When dealing with someone who comes to different conclusions than I do, but whose way of thinking I understand well, it's relatively easy for me to negotiate with them -- I can predict what offers they'll value, and roughly to what degree, and what aspects of their own negotiating position they're likely to be OK with trading off.

Whereas negotiating with someone whose way of thinking I don't understand is relatively hard, and I can expect a significant amount of effort to be expended overcoming the friction of the negotiation itself, and otherwise benefiting nobody.

Of course, I don't have to negotiate with someone who agrees with me, so in the short term that's an easy tradeoff in favor of agree-on-conclusions.

But if I'm choosing people I want to work with in the future, it's worth asking how well agreeing on conclusions now predicts agreeing on conclusions in the future, vs. how well understanding each other now predicts understanding each other in the future. For my own part, I find mutual understanding tends to be more persistent.

That said, I'm not sure whether negotiation is more a part of what you're calling "politics" here, or what you're calling "punditry," or neither, or perhaps both.

But negotiation is a huge part of what I consider politics, and not an especially significant part of what I consider punditry.

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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson.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 Do not quote with only a name.