Wiki Contributions


Treendly and Exploding Topics both show terms that are rapidly increasing in Google search volume.

A week ago I was curious to see if many people were cheating on the AP exams - they're online for the first time due to COVID-19. I searched "derivative" on Google Trends and saw that a ton of people were probably cheating due to a spike in search volume exactly when the AP calculus exam started (related searches also indicated what the exam question was).

In this situation I like the model of player vs character. In Dungeons and Dragons you create a character sheet with abilities, stats, and motivations. This limits your options and creates preferences for certain actions but as a player you still have choice, and can still do things that are contrary to you "character sheet", it's just less likely that you will do so

I think that evolutionary psychology, specifically signaling in this case, is the reason why people enjoy conversations and it acts as our character sheet - shaping our general preferences. We as players often have different motivations for having conversations, but in aggregate the character sheet has a lot of explanatory power even if we're not consciously aware of it.

I think people information trading, and coordinating are good reasons for why humans evolved language, but I think that signaling gives a stronger explanation for why "casual" conversations happen so often.

Why do you think the signaling interpretation doesn't fully explain why relevance is necessary? Your hypothesis, norms for language evolving for efficiency, makes sense to me but doesn't strike me as being a more important factor than signaling.

I really appreciate the feedback! Agreed with all your points, there's a lot of areas I need to work on to improve my writing.

Signal-wise you come across as what I think of as the good side LW: well reasoned, thoughtful, and intelligent.

Sidenote: I think people (like you) who comment thoughtfully on other people's "content" make the internet a much better place.

Will add, just finished reading that book. This post was my effort to solidify my main takeaway from The Elephant in the Brain for myself.