guy comes to blog comments, has a bad time

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Elliot Temple

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Jul 11, 2018, 7:33:46 PM7/11/18
to FI, FIGG
http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10037

the comment i linked is the first one in the thread after a year of silence.

that guy did not get what he wanted. had a bad time, could easily just give up and never come back already.

what would have gotten a better outcome? what did he want? what replies would he have liked? is there any way he would have had a critical conversation? any way he would have addressed any meta discussion instead of hating it? any way he would have learned much or shared any good ideas? (i’m pretty confident he doesn’t have any straightforwardly valuable ideas to offer.) any way this could have been the beginning of a journey of infinite progress? was he just looking for a short-term self-esteem boost, or entertainment. is he never imagining himself as someone who could ever contribute much to human knowledge, and just not even thinking to aim for that?

thoughts?

when writing this, the last comment in the discussion was:

http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10046

but before i sent it the anon posted again, not especially hostile but also no more clear than before, and not addressing the questions asked (including the non-meta questions). he seems to have no clue what clarifying is or how to do it, and is having trouble conceiving of things like “maybe he doesn’t know what i mean by ‘determine’”. but at the same time he’s equivocating with his use of words!

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

anonymous FI

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Jul 11, 2018, 7:50:26 PM7/11/18
to FIGG, FI
He's such a hypocrite. When he wrote:

> Your hostility is breathtaking.

That was a very hostile comment. But he's only concerned with my alleged
hostility, and not his own open hostility. It was an accusation. It was
aggressive, personal, and nasty. And even if I had been hostile, and I
started it, calling my hostility "breathtaking" would be an openly,
directly hostile reply that was totally unnecessary.

Now he acts like he never said it, rather than do any kind of
clarifying, retracting, or problem solving. He clearly didn't like
something I said. But he refuses to tell me what it was. He refuses to
make a request that I change something. He refuses to discover if it was
a misunderstanding on his part. He's sabotaging like hell.

and he doesn't want to hear a word of personal criticism but he's
dishonestly equivocating and *creating the confusions* in the
discussion. that's not really ignorable. how are we ever going to
clarify stuff without going through: in message X he used word Y to mean
Z. but then in message A he used word Y to mean W. and then in message B
it mean Z again. and if we make that clear enough, he will feel
criticized and attacked – because in fact he fucked up, and he doesn't
want it exposed. but if we don't make that clear, the conversation won't
become clear. i suppose in theory he could stop equivocating going
forward and restate things, but he's hostile to that – he's taking
the position he was already clear, i'm screwing up the discussion, i
should better engage with what he already said, etc...


PS there's a standard pattern where people are hostile (and often blame
you for the hostility) and then they deny it and keep talking a bit and
then they disappear after their next break from the discussion. cuz they
don't like it, and their faking of non-hostility is short-lived. i
suspect this may happen. he might reply a couple more times today but i
doubt that, tomorrow, he'll want to return to something he had negative
feelings about. he won't want to relive the negative experience after it
stops, which is different than continuing it right now.

GISTE

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Jul 11, 2018, 8:19:16 PM7/11/18
to FIGG, FI

On Jul 11, 2018, at 6:50 PM, anonymous FI
i’m not sure what happened with the poster you’re talking about but
i have a theory explains an aspect of it.

he’s discussing as if it is an IRL discussion where you can’t pause
to review and quote older parts of the discussion. he’s in
IRL-discussion-mode.

i’ve made this mistake (of treating email and chat discussions like
IRL discussions) a lot. i think i don’t do it much anymore.

i’ve noticed that i’ve been more likely to make this mistake if
i’m emotional (negative and positive emotions included, like being
agitated or excited/happy). like even if i was doing ok in an email
discussion (doing plenty of pausing to review and quote older parts of
the discussion), and then i get emotional, i’d switch to IRL mode
without realizing it. as if i forgot everything about how to have
asynchronous discussion.

at the moment the poster came to the conclusion that Anon was being
hostile, he was emotional. (i don’t know if he was or wasn’t in
IRL-discussion-mode prior to being emotional.)

maybe it would have helped the poster if he was told about this super
common mistake people make.

maybe it would help now too.

-- GISTE

Elliot Temple

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Jul 11, 2018, 8:30:28 PM7/11/18
to FIGG, FI
On Jul 11, 2018, at 5:15 PM, 'GISTE' via Fallible Ideas <fallibl...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

> On Jul 11, 2018, at 6:50 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Jul 11, 2018, at 4:33 PM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:
>>
>>> http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10037
>>>
>>> the comment i linked is the first one in the thread after a year of silence.
>>>
>>> that guy did not get what he wanted. had a bad time, could easily just give up and never come back already.
>>>
>>> what would have gotten a better outcome? what did he want? what replies would he have liked? is there any way he would have had a critical conversation? any way he would have addressed any meta discussion instead of hating it? any way he would have learned much or shared any good ideas? (i’m pretty confident he doesn’t have any straightforwardly valuable ideas to offer.) any way this could have been the beginning of a journey of infinite progress? was he just looking for a short-term self-esteem boost, or entertainment. is he never imagining himself as someone who could ever contribute much to human knowledge, and just not even thinking to aim for that?
>>>
>>> thoughts?
>>>
>>> when writing this, the last comment in the discussion was:
>>>
>>> http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10046
>>>
>>> but before i sent it the anon posted again, not especially hostile but also no more clear than before, and not addressing the questions asked (including the non-meta questions). he seems to have no clue what clarifying is or how to do it, and is having trouble conceiving of things like “maybe he doesn’t know what i mean by ‘determine’”. but at the same time he’s equivocating with his use of words!
>>
>> He's such a hypocrite. When he wrote:
>>
>>> Your hostility is breathtaking.
>>
>> That was a very hostile comment. But he's only concerned with my alleged hostility, and not his own open hostility. It was an accusation. It was aggressive, personal, and nasty. And even if I had been hostile, and I started it, calling my hostility "breathtaking" would be an openly, directly hostile reply that was totally unnecessary.
>>
>> Now he acts like he never said it, rather than do any kind of clarifying, retracting, or problem solving. He clearly didn't like something I said. But he refuses to tell me what it was. He refuses to make a request that I change something. He refuses to discover if it was a misunderstanding on his part. He's sabotaging like hell.
>>
>> and he doesn't want to hear a word of personal criticism but he's dishonestly equivocating and *creating the confusions* in the discussion. that's not really ignorable. how are we ever going to clarify stuff without going through: in message X he used word Y to mean Z. but then in message A he used word Y to mean W. and then in message B it mean Z again. and if we make that clear enough, he will feel criticized and attacked – because in fact he fucked up, and he doesn't want it exposed. but if we don't make that clear, the conversation won't become clear. i suppose in theory he could stop equivocating going forward and restate things, but he's hostile to that – he's taking the position he was already clear, i'm screwing up the discussion, i should better engage with what he already said, etc...
>>
>>
>> PS there's a standard pattern where people are hostile (and often blame you for the hostility) and then they deny it and keep talking a bit and then they disappear after their next break from the discussion. cuz they don't like it, and their faking of non-hostility is short-lived. i suspect this may happen. he might reply a couple more times today but i doubt that, tomorrow, he'll want to return to something he had negative feelings about. he won't want to relive the negative experience after it stops, which is different than continuing it right now.
>
> i’m not sure what happened with the poster you’re talking about but i have a theory explains an aspect of it.
>
> he’s discussing as if it is an IRL discussion where you can’t pause to review and quote older parts of the discussion. he’s in IRL-discussion-mode.
>
> i’ve made this mistake (of treating email and chat discussions like IRL discussions) a lot. i think i don’t do it much anymore.

IRL-discussion-mode is a good concept.

I noticed he was slipping after he got emotional. You can see signs of it like more typos. And his quoting reverted from markdown style > to “”.

The quotes reverting from FI style to standard fits with getting into IRL-discussion-mode, being further from FI discussion mode.

> i’ve noticed that i’ve been more likely to make this mistake if i’m emotional (negative and positive emotions included, like being agitated or excited/happy). like even if i was doing ok in an email discussion (doing plenty of pausing to review and quote older parts of the discussion), and then i get emotional, i’d switch to IRL mode without realizing it. as if i forgot everything about how to have asynchronous discussion.

I have experience suggesting asyncronous discussion to people who are having problems. When I say “you don’t need to reply now; anytime in the next week would be fine” then they feel legitimized to leave the discussion now ... and never come back. They don’t know how to follow up later and/or don’t want to. Async discussion is not a skill they have. They are able to quit the discussion for the rest of today – that’s a thing they can do once given social permission (or mad enough) – but continuing over time isn’t a thing they know how to do.

> at the moment the poster came to the conclusion that Anon was being hostile, he was emotional.

yeah. and note that happened after only one post from Dagny. what a rush to judgment.

i suspect he felt lie he couldn’t have messed up as much as Dagny thought since he hadn’t said much yet. i think that was a factor – it was so early for Dagny to be recognizing and commenting on lots of errors. but actually his avg error rate is like 3/sentence so he was already past a dozen errors and Dagny didn’t even comment on the majority of them.

> (i don’t know if he was or wasn’t in IRL-discussion-mode prior to being emotional.)
>
> maybe it would have helped the poster if he was told about this super common mistake people make.
>
> maybe it would help now too.

I’m pretty confident it wouldn’t help – actually would hurt. He’d interpret critical meta discussion (like about discussion methodologies) as hostile personal attacks. Most people hate that stuff, and this guy in particular already repeatedly communicated that he hates that kinda stuff.


I posted to the discussion asking if he’d like to pick one topic to focus on.

Maybe if he accepts my frame, and follows my lead, discussion will be possible. Initially it had already gone wrong before Dagny’s first post. E.g. he brought up too many things at once with too little explanation of each (never mind him being wrong about some of the issues, you can’t really even get to that when the discussion is such a mess in methodological ways).

So for progress to happen he needed, from the very start, to change his approach to discussion. And I think he would have been hostile to saying that right away. But now that he and Dagny failed to make progress, maybe he’ll be willing to consider a change of approach. It’s hard though. People don’t want to do things your way...

