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Glen Weyl: "Why I Was Wrong to Demonize Rationalism"

Every memorable apology I've ever gotten has hailed an update, although sometimes it lags a little bit- (eg person updates –> person spends some time applying the update to all affected beliefs –> person apologizes).


This mostly holds for apologies i've given as well, excluding a couple where transgression and apology were separated by enough years to make pinning it on a specific update difficult.


I also(?) have a sort of intuitive sense that this post is Not Less Wrong, in some sense. (Probably because "contemporary politics, boo."


At the same time, I'm glad you wrote it, glad I read it, and I got useful things from it. Since I wouldn't have read it if you hadn't posted it here, that kind of commits me to thinking it's lucky for me that you did. 


I don't find the categories confusing, I'd speculate that this is because there's a lot of overlap in the ontologies being used by you, me, and Nerst- these feel like clusters-I-recognize-and-care-about rather than gerrymandered-feeling ones. But this is interestingly subjective- a lot of people mentally carving reality in ways that seem gerrymandered to me are doing that because they care about different features of category membership than I do, not being dishonest or disingenuous or even making any kind of mistake. This leaves me without any principled way to determine how much rigor is really needed- any level less than "infinite" is gonna confuse some people.


I'm trying to keep the content enumerated in this comment to LW-approved/LW-typical topic areas- I get a lot of value out of this place, getting banned would suck, and I really do owe the people running it a certain amount of consideration. This is also why my comment says things like "I'm glad I read this, and I guess I'm glad you posted it here so I could" rather than "AWESOME ARTICLE! Thanks so much, I have all kinds of thoughts about this!" but I do wanna convey my sincere gratitude. 


I'm interested in how you think this fits the trajectory we've seen since you wrote it- a few things jumped out to me, there- but I think I'm gonna wait and ask you about that somewhere I can be sure I'm not violating norms. (I'm not great at intuiting ambiguous or unarticulated social norms, so I try to leave myself a lot of slack- there's a decent chance I may need it later). I think I actually know you from twitter- I'm like 97% confident you're the same person, both based on username and conversational content- so venue-shuffling doesn't seem likely to present much practical difficulty.


One more marginal comment: I have the strong sense you're doing truthseeking here- trying to actually model the physical world. I've just come from an argument about politics on another blog that I gradually realized was... not about that, at all, after I'd already emotionally invested in it some. That's locally a very disheartening experience- it doesn't last, but you feel pretty bad for the next hour. This kinda pulled me out of it, and I'm thankful.

The Flexibility of Abstract Concepts

This makes sense, and I think it helps my understanding a lot, but it feels importantly incomplete. What's the meta-context you use to decide which context to use?

I can maybe guess at some of it.

You're probably trying to get along with other people, so you look for ways their statements are true rather than false.

You probably want to save face, so you'll avoid constructions that could reflect badly on you if quoted in a different context. (Is malicious quotation a huge problem in this society, or are there sufficient cultural antibodies against it? If the latter, what do these antibodies look like in practice?)

Are there more specific cultural rules for context-switching?

Less Wrong Poetry Corner: Coventry Patmore's "Magna Est Veritas"

"When all its work is done" definitely supports the ironic interpretation.

I intuitively read this more as taking a little consolation in the bigness of the truth relative to the petty little intrigues and dramas that distort it. I agree that for people with out values this is illegitimate, and I think it's kind of a stretch for the speaker, too, but I don't see them as being cannily ironic so much a grasping for solace; same tone you get from Marcus Aurelius when he reassures you than eventually you'll be dead.

I mean, I think the "plea for speed" is a normatively correct response to this situation, but it doesn't feel like what the narrator is doing; he's off nature-watching somewhere*. 


(And writing poems- maybe a crux is that I feel like we're kind of supposed to ignore that part unless she calls attention to it? Actually, how closely are you identifying Patmore with the narrator, here?)


*Which is also very healthy, to be clear, and I don't mean to suggest I'd actually begrudge him that.


EDIT: Spelling