All of Relsqui's Comments + Replies

Absolutely. That doesn't contradict what I said in the slightest.

2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

Fair point. I'm not sure either; I think I'm relying on a given individual who is e.g. intersex either a) knowing that, and being able to make a better-educated guess about their chromosomes than any heuristic I offer, or b) not knowing that, which I'm willing to assume correlates well to having genitals that either do look like a penis or don't.

2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

Also, rereading that explanation, I'm annoyed at how I worded it. It's okay, but my trans*-inclusive vocabulary has improved since then and I could do better. Hell, just "if unsure, select 'yes' if you were born with a penis" would have been sufficient.

4Alicorn11y
I'm not sure how any of these wordings of questions handle people with ambiguous genitalia.
2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

Came out of activity hibernation to take this. Thanks for seeing a thing that needed doing and choosing to do it!

Problems with the gender field have already been discussed; the sexuality question has some of the same issues. "Gay" and "straight" don't really make sense for people with nonbinary gender, and many people interpret "bisexual" as referring to "both" genders (male and female), as opposed to a more inclusive "queer" or "pansexual." I do honestly appreciate how much effort you've put into making the survey as inclusive as it already is, though.

2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

So how you do decide which options merit inclusion? Which snowflakes are special enough--or, I suppose, mundane enough? And what's the harm in counting how many snowflakes aren't, even if you don't ask them exactly what type they are?

2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

If you put "other" - and this applies to any of the questions, not just this one - you're pretty much wasting your vote

I disagree; it might be important to identify oneself as something which is not one of the presented options, even if no one cares what other thing you are. For example ...

I was kind of surprised how many people can't settle on a specific gender, even though the aim of the question was more to figure out how many men versus women are on here

... I'm genderqueer, and when I take demographic surveys it's important to me that ... (read more)

2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

You're correct; we asked for Y chromosomes rather than X chromosomes because it's way easier to have an extra X and not know it than to have a Y and not know it. So if we ask about Y, we can rough-sort into "probably XY" and "probably XX" groups and then look at the statistics for chromosomal deviations within those groups.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Oh, thoroughly agreed. That was an observation, not an advocation.

Reference Points

I only just noticed this reply, so we're even. ;) Thanks.

Ask and Guess

(On one occasion, when highly motivated to have a departing guest take leftovers home with her if and only if she actually wanted leftovers, but not knowing her default rules, I ended up saying "So, among your tribe, how many times do I have to repeat an offer to have it count as a genuine offer?")

I once saw a friend ask our host, upon leaving a party, if he would like her to leave the rest of the cake she brought, which we'd eaten some of but hadn't finished. She's very asky, he's very guessy. However, she knows this, and immediately followed up... (read more)

Sociologists and sociolinguists study this sort of thing a lot. In particular, there's a lot of work in sociolinguistics on registers of politeness, and how different cultures construct and interpret questions.

My husband and I took over a decade to evolve a pattern where I can answer "What do you want to do for dinner?" with "Well, left to my own devices I would probably just heat up some soup, but if you want to go out that's OK with me too, but I don't feel like cooking anything."

Ask and Guess

There are some things which it's impolite to say, in any words, because the sentiment is impolite--for example, "I don't want you to come to my party." Guess culture, applied well, allows you to avoid having to say those things or cause the attendant hurt feelings. (Guess culture applied poorly avoids the hurt feelings but puts you in the awkward position where they're at the party anyway because you felt compelled to invite them.) The same situation in ask culture requires you come out with it.

This may sound like a good thing in the long run--es... (read more)

Ask and Guess

FWIW, among my friends--whom I might describe as "polite askers" or "assertive guessers"--it's common to ask "does anybody want to split this with me?" That way, you're both asking for what you want (more of the thing) and making an offer in a guess-culture-compatible way. It's easy for other people to accept, because now by taking it they're not preventing you from having it. If no one does, you can be reasonably confident no one else actually wanted it.

A variant on the same thing is: "Would anyone else like this?" ... (read more)

On Pi day, we eat pie; On Tau day, we eat Taoists?