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

anonymous FI

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Jul 12, 2018, 3:41:45 PM7/12/18
to FIGG, FI

On Jul 11, 2018, at 5:30 PM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

> I posted to the discussion asking if he’d like to pick one topic to
> focus on.
>
> Maybe if he accepts my frame, and follows my lead, discussion will be
> possible. Initially it had already gone wrong before Dagny’s first
> post. E.g. he brought up too many things at once with too little
> explanation of each (never mind him being wrong about some of the
> issues, you can’t really even get to that when the discussion is
> such a mess in methodological ways).
>
> So for progress to happen he needed, from the very start, to change
> his approach to discussion. And I think he would have been hostile to
> saying that right away. But now that he and Dagny failed to make
> progress, maybe he’ll be willing to consider a change of approach.
> It’s hard though. People don’t want to do things your way...

Yeah that didn't work. I tried to help. I asked him:

http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10057

> also, why are you ignoring ET for me? it's his blog, you seem to
> dislike me, and i thought his suggestion to pick one thing was
> productive. (on a related note, i'm not going to try to answer
> everything you said all at once. we need to slow down. if we address
> some things then we can get to others after. so this message
> intentionally tries to focus on one issue.)

But he ignored that in addition to ignoring you.

I think I'm about done. He can't even say what he means by one word, and
he doesn't want to let me lead the discussion, and he keeps introducing
new complexity or hostility. His replies aren't even in the ballpark. My
concluding summary:

http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10061

> You aren't explaining what you think "determine" means. You aren't
> even giving an answer in the right category. You haven't given
> something that even could be an answer, let alone one that addresses
> key issues like what knowledge is and whether fallible knowledge
> counts.
>
> My conclusions:
>
> - you are not a fluent English speaker
>
> - your internal thinking is confused in whatever language it's in.
> there are translation difficulties but they aren't the core issue
>
> - you're making tons of errors
>
> - you're blaming others for your errors
>
> - you think others are mistaken, when actually you're mistaken
>
> - you are hostile to criticism
>
> - you are hostile to discussion methodology discussion
>
> - you won't talk about your goals, skills, plans, what you want, what
> you're offering, how long you will stay (in any scenarios, i know it
> could vary), etc
>
> - you are hostile to meta discussion
>
> - you get emotional about criticism, meta discussion, mistakes, etc,
> and the emotions affect your discussion quality. and you externalize
> them and start accusing others of being emotional, hostile, etc. and
> you're quite eager to do that, you have a thin skin and don't put much
> effort into giving people the benefit of the doubt (you initially got
> upset after the very first reply, and it's been a recurring issue, but
> you don't want to do problem solving regarding it either. you wouldn't
> say which thing(s) upset you initially, or why, or any request for me
> to change anything. there was no problem solving possible, by your
> choice.)
>
> - you don't care much about your mistakes
>
> - you won't go slow and careful and try to get things right
>
> - you usually won't even try to answer questions
>
> - there's no one important philosophical topic you care about and want
> to discuss or focus on, and think you have anything good to say about
> (a solution to a problem)
>
> I think this is an impasse and you are blocking any paths forward.
> (Whether you even know what Paths Forward are is an example of the
> kind of question you've refused to answer, so I'm unable to know if
> you'll understand what I'm saying or not. I can't calibrate what I say
> to what you know and don't know because you refuse to help me do
> that.)

anonymous FI

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Jul 12, 2018, 6:59:34 PM7/12/18
to FIGG, FI

On Jul 12, 2018, at 12:41 PM, anonymous FI
I kept arguing with him at length after this.

The main problems are he isn't fluent at English or logic *and* he's
massively overreaching in those areas. He makes an English or logic
error, he's actually right and I'm wrong, and starts attacking. Repeat.

I think I made a mistake in the discussion by talking about more than
one thing at once. I'm going to stop doing that. If he replies I plan to
do only one thing at a time from now on.

The problem with saying multiple things is he kept picking some to
ignore, even when I asked him repeatedly to address them. See:

http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10111

and several posts near it, prior, where I keep asking him to address the
same issue. but he wouldn't without the ultimatum that i stop replying.
maybe he still won't.

if i never said more than one thing at once, it wouldn't get out of hand
like this in the first place. i think.

anonymous FI

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Jul 12, 2018, 7:01:36 PM7/12/18
to FIGG, FI

On Jul 12, 2018, at 3:59 PM, anonymous FI
<anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The main problems are he isn't fluent at English or logic *and* he's
> massively overreaching in those areas. He makes an English or logic
> error, THINKS he's actually right and I'm wrong, and starts
> attacking. Repeat.

I left out a word and it's confusing. I added THINKS back in above.

Elliot Temple

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Jul 12, 2018, 10:11:01 PM7/12/18
to FIGG, FI
On Jul 12, 2018, at 3:59 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I think I made a mistake in the discussion by talking about more than one thing at once. I'm going to stop doing that. If he replies I plan to do only one thing at a time from now on.
>
> The problem with saying multiple things is he kept picking some to ignore, even when I asked him repeatedly to address them. See:
>
> http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10111
>
> and several posts near it, prior, where I keep asking him to address the same issue. but he wouldn't without the ultimatum that i stop replying. maybe he still won't.
>
> if i never said more than one thing at once, it wouldn't get out of hand like this in the first place. i think.

I think the structure of conversations is a bigger contributor to the outcome than the content quality is. Maybe a LOT bigger.

In other words, improving the conversation structure would have helped with the outcome more than improving the quality of the points you made, explanations you gave, questions you asked, etc. Improving your writing quality or having better arguments doesn't matter all that much compared to structural issues like what your goals are, what his goals are, whether you mutually try to engage in cooperative problem solving as issues come up, who follows whose lead or is there a struggle for control, what methodological rules determine which things are ignorable and which are replied to, and what are the rules for introducing new topics, dropping topics, modifying topics?


Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

anonymous FI

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Jul 13, 2018, 12:20:07 AM7/13/18
to FIGG, FI
it's really hard to control discussion structure. people don't wanna
talk about it and don't want you to be in control. they don't wanna just
answer your questions, follow your lead, let you control discussion
flow. they fight over that. they connect control over the discussion
structure with being the authority – like teachers control
discussions and students don't.

people often get really hostile, really fast, when it comes to structure
stuff. they say you're dodging the issue. and they never have a
thought-out discussion methodology to talk about, they have nothing to
say. when it comes to the primary topic, they at least have fake or dumb
stuff to say, they have some sorta plan or strategy or ideas (or they
wouldn't be talking about). but with stuff about how to discuss, they
*can't* discuss it, and don't want to – it leads so much more quickly
and effectively to outing them as intellectual frauds. (doesn't matter
if that's your intent. they are outed because you're discussing
rationality more directly and they have nothing to say and won't do any
of the good ideas and don't know how to do the good ideas and can't
oppose them either).

sometimes people are OK with discussion methodology stuff like Paths
Forward when it's just sounds-good vague general stuff, but the moment
you apply it to them they feel controlled. they feel like you are
telling them what to do. they feel pressured, like they have to discuss
the rational way. so they rebel. even just direct questions are too
controlling and higher social status, and people rebel.

Elliot Temple

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Jul 13, 2018, 2:30:37 AM7/13/18
to FIGG, FI
some types of discussion structure. these aren’t about controlling the discussion, they are just different ways it can be organized. some are compatible with each other and some aren’t (you can have multiple from the list, but some exclude each other):

- asking and answering direct questions
- addressing unstated, generic questions like “thoughts on what i just said?”
- one person questioning the other who answers vs. both people asking and answering questions vs. some ppl ignoring questions
- arguing points back and forth
- saying further thoughts related to what last person said (relevance levels vary, can be like really talking past each other and staying positive, or can be actual discussion)
- pursuing a goal stated by one person
- pursuing a goal stated by two people and mutually agreed on
- pursuing different and unstated goals
- 3+ person discussion
- using quotes of the other discussion participants or not
- using cites/links to stuff outside the discussion or not
- long messages, short messages, or major variance in message length
- talking about one thing at a time
- trying to resolve issues before moving on vs. just rushing ahead into new territory while there are lots of outstanding unresolved points
- step by step vs. chaotic
- people keeping track of the outline or just running down rabbit holes

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Elliot Temple

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Jul 13, 2018, 2:46:41 AM7/13/18
to FIGG, FI
i’ve been noticing structure problems in discussions more in the last maybe 5 years. Paths Forward and Overreaching address them. lots of my discussions are very short b/c we get an impasse immediately b/c i try to structure the discussion and they resist.

like i ask them how they will be corrected if they’re wrong (what structural mechanisms of discussion do they use to allow error correction) and that ends the discussion.

or i ask like “if i persuade you of X, will you appreciate it and thank me?” before i argue X. i try to establish the meaning X will have in advance. why bother winning point X if they will just deny it means anything once you get there? a better way to structure discussion is to establish some stakes around X in advance, before it’s determined who is right about X.

i ask things like if they want to discuss to a conclusion, or what their goal is, and they won’t answer and it ends things fast

i ask why they’re here. or i ask if they think they know a lot or if they are trying to learn.

ppl hate all those questions so much. it really triggers the fuck out of them

they just wanna argue the topic – abortion or induction or whatever

asking if they are willing to answer questions or go step by step also pisses ppl off

asking if they will use quotes or bottom post. asking if they will switch forums. ppl very rarely venue switch. it’s really rare they will move from twitter to email, or from email to blog comments, or from blog comments to FI, etc

even asking if they want to lead the discussion and have a plan doesn’t work. it’s not just about me controlling the discussion. if i offer them control – with the caveat that they answer some basic questions about how they will use it and present some kinda halfway reasonable plan – they hate that too. cuz they don’t know how to manage the discussion and don’t want the responsibility or to be questioned about their skill or knowledge of how to do it.

structure/rules/organization for discussion suppresses ppl’s bullshit. it gives them less leeway to evade or rationalize. it makes discussion outcomes clearer. that’s why it’s so important, and so resisted.

