a rationality mug and a rationality T-Shirt doesn't mean that you have raised the sanity line.

Videos are often great for teaching people buzzwords. I have seen smart people accept pretty stupid ideas that spread through Youtube videos. Videos that actually promote critical thinking are aren't clear and concise.

The website currently has: - Blog posts, such as on agency; polyamory and cached thinking; and life meaning and purpose.

If you want to reach a broad public I'm not sure that articles advocating polyamory are the most efficient way to do so.

"How Do You Live Happily Ever After When There’s A Love Triangle?" This sounds like a title that would neither make me want to read the article when it goes... (read more)

8shminux6yI have read plenty of opinions about LW which start with "they have this weird jargon..."
3ChristianKl6yThat's not the same thing as people saying: "We need to keep our weird jargon to filter out people who don't fit."
3Gleb_Tsipursky6yI think there was a misunderstanding about the nature of my comments about jargon. The sentiment I heard expressed was not that "we need to keep our weird jargon to filter out people who don't fit," but that "it is necessary to have the jargon because otherwise we won't be able to say things precisely and will not be able to communicate efficiently" with the implication that those who don't want to learn the jargon don't deserve the benefits of Less Wrong. For examples of this sentiment expressed on LW, see the comments to this post [http://lesswrong.com/lw/hcz/antijargon_project/].
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yHm, I actually met several people who argued that those not dedicated to learning the LW jargon don't deserve the benefits. I guess we meet different people. The rationality merchandise is not aimed at the broad audience primarily, but for donors who would like to support our work. Regarding your comment about the video, I notice I'm confused, did you mean to say this video on evaluating reality clearly [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A_xa7UPAFQ] that I cited in the post as part of our offerings is meant to teach people buzzwords and spread stupid ideas? Can you clarify where in the video you noticed those? We'd be glad to optimize our offerings based on feedback. About the article on polyamory [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] : the goal of that article is not to advocate polyamory, but to encourage people to consider it as an acceptable relationship style - the salient phrase in the article is "encourage an openness toward poly relationships as one among many relationship styles." At Intentional Insights [http://intentionalinsights.org/] we aim to contribute to de-stigmatizing polyamory and promoting thinking about relationships rationally in general. I agree that asking for dark arts is a strategic choice. In this case, I think the ends do justify the means. It's a balance we all draw differently, and I accept that you may draw it differently than we do.
5ChristianKl6yI follow debates about the topic when they are on LW and I don't remember that position to have been argued in that way on LW. If you do, could you link? When people usually talk about producing videos they don't mean lecture recordings but things optimized to be easy to digest. Even for a lecture recording your video is full of distracting camera movements and not optimized to be easy to digest. Your goal doesn't really matter. It will be read by an average person as advocating polyamory. If you see de-stigmatizing polyamory as part of your mission, it seems to me that you lack strategic focus. You try to do everything you can think of. Additionally running an NGO to try to remove social stigma conjures certain associations that are quite different from what I expect an NGO who effectively spreads rationality to do. When I think about "thinking rationally about relationships" I think about more complex thoughts than simply observing that if "Bob is glad to accept Mary’s desire to have a romantic relationship with John" there will be less conflict. That's not my main concern. Promoting values that you visible don't follow yourself is a recipe for messing up. That leads to not steelmanning because not steelmanning is easier.
3Gleb_Tsipursky6yAppreciate your thoughts about the video, we will work on better camera equipment and technique. As you can envision, we are a new nonprofit, and our current financing prevents us from being able to get the best video equipment and production. However, I hope you'll agree that this video is better than not doing anything at all to raise the sanity waterline [http://lesswrong.com/lw/1e/raising_the_sanity_waterline/] and we aim to get better over time :-) Hm, I am curious about that statement. I would envision that spreading rationality would inherently involve removing certain social stigma because it would result in people thinking more rationally, and much social stigma is associated with not-very-rational thinking.
4Lumifer6yMuch social stigma is associated with different values and rationality by itself does not change (terminal) values.
2Gleb_Tsipursky6yTo clarify, my probabilistic assessment is that increasing rational thinking would result in at least some degree of decreasing social stigma. Your thoughts?
2Lumifer6yI don't know why it would. Social stigma is basically the expression of the they-are-from-a-different-tribe feeling. Becoming more rational does not necessarily lead to less tribalism. Rationality and values are mostly orthogonal.
2Gleb_Tsipursky6yI think we may have a different take on the term social stigma [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_stigma]. Per the common usage of that word, as well as the way it is used by researchers such as Erving Goffman [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erving_Goffman], I generally perceive things such as sexual orientation and gender identity as part of what is referred to by social stigma. To me it seems that gaining greater rationality is generally associated with less ugh fields [http://lesswrong.com/lw/21b/ugh_fields/] around sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as relationship styles such as polyamory. I accept that we may have a difference of opinion, however.

