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Alan Forrester

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Oct 17, 2020, 6:20:48 AM10/17/20
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This is a blog post about a question I was asked in Discord:

https://conjecturesandrefutations.com/2020/10/17/the-state-is-not-your-friend/

Alan

Elliot Temple

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Oct 17, 2020, 2:07:27 PM10/17/20
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On Oct 17, 2020, at 3:20 AM, 'Alan Forrester' via Fallible Ideas <fallibl...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

> This is a blog post about a question I was asked in Discord:

Discord chats are public. You can name me.

> https://conjecturesandrefutations.com/2020/10/17/the-state-is-not-your-friend/

Post says:

> They [the govt] are not serving anybody by threatening Grimes.


They sorta are since they have lots of citizens who want Grimes threatened.

> Are mortgage going to be forced to provide such mortgages?

typo

> What will effect will that have on incentives to build?

typo

> It’s not like they have a reply to Mises pointing out flaws in his ideas.

Most of them are social climbers, not intellectuals.

> People in the UK worship the state and even when they disagree with the government in power.

Over-generalization condemning “People in the UK” with no “most” or “many”, and typo.

> Is there something wrong with what I’m saying?

Some thoughts:

Are your tweets what John Galt or Howard Roark would tweet?

What is the purpose of the tweets? What is you goal(s) and what is your means of achieving it? Do you have a plan?

Are you trying to educate or persuade people? I think that’d take more explanation than you do in the tweets. And signaling libertarian tribe allegiance (as people will see it) causes some problems there. Part of those problems are due to genuine flaws with the libertarian tribe.

Some of these tweets don’t signal openness to discussion or having high quality reasoning to available in your mind to elaborate on the claims in the tweets. There are a lot of shallow tweets, including which make correct claims, whose authors couldn’t explain much more than they said in their tweet. Some of your tweets poorly differentiate yourself from those authors (even though you actually do know a bunch more arguments and info).

Why be into politics like this? Are you having fun? Do you think it provides practical benefit to you? Why don’t you do other things like physics or epistemology?


Brief comments on a couple more similar tweets:

https://twitter.com/alan_forrester/status/1304740847540371464

>> “we never seriously believed that the EU would be willing to use a treaty, negotiated in good faith, to blockade one part of the UK, to cut it off, or that they would actually threaten to destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK.”

>

> The govt didn't think a customs union would try to impose tariffs on a non-member state. They won't think about the consequences of statism because that would prevent them from indulging in it.

The quote from some govt employee is propaganda. It’s not about accurately representing their thought processes. Saying they never believed it would happen is a way of calling the actions unreasonable. He’s speaking more socially than literally. At least that’s my guess using this limited evidence.


https://twitter.com/alan_forrester/status/1300339356524310528

> The government is your enemy. They're not trying to help you. They're not trying to make your life better. All you are is tax cattle.

The context is a plastic bag tax.

“tax cattle” is an exaggeration or underspecified metaphor or something. And your position is underexplained/underargued (you don’t try to make arguments about plastic bags or environmentalism, not even brief ones, nor do you link any).


Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

Alan Forrester

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Oct 17, 2020, 4:56:43 PM10/17/20
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On 17 Oct 2020, at 19:07, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

> On Oct 17, 2020, at 3:20 AM, 'Alan Forrester' via Fallible Ideas <fallibl...@googlegroups.com> wrote:
>
>> This is a blog post about a question I was asked in Discord:
>
> Discord chats are public. You can name me.
>
>> https://conjecturesandrefutations.com/2020/10/17/the-state-is-not-your-friend/
>
> Post says:
>
>> They [the govt] are not serving anybody by threatening Grimes.
>
>
> They sorta are since they have lots of citizens who want Grimes threatened.
>
>> Are mortgage going to be forced to provide such mortgages?
>
> typo
>
>> What will effect will that have on incentives to build?
>
> typo

I have corrected the typos.

>> It’s not like they have a reply to Mises pointing out flaws in his ideas.
>
> Most of them are social climbers, not intellectuals.

Yes.

>> People in the UK worship the state and even when they disagree with the government in power.
>
> Over-generalization condemning “People in the UK” with no “most” or “many”, and typo.

Yes.

>> Is there something wrong with what I’m saying?
>
> Some thoughts:
>
> Are your tweets what John Galt or Howard Roark would tweet?
>
> What is the purpose of the tweets? What is you goal(s) and what is your means of achieving it? Do you have a plan?
>
> Are you trying to educate or persuade people? I think that’d take more explanation than you do in the tweets. And signaling libertarian tribe allegiance (as people will see it) causes some problems there. Part of those problems are due to genuine flaws with the libertarian tribe.
>
> Some of these tweets don’t signal openness to discussion or having high quality reasoning to available in your mind to elaborate on the claims in the tweets. There are a lot of shallow tweets, including which make correct claims, whose authors couldn’t explain much more than they said in their tweet. Some of your tweets poorly differentiate yourself from those authors (even though you actually do know a bunch more arguments and info).
>
> Why be into politics like this? Are you having fun? Do you think it provides practical benefit to you? Why don’t you do other things like physics or epistemology?