Correction: it's a good excuse to eat TWICE as much pie.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

thanking-for-thanking, long buildups to requests, apologising for things which are clearly not the other persons' fault

(Assuming you mean "not the apologizer's fault" in the last one.) I don't do these things, and I don't think they're necessary forms of courtesy, at least in a peer situation--customer service calls for jumping through hoops sometimes but I don't think that's what we're discussing.

How much have you considered the level of politeness you prefer to receive as opposed to the potentially interesting/fun problem of working out wh

... (read more)
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Yeah, but the scale we're using isn't very precise. The variables you mention will move the threshold around, certainly, but not so much that shokwave can't at least give me a smallish range. We can limit it to modern, Western, and no significant status differences from each other.

Polite means a very different thing here (Australia) than it does in the US for example.

Yeah, I can tell. ;)

1wedrifid12y
This kind of statement is one of the reasons I consider 'politeness' to be an almost irrelevant metric to consider when evaluating people's statements. The relationship between politeness and social 'defection' is utterly negligible.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

In actual practice I behave the way I described; I like to think that if this were drastically counterproductive for my goals, I would have noticed by now.

At any rate, the goal under discussion was informing the other person of the error in a way that didn't result in defensiveness or aggression.

-1wedrifid12y
I am comfortable with the relevance of my statements to the goal under discussion as described by yourself, above. I can attest to the superiority of Perplexed's approach to precisely said goal. When done well it will produce less defensiveness and aggression. What you do personally in your life isn't a subject that I have or would comment on - I speak only to the specific context here wherein Perplexed presented a near-optimal solution.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Oh, interesting. I hadn't thought of it in those terms before but it does immediately make sense.

It's true about status, though. It works out okay in my current time and place, where I very rarely encounter people whose status is so drastically and publicly different from mine that it would call for significantly different behavior. Or at least, that's my perception; if I encountered one of your friends on the other side of a cash register, we'd apparently have different ideas about what our relative status was and what level of courtesy was called for. I wonder what leads to that difference.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Hmm. I think you're onto something, but that doesn't quite fit for me. Off the top of my head, I think I do something more like this:

I run the words I'm considering saying through my mental simulation of the person I'm talking to--which is going to have "like me" or "like normal" as defaults where I lack details--and check for snags like "does not acknowledge hearer's agency/competence" or "implies hearer smells bad." If I find one, I'll either remove/change the problematic wording or add words to counterbalance them... (read more)

3erratio12y
Related: Women apologise more because they have lower thresholds for what constitutes possible offense [http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/11/1649.abstract?etoc] First off, I'm not sure I agree with your argument that it's easier for you to be polite because you find it to be an interesting puzzle. There are many things that I find interesting or rewarding but that I often don't have sufficient patience to do all the time - eg. certain types of maths problems, linguistic translation puzzles (where you get a bunch of phrases and translations and need to tease apart the meanings of the words and affixes), and really challenging computer games. Politeness falls into the same category of interestingness, but because it's usually mandatory it's a bit like having to complete a captcha every time I open my mouth - I know why it's there, it's not that onerous most of the time, but all the same I would prefer not to have to do it. Hmm, there's a lot more rambly stuff I've been thinking about on the topic but I'm not sure how well it relates to our main discussion. Anyway, relevant bits: I've done enough reading and observed and participated in enough interactions to have a good idea of how to gauge politeness levels and how to achieve them (which is to say, I'm neurotypical and have average or above-average levels of empathy. I'm just lacking several years of socialisation experience to make it automatic). I think that most of the time I succeed in saying nice things and not saying offensive things. But it still feels like a lot of effort. I wouldn't expect someone to go to that level of effort for me and in fact find it annoying and tedious to endure thanking-for-thanking, long buildups to requests, apologising for things which are clearly not the other persons' fault, and other highly 'polite' behaviour. How much have you considered the level of politeness you prefer to receive as opposed to the potentially interesting/fun problem of working out what to transmit?
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Hmm. Getting an answer forced me to figure out exactly why I was asking. ;) I guess the followup question is, where on that scale would you put the threshold for everyday, out-in-public polite conversation between neurotypical adults? That is, the expected level, below which someone would come across as rude.