I clicked on the site, and the top post is about polyamory. That's no way to attract new people. Also the general academic tone of talking down to your audience (unwashed irrational masses who need to be educated and brought up to your enlightened level) is a significant turn-off for me.

2Gleb_Tsipursky6yAbout the article on polyamory [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] : the goal of that article is to contribute to de-stigmatizing polyamory and promoting thinking about relationships rationally in general. We accept that it might turn off some people. Sorry to hear that you perceive a tone of talking down to the audience. As you can see in our mission statement [http://intentionalinsights.org/about], we aim to "we empower individuals and organizations to refine and reach their goals by transforming recent research on rational thinking and emotional intelligence into practical and easy-to-use strategies and tools conveyed in a friendly and engaging manner." Can you clarify where you perceive the tone of talking down? We'd certainly like to avoid conveying that tone on our website. On Less Wrong, we are not dealing with our target audience, though - we are dealing with peer aspiring rationalists, who we hope can help collaborate together with us to spread rational thinking.
8Lumifer6yI concur with shminux -- glancing through the polyamory article left me with two impressions: (1) You think I am an idiot; (2) You think polyamory is great. Without going into style issues, I think the major problem (for me) is the way the article is structured. I would generally expect an intelligent article to state the problem, discuss various approaches, point out the pros and cons of each, talk about trade-offs involved, etc. In this case -- and I am exaggerating only a little bit -- the article is structured like this: * Here is the problem. * But there is the great solution X! * Solution X is the right one because of A, B, and C. * Isn't solution X awesome!? * We all should believe solution X. I am sure you're very familiar with agitprop. Well, don't do that :-/
5Gleb_Tsipursky6yI see your point. The article is meant to engage a broad audience, so it's targeted at creating cognitive ease through telling stories. It's possible it went a little overboard, and we'll keep that in mind for the future. On a tangent, I'm pretty familiar with agitprop, I research Soviet agitprop [http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/40930685?uid=3739840&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21105200777823] as one of my primary scholarly activities. Believe me, actual agitprop is quite quite different from what we're doing. However, again, your point is well taken for future reference.
6Azathoth1236yWell the basic "rational" argument for polyamory is very similar to the standard "rational" argument for communism from a century ago. Argument for communism: Argument for polyamory:
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yI'm curious whether you believe there are any significant differences between rational arguments for communism and polyamory? After all, communist governments, as my research [http://monderusse.revues.org/6895] shows, used coercion extensively to get their citizens to comply with the official ideology. I see this as a major difference between polyamory and communism - "rational" arguments for communism called for the use of force against others to take away their property, and "rational" arguments for polyamory simply call for tolerance, as in the blog post I wrote [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] . But we might be misunderstanding each other here, so I'd be glad to learn more about your viewpoint :-)
7Azathoth1236yI'm not sure how far I can push this but the more I think about the topic, the more analogies I see. There were no communist governments a century ago. Do I think polyamourists will seize power in some country? Probably not, but then again the chain of events leading to Lenin seizing power in Russia involved a number of unlike events. No, you're arguing people are irrational for preferring monogamy. True, you're not arguing for using force against the "irrational" but then again moderate socialists argued for a peaceful transition. The problem is that neither polyamory or collective property works on a large scale (they also work on small scales to approximately the same extent). In both cases they break down in a way that's easy to attribute to "undesirable traits", namely jealousy or greed respectively. Thus, when faced with a system that's breaking down due to "selfish behavior" there is a great temptation to prop it up with violence against the practitioners of said behavior. Note: being propped up with violence is not in itself necessarily a problem, after all the systems being replaced also require violence to prop them up. Private property requires violence against theives and to a lesser extend monogamy requires violence against adulterers (the recent refusal of the state to supply the latter is part of the reason monogamy is breaking down).
0Gleb_Tsipursky6yTo clarify, I'm not arguing that "people are irrational for preferring monogamy." The article I wrote [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] advocates for "openness and acceptance of poly relationships as one among many mainstream relationship styles." So the crux of the matter is about tolerance of polyamory as one among many mainstream relationship styles, not about transitioning to polyamory as the normative style. In fact, I do not consider myself polyamorous, if you are curious - I am in a monogamous relationship myself, and am not open to other relationships. I do believe strongly in acceptance of polyamory as a mainstream relationship style, due to my desire to decrease social stigma around polyamory
-1Azathoth1236yNo it doesn't. The bulk of the article focuses on encouraging people to pursue poly relationships, not on encouraging them to "tolerate" others perusing those relationships. So if you were in Mary's situation what would you do? If the answer doesn't fit one of your two scenarios, why wasn't it listed as an additional scenario?
