What important truth do very few people agree with you on?

Now, hold that thought, and consider that the most likely explanation is that you are wrong.

If it took you an hour to come up with the truth that's likely. If you however needed thousands of hours of thinking to discover it, the case for you knowing something that other people don't know is much better.

Especially if you read various experts that connect to the topic and understand the state of the field, you can make a reasonable argument that you have something that qualifies.

Peter Thiel talks about this being a foundation for successful startups. When Mark Zuckerberg being social network he had the insight to the truth that "real identify is really important for a social network" that few other people believed.

2Salemicus5yThat's possible. It's also possible, as Thiel says, that people shy away from unpopular truths out of conformity bias. Which is the bigger bias? In Thiel's view, (and mine), the chief problem is not that people are overconfidently proposing answers to that question. The chief problem is that people have no answers at all to that question, and can't think of any ways to generate them. You are right that it's a hard question, because you can be mistaken, and reversed stupidity is not truth, and so on. But it's not an impossible one.

Rationality Quotes Thread June 2015

by Gondolinian 1 min read31st May 2015134 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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson.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 Do not quote with only a name.