0shokwave12y
Between strangers, 7. Between acquaintances or friends, variation but it would congeal into two large groups hovering around 6 and 4. If you want to see 9s and 10s you have to look for certain types of unstable power dynamics. Basically, I like LessWrong's approach because it feels more like 'friendship group where politeness of 4-3 is okay' and less like 'strangers you should be polite to'.
-2wedrifid12y
Not enough information. Are the adults male, female or mixed? How much status do they have? What national background? Polite means a very different thing here (Australia) than it does in the US for example.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Well, that's as much politeness as I was talking about, so I still think it's no worse than bluntness would have been.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Hmm--my goal is to inform the other person of the error. This does not require them to respond.

-1wedrifid12y
Your goal is a lot more than pointing out an error. You have social ends you wish to achieve - hence your whole participation in the thread. It is that element of communication that is not mere information that we are all discussing.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Agreed about standardization; knowing what to expect is useful in communication generally. My dad (former pilot) is fond of pointing out that this is how pilots and ATC people understand each other over crackly radios. There's only a small set of possible things they could be saying, and they know what to expect, so they only have to listen for whether the crackly voice matches what they're expecting.

even if that means taking twice as long to get to the point

I still find the time argument odd. The difference doesn't seem like that much to me, and the couple of seconds seem trivial weighed against the social currency you gain by taking them.

On further thought I think it's less about the time than about the number of operations involved. For you a typical polite sentence probably looks more like [concept expressed politely], while to me it looks more like [[positive opener][compliment to audience][concept][indicator that my opinion is subjective][self-deprecation/joke]]. At least that's my best guess as to why direct types complain endlessly about the effort and inefficiency of politeness while nice types don't see what the fuss is about. It's the difference between being able to speak the dialect fluently versus having to string a sentence together out of smaller components. Of course, my model of how you communicate may be completely off too :)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Anything softer would have been condescending.

Do you find this condescending?

"You seem to have misread his comment--he said 'bowing out now,' not 'for now.'"

If so, can you explain why? Whether you do or not, what significantly worse result would you expect from that response, as opposed to teasing him about it?

0Perplexed12y
No. That is fine too. The teasing was inessential.
-2wedrifid12y
Perplexed visibly gained respect and rapport using his response. Yours would probably have just been given no response. This is just an instance where Perplexed is just better able to read the social landscape than you and so better able to calibrate his response toward gaining social capital. If he wasn't familiar with the situation, less tuned in to the social dynamics, then he would have been well served by 'playing it safe'. Presuming too much rapport would have been a risk - politeness is a better default.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Oh, yes, I'll certainly agree with that. Even the examples in the original post were a little too fluffy for my taste, and I'm the one who's a stickler for courtesy. There's certainly a balance to be struck--enough, but no more--which I haven't emphasized enough for how important it is. Thanks for the reminder.

I wonder how much striking that balance is part of the skill of being useful and courteous at the same time.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

For calibration purposes, where on that spectrum would you place the conversation we're having right now? :)

1shokwave12y
On an arbitrary scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is Crocker's Rules for everyone and 10 is horrifying, mincing politeness... 3. LessWrong on average is 3, but the good bits are 2.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

It's an interesting example of balancing the need for clear rules without having so much specificity that it's easy to game.

Yeah, that was one of the major goals in the channel rules. Both the long and the short versions are explicit that if you come up with a way to be a pain in the ass that we haven't already thought of, we'll still kick you, even though it's not already in the rules. :P If you're curious, the long version is here and the short version is here. I didn't compose all of them but I did write them. (That is, I didn't choose everything tha... (read more)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

It's the prescriptive/descriptive divide.

Oh hey, so it is. Well observed. (This is not sarcasm; I actually hadn't noticed.)

ought ... error ... worse

The meaningfulness of these words relies on sharing the relevant parts of a value system, and we haven't come anywhere near establishing that that's the case. If you mean that it's definitely more useful for people to behave in the way you prefer, you have not yet convinced me of that.

There doesn't seem to be any point being purely descriptive about anything.

That depends on the goal, doesn't it? If y... (read more)

2shokwave12y
Indeed, excellent counter-example. I was wrong to say there is no point in being descriptive. I am not sure that it is more useful. There appears, to me, to be some correlation between intelligence and blunt communication (nerds speak bluntly, mundanes politely) but that could be intelligence and contrarianism, or any other of many potential factors. I am not giving it any weight. However, I do think it's the case that it is useful for "people who behave in this way" to congregate and continue to behave in this way with each other. That is, when their value systems are sufficiently similar in relevant areas, I can say that being more polite is an error for them. And LessWrong is one place where the value systems sufficiently coincide.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Mm, okay, let's put it another way than "good" then. Perhaps: "That's a desireable outcome and your method would work if we had the resources, but we don't."

