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Morality is Scary

I think it's important and valuable to separate out "what was in fact intended" (and I straightforwardly believe Vanessa's restatement as a truer explanation of her actual position) from "what was originally said, and how would 70+ out of 100 readers tend to interpret it."

I think we've cleared up what was meant.  I still think it was bad that [the perfectly reasonable thing that was meant] was said in a [predictably misleading fashion].

But I think we've said all that needs to be said about that, too.

Morality is Scary

But it's also an accepted practice to phrase claims as universal when what you actually mean is, the exceptions are negligible for our practical purpose. For example, most people would accept "humans have 2 arms and 2 legs" as a true statement in many contexts, even though some humans have less.

The equivalent statement would be "In reality, everyone has 2 arms and 2 legs."

Morality is Scary

In reality, everyone's morality is based on something like the status game (see also: 1 2 3)

... I really wanted to say [citation needed], but then you did provide citations, but then the citations were not compelling to me.

I'm pretty opposed to such universal claims being made about humans without pushback, because such claims always seem to me to wish-away the extremely wide variation in human psychology and the difficulty establishing anything like "all humans experience X."  

There are people who have no visual imagery, people who do not think in words, people who have no sense of continuity of self, people who have no discernible emotional response to all sorts of "emotional" stimuli, and on and on and on.

So, I'll go with "it makes sense to model people as if every one of them is motivated by structures built atop the status game."  And I'll go with "it seems like the status architecture is a physiological near-universal, so I have a hard time imagining what else people's morality might be made of."  And I'll go with "everyone I've ever talked to had morality that seemed to me to cash out to being statusy, except the people whose self-reports I ignored because they didn't fit the story I was building in my head."

But I reject the blunt universal for not even pretending that it's interested in making itself falsifiable.

Reneging Prosocially

(Separating this bit out)

pro-actively acknowledged that I'm just a tiny bit less their friend

I didn't advocate for this anywhere.  I went back and checked, just to be sure.  Somewhere, I've said something that you rounded off to this, but I'll go ahead and agree: saying "I'm a tiny bit less your friend now because of this" seems crazy bad to me.

Reneging Prosocially

making all these friendship-point-computations explicit has much larger mental health and social costs than you believe

This is a valid hypothesis, but I'm curious why you are so confident in it.  I've had (no exaggeration) dozens of interactions of the form described above, either because I myself had to renege or because I was helping some pair of other people navigate a broken agreement, and there has not once been an instance of people claiming that it made things worse, and there have been multiple (5+?) instances of people specifically coming back later, unsolicited, to note how those unusual features of my method were unusually helpful.

I think that "I would feel offended by the implication that my friendship is tit-for-tat" is more (accidental) strawmanning.  I share the sense that friendships which are explicitly tit-for-tat are weaker/broken in some important way; for instance, I tend to completely ignore debts of under $10.  I buy my friend dinner.  At some point in the future, they'll buy me dinner.  It's all close-enough-to-even.  The cool part is feeling comfortable and like there's abundance of goodwill.

Yet while feeling that, I nevertheless wrote the above post, and strongly advocate for it.

This makes me think that there's somewhere in the post (e.g. in point 5) where you're ... leaping ahead? Extrapolating out from what I said, to something you think is an implication or consequence of it, that I don't think is an implication or consequence.

My first guess is that you think that I think that the advice in 5 should generalize out across all aspects of the relationship, rather than being largely confined to the narrow domain of "here I am breaking an agreement."

As for the "should" in "they should be doing it subconsciously," I note that I think you've got a pretty strong typical mind thing going on.  You make a bunch of very strong universal claims in your first comment that are straightforwardly false for somewhere between 10% and 60% of the population, i.e. a non-negligible swath.

Reneging Prosocially

So, starting this off with "punch to the face" seems to me like a pretty straightforward instance of strawmanning, and is at least a change-of-topic.

I'm not much interested in discussing [responses to violent attacks] here, but if you'd like to say something about reneging on agreements, or my suggestions for how to do so prosocially, I'd be happy to respond to that.

Frame Control

I agree with all of this, and just wanted to note that there are Kegan 4 frame-controllers and Kegan 3 frame-controllers, too.

Frame Control

(I like the above in part because I find it reassuring.)

Frame Control

I'm particularly frustrated by the thing where, inevitably, the concept of frame control is going to get weaponized (both by people who are explicitly using it to frame control, and people who are just vaguely ineptly wielding it as a synonym for 'bad').

I think a not-sufficient-but-definitely-useful piece of an immune system that ameliorates this is:

"New concepts and labels are hypotheses, not convictions."

i.e. this essay should make it more possible for people to say "is this an instance of frame control?" or "I'm worried this might be, or be tantamount to, frame control" or "I myself am receiving this as frame control."

And it should less (though nonzero) be license to say "AHA!  Frame control, right here; I win the argument because I said the magic word."

(Duncan culture has this norm installed; I don't think LW or rationalists or gray tribe in general does, though.)

Frame Control

Frame control is an effect; very often, people who frame control will not be aware that this is what they’re doing, and have extensive reasoning to rationalize their behavior that they themselves believe.

Of note: in my experience, as someone who accidentally did lots of frame control and now has it at least partly in his own view (and thus does a mix of "accidentally still doing it," "endorsedly still doing it," and "endorsedly specifically not doing it"), often the frame controller is themselves stuck in the frame.  They either don't know another kind of frame could even exist, or rely on it for their own self-image or self-worth or something.

(I know this is sort of addressed in the above but I wanted to pull it out and highlight it.  This is a clinical explanation of what happens and why, not an attempt to justify or excuse.)

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