The Way

From: Michael Vassar (
Date: Fri Aug 19 2005 - 17:23:59 MDT

The way plus a Friendly goal does tell you what to eat, who to sleep with,
etc, though the usual answer is "the expected value of formal consideration
is low, follow habit". The art of rationality is about deciding the state
of the world AND the correct action to take; with the latter taking
precedence over the former. It definitely does tell you "don't waste time
on people who are unlikely to follow up" and "don't antagonize potential
allies". On a factual level, it tells you that arguments from authority are
like any other sort of evidence, *not* the terrible sin against logic that
people with remaining hang-ups due to religion related frustration often
believe them to be.
Swords shouldn't clash if people are as modest as Heuristics and Biases
should make them. Rather, alternatives should be proposed and considered.
Swords shouldn't clash with competent newbies especially, as they are most
likely to be driven away to our loss.
I'm really just asking everyone to act in the way most likely to produce
good results. Economists to the contrary, people don't usually do that, and
need reminders.
I think the condecension Loosemore recieved exceeded that he dished out, and
worse, provided Bayesian rational evidence, from his perspective, that we
were defensive and argumentative non-truth-seekers. Push back 1/3 (or
whatever) seems like a good empirical heuristic validated by game-theory
simulations of noisy prisoners dillemas.

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