2shokwave12y
Well, okay, I think I see something. This [http://lesswrong.com/lw/38a/the_truth_about_scotsmen_or_dissolving_fallacies/] post and this [http://lesswrong.com/lw/38a/the_truth_about_scotsmen_or_dissolving_fallacies/32od?c=1] comment communicate that people often use arguments to support monolithic beliefs. People might be thinking that the first option you gave earlier is saying "I'm on your side, we need to work together to kill this 'unfeasible' enemy soldier" whereas the second is more like "Your idea is dumb and I will throw arguments at you until you retreat or surrender". A kind of politeness, then, I could use, encourage, and appreciate when receiving would be an effort to communicate that we both want the outcome, your method has obstacles, can we fix these obstacles or find another route?
Radical Honesty

Crocker's Rules are appealing. That's taking responsibility!

Can't you take exactly the same responsibility for your own actions without ever thinking of or mentioning some rules?

ETA: Man, it's frustrating to get downvoted for asking a question. If the question is stupid or the answer is obvious, fine, but I haven't learned anything unless you tell me why.

2thomblake11y
Late to the party, but... Crocker's Rules invite one's interlocutor to dispense with pleasantries, taking responsibility onto oneself for not being offended. There is no way to make an invitation without some communication.
Radical Honesty

Buddhism has this idea too. Here's a nicely specific bit from one of the suttas, on how the criteria for "right speech" encompass much more than telling the truth:

In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing and disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing and disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true

... (read more)
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Something I have trouble remembering:

To someone for whom it is normal to choose words carefully and connote respect, it's obvious that this is the right way to go about things--it gets other people on your side, so you don't have to fight as much to get what you want or convince people of something. It's also more pleasant to be around, and is the way you wish to be treated.

To someone for whom it is normal to be as direct, clear, and efficient in language as possible, it's obvious that this is the right way to go about things--it's much more honest than in... (read more)

6Viliam_Bur11y
I guess it would be when you don't have enough skill to speak both politely and clearly. So your actual choice is just between "bluntly" and "inarticulately". The long-term solution to this situation is to develop the necessary skill. But the person may misunderstand the nature of situation; s/he may not understand the it's the missing skill that causes this kind of dilemma.
9Perplexed12y
Here is a fairly narrow one: when you are correcting someone who has made a serious error which they will immediately recognize as an error when it is pointed out to them. An example took place earlier here on this thread. Lionhearted had just stated that he would bow out of the discussion now [http://lesswrong.com/lw/372/defecting_by_accident_a_flaw_common_to_analytical/325q?c=1&context=2#comments] . Wedrifid misread what was written, seeing "I'm bowing out for now", where lionhearted had actually written "I'm bowing out now". Wedrifid responded intemperately, making a particularly big deal of the withdrawal "for now", interpreting it as a kind of threat to return. (This comment has since been deleted by its author.) I pointed out wedrifid's error bluntly, and was even so discourteous as to tease him on his embarrassing error. I am confident that this was the right way to handle this kind of mistake. Anything softer would have been condescending. So that is one situation where bluntness strikes me as clearly best. But I'm not sure that this situation generalizes well. If the mistake were less serious (a typo, say) then the superiority of bluntness is debatable. If the mistake were less clearcut, then it would probably be wise to include some justification of the judgment that it really is a mistake.
9erratio12y
I think your points about why courtesy is better are missing a crucial point; which is that social interaction is all about standardisation. Consider the old VHS versus Betamax problem (or Blu-ray versus HDD for the modern version): two systems that achieved more or less the same goals, each of which had certain advantages and disadvantages going for it. But inevitably one system became popular and it stopped being economical for manufacturers to keep making both players and media of the other type, because not enough people would have used it. And this is a good thing because it means manufacturers don't have to produce media in both types, which means that the cost for the media that they do produce is slightly lower, and everyone except the die-hard users of the dead format wins. Methods of social interaction are the same: you need both people who produce a certain kind of interaction and people who welcome those kinds of interactions. Regardless of which is better, the equilibrium point is towards one standard dominating - and the one that does dominate isn't necessarily better, it was just the first to gain critical mass. That said, my intuition is that politeness is better than not-politeness in most contexts because it allows more plausible deniability. And that intuition is resting on the assumption that most people are highly protective of their status and therefore avoid status hits at all costs, even if that means taking twice as long to get to the point.
1jimrandomh12y
Now that I've seen the issue framed in those terms, I can think of several cases where someone spent so long on niceness-padding that I got annoyed, lost interest, or interrupted to ask them to get to the point. I would like to add that the niceness/efficiency tradeoff is continuous, not discrete, bounded on the maximally-efficient end and unbounded on the maximally-nice end, and that there must be some amount of niceness-padding so excessive that will annoy even those who prefer prefer more of it in general.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

