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My analysis is more focused on the situation we have in the US today, with a still narrow (in the grand scheme) Overton window. I agree with you that in general there are failure modes, and the specific examples you bring (soviet collapse in '90, tankies, etc). I'll revise to make the claims sound less universal.

I agree that the "unable" / "too dumb" camp is problematic, but I think it's a relatively small fraction compared to the "unwilling" camp, which just has no real incentive to be informed.

And I've dropped the account requirement on the quiz since you're probably right. 100 data points at the moment, so pretty anecdotal but I'll start looking at the data soon.

Can you point out the axiomatic assumptions I'm making? I explain why thinking "Those that disagree with me must be stupid, evil, or both." is bad: "It prevents finding common ground and encourages wild policy swings as power is transferred from one uncompromising faction to the next. The same facts can generate different viewpoints, each deserving of a spot in the marketplace of ideas, even if we personally disagree with them."

The quiz requires login only because I don't want the same person answering the quiz multiple times. Google account isn't visible to me unless you leave your email at the end.

Ceasing political conflict is a ridiculously ambitious, unrealistic, maybe even undesirable goal. I'm talking about a slight decrease here.

Interesting perspective. So you think that both parties have an accurate understanding of one another's viewpoints? Can you provide any evidence for that?

The nuance you articulate in the last sentence is kind of the point I'm trying to make. I think many on the fringes would disagree with you.

Further, if such metaquizzes can suggest that in this case "some" is more like "very few", and not "actually quite a lot", I think we'd be in better political shape!

Wanted to share this concept of a metaquiz with this community.

The primary goal is that participants do poorly on the “other side” section. Underestimating the other side’s knowledge raises the questions “maybe they’re not all stupid?”. Incorrectly stereotyping their beliefs raises the question “maybe they’re not all evil?”. As a secondary goal, if participants do poorly on the quiz itself, they may learn something about climate change. Any feedback on this idea? Links to related concepts?

Here’s an example metaquiz on climate change:

I was hoping that the 1-on-1 nature of the service would deter trolls. Their efforts won't scale very well. Valid?

(If I had two karma points, I'd start its own thread on the topic, but I'm a lurker and I don't.)

I'm working (on the side) on a website that enables 1-on-1 conversations on a controversial topic, with someone of the opposing view. You are shown a list of topics, and asked what your opinion is on them ("I don't know" is an option). Then you are matched to another party that answered differently. You then start a text-based chat with them. Everything is anonymous (your name and avatar are auto-generated).

I am hoping that this could be a tool to reduce polarization and promote active open mindedness. Here's what I wrote:

"You may not be convinced by their arguments, but hopefully your conversation will lead to a better understanding on both sides. We hope that an interaction with someone with a different viewpoint will lead to reduced animosity toward their whole out-group."

However, as we get closer to launch, I'm trying to think of how to attract the right kind of users. Here's a list of who might be attracted to such a site:

  • Those that hold a strong point of view and want to convince others.
  • Those that are actively open minded and want to learn about various view points.
  • Those that just want to debate for debate's sake.

All of those seem pretty rare. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to spin the project so that it's attractive to a broader audience, and not just people that are normally into rationalism, self-doubt, CMV/etc. My friend suggested that I ask the rationalist community for their ideas, and here we are. Any thoughts here?