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

GISTE

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Jul 13, 2018, 11:05:07 AM7/13/18
to FIGG, FI
can you give examples specific to parent and child discussions?

there are cases where one person (say the parent) wants to discuss X now
(instead of, or while, doing Y) and the other person (say the child)
doesn’t want to discuss X now.

that’s an example of discussion structure, right?

it’s a bad structure. a better structure would be if parent only talks
to child about things he wants to talk about at the time he wants to
talk about it.

-- GISTE

anonymous FI

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Jul 13, 2018, 1:22:02 PM7/13/18
to 'GISTE' via Fallible Ideas, FI

On Jul 13, 2018, at 8:01 AM, 'GISTE' via Fallible Ideas
look at what types of questions are asked and answered by each party.
parents and children question each other in asymmetric ways. children's
questions are controlled, limited, and topical. there's pressure against
"why". parents often ask questions about the child personally (why
didn't you do X?) but children don't get to ask parents questions like
that, children ask about the topic like "how big were dinosaurs?".

you can find similar dynamics anywhere with a large power imbalance.
e.g. student/teacher or CEO/secretary.

> there are cases where one person (say the parent) wants to discuss X
> now (instead of, or while, doing Y) and the other person (say the
> child) doesn’t want to discuss X now.

that is common with two adults. it's not specific to parent and child.

> that’s an example of discussion structure, right?
>
> it’s a bad structure. a better structure would be if parent only
> talks to child about things he wants to talk about at
> the time he wants to talk about it.

you didn't say what happens next. maybe child walks away and they don't
discuss. if that doesn't happen, what prevents it?

maybe parent *wants* to discuss, but doesn't, cuz his child doesn't want
to – all you stated was the parent's initial preference.

if they do discuss something now, you haven't said *what* they discuss.
they could discuss X against child's wishes. but they could discuss
whether or not to discuss X, which is not against child's wishes as you
presented them.

it's incomplete and also did you have some sort of question about it?

anonymous FI

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Jul 13, 2018, 8:34:33 PM7/13/18
to FIGG, FI
the structure or organization of a discussion includes the rules of the
game, like whether people should reply more *tomorrow* or whether it's
just a single day affair. the rules for what people consider reasonable
ways of *ending* a discussion are a big deal. is "i went to sleep and
then chose not to think about it the next day, or the next, or the
next..." a reasonable ending? should people actually make an effort to
avoid that ending, e.g. by using software reminders?

should people take notes on the discussion so they remember earlier
parts better? should they quote from old parts? should they
review/reread old parts?

a common view of discussion is: we debate issue X. i'm on side Y, you're
on side Z. and ppl only say stuff for their side. they only try to think
about things in a one-sided, biased way. they fudge and round everything
in their favor. e.g. if the number is 15, they will say "like 10ish" or
"barely over a dozen" if a smaller number helps their side. and the
other guy will call it "around 20" or "nearly 18".

a big part of structure is: do sub-plots resolve? say there's 3 things.
and you are trying to do one at a time, so you pick one of the 3 and
talk about that. can you expect to finish it and get back to the other 2
things, or not? is the discussion branching to new topics faster than
topics are being resolved? are topics being resolved at a rate that's
significantly different from zero, or is approximately nothing being
resolved?

another part of structure is how references/cites/links are used. are
ideas repeated or are pointers to ideas used? and do people try to make
stuff that is suitable for reuse later (good enough quality, general
purpose enough) or not? (a term similar to suitable for reuse is
"canonical").

Elliot Temple

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Jul 13, 2018, 9:50:03 PM7/13/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, FI
I already knew that structural knowledge is the majority of knowledge. Like a large software project typically has much more knowledge in the organization than the “payload” (aka denotation aka direct purpose). “refactoring" refers to changing only the structure while keeping the function/content/payload/purpose/denotation the same. refactoring is common and widely known to be important. it’s an easy way for people familiar with the field to see that significant effort goes into software knowledge structure cuz that is effort that’s pretty much *only* going toward structure. software design ideas like DRY and YAGNI are more about structure than content. how changeable software is is a matter of structure ... and most big software projects have a lot more effort put into changes (like bug fixes, maintenance and new features) than into initial development. so initial development should focus more effort on a good structure (to make changes easier) than on the direct content.

it does vary by software type. games are a big exception. most games they have most of their sales near release. most games aren’t updated or changed much after release. games still need pretty good structure though or it’d be too hard to fix enough the bugs during initial development to get it shippable. and they never plan the whole game from the start, they make lots of changes during development (like they try playing it and think it’s not fun enough, or find a particular part works badly, and change stuff to make it better), so structure matters. wherever you have change (including *error correction*), structure is a big deal. (and there’s plenty of error correction needed in all types of software dev that make substantial stuff. you can get away with very little when you write one line of low-risk code directly into a test-environment console and aren’t even going to reuse it.)

it makes sense that structure related knowledge is the majority of the issue for discussion. i figured that was true in general but hadn’t applied it enough. knowledge structure is hard to talk about b/c i don’t really have people who are competent to discuss it with me. it’s less developed and talked through than some other stuff like Paths Forward or Overreaching. and it’s less clear in my mind than YESNO.

so to make this clearer:

*structure is what determines changeability. various types of change are high value in general, including especially error correction. wherever you see change, especially error correction, it will fail without structural knowledge. if it’s working ok, there’s lots of structural knowledge.*

it’s like how the capacity to make progress – like being good at learning – is more important than how much you know how or how good something is now. like how a government that can correct mistakes without violence is better than one with fewer mistakes today. (in other words, the structure mistake of needing violence to correct some categories of mistake is a worse mistake than the non-structure mistake of taxing cigarettes and gas. the gas tax doesn’t make it harder to make changes and correct errors, so it’s less bad of a mistake in the long run.)


Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Anne B

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Jul 14, 2018, 2:10:20 AM7/14/18
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On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 7:50 PM anonymous FI
<anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> He's such a hypocrite. When he wrote:
>
> > Your hostility is breathtaking.
>
> That was a very hostile comment. But he's only concerned with my alleged
> hostility, and not his own open hostility. It was an accusation. It was
> aggressive, personal, and nasty. And even if I had been hostile, and I
> started it, calling my hostility "breathtaking" would be an openly,
> directly hostile reply that was totally unnecessary.

I've been trying to figure out what hostility is in the context of FI.
So I want to look at the paragraph that seems to have inspired the
"Your hostility is breathtaking" comment:

http://curi.us/1585-critical-preferences#c10041

> you can create knowledge about it. dunno why you're denying this. i guess because you don't see the role of criticism and CR in reaching positive answers to anything. well, why come here and assert that ET, KP, DD are wrong, indirectly, without addressing their published explanations? did you not realize people would disagree with you? you thought the response would be agreement that we just can't figure things out like in the quote you're arguing against? (it's weird to quote something, argue with it, then act like you except agreement)

I am not surprised that the Anonymous Visitor read this paragraph as
hostile. I am also not surprised that the Anonymous Regular who wrote
it didn't think it was hostile. I'm trying to figure out and
articulate why.

Some of my guesses why Anonymous Visitor thought the paragraph was hostile:

- It criticized some things he had done rather than what he had
explicitly written. That is, it criticized things he wasn't asking to
be criticized about and may not even have been aware of. In the non-FI
world this is considered hostile. It's not polite.

- The "dunno why you're denying this" part seems to be saying not only
that Anonymous Visitor was wrong to deny something but that it was so
strange for him to deny it that in doing so he mystified the wise
Anonymous Regular. Same with the "it's weird" comment.

My guess why Anonymous Regular didn't think the paragraph was hostile:
Criticism is always helpful, not hostile. People should want
criticism.

Or maybe Anonymous Regular did think the paragraph was a little bit
hostile/harsh, but thought that was necessary in order to nudge
Anonymous Visitor to see that he really had done some things wrong?

Or something else? I don't think I understand this very well.

anonymous FI

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Jul 14, 2018, 2:24:41 AM7/14/18
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in what way does it indicate a *hostile mindset* to *find someone
confusingly strange* (or even dumb)? evaluating something as bad or dumb
*is not hostility*.


> My guess why Anonymous Regular didn't think the paragraph was hostile:
> Criticism is always helpful, not hostile. People should want
> criticism.

that is not a primary issue. the primary issue is: hostility is a *state
of mind*. people can write criticism while unemotional. they can also
write criticism while happy or hostile. criticizing is compatible with
being hostile or not.

criticism isn't hostility in any kind of literal sense because writing a
criticism is not an emotion, feeling, mindset ... it's not even the same
category of thing.

> Or maybe Anonymous Regular did think the paragraph was a little bit
> hostile/harsh, but thought that was necessary in order to nudge
> Anonymous Visitor to see that he really had done some things wrong?

you write "hostile/harsh" as if they are the same thing when they are
different things. they aren't the same kind of thing. saying the
paragraph was hostile means you think the author was hostile – the
*author* has the "hostile" attribute. people have hostility, not
paragraphs. paragraphs communicate hostility. saying the paragraph was
harsh means the paragraph itself has the "harsh" attribute.

you can have all kinds of motivations for writing a harsh comment, from
hostility to thinking it's the best way to help.


> Or something else? I don't think I understand this very well.

look up "hostile" and "harsh" in a dictionary. you don't seem to have a
clear concept of the meanings of the words you're talking about (just
the standard meanings, i'm not talking about advanced philosophy)

---

the reason Anonymous Visitor thought the paragraph was hostile is that
Anonymous Visitor felt hostility (his own hostility) when he read it. he
*reacted emotionally* and *blamed others* and *didn't read in a careful
or literal way, just assumed that if he felt bad then the paragraph was
attacking him which indicates a hostile author*.

it's like how angry ppl think that *the fact that they feel angry* is
evidence they have a reason to be angry – someone actually did wrong
them, slight them, insult them, mistreat them, whatever.

Anne B

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Jul 14, 2018, 3:46:27 PM7/14/18
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Okay, I accept that hostility is a state of mind. A person can be
hostile but a paragraph can't.

I agree that the paragraph in question did not say that its author was
hostile. It did not say that its author felt enmity or antagonism
towards Anonymous Visitor.