2Gleb_Tsipursky6yI think we have a difference in our interpretation of the article I wrote [http://intentionalinsights.org/how-do-you-live-happily-ever-after-when-theres-a-love-triangle] . My point was to promote openness to polyamory as "one among many mainstream relationship styles" [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/bm0i]. Because of the current social stigma against polyamory in mainstream society [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-2415.2012.01286.x/full], the article was defending the validity of polyamory as one among many relationship styles, and discouraging cached thought patterns [http://lesswrong.com/lw/k5/cached_thoughts/]. The article thus may "feel" like it encourages people to pursue poly relationships, but in actuality, due to the current mainstream anchoring, its effect is to promote tolerance of others pursuing those relationships. My own sentiments don't apply here, as Mary is in a different situation than I am. In both cases, Mary was open to the relationship with John. Since I am not open to other relationships personally, it's a non-issue for me.
0Azathoth1236yWhat do you mean by that, should we also promote openness to shared-property communes as "one among many lifestyle" options. How about astrology as "one of many options for predicting the future"? In a sense the answer is yes, i.e., we shouldn't burn people who do these things at the stake. On the other hand we probably shouldn't be encouraging people to do those things either. Your article certainly looks much more like its written in with the latter rather then the former meaning of "promote openness" in mind. After all, no one is burning polyamourists at the stake.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yActually, there is quite a high social stigma [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-2415.2012.01286.x/full] against poly relationships, and I believe it is worthwhile to use rational thinking to re-assesses cached thoughts [http://lesswrong.com/lw/k5/cached_thoughts/] about relationships as well as many other life domains [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l9g/agency_and_life_domains/]. What are your thoughts on the benefits of using rational thinking to re-assess our cached patterns?
-3Azathoth1236ysocial stigma =/= burring at the stake
3Gleb_Tsipursky6yI think such social stigma is still a harmful thing for our society, and would like to oppose it :-)
-1Azathoth1236yWhy? I think bad decisions should be stigmatized. And that's before we get into the issue of how polyamory is supposed to raise children.
3Gleb_Tsipursky6yI see that you have a strong opinion against polyamory, and I accept that this is what you believe. I think there are other [http://lesswrong.com/lw/70y/rationality_and_relationships/] posts [http://lesswrong.com/lw/6pf/new_post_version_1_please_read_this_only_if_your/] on LW better suited for that debate, so I will avoid engaging with you further on this topic.
-3Azathoth1236yBoth of which are rather short on actual arguments beyond the ones I described here [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l8z/intentionally_raising_the_sanity_waterline/blu8]. In fact, my summary there almost looks like a Steelman of their argument. So you're willing to post a pro-polyamory article with questionable logic on a site supposedly dedicated to raising the sanity waterline, but aren't willing to discuss the topic.
1Lumifer6yI don't know why not. Kibbutzim are a valid lifestyle choice in Israel, for example, and I don't see any horrors coming out of that. Shared-property communes with the right of exit and very different from "shared-"property governments.
2Azathoth1236yMy understanding is that most communes collapse for pretty much the reasons you'd expect.
3Lumifer6yOh, sure, they are not the success their founders expected. Still, as an institution they are a century old and are still around. Diversity is good.
1Azathoth1236yThat doesn't mean we should refrain from applying social pressure to people doing stupid things.
0Lumifer6yYour idea of what's stupid may be quite different from my idea of what's stupid. To what do you want to apply "social pressure"?
0[anonymous]6yExamples?
5Lumifer6yIt pattern-matches to advertising and heavy-handed propaganda. I know, that's why I mentioned it.
3shminux6yRe polyamory, it's a good topic to bring up when people are already involved and understand the basics. It if comes up first thing, they label you as swingers or some other "weirdos" and lose interest. Re tone. Here is your mission statement: Or, in other words, "we dumb things down so your simple minds can understand". For comparison, CFAR's vision page [http://rationality.org/vision/] , while it also could use some improvement, says stuff like and The difference may seem subtle, but they include themselves in the group that is learning, not just teaching.
1Gleb_Tsipursky6yTo be clear, I certainly think we are also learning - we convey these strategies and tools to ourselves in a friendly and engaging manner and strive to optimize ourselves just as much as we convey them to external audiences. However, I see where there can be a misunderstanding of the mission statement, and we will take that into consideration at our next revision meeting. Appreciate you pointing out the negative interpretation of "dumbing down" that can one can read into that statement. What would be any suggestions on improving the mission statement, from you or anyone else? Regarding CFAR and its vision statement: I think it's best to compare vision statement to vision statement. Our vision statement [http://intentionalinsights.org/about] is "We envision a world where individuals, organizations, and governments rely on research-based strategies, constantly improving their ability to evaluate reality clearly and make effective decisions, enabling all of us to live optimally happy, healthy, fulfilling and flourishing lives." Do you think this can be misread in a problematic manner? Or even better, do you or anyone else have any suggestions on improving the vision statement? Thanks for engaging so thoroughly, really appreciate the advice :-)
3ChristianKl6yThe issue is not so much with the wording of the mission statement but with the underlying sentiment that get's expressed. CFAR does not try to dumb down things so that everybody can understand it. To the extend that you want to do that, you have to understand what that goal entails. CFAR rationality is a lot about self-skepticism. They are not confident that they know the truth and the problem is simply about enlightening the masses with that truth. To me I read in neither of those statements that de-stigmatizing polyamory is part of your mission.
3Gleb_Tsipursky6yTo be clear, our mission is to have more people think rationally about relationships, and we perceive de-stigmatizing polyamory as one subcomponent of that mission. But your comments are duly noted, and we will be working on another post soon. Thanks for helping incrementally update my beliefs [http://lesswrong.com/lw/ij/update_yourself_incrementally/]

