[SEQ RERUN] Say It Loud

by MinibearRex1 min read2nd Sep 20121 comment


Personal Blog

Today's post, Say It Loud was originally published on 19 September 2008. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):


If you're uncertain about something, communicate that uncertainty. Do so as clearly as you can. You don't help yourself by hiding how confused you are.

Discuss the post here (rather than in the comments to the original post).

This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was The Sheer Folly of Callow Youth, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.

Sequence reruns are a community-driven effort. You can participate by re-reading the sequence post, discussing it here, posting the next day's sequence reruns post, or summarizing forthcoming articles on the wiki. Go here for more details, or to have meta discussions about the Rerunning the Sequences series.

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Communicating uncertainty loudly and directly helps you and the people you talk to. They can update more accurately and you've just clued people in that you'd like some help looking for data.

But if you're trying to reduce your reliance on other people as error check, then you probably also want to look for loud actions. Try experimenting if you think the risks are outweighed by the value of information.

Example: I recently injured my foot, and was trying to suss out how badly it was hurt. I'd been keeping all the weight off it, because I was uncertain, but I tried walking more normally for a few paces to see what would happen (very small marginal increase in discomfort). I was still unsure as to whether this meant it was safe to walk normally, so I went back to limping but I also didn't take an earlier but less convenient appointment with the doctor.