Hmmmmm! ERE Wheaton levels
or Wheaton levels in general... there are so many angles to consider here and I know exhaustive answers tend to diminish the primary point which is to improve communications and not to win arguments or club people on the head.
I remember the time before [developing the table]. We had all the observations and years of experience with people accusing others of being too extreme or downright insane, alternative people accusing others of being assholes. People finding others inspirational and also people telling others that they should just try a little harder. A few could navigate this intuitively, but most, by far, including me, either got defensive or gave advice based on their personal anecdotal evidence.
The ERE Wheaton levels/table sorted these comments into groups after discovering there's a transitive relation
buried in the data (Wheaton's first insight.)
Having hashed out the table based on years (about 10 years) of experience, communication improved and instead of telling people they were too extreme or that they should try a little harder, it became possible to understand where they were in their journey and point towards inspirational sources rather than just "politely" telling people to try harder and not be lazy or an asshole.
And obviously Paul Wheaton did the same thing for ecology having observed similar issues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWQsgTD3ifY
All this happened in 2016
. It has worked way too well to easily give it up and return to the animosity shit show that mostly was before.
Back then the table (no framework is perfect) also had the issue of some identifying with multiple levels suggesting that identifying with any given level was a meaningless exercise. (Read through the linked thread.) You get similar resistance when it comes to personality models or any model really. When building a theoretical mode, you're always engaged in an exercise of emphasizing what you yourself think are pertinent points while disregarding others. Others may disagree. In particular if you're far off how other people see things, your proposed hacking/cutting will have no overlap. Conversely, people in the center range and therefore being able to relate to most whether left or right or up or down will question what the point was. Almost everybody is +/-1 from their perspective, so why bother?
Anyway ... that was trying to understand the different informed/misinformed perceptions of ERE.
Since then I've been trying to understand the different perceptions of politics as well as figure out a general model of human development regardless of axis. This project is not done yet. However, it appears that multiple researchers have arrived at roughly the same schematas. This strongly suggests that human nature (potential and limits) is the same no matter how one tries to develop it. Whether it's ecology, ERE, chess, management-theory, skills, morals, or politics. The overlaps are too obvious to ignore. The patterns are the same. They're being discovered independently from all kinds of directions. They're legit.
From the perspective of this thread (micro/mezzo/macro) and as someone going into the world, I think they're worth keeping in mind. Perceptions of other people's skills are not always obvious, because for some skills it takes one to know one!!
Basketball is an example of something everybody has had some experience with at all levels. You know how to do a jumpshot and a layup and you understand that the difference between you and a pro is that they just do it far better than you. You can probably dribble a ball including between your legs and around your back albeit not very well. You have experience with all the concepts. You can play all of the game, but just not as well as an experienced player. An experienced player can do all that as well as keeping track of who is guarding who and which lines are open and making something happen from that. (I speak as someone who have only shot some hoops back in school. I may be talking out of my ass---in which case I would be confirming my greater point.) Thus Basketball has very few levels, maybe just 1 or 2.
A better example might be the 100m dash, essentially THE Olympic discipline. There's really no doubt in anyone's mind who is faster. There are no excuses. Faster is just faster.
Running only has 1 level.
Gymnastics is an example of something very few has had any experience with except for the most basic level. Furthermore, it's clear that there are moves at higher levels that are so complex that WL1 can't even identify them by looking at them. With further training having learned some component moves like a roundoff) it becomes possible to identify them and with further training one might attempt them. Still insofar one can do a double salto, it might still be clear that a triple salto is a whole different game while being unclear how it is achieved.
Gymnastics has multiple levels.
Swordplay is something most people have had experience with at the most basic level banging two sticks together Eroll Flynn style. However, beyond this, there's more going like distancing, balance, covering, angles, and feeling pressure. Unlike basketball, where you see everything, and gymnastics where you realize that you don't see everything, swordplay is an example of something where people initially think they see everything but later realize that there's so much more to it.
Swordplay also has multiple levels but less obviously.
The problem is when some human activity resembles swordplay (like ERE or politics) more than it resembles basketball (driving a car) or doing gymnastics (theoretical physics).
In this case, w/o the understanding that Wheaton levels bring to the table, people quickly end up calling each other ignorant assholes or worse while missing each others points entirely. The reason is that it is not entirely clear when they're talking across each other. For example, one person might be expressing grievances while projecting it on another group, another might argue that this conflict is a deliberate distraction, while yet another argues that one can just ignore the whole conflict. And so on.
Whereas an overall structure, like Wheaton levels or other macro-models explaining why there are these kinds of arguments in the first place might create some resolution. From a moderation perspective, this is preferable to the "good old days" of settling things with the online equivalent of fist-fights, especially for the one(s) who have to clean up after the fight
I therefore refer to WLs and other structures of human interaction a lot because raising awareness about them avoids a lot of non-constructive behavior that I would otherwise have to deal with in other ways. (I don't have the luxury of just ignoring it.)