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@Linch: My observations (based on an admittedly limited set of observations and my lack of psychological training) agree with your "I'm personally pretty convinced that psychological issues in the rationalist community is substantially above baseline.

I'm surprised, given the claimed truth-seeking and evidentiary rigor values of 'the rationalist community', that there is not a magiteral data-laden LessWrong essay that addresses "psychological issues in the rationalist community" that is cited when discussion turns to this topic.  Can anyone point to such an essay?


@JBlack:  Your request for evidence substantiating my claim is well taken.  That evidence is visible at the Berkeley (CA) area 'rationalist community' Discord channel called "The Forum".  If you cannot find "The Forum" on Discord then please DM me and I'll attempt to supply you with other information whereby you can access it (I apologize as I'm a none-too-deft Discord user).

You can find dialog, at "The Forum", substantiating my "[c]ertain recent events have shown that to not be the case" if you search for dialog from c. 5 Oct.-13 Oct. that uses strings like "Roko's Basilisk", "evidence", and "Hitchens's Razor".  Please note that some (but not all of this evidence) may no longer be visible as the dialog occured in Discord threads and, on that server as I understand it, threads are purged after 24 hours of inactivity.


@Dagon:  Please note that in the example, above, A asserts: "X is an empirical claim and X is true!"  
I concur with A's assertion that ""X is an empirical claim".  This is not a matter of normative "social or religious statements". 

Your observation that normative claims are often "framed as truth" is well taken.  The use of "truth" to describe both empirical and normative claims is the source of much confusion and facilitates the use of the Fallacy of Equivocation. 

I find your advice to "let it go" in this matter, of refuting an evidence-free empirical claim, to be unacceptable and inconsistent with truth-seeking.



@Shouperfluous — You don't understand the meaning of "direct refutation".  

An actual direct refutation of  THE CLAIM would be a quote from Yudkowsky to the effect that "my decision to censor mention/discussion of Roko's basilisk was in no way motivated by emotional reactions from members of 'the rationalist community' including but not limited to nervous breakdowns and nightmares.'

You might infer a refutation to the THE CLAIM from the above-linked post but your inference is not a "direct refutation".

@Shouperflous — Indeed.  You "must be misunderstanding".

1)  My goal is not to " get [my] opponents to shut up". My goal is to cause persons making evidence-free claims to  support those claims with evidence.  This is the opposite of causing someone to "shut up"; it is prompting someone to keep talking and provide evidence.

2) You appear to also misunderstand the  "argument from authority".  The argument from authority refers to an appeal to false authority on the topic at hand or a putatively authoritative person opining on a matter  while failing to engage with the evidence at hand.  A citation to an authoritative source on the norms of 'the rationality community' (e.g. The Sequences)  to the effect that 'it is a norm of 'the rationality community' that one responds to a challenge for evidence or withdraws the claim in dispute' is not an appeal to false authority.

[1] Given Hitchens's razor, I infer that that is, or should be, OBVIOUS to any 'rationalist'  that evidence-free claims, when challenged, must be supported with evidence or withdrawn.

@ Shouperfluous: Would you please reread the post to which you are responding?  If you can in fact provide suitable evidence then would you please quote and cite it?

Please note my prior: "No one could provide evidence that THE CLAIM [ Yudkowsky censored mention of Roko's basilisk because it "caused some readers to have nervous breakdowns"] is false and sufficient to meet Wikipedia's evidentiary standards so as [to allow editing Wikipedia so as] to rebut or remove the THE CLAIM".

"No one could provide a citation to a specific denial from Yudkowsky that THE CLAIM did not figure into the decision to censor mention of Roko's basilisk.

I emphasize that the issue here is evidence "sufficient to meet Wikipedia's evidentiary standards".  You might not like Wikipedia's evidentiary standards.  I might share your dislike.  But that is not the point.  Wikipedia, not us, sets Wikipedia's evidentiary standard.

Addressing ...
... "The tradeoffs between the two cultures" and the advantages of one or the other and ...
... examining these takeoffs is for purposes of evaluating  Combat vs. Caring as truth-seeking tools —

We must bear in mind that when applying Caring norms, the claims made by a sufficiently emotionally brittle and/or exquisitely sensitive interlocutor can become unquestionable and unassailable by the truth-seeking process.

Any any attempt to invoke Caring norms needs to remain clearly cognizant that reality does not care about your feelings.


I propose these amendment to the essay at top:
1)  "Nurture Culture makes a lot of sense in a world where criticism and disagreement are often [or are perceived to be] an attack or threat."

2)  I question the reasonability of describing intellectual "criticism and disagreement" as "an attack or threat".  I propose that this change "an attack or threat" -> "a threat to the ego of the target of the criticism or rebuttal".

My waving a knife can be reasonably inferred to be "an attack or threat"  My statement that "your logic is faulty because ..." is not.  Claiming that one is being subjected to "an attack or threat" often seems  to be used as a rhetorical technique to chill comments that cannot be rebutted using reason, facts, and logic.

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