Brienne noticed this and asked me why I was so defensive all the time, and I thought about it, and I realized that my id had a pretty good answer.
I like discussion, debate, and reasoned criticism. There are endless sources of negative affect you can use. You can accuse them of condoning terrorism, or bullying, or violence, or rape. You can call them racist or sexist, you can call them neckbeards or fanboys. You can accuse them of being pseudoscientific denialist crackpots.
If you do this enough, the group gradually becomes disreputable. If you really do it enough, the group becomes so toxic that it becomes somewhere between a joke and a bogeyman. Their supporters will be banned on site from all decent online venues.
Their concerns will be turned into bingo cards for easy continue reading. And in a whole lot of Internet arguments, doing that to a whole group of people seems to be the explicit goal. It means accusing someone of being something, in here way that actually turns them into that thing. Declaring a group toxic has much the same effect.
The average group has everyone Top Essay Editing Websites Gb well-connected reasonable establishment members to average Joes to horrifying loonies. The average Joes are now isolated, holding an opinion with no support among experts and trend-setters, so they slowly become uncomfortable and flake away as well.
Now there are just the horrifying loonies, who, Top Essay Editing Websites Gb from the stabilizing influence of the upper orders, are able to up their game and be even loonier and more horrifying. Whatever accusation was leveled against the group to begin with is now almost certainly true. I have about a dozen real-world examples of this, but all of them would be so mind-killing as to dominate the comments to the just click for source of my actual point, so generate them on your own and then shut up about them — in the meantime, I will use a total hypothetical.
Christianity has people like Alvin Plantinga and Ross Douthat who are clearly very respectable and key it into the great status-conferring institutions like academia and journalism. It has a bunch of middle-class teachers and plumbers and officer workers who go to church and raise money to send Bibles to Africa and try not to sin too much. Imagine that Christianity suffers a sudden total dramatic in prestige, to the point where wearing a cross becomes about as socially acceptable as waving a Confederate flag.
The next Alvin Plantinga chooses a field other than philosophy of religion, because no college would consider granting him tenure for that. With no Christians in public life or academia, Christianity starts to seem like a weird belief that intelligent people never support, much like homeopathy or creationism.
The Christians have lost their air support, so to speak. Gradually the field is ceded more and more to the people waving signs and screaming about fornicators. The opponents of Christianity ramp up their attacks that all Christians are ignorant and hateful, and this is now a pretty hard charge to defend against, given the demographic.
The few remaining moderates, being viewed suspiciously in churches that are now primarily sign-waver dominated and being genuinely embarrassed to be associated with them, bail at an increased rate, leading their comrades to bail at an even faster rate, until eventually it is entirely the sign wavers. I think this is sort of related to what Eliezer calls evaporative cooling of group beliefsbut not quite the same.
In quite a number of the most toxic and hated groups around, I feel like I can trace a history where the group once had some pretty good points and pretty good people, until they were destroyed from the outside by precisely this process. There is some good criticism, where people discuss the ways that groups are factually wrong or not very helpful, and then those groups debate that, and then maybe everyone is better off. I support some groups that are a little weird, and therefore especially vulnerable to having people try to push them into the event horizon.
And as far as I can tell, the best way to let that happen is to let other people load those groups with negative affect and do nothing about it. I judge people based on how likely they are to do this to me. Yes, many of them are very nice people who will never use the superweapon, but many others look like very nice Top Essay Editing Websites Gb right up to the point where I disagree with them in earnest at which point they vaporize me and my entire social group.
That means that the safest debate partners, the ones you can most productively engage, will be the people who have already been dismissed by everyone else. They are already closer to the black hole than I am, and so they have no power to load me with negative affect or destroy my reputation. This reduces them to the extraordinary last resort of debating with actual facts and evidence.
Even better, it gives me a credible reason to believe that they will. Scholar B was publishing all this stuff falsely Top Essay Editing Websites Gb Scholar A of misconduct, calling him a liar and a fraud, personally harassing him, and falsely accusing Scholar A of personally harassing him Scholar B.
It is really easy for me to see the path where rationalists and effective altruists become a punch line and a punching bag. Having all of those be wrong is no defense, unless somebody turns it into such. If no one makes it reputationally costly to lie, people will keep lying. All you need continue reading this to happen is one or two devoted detractors, and boy do we have them.
First, give up on ever having the support Top Essay Editing Websites Gb important institutions like journalism and academia and business, slide into the black hole, and accept decent and interesting conversations with other black hole denizens as a consolation prize while also losing the chance at real influence or attracting people not already part of the movement.
Or, second, call out every single bad argument, make the insults and mistruths reputationally costly enough that people think at least a little before doing them — and end up with a reputation for being nitpicky, confrontational and fanatical all the time.
