[Transcript from video, hence long and choppy]

I think the way the battle lines are drawn in the world we live in, the battle lines typically fall in terms of 'what are your conclusions?' Like: are you a republican; are you a democrat; are you a libertarian; are you a socialist? And the more I think about it, this strikes me as extremely odd.

Why should the battle lines be drawn in terms of conclusions? Another way of drawing the battle lines would be, say, in terms of how people think. So if I take someone like Matt [Yglesias?], who's one of the commenters - I read Matt's blog all the time. Matt, I think, would agree that he and I disagree on a lot of issues. Not on everything, but we disagree a lot. We disagree every day. We sort of write back and forth to each other and to others, and even if we don't call each other by name, we're, like, disagreeing in public every day.

But at the same time when I read Matt I have this feeling like 'if I were a progressive, this is the argument I would make'. I feel that way when I read Matt. There's other writers, like when I read Paul Krugman, I don't feel that way. I don't think if I were progressive I would argue like Paul Krugman.

So this method of thinking in common, there's this question, should I be emotionally, intellectually, whatever, more allied to people with whom I share conclusions, or with whom I share a certain method of thinking? And when I disagree with Matt, which is frequently, I feel like I can always figure out very quickly where we disagree. There's something about the framework we have in common. And that, to me, seems like a powerful commonality. So in general I'm interested in getting people to explore, or re-explore, what are our true commonalities with other people?

-- Tyler Cowen from a talk on on neurodiversity

Why should the battle lines be drawn in terms of conclusions?

Suppose I agree with someone's conclusion, and disagree with them on the method used to reach that conclusion. Are we political allies, or enemies? That is, of course "politics" is the answer to 'why should the battle lines be drawn this way?'

Now, for Tyler as a pundit, the answer is different. Staying in an intellectual realm where he thinks like the other people around him makes it so any disagreements are interesting and intelligible.

Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015

by Vaniver 1 min read2nd Mar 2015235 comments


Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:

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