CFAR Participant Handbook now available to all

As for the Understanding Shoulds section, that's another example of the document being tailor-made for a specific target audience; most people are indeed "taking far too seriously" their "utterly useless shoulds," but the CFAR workshop audience was largely one pendulum swing ahead of that state, and needing the next round of iterated advice.

CFAR Participant Handbook now available to all

Emailing CFAR is the best way to find out; previously the question wasn't considered in depth because "well, we're not selling it, and we're also not sharing it." Now, the state is "well, they're not selling it, but they are sharing it," so it's unclear.

(Things like the XKCD comic being uncited came about because in context, something like 95% of participants recognized XKCD immediately and the other 5% were told in person when lecturers said stuff like "If you'll look at the XKCD comic on page whatever..." In other words, it was treated much more like an internal handout shared among a narrowly selected, high-context group, than as product that needed to dot all of the i's and cross all of the t's. I agree that Randall Munroe deserves credit for his work, and that future edits would likely correct things like that.)

CFAR Participant Handbook now available to all

Emailing people at CFAR directly is the best way to find out, I think (I dunno how many of them are checking this thread).

CFAR Participant Handbook now available to all

Note that this handbook covers maybe only about 2/3 of the progress made in that private beta branch, with the remaining third divided into "happened while I was there but hasn't been written up (hopefully 'yet')" and "happened since my departure, and unclear whether anyone will have the time and priority to export it."

CFAR Participant Handbook now available to all

I don't know the answer; the team made their decision and then checked to see if I was okay with it; I wasn't a part of any deliberations or discussions.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

What I meant by the word "our" was "the broader context culture-at-large," not Less Wrong or my own personal home culture or anything like that. Apologies, that could've been clearer.

I think there's another point on the spectrum (plane?) that's neither "overt anti-intellectualism" nor "It seems to me that engaging with you will be unproductive and I should disengage." That point being something like, "It's reasonable and justified to conclude that this questioning isn't going to be productive to the overall goal of the discussion, and is either motivated-by or will-result-in some other effect entirely."

Something stronger than "I'm disengaging according to my own boundaries" and more like "this is subtly but significantly transgressive, by abusing structures that are in place for epistemic inquiry."

If the term "sealioning" is too tainted by connotation to serve, then it's clearly the wrong word to use; TIL. But I disagree that we don't need or shouldn't have any short, simple handle in this concept space; it still seems useful to me to be able to label the hypothesis without (as Oliver did) having to write words and words and words and words. The analogy to the usefulness of the term "witchhunt" was carefully chosen; it's the sort of thing that's hard to see at first, and once you've put forth the effort to see it, it's worth ... idk, cacheing or something?

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

I agree that you've said this multiple times, in multiple places; I wanted you to be able to say it shortly and simply. To be able to do something analogous to saying "from where I'm currently standing, this looks to me like a witchhunt" rather than having to spell out, in many different sentences, what a witchhunt is and why it's bad and how this situation resembles that one.

My caveats and hedges were mainly not wanting to be seen as putting words in your mouth, or presupposing your endorsement of the particular short sentence I proposed.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

I note that we, as a culture, have reified a term for this, which is "sealioning."

Naming the problem is not solving the problem; sticking a label on something is not the same as winning an argument; the tricky part is in determining which commentary is reasonably described by the term and which isn't (and which is controversial, or costly-but-useful, and so forth).

But as I read through this whole comment chain, I noticed that I kept wanting Oliver to be able to say the short, simple sentence:

"My past experience has led me to have a prior that threads from you beginning like this turn out to be sealioning way more often than similar threads from other people."

Note that that's my model of Oliver; the real Oliver has not actually expressed that [edit: exact] sentiment [edit: in those exact words] and may have critical disagreements with my model of him, or critical caveats regarding the use of the term.

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

(I expect the answer to 2 will still be the same from your perspective, after reading this comment, but I just wanted to point out that not all influences of a CFAR staff member cash out in things-visible-in-the-workshop; the part of my FB post that you describe as 2 was about strategy and research and internal culture as much as workshop content and execution. I'm sort of sad that multiple answers have had a slant that implies "Duncan only mattered at workshops/Duncan leaving only threatened to negatively impact workshops.")

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

On reading Anna's above answer (which seems true to me, and also satisfies a lot of the curiosity I was experiencing, in a good way), I noted a feeling of something like "reading this, the median LWer will conclude that my contribution was primarily just ops-y and logistical, and the main thing that was at threat when I left was that the machine surrounding the intellectual work would get rusty."

It seems worth noting that my model of CFAR (subject to disagreement from actual CFAR) is viewing that stuff as a domain of study, in and of itself—how groups cooperate and function, what makes up things like legibility and integrity, what sorts of worldview clashes are behind e.g. people who think it's valuable to be on time and people who think punctuality is no big deal, etc.

But this is not necessarily something super salient in the median LWer's model of CFAR, and so I imagine the median LWer thinking that Anna's comment means my contributions weren't intellectual or philosophical or relevant to ongoing rationality development, even though I think Anna-and-CFAR did indeed view me as contributing there, too (and thus the above is also saying something like "it turned out Duncan's disappearance didn't scuttle those threads of investigation").

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