your political allies are those whose actions support your goals and your political enemies are those whose actions hurt your goals.

! That's not how other humans interpret "alliance," and using language like that is a recipe for social disaster. This is a description of convenience. Allies are people that you will sacrifice for and they will sacrifice for you. The NAACP may benefit from the existence of Stormfront, but imagine the fallout from a fundraising letter that called them the NAACP's allies!

Whether or not someone is an ally or an enemy depends on the context. As the saying goes, "I against my brother, and I and my brother against my cousins, I and my brother and my cousins against the world"--the person that has the same preferences as you, and thus competes with you for the same resources, is potentially an enemy in the local scope but is an ally in broader scopes.

Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015

by Vaniver 1 min read2nd Mar 2015235 comments


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

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.
  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.