For posterity: Ialdaboth was accused of sexual assault, not harassment, and admitted to the accusations in spirit although didn't get into specifics.
Super interesting. I am extremely curious if your dad has data on how things were different before and after the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Mass starvation and deliberate government disruption will fuck up a lot of social norms in ways I don't want to overgeneralize from... but I don't immediately see an in-living-memory event in Russia that would explain similar behavior around 1900.
I think this raises a lot of good points, that the thesis is overall quite possible, but the post underestimates the costs of being sued.
I don't know what the magnitude of risk is, and plausibly it's small enough that we should still update downward. But I think the worst case scenario is quite a bit worse than you describe here.
The peasants’ lack of respect for hard work is remarkable. “Him? He digs in the field like a beetle from morning till night!” They often say this with scorn.
Caveats: I think this ethnography is likely to be biased for the reasons Jason lists, I haven't read the work I'm about to quote in years, and I thought it had problems at the time. Nonetheless...
Farewell to Alms looked at European vs East Asian folk sayings around farming, and concluded that Asian sayings tended to emphasize the rewards to hard work, whereas European sayings tended to be closer to "I sure hope it rains", emphasizing luck and deemphasizing personal effort. He attributes this to the fact that European farming results were based much less on hard work and much more on luck, whereas rice farming in east Asia had a much stronger correlation between effort and reward.
(I low-confidence think Farewell to Alms underestimated how much effort European farming was, but maybe not the relative amount of work compared to Asian rice farming)
They consistently reroute pressure away from them. I once sat in on a dojo where I watched one of the students point out an error the teacher had made. The teacher then responded by asking the student a question that investigated what was behind the pointing out, what was really about them that caused this? The resulting discussion then was entirely about the student, and as far as I can tell everybody else forgot about the mention of the error.
Once while talking to my then-therapist, I made an offhand remark about how I listened to headphones a lot and was afraid they would damage my ears. She wanted to explore the psychology of that remark, I objected that it was a reasonable concern grounded in physics, and she said ~that that was irrelevant, the fact that that thing was more salient to me than other true things meant it held emotional significance for me, and she was interested in that significance. I don't remember if anything useful came of that discussion, so it probably wasn't amazing, but I think her overall model was correct and it was a reasonable thing to pursue, and that it was safe to do so in that context because she had absolutely no stake in anything except my emotional state.
People criticize therapy for being toothless. I think there's a lot to that criticism, but also that the lack of teeth opens up the ability to do things like "investigate a question's emotional salience independent of its truth" in ways that would be dangerous if the investigator had any stake in the answer (the way the dojo leader did). Why people are bringing up a particular criticism is interesting and potentially worth the time to investigate, it's just not a replacement for ground level truthseeking.
And there's a particular trick you can pull where someone brings up a factual question, you make it about their emotions, and then treat doing so as favor for which they are in debt, all while ignoring the factual issue they actually wanted addressed.
Yeah, there definitely is a difference, and this is part of it (another comment pointed to if they can take a joke about themselves, which I think is another good marker). I have a draft post about epistemic legibility that feels like it might be related to what you mean by salience but I'm not positive.
I think it would be helpful for the culture to be more open to persistent long-running disagreements that no one is trying to resolve. If we have to come to an agreement, my refusal to update on your evidence or beliefs in some sense compels you to change instead, and can be viewed as selfish/anti-social/controlling (some of the behaviors Aella points to can be frame control, or can be a person who, in an open and honest way, doesn't care about your opinion). If we're allowed to just believe different things, then my refusal to update comes across as much less of an attack on you. One thing I think helps here is that even if someone is superior to you on many axes and doesn't think much of your opinion, there should be multiple people whose opinions they do take seriously, and they should proactively seek those people out. Someone who is content, much less seeks out, always being the smartest one in the room no longer gets the benefit of a doubt that they just happen to be very skilled. Finding peers is harder the more extreme you are, but a lack of peers will drive even a really well-intentioned person insane, so deferring to them will not go well.
I don't know how to handle the fact that everything Aella said about vulnerability and reciprocity is true, and also some people are vastly better at things than other people, and some people are better at a lot of things than other people. If you insist on being treated as an equal in certain ways, you either rule out interacting with people who are sufficiently better at sufficiently many things than you, or demand they lie. Many people claiming vast amounts of power knowledge and wisdom are flat out wrong, but not all of them are. And even if you could distinguish between the two perfectly, being genuinely better at a lot of things doesn't make someone inherently safe: in many ways it makes them more dangerous, either because they can use superior skill to manipulate you, or because sometimes doing the wrong thing because it feels right to you is long better than doing the right thing because someone told you to.
I'm not ruling out "just don't interact with people who are sufficiently beyond you (especially if they won't spend time proactively valuing you in ways you haven't actually earned)", but "only interact with your exact equals" can't be right either- it removes the best people to learn from.
I greatly appreciate the time Zvi put into talking to me and that he updated the post. For posterity, I would like to note that this covers ~30% of the change I wanted. In particular, I've gone from feeling confident Zvi's estimate of the impact of the change was that it was sufficient to clear the problem, to not knowing what he thinks the estimate is, aside from >0 (which I medium-confidence disagree with, but that's a different issue). This may or may not be because the information isn't there: it could also be that it's there but I didn't read carefully enough to derive it (and then we can debate how much effort is reasonable to expect from readers).
I don't expect further edits based on this, but it seemed like useful information to share.
Can you expand on this? I imagine there's lots Vitor left out that is worth expanding on because that is the nature of writing these kinds of things. Since no piece can be comprehensive I'd rather people add what they think was missing rather than give another task to the original author (and I really want to know what's going on with chassis).