I think the best strategy would be the one most people with reputations read more protect follow, a strategy to which this blog conforms.
That is, you engage with the critics enough to fight back, but you also mainly keep talking about all the things that make you reputable in the first place, and try to keep yourself above the fray a little bit.
If the bulk of what you produce comes to be about the controversy, then your critics have defined the conversation. I admit this trap is much harder to avoid if the critics are persistent and loud and pointed, like Scholar B was.
This blog conforms to this strategy because although you do write very long posts on controversial areas with regretful tags attachedmuch of the time you are producing data-based commentary on a range of topics. This commentary has established you as a respectable writer, so that Top Essay Editing Websites Gb people populi?
I really like your analysis of an event horizon for projective identification. Scott has done very poorly at this for the past couple weeks, though. That seems to be a slightly uncharitable ratio, but the point stands even with my tally. I would count what you call the Taubes post as content, since most of it was generally applicable and he used the Taubes case more as a background example than the content of the post.
I also think these two article source posts were both a relatively even mix of defense and content.
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Even counting that way, though, you get 4-or-5 content to 3 defensive. This seems like a broadly countersignaling strategy: The urge to engage in point-by-point refutations — defensiveness, basically — is one I think you should resist. Even if those type of arguments tend to be a hallmark of the less powerful and can therefore make you look insecure, I believe they are necessary. As an example, look at atheism. Atheists used to be a tiny minority with no social clout and thus had no choice but to use painstaking, detailed logic to address every ridiculous criticism lobbed against them.
But that painstaking logic eventually won people over, and being an atheist is no longer considered nearly as weird or threatening. That seems to be a side-effect of getting bigger and more powerful.
For smaller belief systems that are teetering on the edge of the black hole, those kind of nitty-gritty logical arguments are the only thing that will keep them from falling off, and will eventually push them toward a position of power where they can become poisoned with complacency and intellectual laziness and then the cycle starts over again.
Then once the group gets large enough to have some kind of mainstream visibility, it gets picked up and spread further by memes that have little to do with logic. Connor Flexman — I like the timing issue you raise.
When is a movement or person well-established enough for a counter-signaling strategy — or a strategy at least partially composed of counter-signaling — to become effective? Same goes for Mormonism to a much lesser degree. And so it could just be click at this page productive, and enjoyable. Make a Black Hole Kingdom and wait for the crazy universe outside to inevitably crumble?
Taken to its logical extrame, this implies that the public might get more sympathetic to nazis and pedophiles if those two groups were to have otherwise very pleasant conversations about art and literature, and have open threads and such with really funny articles and whatnot in them.
Status sovereignty is one option — creating more valuable internal awards of status, sufficient to reduce or eliminate the risk of moderates being pressured out.
Another option is the converse: Either way, cultivating outcome-independence helps harden against this particular threat.
For a movement like rationalism, having kind words, or at least having ideas accepted, Top Essay Editing Websites Gb a the? Money and power are much lesser considerations. Scientologists are prone to use lawyers, blackmail, and allegedly even violence against their critics.
Lo, by the power of Science, I have made my prediction, I perform the experiment: Scott Alexander, I call on you to reveal to us Truth!
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If two people hear the same word A, and interpret it as punning on different words B and C, while the speaker intended a non-punning word D, how many puns are there? Here the criticism are just scare mongering, and I ignore them, which results in me getting some free publicity. The rationalist and to a lesser extent, effective altruist project is sufficiently unusual that most outsiders on first Top Essay Editing Websites Gb it are not going to know what to make of it.
Agreement, but Topher is sufficiently well-known that he gave a talk at EA Global. LessWrong becomes about Roko, even if very few LessWrongers care about or even understand the point Roko was trying to bring up; NRx has to bypass the accusations of racism or monarchy cargo cults; the ant tribe becomes about women. When the group with the smaller megaphone get harassed, when they get fired for contact with ants, when they get bomb threats, etc.
Part of the problem — and this is a separate post — is that some groups reach a point where they have a lot of members link seem to be more interested in repeating and signal-boosting criticism of the group than praise of the group.
I think LW got to this point a while ago, and EA is reaching it. Perhaps it was better when conversations were private by default.
I believe you have already done a great job with the articles about bravery debates. Eliezer wrote a bit about the sin of underconfidence. Maybe it would be worth saying that it applies not only to individuals, but also Top Essay Editing Websites Gb groups. There are some recent examples that I remember: We used to worry about what RationalWiki writes about us; see more articles are still there, no one cares anymore.
When was the last debate whether LW is cultish? So, some criticism survives and gets signal-boosted, but other criticism gets ignored. What makes the difference? It is just old stuff vs. But what about not-particularly-clever-but-still-addressing-a-legitimate-problem arguments?