Various rationalist blogs and Less Wrong have recently posted on and discussed blackmail, and specifically legality and acceptability of such. I found the discussion unsatisfying, and I'm trying to understand why that is, and whether I'm alone in that.
As it was happening, it didn't feel like a particularly political topic - nobody seemed personally invested in the outcome. But it did seem like everyone (including myself, sometimes) was presenting examples or (over)generalizing to support their beliefs, and very few were seeking counterexamples or cruxes or lines of demarcation between different intuitions.
So - was this politics in disguise? Was some other bias interfering with the discussion? Was it useful and I just missed it? Did any sort of consensus emerge?