Wiki Contributions



Possessing a home also imposes costs on everyone else - it costs scarce materials and labor to build, equip, and electrify/warm/cool/water a home, and it uses up scarce space in a way that excludes others. It’s not obvious that a homeless person who works & is taxed, and is thus contributing to collective capacity to build and maintain the amenities they take advantage of, is a free rider; you’d need to actually do the math to demonstrate that.


Reality is sufficiently high-dimensional and heterogeneous that if it doesn’t seem like there’s a meaningful “explore/investigate” option with unbounded potential upside, you’re applying a VERY lossy dimensional reduction to your perception.


There’s a common fear response, as though disapproval = death or exile, not a mild diminution in opportunities for advancement. Fear is the body’s stereotyped configuration optimized to prevent or mitigate imminent bodily damage. Most such social threats do not correspond to a danger that is either imminent or severe, but are instead more like moves in a dance that trigger the same interpretive response.


It's true that people who ask for "collaborative truth-seeking" are lying, but false that no one does it. Some things someone might do to try to collaborate on seeking the truth instead of pushing a thesis are:

  • Active listening (e.g. trying to restate someone's claims and arguments in one's own words, especially where they seem most unclear or surprising.)
  • Extending interpretive labor to try to infer the cause of a disagreement.
  • Offering various considerations for how to think about a question instead of pushing a party line - and clarifying the underlying model in general terms even when one does have a clear thesis.

IME people are perfectly able to distinguish this from less collaborative behavior, though some are more likely to respond strongly positively, and others are more likely to complain that the first two are "judgmental," "accusatory," or "mind-reading," and that the third is "unclear" because it doesn't include a command to endorse some particular conclusion. The second group seems like it overlaps a lot with the sorts of people who ask for the sort of "epistemic charity" you're complaining about.

People who are engaged in collaborative truth-seeking are more likely to talk about or simply demonstrate specific ways to accomplish particular component truth-seeking tasks better together, which is collaborative, and less likely to complain vaguely about how you should be more "collaborative," which is not.


Wouldn’t that imply more upside than downside in staying over?


Huh, I notice I casually used male pronouns here when I previously wasn’t especially inclined to. I guess this happened because I dropped politeness constraints to free up working memory for modeling the causal structure of the problem.

If this had been a lower-latency conversation with the implied greater capacity to make it awkward to ignore a legitimate question, my first reply would have been something like, “well, did you actually assault them? Seems like an important bit of information when assessing whether they made a mistake.” And instead of the most recent comment I’d have asked, “You identify as a woman. Do you think you are being naïve, or devaluing your sexualness or cleverness or agency? If so, why? If not, why?”


Examples of info she might have had:

  • She was hoping to have sex with Sinclair, so theit sexual advances would not have been unwelcome.
  • Harassment from acquaintances of her social class is more common than stranger assault but much less likely to be severely bad - acquaintance assault is socially constrained and thin-tailed, stranger assault is deviant and fat-tailed - which is not adequately captured by the statistics.
  • She’s not the sort of person who can be easily traumatized by, or would have a hard time rejecting, unwanted advances.
  • Sinclair is in fact discernibly unlikely to assault her because they’re obviously nonaggressive, sex-repulsed, or something else one can pick up from a vibe.
  • Sinclair’s very small and she could just break Sinclair if she needed to.

Yes. It seems like RobertM is trying to appeal to some idea about fair play, by saying that people shouldn’t make even disjunctive hypothetical accusations because they wouldn’t like it if someone did that to them. But it seems relevant to evaluating that fairness claim that some accusations are discernibly more justified than others, and in this case RobertM seems not to have been able to think of any plausible crimes to disjunctively accuse me of. I am perplexed as to how “true accusations are better than false ones and you can discover by thinking and investigating which statements are more likely to be true and which are more likely to be wrong” seems to have almost fallen out of the Overton window for some important subset of cases on less wrong dot com, but that seems to be where we are.

Load More