Hi Gleb. Nice essays and lecture!

I wonder how you plan to differentiate Intentional Insights from CfAR, rather than choosing to work as part of that organization; and why we haven't seen much of you at LessWrong until recently?

Not challenging you on either of those points, just want to understand where you're coming from.

5Gleb_Tsipursky6yHey Joshua, thanks for your compliments about the essays and lecture! Regarding CfAR, we are targeting a much broader audience and less advanced audience, the upper 50-85%, while CfAR primarily targets the top 5-10%. For instance, here is how they describe their workshop audience [http://rationality.org/workshops/]: "select group of founders, hackers, and other ambitious, analytical, practically-minded people." What we really want to do is oriented at the broad public, which can gain a great deal from a much lower level of education in rationality made accessible and relevant to their everyday lives and concerns, and delivered in a fashion perceived as interesting, fun, and friendly by mass audiences. We target different audiences, in other words. We had great interactions with Anna Salamon, Julia Galef, Kenzi Amodei, and other CFAR staff, and plan to collaborate with them on various ways to do Rationality outreach. Regarding LW, we wanted to get out website launched and a credible research piece written [http://lesswrong.com/lw/l9g/agency_and_life_domains/] before actively engaging with Less Wrong. I myself was a lurker personally for quite a while before starting to post. I wanted to make sure I had something credible and helpful to say before posting :-)

GLEB WHY ARE YOU PAYING PEOPLE ON AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK TO UPVOTE YOUR COMMENTS?

7Ben Pace2yIn hindsight, I should've listened to dude562.
7Nornagest6yCut it out. There are appropriate ways to bring something like this up; spamming comments isn't one of them.

Thanks (and upvoted) for listening. We cap downvotes based on karma because we've historically had problems with downvote abuse and we don't want it to be trivial to spin up your own homegrown downvote brigade; we don't similarly cap upvotes because that hasn't historically been as much of an issue.

That said, paying people on Mechanical Turk to upvote your comments is definitely bad behavior, although to my knowledge we don't have any set policy for dealing with it. I'd recommend starting by confronting the user, which you may have already done. If th... (read more)

Moderator here. This is definitely not the way we communicate here. Accusations should come with some evidence. Since there is nothing positive written using your account, I am going to ban it now. If you are still interested in a discussion (by which I mean discussion, not downvoting), you can have a fresh start with a new account.

Spam - User profile exists for having a link.

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I do wonder if that spambot post below might have been an omen.

atiqursumon, are you a real person or spam machine? Please reply here within 24 hours, or you will be banned from the forum.

[-][anonymous]6y -2

GLEB WHY ARE YOU PAYING PEOPLE ON AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK TO UPVOTE YOUR COMMENTS?

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