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You should think about deleting the year, it screws with the calibration question. This question was put in to test the quality of your guesses, or more specifically the quality of the probabilities you assigned. I read your comment before taking the survey and was unable to give an honest guess.


I would really like to come, but can do so only in the beginning of August (until the 20th). Does anyone of you live near Hannover? I would seriously love to make some rationalist friends around here... :)


Yes that's what I mean, thank you.


From some of the above posts I get the impression that at least in a community of aspiring rationalists, there is still some anger around. I think it is one of the hardest things to get rid of.

There is a point about my personal technique I wanted to make that I feel I didn't really transport so far... I find it hard to explain though. Thinking about something like option 5b) somehow helps me to combat the feeling of helplessness that is often mixed in with the anger. Somehow in saying myself "you can act on that later, if you still feel it is necessary" I take the edge off. Can someone relate to that and maybe help in clarifying?

Also there is a difference between suppressing anger and what I am trying to describe that feels totally clear internally but is also hard to explain.

The point about the missing feedback is a very good one and I'm wondering if and how and how often rationalists give each other feedback about how the discussion makes them feel.


What would be an exercise which develops that habit?

Speaking from personal experience, I would propose that moralizing is mostly caused by anger about the presumed stupidity/ irrationality behind the statement we want to moralize about. The feeling of "Oh no they didn't just say that, how could they!". What I try to do against it, is to simply let that anger pass by following simple rules like taking a breath, counting to 10 or whatever works. When the anger is gone, usually the need for moralizing is as well.

Also I feel there is a lot of discussion about Eliezer moralizing in his posts that can be broken down to the distinction between moralizing as an automated response und moralizing after careful deliberation (as in blog posts). I wouldn't say that the latter is wrong per se.

In daily life I often meet people that I feel are so far off, so tangled up in their rationalizations, that even after my anger about their comments is passed I decide that a discussion would be a waste of everybody's time. In this case I use a sarcastic remark to a least get them of back. Maybe if the person in question gets a similar reaction from enough people, they will reconsider. It can also be for the benefit of bystanders.

So I think this would be the steps that work for me:

1) Recognize anger

2) Wait it out

3) Ask some questions to clarify/falsify your understanding of the questionable statement

4) Think about good, precise counterarguments and/or find the errors that I think the other one made.

5) Decide whether or not your arguing will probably be productive and then

a) Do it (in a civilized manner of course) or

b) Make a sarcastic comment that pinpoints the irrationality you see or simply say that you don't agree and leave.

I realize that this can't really be done in 5 seconds, but I think I got far enough myself that I can do the first two steps in a couple of seconds and keeping option 5b) in mind helps me in calming myself down.