It isn't dishonest to say "this is a good idea, but it might be difficult for these reasons" rather than "your idea isn't feasible for these reasons" (unless of course you don't like the idea, in which case pick a different way of expressing politeness). The first one is stating the objection and also implying respect; the second one is stating the objection and also implying disrespect.

If you really wanted to state the objection without making any implication of respect at all, the nearest thing which comes to mind right now would be p... (read more)

2shokwave12y
Part of my criteria for determining goodness of ideas is feasibility. I would be being dishonest if the idea was not feasible.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Elaborating on nerzhin's comment, which I think is well stated: the tradeoff between clarity and politeness is not absolute. If politeness is non-habitual and thus difficult, it requires a lot of your energy and attention, and you have to give up some of the energy you could otherwise have spent being clear. This is much less the case when you're very practiced at speaking courteously, because that action becomes automatic; you can then use all your conscious focus on clarity.

It's much the same as the speed/accuracy tradeoff in, say, typing, or playing a m... (read more)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

I agree with this; I found the metaphor choice sort of disconcerting. (Given that I agreed very much with the overall point, I didn't find it important enough to comment on, but I have a lower threshold for agreeing with someone else.)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

This is not the answer to your question, but it might be relevant/interesting that communicating respectfully/politely by default is one of the stated rules of #xkcd. Obviously it doesn't actually happen every moment, and people aren't kicked for being rude once, but there is an atmosphere of not tolerating rudeness for its own sake. The ops are reluctant, but willing if it goes on long enough, to get rid of someone whose only crime is being incredibly unpleasant to interact with. This is in line with the community's goal of being pleasant and entertaining... (read more)

0NancyLebovitz12y
Thanks. It's an interesting example of balancing the need for clear rules without having so much specificity that it's easy to game. I found this experiment [http://blog.xkcd.com/2008/01/14/robot9000-and-xkcd-signal-attacking-noise-in-chat/] with requiring non-redundant communication, but nothing about how long it went on or how it worked out in the long run.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

This is really interesting; thanks for adding it to the conversation. (I haven't chewed on it mentally enough to have an actual comment, but I wanted to elaborate on the upvote.)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Second, lack of politeness is a countersignalling method to indicate friendship and community by showing you are close enough to a person that politeness is unnecessary

As you say, that only works if everyone is already on board with this. What the OP is talking about is, effectively, the situation where you're saying "hey nigga wassup!" to someone you've just met or barely know. In order to use direct communication to signal closeness, you need to be sure that you're on the same page first.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

It's not a status hit to you. It's a status hit to them. Feel free to make whatever noble choices you want about being willing to make yourself look stupid in a public forum, but you don't have the right to make that choice for someone else.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

I've met people who get huffy about the suggestion that they preface their opinions with "in my opinion" or "I think that." For a long time I had trouble explaining what good came of doing so; the best I've got so far is "it distinguishes you from the people who think their opinions are facts." Does this make sense? Any suggestions for making it clearer?

Edit: I just found a couple more ways to explain this in my notes file. One is that "x is bad" invites the conversation "no it's not!" "yes it is!"... (read more)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

Upvoted on spec; I tabbed out the essay to read later. (Commenting mostly as a reminder to myself.)

ETA: Okay, yes, upvote stands, that was good.

