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According to the LW census the LW is more right than left. Omnilibrium seems to be on the right of LW but for example I'm not right. Not only by US standards but given both party membership and voting history I'm left of center in Berlin.

Part of the cultural aspect of the rationalist community is tell culture. You are actually open about what you think and don't hide it for reason of being polite.
I would note that German in general puts less value on politeness then Anglo-culture does and I'm from a more German background.

As far as emotions go, the problem isn't emotions. The problem is holding a position for an emotional reason and then trying to rationalize the position and pretend it get's hold for other reasons and not willing to change the position when it gets shown to be wrong. Nonviolent communication also provides a useful general framework to express emotions.

Scholarship happens to be a huge value in the rational community. If you haven't actually read quality sources about a topic you shouldn't have strong opinions about it. Often that means reading primary sources.
If I come about a claim in a newspaper about which I'm skeptical, I often post it to http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/ .

Scholarship is what separates the a political debate on LW from a debate in the world debating championships. The World Debating Championship has participants that don't engage in fallacies but which can take any side of the argument and which side of the argument a team get's often doesn't have much influence in who wins.

It's useful do get into the habit of arguing against bad arguments even if they are for a position which one agrees with.

Since one is supposed to try, it might be tempting that if someone says something very unconvincing one might try to reason that there must not have been very much trying behind the comment. This might lead into a situation where a good faith attempt at arguing
The goal isn't arguing.

If a single comment seems unconvincing then asking questions is often superior to arguing.

If a person constantly changes his own position and doesn't have a clear position, arguing against it becomes pointless.






I'm not right. Not only by US standards but given both party membership and voting history I'm left of center in Berlin.

I don’t know about Germany, but in the US you won’t quite fit in the “left-wing” box. With a comment you made about South Africa you are more likely to be labeled an extreme right-winger.
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melian
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The point about leaning was that one doesn't need to fall into the default distribution to enter discussion. I think we would rather hear all sides rather than the sides we are already familiar with.

Having to do extensive research to continnue discussion might work as a discussion staller (semantic stop signs are kinda bad in that they lessen cognitive activity, "read up" might work similarly as a activity inhibitor). But I guess that isn't an error state but an extra motivation to do the research. I guess there is more latitude in using arguments that use sophisticated techniques which might not be accessible first hand to every reader. How the interaction between those that know technical voodoo and those that do not might be somewhat tricky. I guess that comes also with an norm that if you read a post and do not understand the argument, that is okay and it is better to aknowledge lack of understanding than try to forcibly make it make sense in a violent and in accurate manner.

I don't know whether it is proper to call it arguing but two rationalist sharing their knowledge to for example come to an agreement as in the agreement theorem seems a lot like sharing reasons to believe some statements. It also might not be proof as such when it comes to politics as they can genuinely contain value talk where preferences as such can't be right or wrong but people being aware how well what options fill which preferences might be important to forming opinions. Is this still the general goal activity or is there some more adept positive definition on what we are trying to do here?

There is also tension between tell culture of telling your opinion despite being rude and asking questions instead of arguing. It is unfortunate that the word argue means a fight like "who wins" social situation and also carefully laid out pro and com analysis. While I acknowledge that asking questions is better when possible I am not so sure that every situation of disagreement could be turned into a question. Wouldn't it also be disgenuine to ask for clarification when you are confident that you have a good picutre of the stance of the other person?

If a person constantly changes their position there are far more serious cognitive concerns to address. It doesn't mean disengament, for getting the other person to make a wrong statement would be improvement over being too incoherent to even be wrong. But indeed that doesn't involve arguing.
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Fwiffo
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I don't know whether it was you but I remember reading people being reserved on similar points in their replies to my posts. However reading it them in this general form detached from a topic of application makes me receive them much better.

In general it should be a bigger worry to make an error of reasoning than being of the wrong opinion on a political issue. When I read methodology critiques as side-comments they don't in the similar way take center stage and in a way it seems as if the conclusion and the method used to come to that conclusion are somehow intristically related. That is I dismiss method critiques as being nay-saying when it is about the method being applied to particular issues. I am unsure whether this is part of the general reason why politics is mindkill or whether it is particular to my cognition.

These particular guidelines seem spesific enough that I want to have people point out to me when I am breaking them even at the risk of considerable discomfort. However it seems that if a person submits an opposite opinion and a "error report" on my cognition at the same time I don't have that much confidence that they try to listen to my point despite the shortcomings of it. Whether this is a legimate concern is unclear to me.

There was also a suggestion about tagging posts that are good examples of particular virtues instead of getting all negative about it and pointing the shortcomings.

These things could be "fixed" by me just using more appropriate reading methods but I think it would serve as a more transferable and explicit intellectual capital if there were explicit social conventions to deal with these points of interest. Separating the methodology used and the result arrived at could work atleast for some to be able to apply rationality more fully. The focus could be away on whether you end up being pro or con some statement or ideology just that you do so for reasons you understand, are aware off and do not have formal flaws instead of being a gut reaction tribalism and other more messy and unrational means of "picking a side".
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Fwiffo
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