All of CuriousMeta's Comments + Replies

Core Pathways of Aging

"Every paper published is a shot fired in a war"

Epistemic virtue isn't a good strategy in that war, I suspect. Voicing your true best guesses is disincentivized unless you can prove them.

Guilt vs Shame, Pride vs Joy?
Fishbach & Dhar find that re-framing the achievement in terms of showing commitment to values, rather than progress toward goals, has a tendency to reinforce the behavior rather than the paradoxical self-licensing effect.

Hm. Does that mean "Rationality is about winning" is ultimately a bad mantra?

Shame as low verbal justification alarm

Good stuff.

Speculation time: Would this predict that shame-prone people have bigger, deeper identities? Identities seem like a good place for storing those justifications, and those justifications look like a candidate for the reason we have identities in the first place.

Shame appears to be a reaction to perceived norm violation, so shame-prone people would be those with strong and restrictive internalized social norms.

Go F*** Someone

I don't mind self-help-books-level advice if it pointedly helps me improve my mental hygene. It did.

The Hidden Complexity of Wishes

Which is perhaps most efficiently achieved by killing the wisher and returning an arbitrary inanimate object.

How good is the case for retraining yourself to sleep on your back?

Personal experience / opinion: For me sleeping positions are an issue of expanded (back) or contracted (side) body language.

In an expanded state I seem to have a lower threshold for cognitive dissonance. I.e. my mind is less prone to indulging in pleasant-but-at-odds-with-reality thought trains. So I, for mental health reasons, try to fall asleep on my back when I can manage to tolerate the expanded state.

The Intelligent Social Web

Powerful improv metaphor. Powerful post.

Ah, but if we’re immersed in a culture where status and belonging are tied to changing our minds, and we can signal that we’re open to updating our beliefs, then we’re good… as long as we know Goodhart’s Demon isn’t lurking in the shadows of our minds here. But surely it’s okay, right? After all, we’re smart and we know Bayesian math, and we care about truth! What could possibly go wrong?

The trickiness of roles that involve the disidentification with specific ... (read more)

People are just really bad at seeing the merits of things they aren't already in favour of.

I'd consider that an important factor in whether something ends up being an antimeme in a given culture.

In my understanding of the term, the most straightforward definition of antimemecy is "very low cultural infection rate".

(And implicit in the discussion so far seems to have been a certain expected usefulness of mentioned examples. Maybe we should focus the conversation on things with high expected value and low cultural infection rate / overall prevalence in western culture.)

Give praise

My impression is that in-group status is always, inherently zero-sum.

While the influence/worth distinction may be a relevant one, I think it'd be relative worth that satisfies status-as-social-need.

Praise certainly meets other emotional needs, though, and it may well be rational to have more of it.

It would tend to have the effect of making most people give up on the idea of antimeme

Yes, that effect on most people is kinda in the nature of antimemes.

In a LW context I wouldn't paint the picture too black though. The average poster's epistemic standards are high. High enough to warrant a mindful reader's second look at the antimemes they're proposing.

The corresponding discussions would certainly not be frictionless. That doesn't mean they couldn't provide some high-value insight to a few people, though.

To me this looks like the stuff LW is all about. I mean, aren't we looking at low-hanging fruit hidden from vantage points of naive epistemology?

1lsusr2yI think you're right. I write about this topic precisely because it could "provide some high-value insight to a few people". I trust we can figure out a special set of rules [] for discussing antimemes to make it work. The tiny amount of progress in this field so far suggests there could be lots of low-hanging fruit.
Unlike good confabulations, antimemetic confabulations will make you increasingly uncomfortable. You might even get angry. The distractions feel like being in the brain of a beginner meditator or distractible writer. They make you want to look away.
You can recognize this pattern as an antimemetic signature. People love explaining things. If you feel uncomfortable showing off your knowledge it's probably because you have something to hide.

That seems useful. Cognitive Dissonance as a cognitive Code Smell.


I'd love to read more on the topic.

A longer list of what LW folk consider to be antimemes would be pretty interesting, too. I like to think I gained some insight from the mention of Lisp and entrepreneurship.

4lsusr2yThanks! I've written some more [] on the topic just for you. You can find a few more specific antimemes in my article The Technique Taboo []. You might also enjoy the science fiction stories [] that inspired this whole sequence of posts.
2MakoYass2yAny sane person could write up a list of antimemes, but no sane person would post it. It would tend to have the effect of making most people give up on the idea of antimeme, concluding that it's something that only insane people think about.
To prove it wrong it should be a meme that is complex and difficult to understand.

I'd propose as examples "most stuff taught at university". Even outside of teaching institutions, complex ideas commonly spread memetically if the incentives for acquiring them are sufficiently visible from the outset. Think Evolutionary Theory, Object-Oriented Programming, or Quantum Physics.