XiXiDu

XiXiDu's Comments

Breaking the vicious cycle

I don't have time to evaluate what you did, so I'll take this as a possible earnest of a good-faith attempt at something, and not speak ill of you until I get some other piece of positive evidence that something has gone wrong.

This will be my last comment and I am going to log out after it. If you or MIRI change your mind, or discover any evidence "that something has gone wrong", please let me know by email or via a private message on e.g. Facebook or some other social network that's available at that point in time.

A header statement only on relevant posts seems fine by me, if you have the time to add it to items individually.

Thanks.

I noticed that there is still a post mentioning MIRI. It is not at all judgemental or negative but rather highlights a video that I captured of a media appearance of MIRI on German/French TV. I understand this sort of posts not to be relevant posts for either deletion or any sort of header.

Then there is also an interview with Dr. Laurent Orseau about something you wrote. I added the following header to this post:

Note: I might have misquoted, misrepresented, or otherwise misunderstood what Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote. If this is the case I apologize for it. I urge you to read the full context of the quote.

Breaking the vicious cycle

Since you have not yet replied to my other comment, here is what I have done so far:

(1) I removed many more posts and edited others in such a way that no mention of you, MIRI or LW can be found anymore (except an occasional link to a LW post).[1]

(2) I slightly changed your given disclaimer and added it to my about page:

Note that I wrote some posts, posts that could previously be found on this blog, during a dark period of my life. Eliezer Yudkowsky is a decent and honest person with no ill intent, and anybody can be made to look terrible by selectively collecting all of his quotes one-sidedly as I did. I regret those posts, and leave this note here as an archive to that regret.

The reason for this alteration is that my blog has been around since 2001, and for most of the time it did not contain any mention of you, MIRI, or LW. For a few years it even contained positive referrals to you and MIRI. This can all be checked by looking at e.g. archive.org for domains such as xixidu.com. I estimate that much less than 1% of all content over those years has been related to you or MIRI, and even less was negative.

But my previous comment, in which I asked you to consider that your suggested header would look really weird and confusing if added to completely unrelated posts, still stands. If that's what you desire, let me know. But I hope you are satisfied with the actions I took so far.

[1] If I missed something, let me know.

Breaking the vicious cycle

I apologize for any possible misunderstanding in this comment. My reading comprehension is often bad.

I know that in the original post I offered to add a statement of your choice to any of my posts. I stand by this, although I would have phrased this differently now. I would like to ask you to consider that there are also personal posts which are completely unrelated to you, MIRI, or LW. Such as photography posts and math posts. It would be really weird and confusing to readers to add your suggested header to those posts. If that is what you want, I will do it.

You also mention that I could delete my site (I already deleted a bunch of posts related to you and MIRI). I am not going to do that, as it is my homepage and contains completely unrelated material. I am sorry if I possibly gave a false impression here.

You further talk about withdrawing entirely from all related online discussions. I am willing to entirely stop to add anything negative to any related discussion. But I will still use social media to link to material produced by MIRI or LW (such as MIRI blog posts) and professional third party critiques (such as a possible evaluation of MIRI by GiveWell) without adding my own commentary.

I stand by what I wrote above, irrespective of your future actions. But I would be pleased if you maintain a charitable portrayal of me. I have no problem if you in future write that my arguments are wrong, that I have been offending, or that I only have an average IQ etc. But I would be pleased if you abstain from portraying me as an evil person, or that I deliberately lie. Stating that I misrepresented you is fine. But suggesting that I am a malicious troll who hates you is what I strongly disagree with.

As evidence that I mean what I write I now deleted my recent comments made on reddit.

Breaking the vicious cycle

I already deleted the 'mockery index' (which had included a disclaimer for some months that read that I distant myself from those outsourced posts). I also deleted the second post you mentioned.

I changed the brainwash post to 'The Singularity Institute: How They Convince You' and added the following disclaimer suggested by user Anatoly Vorobey:

I wrote the post below during years in which, I now recognize, I was locked in a venom-filled flamewar against a community which I actually like and appreciate, despite what I perceive as its faults. I do not automatically repudiate my arguments and factual points, but if you read the below, please note that I regret the venom and the personal attacks and that I may well have quote-mined and misrepresented persons and communities. I now wish I wrote it all in a kinder spirit.

I also completely deleted the post 'Why you should be wary of the Singularity Institute'.

Yesterday I also deleted the Yudkowsky quotes page and the personality page.

Breaking the vicious cycle

Yes, it was a huge overreaction on my side and I shouldn't have written such a comment in the first place. It was meant as an explanation of how that post came about, it was not meant as an excuse. It was still wrong. The point I want to communicate is that I didn't do it out of some general interest to cause MIRI distress.

I apologize for offending people and overreacting to what I perceived the way I described it but which was, as you wrote, not that way. I already deleted that post yesterday.

Breaking the vicious cycle

To make the first step and show that this is not some kind of evil ploy, I now deleted the (1) Yudkowsky quotes page and (2) the post on his personality (explanation on how that post came about).