However, Anonymous Visitor interpreted the paragraph using social
rules that he is used to from outside the FI world. These social rules
say something like: If someone offers criticism outside of certain
limited situations, that means they are hostile. If someone states or
implies that someone else is dumb, that means they are hostile. The
social rules tell us to only do these things if we want others to
think we are being hostile.

FI rejects these social rules. It rejects them because criticism is so
important that we don't want to limit it. It rejects them because
truth is so important that we don't want to hide it. Is this accurate?

anonymous FI

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Jul 14, 2018, 4:44:26 PM7/14/18
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Sounds about right.

The proper way to interpret hostility (or not) is by critically thinking
about explanations about why the author wrote stuff, rather than just
assuming that only a hostile person would provide or investigate
negative information.

Lots of people try to hide their problems instead of learning, but even
conventional people don't do that *consistently* and do appreciate some
criticism sometimes.

- Dagny

anonymous FI

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Jul 14, 2018, 4:48:32 PM7/14/18
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On Jul 14, 2018, at 1:44 PM, anonymous FI
Just saw this which makes a great follow-up comment:

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1017984286740434945

> Humanity, it seems, is divided into two categories: those who embrace
> criticism, and those who attack it. All progress comes from the former
> – who all too often have the dubious distinction of being hated by
> the latter.

the full article is paywalled

Kate Sams

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Jul 15, 2018, 12:39:40 PM7/15/18
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I’m trying to reconcile the following two explanations for *why* Anon Visitor thought the paragraph in question was hostile:

1. Above Anon FI says it’s because Anon Visitor felt his own hostility when he read the paragraph.

2. Above Anne B says it’s because Anon Visitor was following social rules when he read the paragraph.

How do you reconcile these explanations?


My vague, groping speculation:

Social rules give some guidance on when someone might have a hostile mindset. So, let’s suppose that Anon Visitor was uncritically relying on social rules when he felt the hostility.

But is something else required for him to feel the hostility in this particular situation? Does the person (Anon Visitor, in this case) *also* need to have a part of himself that has the capacity to be in a hostile mindset in situations like these?

Let’s also suppose that Anon Visitor has this hostility aspect of his own personality. It's this hostility aspect of himself that was triggered when reading the paragraph in question.

Why? Maybe it’s utterly foreign to him to write a paragraph with a critical, status-disregarding tone *without having his own hostility aspect involved*. So, he felt the hostility because his mind recognized the situation as one where his *own* hostility aspect would be involved.

Help plz.


Elliot Temple

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Jul 15, 2018, 1:35:46 PM7/15/18
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On Jul 13, 2018, at 6:49 PM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

> so to make this clearer:
>
> *structure is what determines changeability. various types of change are high value in general, including especially error correction. wherever you see change, especially error correction, it will fail without structural knowledge. if it’s working ok, there’s lots of structural knowledge.*
>
> it’s like how the capacity to make progress – like being good at learning – is more important than how much you know how or how good something is now. like how a government that can correct mistakes without violence is better than one with fewer mistakes today. (in other words, the structure mistake of needing violence to correct some categories of mistake is a worse mistake than the non-structure mistake of taxing cigarettes and gas. the gas tax doesn’t make it harder to make changes and correct errors, so it’s less bad of a mistake in the long run.)

Intro to knowledge structure (2010):

http://fallibleideas.com/knowledge-structure

Original posts after DD told me about it (2003)

http://curi.us/988-structural-epistemology-introduction-part-1
http://curi.us/991-structural-epistemology-introduction-part-2

The core idea of knowledge structure is that you can do the same task/function/content in different ways. You may think it doesn’t matter as long as the result is (approximately) the same, but the structure matters hugely if you try to change it so it can do something else.

“It” can be software, an object like a hammer, ideas, or processes (like the processes factory workers use). Different software designs are easier to add features to than others. You can imagine some hammer designs being easier to convert into a shovel than others. Some ideas are easier to change than others. Or imagine two essays arguing equally effectively for the same claim, and your task is to edit them to argue for a different conclusion – the ease of that depends on the internal design of the essays. And for processes, for example the more the factory workers have each memorized a single task, and don’t understand anything, the more difficult a lot of changes will be (but not all – you could convert the factory to build something else if you came up with a way to build it with simple, memorizable steps). Also note the ease of change often depends on what you want to change to. Each design makes some sets of potential changes harder or easier.



Back to the ongoing discussion (which FYI is exploratory rather than having a clear conclusion):

“structure” is the word DD used. Is is the right word to use all the time?

Candidate words:

- structure (DD’s word)
- design
- organization
- internal design
- internal organization
- form
- layout
- style
- plan
- outline

I think “design” and “organization” are good words. “Form” can be good contextually.

What about words for the non-structure part?

- denotation (DD’s word)
- content
- function
- payload
- direct purpose
- level one purpose
- task
- main point
- subject matter

The lists help clarify the meaning – all the words together are clearer than any particular one.

---

What does a good design offer besides being easier to change?

- Flexibility: solves a wider range of relevant problems (without needing to change it, or with a smaller/easier change). E.g. a car that can drive in the snow or on dry roads, rather than just one or the other.

- Easier to understand. Like computer code that’s easier to read due to being organized well.

- Made up of *somewhat independent* parts (components) which you can separate and use individually (or in smaller groups than the original total thing). The parts being smaller and more independent has advantages but also often involves some downsides (like you need more connecting “glue” parts and the attachment of components is less solid).

- Easier to reuse for another purpose. (This is related to changeability and to components. Some components can be reused without reusing others.)

- Internal reuse (references, pointers, links) rather than new copies. (This is usually but not always better. In general, it means the knowledge is present that two instances are actually the same thing instead of separate. It means there’s knowledge of internal groupings.)


Good structures are set up to do work (in a certain somewhat generic way), and can be told what type of work, what details. Bad structures fail to differentiate what is parochial details and what is general purpose.


The more you treat something as a black box (never take it apart, never worry about the details of how it works, never repair it, just use it for its intended purpose), the less structure matters.


In general, the line between function and design is approximate. What about the time it takes to work, or the energy use, or the amount of waste heat? What are those? You can do the same task (same function) in different ways, which is the core idea of different structures, and get different results for time, energy and heat use. They could be considered to be related to design efficiency. But they could also be seen as part of the task: having to wait too long, or use too much energy, could defeat the purpose of the task. There are functionality requirements in these areas or else it would be considered not to work. People don’t want a car that overheats – that would fail to address the primary problem of getting them from place to place. It affects whether they arrive at their destination at all, not just how the car is organized.

(This reminds me of computer security. Sometimes you can beat security mechanisms by looking at timing. Like imagine a password checking function that checks each letter of the password one by one and stops and rejects the password if a letter is wrong. That will run more slowly based on getting more letters correct at the start. So you can guess the password one letter at a time and find out when you have it right, rather than needing to guess the whole thing at once. This makes it much easier to figure out the password. Measuring power usage or waste heat could work too if you measured precisely enough or the difference in what the computer does varied a large enough amount internally. And note it’s actually really hard to make the computer take exactly the same amount of time, and use exactly the same amount of power, in different cases that have the same output like “bad password”.)

Form and function are related. Sometimes it’s useful to mentally separate them but sometimes it’s not helpful. When you refactor computer code, that’s about as close to purely changing the form as it gets. The point of refactoring is to reorganize things while making sure it still does the same thing as before. But refactoring sometimes makes code run faster, and sometimes that’s a big deal to functionality – e.g. it could increase the frame rate of a game from non-playable to playable.

Some designs *actively resist change*. E.g. imagine something with an internal robot that goes around repairing any damage (and its programmed to see any deviation or difference as damage – it tries to reverse *all* change). The human body is kind of like this. It has white blood cells and many other internal repair/defense mechanisms that (imperfectly) prevent various kinds of changes and repair various damage. And a metal hammer resists being changed into a screwdriver; you’d need some powerful tools to reshape it.

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Kate Sams

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Jul 16, 2018, 9:11:26 AM7/16/18
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On Jul 14, 2018, at 2:24 AM, 'anonymous FI' anonymousfa...@gmail.com [fallible-ideas] <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

> the reason Anonymous Visitor thought the paragraph was hostile is that
> Anonymous Visitor felt hostility (his own hostility) when he read it. he
> *reacted emotionally* and *blamed others* and *didn't read in a careful
> or literal way, just assumed that if he felt bad then the paragraph was
> attacking him which indicates a hostile author*.
>
> it's like how angry ppl think that *the fact that they feel angry* is
> evidence they have a reason to be angry – someone actually did wrong
> them, slight them, insult them, mistreat them, whatever.

What do you mean when you say that Anon Visitor felt “his own hostility”?

My guess is that this involves Anon Visitor having a hostile mindset and feeling hostility towards something (e.g. another person or something vague and inexplicit in his mind).

This isn’t the same situation as someone interpreting that there’s hostility behind something that they see someone else do. Interpreting hostility in others (e.g. by using social rules to interpret situations) doesn’t require being in a hostile mindset. These people don’t necessarily feel their *own* hostility.

Although, I’m guessing it’s common for both situations to be happening simultaneously. Ppl interpret hostility in others, and they become hostile themselves. Maybe that’s what happened with Anon Visitor.

———

Btw, never mind my earlier speculation on this topic. It was too vague and confused.



Anne B

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Jul 16, 2018, 9:39:34 AM7/16/18
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Yes, many people react with hostility when they think that someone
else is hostile towards them. This is often an automatic reaction,
without conscious thought as to whether it's a good idea.

Also, many people react with hostility when confronted with ideas they
don't like. Again, there may not be conscious thought as to whether
hostility is a good idea in that situation.

I can think of times when I did both of these things. The next time I
feel hostility I will try to notice it and think about why and think
about whether I want to be hostile.

Anne B

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Jul 17, 2018, 4:00:38 PM7/17/18
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Would another type of discussion structure be talking about meta
issues or not? Talking about the discussion structure itself would be
meta discussion.

Elliot Temple

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Jul 17, 2018, 4:12:06 PM7/17/18
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Yes. And you can have discussion about the discussion about the discussion.

