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I actually like this post and agree to most points you make. I'm not talking about the meta points about steelmanning and rhetoric tricks.

The obvious and clearly stated bias helped me to better insights than most articles that claim true understanding of anything.

I'm not sure whether this is due to increased attention to weak arguments or a greater freedom to ignore weak arguments as they are probably not serious anyways.

Can it be both? Was that effect intentional?

I would read a "Steelmanning counterintuitive claim X" series.

I like your solution to pascals mugging but as some people mentioned it breaks down with superexponential numbers. This is caused by the extreme difficulty to do meaningful calculations once such a number is present (similar to infinity or a division by zero).

I propose the following modification:

  • Given a Problem that contains huge payoffs or penalties, try common_laws solution.
  • Should any number above Gogol be in the calculation, refuse to calculate!
  • Try to reformulate the problem in a way that doesn't contain such a big number.
  • Should this fail, do nothing.

I would go so far as to treat any claim with such numbers in it as fictional.

Another LW classic containing such numbers is the Dust Speck vs. Torture paradox. I think that just trying to calculate in the presence of such numbers is a fallacy. Has someone formulated a Number-Too-Big-Fallacy already?

  • Select one and only one cause to join that you really care about.
  • Activism is useful for networking as already mentioned. Treat it as a tool, not as an achievement.
  • Read to find out what really needs to change. What are the root causes? What keeps the movement from being effective?
  • Again select just one of these according to your abilities.
  • Edit: Oh and please just do it. Don't get lost in "I will be more effective by earning money and paying someone to do it." mindgames. You can't pay them to actually care, they will do a lousy job. Find something you can do and grow with the challenge!

I've been in that spot for a long time and my excuse always was that vegetarianism would be too inconvenient.

Around the end of last year it finally clicked. The inconvenience excuse is plainly wrong in many cases AND being a vegetarian in just these cases is still a good thing!

I resolved to eat vegetarian whenever it is not inconvenient. This turned out to be almost always. Especially easy are restaurants and ordered food. When in a supermarket I never buy meat which automatically sets me up for lots of vegetarian meals.

I'm currently eating vegetarian on ~95% of my meals. As a bonus I don't have a bad conscience in the few cases where I eat meat.

Here are two projects that try to remove subvocalization. It's fun to try at least.

I find the qualitative reflections most enlightening and especially that you said: "But never in the course of this experiment did I count something that turned out to be unimportant."

Your under-confidence in that point may be very common leading to thoughts like: "Yea noticing confusion is all nice but I usually do that already. I'm fairly certain that I'm only missing some irrelevant confusion." Your experience suggests that there is no such thing as irrelevant confusion. The art is to notice as many as humanly possible instead of just some.

I have never read a better motivation to go and actively try to notice confusion than this sentence. Thanks.

Lying is saying something false while you know better. Not lying doesn't imply only saying true things or knowing all implications.

The added burden should be minimal as between friends most people already assume that they are not lied to without making it an explicit rule.

Wait, wait, has the game already started?

The start of the game may be undefined and whether a lie is couted as inside the game depends a lot on the players.

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