I realize that they were unnecessarily offending and apologize for that. If I could turn back the clock I would do a lot differently and probably stay completely silent about MIRI and LW.

Breaking the vicious cycle

Also, the page where you try to diagnos him with narsisism just seems mean.

I can clarify this. I never intended to write that post but was forced to do so out of self-defense.

I replied to this comment whose author was wondering why Yudkowsky is using Facebook more than LessWrong these days. To which I replied with an on-topic speculation based on evidence.

Then people started viciously attacking me, to which I had to respond. In one of those replies I unfortunately used the term "narcissistic tendencies". I was then again attacked for using that term. I defended my use of that term with evidence, the result of which is that post.

What do you expect that I do when I am mindlessly attacked by a horde of people? That I just leave it at that and let my name being dragged into dirt?

Many of my posts and comments are direct responses to personal attacks on me from LessWrong members.

Breaking the vicious cycle

I think it is more like you went through all the copies of Palin's school newspaper, and picked up some notes she passed around in class, and then published the most outrageous things she said in such a way that you implied they were written recently.

This is exactly the kind of misrepresentation that make me avoid deleting my posts. Most of the most outrageous things he said have been written in the past ten years.

I suppose you are partly referring to the quotes page? Please take a look, there are only two quotes that are older than 2004, for one of which I explicitly note that he doesn't agree with it anymore, and a second which I believe he still agrees with.

Those two quotes that are dated before 2004 are the least outrageous. They are there mainly to show that he has long been believing into singularitarian ideas and that he can save the world. This is important in evaluating how much of the later arguments are rationalizations of those early beliefs. Which is in turn important because he's actually asking people for money and giving a whole research field a bad name with his predictions about AI.

Breaking the vicious cycle

If you feel there was something wrong about your articles, why can't you write it there, using your own words?

I made bad experiences with admitting something like that. I once wrote on Facebook that I am not a high IQ individual and got responses suggesting that now everyone can completely ignore me and everything I say is garbage. If I look at the comments to this post, my perception is that many people understood it as some kind of confession that everything I ever wrote is just wrong and that they can subsequently ignore everything else I might ever write. If the disclaimer was written by a third independent party, then I thought that this would show that I am willing to let the opponents voice their disagreement, and that I concede the possibility of being wrong.

I noticed that many people who read my blog take it much too seriously. I got emails praising me for what I have written. Which made me feel very uncomfortable, since I have not invested the necessary thoughtfulness in wirting those posts. They were never meant for other people to form a definitive opinion about MIRI, like some rigorous review by GiveWell. But this does not mean that they are random bullshit as people like to conclude when I admit this.

Sorry for using this analogy, but once I had a stalker, and she couldn't resist sending me e-mails, a few of them every day. And anything I did, or didn't do, was just a pretext for sending another e-mail. Like, she wrote ten e-mails about how she wants to talk with me, or asking me what am I doing right now, or whether I have seen this or that article on the web.

Hmm...I think my problems would be analog to loving you but wanting to correct some character mistakes you have. Noticing that you perceive this to be stalking would make me try to communicate that I really don't want to harass you, since I actually like you very much, but that I think you should stop farting in public.

The point I want to make here is that while you believe your offer to MIRI is generous, to MIRI it may seem like yet another step in an endless unproductive debate they want to avoid completely.

This seems obvious when it comes to your stalker scenario. But everything that involves MIRI involves a lot of low probability high utility considerations which really break my mind. I thought years about whether I should stop criticizing MIRI because I might endanger a future galactic civilization if the wrong person reads my posts and amplifies their effect. But I know that fully embracing this line of reasoning would completely break my mind.

I am not joking here. I find a lot of MIRI's beliefs to be absurd, yet I have always been susceptible to their line of argumentation. I believe that it is very important to solve this meta-issue of how to decide such things rationally. And the issues surrounding MIRI seem to be perfectly suited to highlight this problematic issue.

Breaking the vicious cycle

You don't need to delete any of your posts or comments. What I mainly fear is that if I was to delete posts, without linking to archived versions, then you would forever go around implying that all kinds of horrible things could have been found on those pages, and that me deleting them is evidence of this.

If you promise not to do anything like that, and stop portraying me as somehow being the worst person on Earth, then I'll delete the comments, passages or posts that you deem offending.

But if there is nothing reasonable I could do to ever improve your opinion of me (i.e. other than donating all my money to MIRI), as if I committed some deadly sin, then this is a waste of time.

I would be willing to delete them because they offend certain people and could have been written much more benignly, with more rigor, and also because some of them might actually be misrepresentations which I accidentally made. Another reason for deletion would be that they have negative expected value, not because the arguments are necessarily wrong.

And if you agree, then please think about the Streisand effect. And if you e.g. ask me to delete my basilisk page, think about whether people could start believing that I take it seriously and as a result take it more seriously themselves. I have thought about this before and couldn't reach a conclusive answer.

This is obviously not an agreement to delete everything you might want, such as my interview series.

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