Or discussion about the discussion about the discussion about the discussion.

There are infinite meta levels. But only the first one seems to make that much difference. It's useful to consider if you're talking about meta issues or not. But my impression is it doesn't seem to matter that much whether it's level 4 meta or level 5 meta – both have the major characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of meta.

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Anne B

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Jul 17, 2018, 4:25:46 PM7/17/18
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I'm thinking about some reasons why people resist talking about
structure/rules/organization for discussion.

1) They don't think it's necessary to talk about. They think it's
obvious what the best way to have a discussion is and there's no point
in trying to think of other ways.

2) They think the low-level topic is the most important thing and that
it's a distraction to talk about discussion structure. They may think
the other person is being difficult and uncooperative by trying to
distract them from the issue at hand.

3) They haven't thought consciously about discussion structure before.
They are taken aback by someone mentioning it. They haven't figured
out what they think or what they could say about how to structure a
discussion and they react by not wanting to talk about it.

4) They think that a person who raises structure issues is trying to
impose particular structures on them.

Elliot Temple

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Jul 17, 2018, 5:06:34 PM7/17/18
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I haven't run into people who have this as a serious opinion they will actually say. I don't think they thought about it much, but they often do seem to act like they see it this way.


> 2) They think the low-level topic is the most important thing and that
> it's a distraction to talk about discussion structure. They may think
> the other person is being difficult and uncooperative by trying to
> distract them from the issue at hand.

Commonly I bring up discussion structure *after* there is already some significant problem screwing up the discussion – after meta progress directly on the object-level topic is *stuck*.

Like I'll direct discussion one chance and then when there's a major problem I'll want to address that instead of unsuccessfully try to ignore it.

So the meta isn't a distraction, it's a way to enable to discussion to make more progress. But people usually don't acknowledge that.


> 3) They haven't thought consciously about discussion structure before.

mostly yes

> They are taken aback by someone mentioning it. They haven't figured
> out what they think or what they could say about how to structure a
> discussion and they react by not wanting to talk about it.

yeah that could be part of it


> 4) They think that a person who raises structure issues is trying to
> impose particular structures on them.

yes. and:

5) They are focused more on *social dynamics* than level one discussion or meta discussion. And they see meta discussion as a social tactic to appear high status by appearing to lead, organize or control the discussion. (It maybe doesn't matter to them if the meta discussion initiator *actually* controls the discussion. Just if he *appears* to and that has *social* meaning.)

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Jul 17, 2018, 9:10:45 PM7/17/18
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On Sat, Jul 14, 2018 at 01:48:29PM -0700, anonymous FI wrote:

> https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1017984286740434945
>
>> Humanity, it seems, is divided into two categories: those who embrace criticism, and those who attack it. All progress comes from the former – who all too often have the dubious distinction of being hated by the latter.
>
> the full article is paywalled

The tweet includes an image of the full article with somewhat blurry text. From this, I typed in the text version of the article below.

> We must debate or die
>
> Our growing inability to speak and reason with those who disagree with us is threatening centuries of human progress
>
> STEFAN MOLYNEUX
>
> Humanity, it seems, is divided into two categories: those who embrace criticism, and those who attack it.
>
> All progress comes from the former – who often have the dubious distinction of being hated by the latter. Accepting criticism is a foundational act of humility; it is how we all learn. Children are corrected when they misspell a word, miscalculate a sum, or swing their tenis racquets badly. As a result, they improve.
>
> Childhood is spent being corrected. That essential process, however, grinds to a halt for many adults, who imagine they are in possession of perfect knowledge and immune from criticism. Of course, they are not in possession of perfect knowledge – but even if they were, why should they fear criticism? The best tennis player in the world should not fear the serve of a first-time player.
>
> All our moral progressions – the roots and seeds of the modern world – arose from questioning the unquestionable. Slavery was approved practice across the world for all of human history until the late 18th century, when the Abolitionists began to question the morality of owning people.
>
> Mankind's position in the universe – on a planet orbiting a sun orbiting a galaxy that orbits nothing – was considered heretical for decades.
>
> "Trial by fire" refers to a medieval practice of forcing a person accused of a crime to walk three paces holding a red-hot iron. If God healed his burns, he was innocent.
>
> The modern judicial process of requiring evidence, letting the accused confront the accuser, a trial by a jury of your peers, access to a lawyer – all required the substitution of empirical mortal mechanics for murky divine feedback.
>
> Since the tragically shortened days of Socrates, philosophers have hurled reason and evidence agaist the accepted beliefs of the time. Our most treasured beliefs must be subjected to rational arguments and empirical evidence – because so many treasured beliefs failed these tests in the past.
>
> The wrenching expansions of morality beyond its original limits produces real progress. The end of slavery was the expansion of the ban on human ownership from whites to blacks. Men can enter into contracts: giving that capacity to women was a rational and moral extension of a universal right. Subjecting political elites to the rule of law, still a shaky proposition, was the extension of universal morality up through the ranks of power. Science rests on the proposition that the age of miracles is over.
>
> Mankind strives to improve, then gets lazy and brittle. As a species, we have not reached the end of our moral progress – there are significant indicators we have gone in some very bad directions. Every moral advancement undermines the status quo, which produces a new status quo that opposes the next advancement.
>
> I am concerned about free speech in the West – there is little point talking about it anywhere else.
>
> Everywhere I go, even if people have a legal right to speak, they censor themselves for fear of being attacked, of losing careers, savings, relationships, families. They fear visits from the police. The interconnected web of conversation called the internet has been hijacked by malevolent forces threatening to disrupt and destroy our capacity to reason with one another.
>
> The span and potential of human communication currently hangs like the sun low on the horizon – it is impossible to know whether it is a sunrise or a sunset. We can finally speak with each other, all of us, around the world. Does that mean the world gets better or worse? If we reason with each other, the world improves. If we smash conversations through threats, intimidation, violence and legalese, the world decays and darkens.
>
> The last time humanity had a similar breakthrough in communications was the printing press, which resulted in the immense progress of the scientific revolution, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, but also, in places, totalitarianism and religious warfare. The capacity to share ideas can produce either the American Revolution, or the French. The Bill of Rights, or the ever-thirsty guillotine.
>
> We will always have disagreements. How do we resolve them? We have only two choices – force, or debate. Civilisation is the substitution of conversation for naked violence. The moment we submit to reason and evidence is the moment we become – or stay – civilised. Many ideas offend many people. If we allow offence to silence debate, we elevate ignorant passions above reasoned discourse, and will lose the freedoms we have inherited – all the freedoms our ancestors fought, bled and died to hand to us.
>
> The philosopher may not always be right, but the enraged mob is always wrong. Surrender to them, and we lose everything.
>
> I look forward to engaging in this conversation in Australia over the coming weeks. We have not finished our moral journey. Let us join hands, in reason, peace and conversation, and strive to magnify the freedoms we inherited – not abandon them to appease an enraged mob that will only trample them, snarl, then come for us.

Anne B

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Jul 17, 2018, 9:12:50 PM7/17/18
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I think people often don't understand that. They don't see problems in
the discussion so they don't understand the meta talk as a way to work
on the problems.

>
> > 3) They haven't thought consciously about discussion structure before.
>
> mostly yes
>
> > They are taken aback by someone mentioning it. They haven't figured
> > out what they think or what they could say about how to structure a
> > discussion and they react by not wanting to talk about it.
>
> yeah that could be part of it
>
>
> > 4) They think that a person who raises structure issues is trying to
> > impose particular structures on them.
>
> yes. and:
>
> 5) They are focused more on *social dynamics* than level one discussion or meta discussion. And they see meta discussion as a social tactic to appear high status by appearing to lead, organize or control the discussion. (It maybe doesn't matter to them if the meta discussion initiator *actually* controls the discussion. Just if he *appears* to and that has *social* meaning.)

Ah yes. It is higher status to be the one leading the discussion.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Jul 17, 2018, 9:47:12 PM7/17/18
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Stefan Molyneux wrote (image attached to https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1017984286740434945) :

> We must debate or die
>
> Our growing inability to speak and reason with those who disagree with us is threatening centuries of human progress
>
> STEFAN MOLYNEUX
>
> Humanity, it seems, is divided into two categories: those who embrace criticism, and those who attack it.
>
> All progress comes from the former – who often have the dubious distinction of being hated by the latter.

Good point.

> Accepting criticism is a foundational act of humility; it is how we all learn.

Accepting criticism is not an act of humility. It's a sign of pride. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/pride.html

> Children are corrected when they misspell a word, miscalculate a sum, or swing their tennis racquets badly. As a result, they improve.

Children, and people in general, don't improve *as a result* of being "corrected". (Often the "correction" itself is incorrect.) They improve as a result of coming up with solutions to their problems.

> Childhood is spent being corrected. That essential process, however, grinds to a halt for many adults, who imagine they are in possession of perfect knowledge and immune from criticism.

To an extent, young children have a better attitude towards learning than adults. A child learning to walk isn't afraid of the social consequences of failing over and over. A child learning to speak a new language isn't afraid of looking dumb by saying a word wrong. As kids get older, though, they are put under intense pressure to adopt anti-rational ideas that retard their learning.

> Of course, they are not in possession of perfect knowledge – but even if they were, why should they fear criticism? The best tennis player in the world should not fear the serve of a first-time player.
>
> All our moral progressions – the roots and seeds of the modern world – arose from questioning the unquestionable.

Good point about the importance of questioning the unquestionable.

Using "progressions" as a plural of "progression" seems strange here, though. Maybe "advancements" would be better, or even just "progress", getting rid of the analogy of roots and seeds which itself seems a bit strange.


> Slavery was approved practice across the world for all of human history until the late 18th century, when the Abolitionists began to question the morality of owning people.
>
> Mankind's position in the universe – on a planet orbiting a sun orbiting a galaxy that orbits nothing – was considered heretical for decades.
>
> "Trial by fire" refers to a medieval practice of forcing a person accused of a crime to walk three paces holding a red-hot iron. If God healed his burns, he was innocent.
>
> The modern judicial process of requiring evidence, letting the accused confront the accuser, a trial by a jury of your peers, access to a lawyer – all required the substitution of empirical mortal mechanics for murky divine feedback.
>
> Since the tragically shortened days of Socrates, philosophers have hurled reason and evidence against the accepted beliefs of the time. Our most treasured beliefs must be subjected to rational arguments and empirical evidence – because so many treasured beliefs failed these tests in the past.