It’s not fun or beneficial. I should stop.

I’m annoyed because I think people should know better about this stuff than they do. But they don’t know any better so there’s no point in getting annoyed.

I think I liked twitter because I could see lots of stuff. But now I’m thinking it’s low quality stuff so I think I’m filling my life with crap.

I think I’m not going to bother with twitter much anymore. I don’t think any of the tweets you quoted were good. I lowered my standards. I might tweet out links to blog posts but I don’t think I’ll do anything else.

Thanks for the criticism.

Alan

Elliot Temple

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Oct 17, 2020, 7:00:02 PM10/17/20
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Yeah it’s lame. The world is worse in a lot of ways than:

1) it should be for many definitions of “should”

2) ~everyone says it is

3) my parents and teachers told me it is

4) DD told me it is

If you go back 15 years people broadly had an even higher opinion of the world. And now they’ve lowered their opinion due to more visible political conflict, polarization, division, etc. But they still don’t understand tons of the problems and most of the people are wrong about lots of the things they think are bad.

*Feeling* annoyed is broadly unhelpful but understandable, especially if mild. Having some emotions, even ones that aren’t helpful, is normal and not necessarily a big deal. If you feel strongly about it or find the feelings disruptive then they might be a priority to change.

---

People ought to know/learn more but don’t. One can try to take action related to that problem (don’t have to; not your responsibility; Atlas is allowed to Shrug; but you can; I do some). But Twitter isn’t the way to change it. Blogging is way more productive IMO. Or posting at my forums. Twitter isn’t for intellectual discussion. Twitter is for tribalist yelling, with some decent factual info mixed in, but it’s awful for discussion and complicated reasoning. If you were e.g. a journalist who had some news to share then maybe Tweeting would be good.

If you tweeted multi-tweet explanations, like Reisman does, I think it’d be better. But I think blogging or posting at a discussion forum makes more sense than that (though mirroring to twitter is no big deal).

If you want to improve stuff you need to come up with more of a plan. Or do dual purpose stuff, e.g. blog primarily cuz you like to write it and think about things, and then if it helps improve the world that’s an optional bonus.


> I think I liked twitter because I could see lots of stuff. But now I’m thinking it’s low quality stuff so I think I’m filling my life with crap.

I’ve been reading this small list of Twitter accounts:

https://twitter.com/i/lists/1157142697246748672

The only non-FI people are patio11, stucchio and George Reisman. You can use that link or recreate the same list on your own account to use on mobile. On iOS I can swipe back and forth between my full feed and that list; it’s easy/convenient (I occasionally skim my full feed but not often). You can also follow my list but I’m not sure how that works.

I used to have a few others like David Horowitz but I reduced the amount of politics. I’ve tried some other people like Eliezer Yudkowsky but I found their stuff wasn’t good enough.

Previously I followed more people and got more info on Twitter but I got tired of it. I do think some decent political info gets spread around Twitter, e.g. deplatforming and censorship type announcements and newspapers and politicians being caught being dishonest. Often Twitter will have some info about a news story that CNN is trying not to tell you. That stuff is OK though I don’t like to follow the news very closely. I’ve hardly paid any attention to the election though I did see the Hunter Biden story and the suppression of it. Twitter also had some good info about covid early on.

Reisman mirrors his stuff to his blog but patio11 and stucchio have lots of Twitter-only content so I plan to keep checking twitter regularly. patio11 is pretty consistently high quality. stucchio is more mixed but I find his stuff (majority is retweets) interesting enough.

> I think I’m not going to bother with twitter much anymore. I don’t think any of the tweets you quoted were good. I lowered my standards. I might tweet out links to blog posts but I don’t think I’ll do anything else.
>
> Thanks for the criticism.

I don’t tweet links to my blog posts and actually disabled the automatic youtube links after I found that Twitter mildly shadowbanned me (hiding some of my replies behind a click to see hidden tweets kinda button. i don’t know how often or why). I also stopped retweeting or posting to twitter in general.

I don’t think tweeting blog links is a big deal or bad. You can if you want. I don’t do that because twitter is not where I want to build an audience. And I don’t have a lot of twitter followers who don’t follow me elsewhere. It might be worth tweeting once a month for a year or two to try to make sure those people know about my other stuff but i probably won’t bother. But I’m not boycotting the site. I did tweet recently because I wrote something related to Reisman and wanted to tell him. I’ll still have a conversation on Twitter if it’s a convenient way to communicate with a specific person.

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

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