Re: Singularitarian FAQ

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 19:49:13 MST

Gordon Worley wrote:
> >Either you people are creating some weird new genre of online science
> >fiction, or you've got some *serious* plans for everybody's future. Why
> >should the rest of us trust you?
> This is actually a very important question to answer and I think is a
> good reason for Eliezer to keep getting on people about
> spelling/grammar/etc., even if it's just because he finds it annoying
> (and, to be honest, I think even people with bad
> spelling/grammar/etc. find the misuse of language annoying). Most
> people don't base trust on content, but on appearances.

Um... you need to get the content right too. It's just that if you get
the content right, but not the appearance, you're operating at a
disadvantage. Sometimes you have no choice but to concentrate on
substance and let the style take care of itself... I run into that a lot,
actually... but writing isn't one of those times.

Writing is based on moving thoughts from your mind into the audience. You
can't condescend to the audience and retain your ability as an author
because it breaks your sympathy with them, and therefore their sympathy
with you. You can share, or manipulate, but not both - and people are
very good at detecting attempted manipulation.

I don't trust everything that's well-written, but I usually don't even
bother reading anything that isn't.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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