It's redundant to include both "rational arguments" and "empirical evidence". Evidence is part of reason.

> The wrenching expansions of morality beyond its original limits produces real progress.

Moral progress doesn't have to be wrenching, but yes, it is progress when moral rules intended to apply to people in general are actually applied to more people. I suspect Molyneux himself is unaware of how morality should be expanded to cover people of all ages including children.

> The end of slavery was the expansion of the ban on human ownership from whites to blacks. Men can enter into contracts: giving that capacity to women was a rational and moral extension of a universal right. Subjecting political elites to the rule of law, still a shaky proposition, was the extension of universal morality up through the ranks of power. Science rests on the proposition that the age of miracles is over.
>
> Mankind strives to improve, then gets lazy and brittle. As a species, we have not reached the end of our moral progress – there are significant indicators we have gone in some very bad directions. Every moral advancement undermines the status quo, which produces a new status quo that opposes the next advancement.

The new status quo doesn't have to oppose the next advancement. Many moral advancements could be brought about peacefully, without "opposition", if people understood Paths Forward.

> I am concerned about free speech in the West – there is little point talking about it anywhere else.
>
> Everywhere I go, even if people have a legal right to speak, they censor themselves for fear of being attacked, of losing careers, savings, relationships, families. They fear visits from the police. The interconnected web of conversation called the internet has been hijacked by malevolent forces threatening to disrupt and destroy our capacity to reason with one another.

The "interconnected web of conversation" is part of the internet but not all of it. The internet also consists of things like BitTorrent and Netflix which are not conversation.

> The span and potential of human communication currently hangs like the sun low on the horizon – it is impossible to know whether it is a sunrise or a sunset.

The sunset analogy seems odd. If the status of communication today is like a sunset, then the sun should have been much higher in the sky earlier in history. But Molyneux doesn't claim that that was the case.

Also, Molyneux doesn't say why it's "impossible to know" whether things are getting better or worse.

> We can finally speak with each other, all of us, around the world. Does that mean the world gets better or worse?

Being able to speak with each other around the world is a force for good.

> If we reason with each other, the world improves. If we smash conversations through threats, intimidation, violence and legalese, the world decays and darkens.
>
> The last time humanity had a similar breakthrough in communications was the printing press, which resulted in the immense progress of the scientific revolution, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, but also, in places, totalitarianism and religious warfare.

The printing press didn't *result* in totalitarianism and religious warfare. That's like saying that guns *resulted* in murder. Totalitarianism and religious warfare have been common throughout history.

> The capacity to share ideas can produce either the American Revolution, or the French. The Bill of Rights, or the ever-thirsty guillotine.

It wasn't the capacity to share ideas that produced the French revolution or the guillotine. It was people's evil ideas. Evil ideas caused evil results throughout history, with or without the printing press.

> We will always have disagreements. How do we resolve them? We have only two choices – force, or debate. Civilisation is the substitution of conversation for naked violence. The moment we submit to reason and evidence is the moment we become – or stay – civilised.

I like those sentences (though again, evidence is part of reason; listing it separately is redundant). They remind me of how Rand says that man is a being of volitional consciousness.

> Many ideas offend many people. If we allow offence to silence debate, we elevate ignorant passions above reasoned discourse, and will lose the freedoms we have inherited – all the freedoms our ancestors fought, bled and died to hand to us.

Basically no one today explicitly claims that "offensive" speech should be censored. The far left claims that their problem with speech is that it is violence. Molyneux doesn't address that.

> The philosopher may not always be right, but the enraged mob is always wrong.

Another good point. Reminds me of Coulter's book Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.

anonymous FI

unread,
Jul 18, 2018, 2:21:12 PM7/18/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fallibl...@yahoogroups.com
People often do see discussion problems. They get frustrated you aren't
understanding them, or they aren't understanding you. They get
frustrated the discussion is too complicated, with too many tangents,
and it's hard to keep track of. These things often lead to them quitting
the discussion.

Elliot Temple

unread,
Jul 18, 2018, 3:16:06 PM7/18/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fI
On Jul 17, 2018, at 6:47 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Stefan Molyneux wrote (image attached to https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1017984286740434945) :
>
>> We must debate or die
>>
>> Our growing inability to speak and reason with those who disagree with us is threatening centuries of human progress
>>
>> STEFAN MOLYNEUX
>>
>> Humanity, it seems, is divided into two categories: those who embrace criticism, and those who attack it.
>>
>> All progress comes from the former – who often have the dubious distinction of being hated by the latter.
>
> Good point.
>
>> Accepting criticism is a foundational act of humility; it is how we all learn.
>
> Accepting criticism is not an act of humility. It's a sign of pride. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/pride.html

Was there some particular text at the link which you thought was directly relevant?


>> Children are corrected when they misspell a word, miscalculate a sum, or swing their tennis racquets badly. As a result, they improve.
>
> Children, and people in general, don't improve *as a result* of being "corrected". (Often the "correction" itself is incorrect.) They improve as a result of coming up with solutions to their problems.
>
>> Childhood is spent being corrected. That essential process, however, grinds to a halt for many adults, who imagine they are in possession of perfect knowledge and immune from criticism.
>
> To an extent, young children have a better attitude towards learning than adults. A child learning to walk isn't afraid of the social consequences of failing over and over. A child learning to speak a new language isn't afraid of looking dumb by saying a word wrong. As kids get older, though, they are put under intense pressure to adopt anti-rational ideas that retard their learning.

The main reason adults don't want to be "corrected" *like they were as children* is because it *sucked*. Lots of those "corrections" were mean and demanding, they (as a child) only put up with it due to power imbalance and lack of control over their life.

As an adult they have more freedom and less often deal with significant power imbalances. So they mostly avoid being scolded and lectures. And they're right to.

Getting really helpful, useful, *appreciated* critical information was not a common thing in their childhood. And lots of adults are still open to *that*. (Admittedly they're often a bit cautious about it due to bad experiences in the past.)

>> Of course, they are not in possession of perfect knowledge – but even if they were, why should they fear criticism? The best tennis player in the world should not fear the serve of a first-time player.

I think Molyneux means basically "if you know a lot, don't fear criticism because you're stronger and wiser than most critics, so you'll win the fight". That's what the comparison with a great tennis player facing a novice is about. The great player isn't scared of that competition because he expects to win, he's confident in his abilities.

I think Molyneux means that intellectuals should be confident enough in their abilities to win that they aren't threatened by attacks from less skilled people.

Which is an awful perspective by Molyneux.


>> All our moral progressions – the roots and seeds of the modern world – arose from questioning the unquestionable.
>
> Good point about the importance of questioning the unquestionable.
>
> Using "progressions" as a plural of "progression" seems strange here, though. Maybe "advancements" would be better, or even just "progress", getting rid of the analogy of roots and seeds which itself seems a bit strange.
>
>
>> Slavery was approved practice across the world for all of human history until the late 18th century, when the Abolitionists began to question the morality of owning people.
>>
>> Mankind's position in the universe – on a planet orbiting a sun orbiting a galaxy that orbits nothing – was considered heretical for decades.
>>
>> "Trial by fire" refers to a medieval practice of forcing a person accused of a crime to walk three paces holding a red-hot iron. If God healed his burns, he was innocent.
>>
>> The modern judicial process of requiring evidence, letting the accused confront the accuser, a trial by a jury of your peers, access to a lawyer – all required the substitution of empirical mortal mechanics for murky divine feedback.
>>
>> Since the tragically shortened days of Socrates, philosophers have hurled reason and evidence against the accepted beliefs of the time.

Umm, what? Also since before Socrates. Socrates wasn't the first philosopher. There were previous ones, called presocratics because they came before Socrates. If you read about this stuff you'd know that people like Thales, Heraclitus and Parmenides existed. Maybe the most famous presocratic is Zeno – the guy with the paradoxes about how you can't pass someone in a ran by running faster cuz you have to catch up to where they were, at which point they are further forward. BoI discusses this.

>> Our most treasured beliefs must be subjected to rational arguments and empirical evidence

You don't subject beliefs to empirical evidence. Sloppy thinking.

>> – because so many treasured beliefs failed these tests in the past.
>
> It's redundant to include both "rational arguments" and "empirical evidence". Evidence is part of reason.
>
>> The wrenching expansions of morality beyond its original limits produces real progress.
>
> Moral progress doesn't have to be wrenching, but yes, it is progress when moral rules intended to apply to people in general are actually applied to more people. I suspect Molyneux himself is unaware of how morality should be expanded to cover people of all ages including children.

Molyneux has thought and written about children, youth rights, etc. I wouldn't suspect him of being unaware that morality applies to children without reviewing his material.


>> The end of slavery was the expansion of the ban on human ownership from whites to blacks. Men can enter into contracts: giving that capacity to women was a rational and moral extension of a universal right. Subjecting political elites to the rule of law, still a shaky proposition, was the extension of universal morality up through the ranks of power. Science rests on the proposition that the age of miracles is over.

No, science says there never was an age of miracles. Miracles are myths and didn't occur in any time period.


>> Mankind strives to improve, then gets lazy and brittle. As a species, we have not reached the end of our moral progress – there are significant indicators we have gone in some very bad directions.

what indicators? what directions? no explanation/argument. common theme with molyneux. doesn't explain himself enough. like what does "brittle" mean, above, specifically?

>> Every moral advancement undermines the status quo, which produces a new status quo that opposes the next advancement.
>
> The new status quo doesn't have to oppose the next advancement. Many moral advancements could be brought about peacefully, without "opposition", if people understood Paths Forward.

the status quo attitude could be like "this is better than the past, and pretty good for now, but we can improve more!" it doesn't have to oppose further change.