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

This is dead on; if I'd thought of it, I would have written it myself. ;) One thing you're missing, though, is an example of where it is okay to be blunter--with very close friends, with whom you already have an understanding of a certain amount of respect. This doesn't obviate the need for politeness, of course, but it does lower the threshold of importance at which it's okay to be blunt. If I'm in a hurry in a shop, I'll still be polite to the clerk, because they don't know me well enough to know that I'm impatient and stressed, rather than just a jerk. ... (read more)

1Nornagest12y
So you're essentially using politeness signals as a way of dodging fundamental attribution error. This seems to be a pretty useful guideline for situations in which conspicuous politeness-signaling could be expected to be productive: more intimacy means better motivational models and thus less expectation of politeness, while more stressful situations or greater cultural or situational distance between actors means their model of you is on average less reliable and increases politeness's relative importance. I can't think of any situations offhand where these predictions would fail. It ignores the status and situational formality dimensions, though. I've had friends working in retail tell me that they feel awkward when a customer thanks them for an ordinary transaction, which probably comes out of a violation of status expectations -- of course, I thank clerks anyway.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

A friend of mine described a creative writing class in which the students would read pieces on a workshop day and then have other students respond. The responses came in phases. First, anybody who wished to praise something about the piece had the opportunity to say that. When they were finished with that, anyone who wished to criticize something about the piece could do so. There was a third phase, but I don't remember what it was--specific recommendations, maybe.

This always seemed like a very sensible model to me. It prevents the reader from feeling jump... (read more)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

It's the wrong understanding.

I think that when one finds oneself writing this sentence, it is time to take a step back and think pretty hard about what one is saying.

We're not talking about a mathematical fact that can be proven or disproven as correct; we're not taking about people having the "wrong understanding" of, say, how Bayes's Theorem works. What we are doing is describing a culture in which behaving in x way signals y, to wit, being blunt and direct signals rudeness. This is hard to stomach for people who are part of a subculture whe... (read more)

-1shokwave12y
It's the prescriptive/descriptive divide. When I say it's the wrong understanding, I mean that if I were to prescribe what understandings people ought to have of communication protocols, I would be in error if I prescribed this one. This understanding is worse than another understanding they could have. There doesn't seem to be any point being purely descriptive about anything. False dilemma. I can agitate for change in that culture.
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

I think respectful behavior is a good default. It doesn't need to be as padded as the OP's example, but what I have done in the past on LW is give a quick response to the overall post (so as to not be totally ignoring it just to point out little things), and then say "oh, by the way, a couple of things you might want to fix: x and y."

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

You're fooling yourself if you think that polite criticism doesn't work better on you than rude criticism. You may prefer directness and honesty, but you're still human, and you've still got an ego.

Also, following the golden rule to the letter is an example of the typical mind fallacy--and it's particularly bizarre when you know you're atypical in that regard. The golden rule is best used as a default--a heuristic for how to treat people in general when you have no more specific data about how a particular person would prefer you to treat them. Can you ima... (read more)

4Luke_A_Somers11y
If you just tell children what to do without regard for their own ability or status, you aren't getting very far. The only other way to secure their cooperation involves beating them…
Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

What makes the direct statement more "effective"? It makes it more forceful, to be sure, for exactly the reason you state:

with indirect requests or criticism you run the risk of the recipient having a sense that your criticism is somehow optional, that since you're not stating it forcefully they must have a choice whether or not to make the change

That's exactly the point. They DO have a choice. The other person has agency, and it's their idea. When you state your criticism directly, implying they must do it the way you state, you're expressin... (read more)

Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People

This is the kind of thing I'd like to see more of on here; explaining how to use e.g. language to get along with people who are socially unlike you is hard and being able to do it is important. I laughed at this:

The most common criticism seems to be that adding fluff is a waste of time, insincere, and reduces signal:noise ratio.

... because as I was reading the post, I was hearing in my head every time I've heard that excuse from a friend. "It's just fluff, it shouldn't matter, it doesn't mean anything if you just say it automatically ..."

It d... (read more)

Belief in Belief vs. Internalization

Upvoted for

"What a coincidence, every single one?"

but while I'm here,

I support this 'x is my invisible dragon' turn of phrase!

me too.

Belief in Belief vs. Internalization

I've seen you delete comments that received objecting responses a few times now. Why do you do that?

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