>> I am concerned about free speech in the West – there is little point talking about it anywhere else.
>>
>> Everywhere I go, even if people have a legal right to speak, they censor themselves for fear of being attacked, of losing careers, savings, relationships, families. They fear visits from the police. The interconnected web of conversation called the internet has been hijacked by malevolent forces threatening to disrupt and destroy our capacity to reason with one another.
>
> The "interconnected web of conversation" is part of the internet but not all of it. The internet also consists of things like BitTorrent and Netflix which are not conversation.
>
>> The span and potential of human communication currently hangs like the sun low on the horizon – it is impossible to know whether it is a sunrise or a sunset.
>
> The sunset analogy seems odd. If the status of communication today is like a sunset, then the sun should have been much higher in the sky earlier in history. But Molyneux doesn't claim that that was the case.
>
> Also, Molyneux doesn't say why it's "impossible to know" whether things are getting better or worse.
>
>> We can finally speak with each other, all of us, around the world. Does that mean the world gets better or worse?
>
> Being able to speak with each other around the world is a force for good.
>
>> If we reason with each other, the world improves. If we smash conversations through threats, intimidation, violence and legalese, the world decays and darkens.
>>
>> The last time humanity had a similar breakthrough in communications was the printing press, which resulted in the immense progress of the scientific revolution, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, but also, in places, totalitarianism and religious warfare.
>
> The printing press didn't *result* in totalitarianism and religious warfare. That's like saying that guns *resulted* in murder. Totalitarianism and religious warfare have been common throughout history.
>
>> The capacity to share ideas can produce either the American Revolution, or the French. The Bill of Rights, or the ever-thirsty guillotine.
>
> It wasn't the capacity to share ideas that produced the French revolution or the guillotine. It was people's evil ideas. Evil ideas caused evil results throughout history, with or without the printing press.
>
>> We will always have disagreements. How do we resolve them? We have only two choices – force, or debate.

Choice 3: for most stuff we can leave each other alone without agreeing.

>> Civilisation is the substitution of conversation for naked violence. The moment we submit to reason and evidence is the moment we become – or stay – civilised.
>
> I like those sentences (though again, evidence is part of reason; listing it separately is redundant). They remind me of how Rand says that man is a being of volitional consciousness.

you don't *submit* to reason. that's awful. you e.g. *embrace* it.


>> Many ideas offend many people. If we allow offence to silence debate, we elevate ignorant passions above reasoned discourse, and will lose the freedoms we have inherited – all the freedoms our ancestors fought, bled and died to hand to us.
>
> Basically no one today explicitly claims that "offensive" speech should be censored. The far left claims that their problem with speech is that it is violence. Molyneux doesn't address that.
>
>> The philosopher may not always be right, but the enraged mob is always wrong.
>
> Another good point. Reminds me of Coulter's book Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.
>
>> Surrender to them, and we lose everything.
>>
>> I look forward to engaging in this conversation in Australia over the coming weeks. We have not finished our moral journey. Let us join hands, in reason, peace and conversation, and strive to magnify the freedoms we inherited – not abandon them to appease an enraged mob that will only trample them, snarl, then come for us.

article was low on substance, high on freedom and science virtue signaling.

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

unread,
Jul 18, 2018, 3:32:31 PM7/18/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fI
On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 10:16 PM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

> On Jul 17, 2018, at 6:47 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Stefan Molyneux wrote (image attached to https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1017984286740434945) :

>>> Accepting criticism is a foundational act of humility; it is how we all learn.

>> Accepting criticism is not an act of humility. It's a sign of pride. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/pride.html

> Was there some particular text at the link which you thought was directly relevant?

Yes:

>>>> the first precondition of self-esteem is that radiant selfishness of soul which desires the best in all things, in values of matter and spirit, a soul that seeks above all else to achieve its own moral perfection, valuing nothing higher than itself.

If a person wants the best in all things, they'll be happy to hear about opportunities to improve (i.e. criticism).

Separately, what Francisco says in AS is relevant:

>>>> "If you can refute a single sentence I uttered, madame, I shall hear it gratefully."

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

unread,
Jul 19, 2018, 12:08:29 AM7/19/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fi
On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 10:16 PM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

> On Jul 17, 2018, at 6:47 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> I suspect Molyneux himself is unaware of how morality should be expanded to cover people of all ages including children.

> Molyneux has thought and written about children, youth rights, etc. I wouldn't suspect him of being unaware that morality applies to children without reviewing his material.

You're right. Molyneux understands better than most people that morality applies to children. What I should have said is that Molyneux doesn't understand TCS.

In the video linked below, Molyneux talks about making your kid promise to go home from the park as a precondition to taking them there in the first place. (I found out about this video from an anonymous comment at curi.us: http://curi.us/1786-stefan-molyneux-discussion#c2570)

Stefan Molyneux, "Philosophical Parenting: Dealing with Toddler Tantrums" https://youtu.be/rtDjrOxvGbI?t=7m7s :

> You explain the concept of "promise" and you have consistently shown what a promise is. Then, before you go to the park, you say, "I would like to go the park with you. We have to be back at 6:00, because mommy is cooking and the food is going to be ready at just after 6, and we have to take our boots off or whatever it is we're going to be doing."

Molyneux takes his conclusion for granted. But why can't they go out for dinner, or why can't a parent reheat the food later if the kid would rather stay in the park longer?

> So, let's say, it's 4:00. You say, "I really want to go to the park with you. You really want to go to the park. Right?"
>
> "Yes."
>
> So, you know, invest in an analog watch that has the time that you can see swinging around, right? So you say, "We have 2 hours." Even if they don't know what 2 hours is, just give them some sense. "This is on the 4. The little hand's on the 4. When the little hand's on the 5, I'm going to tell you. When the little hand's on the 6, we gotta go. Do you promise?"
>
> "Yes, I promise."
>
> So you know, you have to negotiate these things ahead of time. "We will stay for 2 hours at the park. I'm looking forward to it, but if we're going to go to the park, you have to promise that we're going to go at 6 and you're not going to fight and whine and complain [*chuckles*] and run away. You have to get that commitment before you go to the park."

"Fight and whine and complain"! Molyneux uses demeaning words to describe the kid's unhappiness and suffering. He wouldn't talk to his wife that way, or to an alien who was inexperienced in the ways of Earth.

Josh Jordan

unread,
Jul 19, 2018, 1:52:27 AM7/19/18
to FIGG, FI
On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 4:47 AM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum
<petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Stefan Molyneux wrote (image attached to https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1017984286740434945) :

>> The last time humanity had a similar breakthrough in communications was the printing press, which resulted in the immense progress of the scientific revolution, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, but also, in places, totalitarianism and religious warfare.
>
> The printing press didn't *result* in totalitarianism and religious warfare. That's like saying that guns *resulted* in murder. Totalitarianism and religious warfare have been common throughout history.
>
>> The capacity to share ideas can produce either the American Revolution, or the French. The Bill of Rights, or the ever-thirsty guillotine.
>
> It wasn't the capacity to share ideas that produced the French revolution or the guillotine. It was people's evil ideas. Evil ideas caused evil results throughout history, with or without the printing press.

Elliot made an interesting comment on this in his video "July
2018 Philosophy Email Screencasts – 1 – Pressuring kids; Math; Bash
Script" ( https://gum.co/RMoYh ):

>>> [1:10:50] And yeah, there were revolutions with fewer books. Yes, the books played a role in what happened. But if there hadn't been books, something else would have happened that probably also would have been bad, or easily could have been bad. I don't think that the books made France worse.
>>>
>>> If you think about the average result of what happens next with books or without books, I bet the one with books is better. If you could program it as a simulation and run it thousands of times and see what happens, to get an average, then I don't think the books make it worse.

This is a neat way to think about causality. If you ran a bunch of
simulations with something and without it, what are the results like
in each case?

anonymous FI

unread,
Jul 20, 2018, 5:16:53 PM7/20/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, FI
Sometimes programmers make a complicated design in anticipation of
possible future changes that never happen (instead it's either no
changes, other changes, or just replaced entirely without any reuse).

It's hard to predict in advance *which* changes will be useful to make.
And designs aren't just "better at any and all changes" vs. "worse at
any and all changes". Different designs make different categories of
changes harder or easier.

So how do you know which structure is good? Rules of thumb from past
work, by many people, doing similar kinds of things? Is the software
problem – which is well known – just some bad rules of thumb (that
have already been identified as bad by the better programmers)?

> “It” can be software, an object like a hammer, ideas, or processes
> (like the processes factory workers use). Different software designs
> are easier to add features to than others. You can imagine some hammer
> designs being easier to convert into a shovel than others.

giant hammers? lol. most hammers are too small to make much of a shovel.
this is related to the desire for FI emails to be self-contained (have
some independence/autonomy). this isn't threatened by links/cites cuz
those are a loose coupling, a loose way to connect to something else.

> - Easier to reuse for another purpose. (This is related to
> changeability and to components. Some components can be reused without
> reusing others.)

but, as above, there are different ways to reuse something and you don't
just optimize all of them at once. you need some way to judge what types
of reuse are valuable, which partly seems to depend on having partial
foresight about the future.

> - Internal reuse (references, pointers, links) rather than new copies.
> (This is usually but not always better. In general, it means the
> knowledge is present that two instances are actually the same thing
> instead of separate. It means there’s knowledge of internal
> groupings.)
>
>
> Good structures are set up to do work (in a certain somewhat generic
> way), and can be told what type of work, what details. Bad structures
> fail to differentiate what is parochial details and what is general
> purpose.
>
>
> The more you treat something as a black box (never take it apart,
> never worry about the details of how it works, never repair it, just
> use it for its intended purpose), the less structure matters.

sometimes the customer treats some as a black box, but the design still
matters a lot for:

- warranty repairs (made by the company, not by the customer)
- creating the next generation production
- fixing problems during development of the thing
- the ability to pivot into other product lines (additionally, or
instead of the current one) and reuse some stuff (be it manufacturing
processes, components from this product, whatever)
- if it's made out of components which can be produced independently and
are useful in many products, then you have the option to buy these
"commodity parts" instead of making your own, or you can sell your
surplus parts (e.g. if your factory manager finds a way to be more
efficient at making a particular part, then you can either just not
produce your new max capacity, or you could sell them if they are useful
components to others. or you could use the extra parts in a new product.
the point was you can end up with extra capacity to make a part even if
you didn't initially design your factory that way.)


> In general, the line between function and design is approximate.

like the line between object-discussion and meta-discussion is
approximate.

as discussion structure is crucial (whether you talk about it or not),
most stuff has more meta-knowledge than object-knowledge. here's an
example:

you want to run a small script on your web server. do you just write it
and upload? or do you hook it into existing reusable infrastructure to
get automatic error emails, process monitoring that'll restart the
script if it's not running, automatic deploys of updates, etc?

you hook it into the infrastructure. and that infrastructure has more
knowledge in it that the script.

when proceeding wisely, it's rare to create a ton of topic-specific
knowledge without the project also using general purpose infrastructure
stuff.
A lot of the difference between a smartphone and a computer is the
shape/size/weight. That makes them fit different use cases. An iPhone
and iPad are even more similar, besides size, and it affects what
they're used for significantly. And you couldn't just put them in an
arbitrary form factor and get the same practical functionality from
them.

Discussion and meta-discussion are related too. No one ever entirely
skips/omits meta discussion issues. People consider things like: what
statements would the other guy consent to hear and what would be
unwanted? People have an understanding of that and then don't send porn
pics in the middle of a discussion about astronomy. You might complain
"but that would be off-topic". But understanding what the topic is, and
what would be on-topic or off-topic is knowledge *about* the discussion,
rather than directly being *part of* the topical discussion. "porn is
off topic" is not a statement about astronomy – it is itself meta
discussion which is arguably off topic. you need some knowledge about
the discussion in order to deal with the discussion reasonably well.

> Sometimes it’s useful to mentally separate them but sometimes it’s
> not helpful. When you refactor computer code, that’s about as close
> to purely changing the form as it gets. The point of refactoring is to
> reorganize things while making sure it still does the same thing as
> before. But refactoring sometimes makes code run faster, and sometimes
> that’s a big deal to functionality – e.g. it could increase the
> frame rate of a game from non-playable to playable.
>
> Some designs *actively resist change*. E.g. imagine something with an
> internal robot that goes around repairing any damage (and its
> programmed to see any deviation or difference as damage – it tries
> to reverse *all* change). The human body is kind of like this. It has
> white blood cells and many other internal repair/defense mechanisms
> that (imperfectly) prevent various kinds of changes and repair various
> damage. And a metal hammer resists being changed into a screwdriver;
> you’d need some powerful tools to reshape it.

memes resist change too. rational and static memes *both* resist change,
but in different ways. one resists change without reasons/arguments, the
other resists almost all change.

Elliot Temple

unread,
Jul 21, 2018, 11:58:47 AM7/21/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, FI
On Jul 20, 2018, at 2:16 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jul 15, 2018, at 10:35 AM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:
>
>> On Jul 13, 2018, at 6:49 PM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:
>>
>>> so to make this clearer:
>>>
>>> *structure is what determines changeability. various types of change are high value in general, including especially error correction. wherever you see change, especially error correction, it will fail without structural knowledge. if it’s working ok, there’s lots of structural knowledge.*
>>>
>>> it’s like how the capacity to make progress – like being good at learning – is more important than how much you know how or how good something is now. like how a government that can correct mistakes without violence is better than one with fewer mistakes today. (in other words, the structure mistake of needing violence to correct some categories of mistake is a worse mistake than the non-structure mistake of taxing cigarettes and gas. the gas tax doesn’t make it harder to make changes and correct errors, so it’s less bad of a mistake in the long run.)
>>
>> Intro to knowledge structure (2010):
>>
>> http://fallibleideas.com/knowledge-structure
>>
>> Original posts after DD told me about it (2003)
>>
>> http://curi.us/988-structural-epistemology-introduction-part-1
>> http://curi.us/991-structural-epistemology-introduction-part-2
>>
>> The core idea of knowledge structure is that you can do the same task/function/content in different ways. You may think it doesn’t matter as long as the result is (approximately) the same, but the structure matters hugely if you try to change it so it can do something else.

...

> Discussion and meta-discussion are related too. No one ever entirely skips/omits meta discussion issues. People consider things like: what statements would the other guy consent to hear and what would be unwanted? People have an understanding of that and then don't send porn pics in the middle of a discussion about astronomy. You might complain "but that would be off-topic". But understanding what the topic is, and what would be on-topic or off-topic is knowledge *about* the discussion, rather than directly being *part of* the topical discussion. "porn is off topic" is not a statement about astronomy – it is itself meta discussion which is arguably off topic. you need some knowledge about the discussion in order to deal with the discussion reasonably well.

Example:

House of Sunny podcast. This episode was recommended for Trump and Putin info at http://curi.us/2041-discussion#c10336

https://youtu.be/Id2ZH_DstyY

- starts with music
- then radio announcer voice
- voice says various introductory stuff. it’s not just “This is the house of Sunny podcast.” It says some fluff with social connotations about the show style, and gives a quick bio of the host (“comedian and YouTuber”)
- frames the purpose of the upcoming discussion: “Wanna know what Sunny and her friends are thinking about this week?”
- tries to establish Sunny as a high status person who is worthy of an introduction that repeats her name like 4 times (as if her name matters)
- applause track
- Sunny introduces herself, repeating lots of what the intro just said
- Sunny uses a socially popular speaking voice with connotations of: young, pretty, white, adult, female. Hearing how she speaks, for a few seconds, is part of the introduction. It’s information, and that information is not about Trump and Putin.
- actual content starts 37 seconds in

This is all meta so far. It’s not the information the show is about (Trump and Putin politics discussion). It’s *about* the show. It’s telling you what kind of show it’s going to be, and who the host is. That’s just like discussing what kind of discussion you will have and the background of a participant.

The intro also links the show to a reusable show structure that most listeners are familiar with. People now know what *type* of show it is, and what to expect. I didn’t listen to much of the episode, but for the next few minutes the show does live up to genre expectations.

I consider the intro long, heavy-handed and blatant. But most people are slower and blinder, so maybe it’s OK. I dislike most show intros. Offhand I only remember liking one on YouTube – and he stopped because more fans disliked it than liked it. It’s 15 seconds and I didn’t think it had good info.

KINGmykl intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrN5Spr1Q4A

One thing I notice, compared to the Sunny intro, is it doesn’t *pretend* to have good info. It doesn’t introduce mykl, the show, or the video. (He introduces his videos non-generically after the intro. He routinely asks how your day is going, says his is going great, and quickly outlines the main things that will be in the video cuz there’s frequently multiple separate topics in one video. Telling you the outline of the upcoming discussion is an example of useful meta discussion.)

The Sunny intro is so utterly generic I found it boring the *first* time I heard it. I’ve heard approximately the same thing before from other shows! I saw the mykl intro dozens of times, and sure I skipped it sometimes but not every time, and I remember it positively. It’s more unique, and I don’t understand it as well (it has some meaning, but the meaning is less clear than in the Sunny intro.) I also found the Sunny intro to scream “me too, I’m trying hard to fit in and do this how you’re supposed to” and the mykl intro doesn’t have that vibe to me. (I could pretty easily be wrong though, maybe they both have a fake, tryhard social climber vibe in different ways. Maybe i’m just not familiar enough with other videos similar to mykl’s and that’s why I don’t notice. I’ve watched lots of gaming video content, but a lot of that was on Twitch so it didn’t have a YouTube intro. I have seen plenty of super bland gamer intros. mykl used to script his videos and he recently did a review of an old video. He pointed out ways he was trying to present himself as knowing what he’s talking about, and found it cringey now. He mentioned he stopped scripting videos a while ago.)

Example 2: Chef Heidi Teaches Hoonmaru to Cook Korean Short Rib

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwosbeZSSvY

- music
- philly fusion overwatch league team intro (FYI hoonmaru is a fusion twitch streamer, not a pro player)
- slow mo arrival
- hoonmaru introducing what’s going on (i think he lied when he said that *he* thought of this activity)
- hoonmaru talking about his lack of cooking experience
- hoonmaru says he’ll answer fan questions while cooking
- says “let’s get started”
+ music and scene change
+ starts introducing the new seen by showing you visuals of hoonmaru in an apron
+ now we see Chef Heidi and she does intro stuff, asks if he’s ready to cook, then says what they’ll be doing.

The bullet points with a + mark the ones AFTER “let’s get started” that still aren’t cooking. Cooking finally starts at 48s in. But after a couple seconds of cooking visuals, hoonmaru answers an offtopic fan question before finally getting some cooking instruction. Then a few seconds later hoonmaru is neglecting his cooking, and Heidi fixes it while he answers more questions. Then hoonmaru says he thinks the food looks great so far but that he didn’t do much. This is NOT a real cooking lesson, it’s just showing off Heidi’s cooking for the team and entertaining hoonmaru fans with his answers to questions that aren’t really related to overwatch skill.

Tons of effort goes into setting up the video. It’s under 6 minutes and spent 13.5% on the intro. I skipped ahead and they also spend 16 seconds (4.5%) on the ending, for a total of 18% on intro and ending. And there’s also structural stuff in the middle, like saying now they will go cook the veggies while the meat is cooking – that isn’t cooking itself, it’s structuring the video and activities into defined parts to help people understand the content. And they asked hoonmaru what he thought of the meat on the grill (looks good... what a generic question and answer) which was ending content for that section of the video.

off topic, Heidi blatantly treats hoonmaru like a kid. at 4:45 she’s making a dinner plate combining the foods. then she asks if he will make it, and he takes that as an order (but he hadn’t realized in advance he’d be doing it, he just does whatever he’s told without thinking ahead). and then the part that especially treats him like a kid is she says she’s taking away the plate she made so he can’t copy it, he has to try to get the right answer (her answer) on his own, she’s treating it like a school test. then a little later he’s saying his plating sucks and she says “you did a great job, it’s not quite restaurant”. there’s so much disgusting social from both of them.



Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

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