RIP Slate Star Codex

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Campitor
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Campitor »

If a leader of a country wishes to start a war w/o directly declaring it, they put a bunch of hotheads on border patrol. Inevitably they will start a fight while allowing plausible deniability that the order didn't come from above. While true, the leadership did create the situation that would likely create the conflict.)...
Living by the golden rule is the most sensible and virtuous way to live. Trying to understand the other side is always better than armed conflict. I would never dispute this or discourage it.

What I'm saying is that identity politics leads to hotheads on either side of the border and the victims of the ensuing violence will not be limited to just the hotheads. Being nice and understanding will not be a shield when violence breaks out therefore avoiding the build up of hotheads is the preferable action.

The SSC blogger is a psychiatrist. I'm pretty sure he's operating on the highest wheaton levels when it comes to human interactions and engagement. His fear of getting killed or hurt was strong enough for him to delete his blog (he has a backup) and be concerned for his career.

You can't reason with a mob, you can only reason with individuals. A mob is blind to truth when acting violently. Innocent people get killed and/or impacted by the 2nd order effects of the violence. The SSC psychiatrist knows this and is acting accordingly.

TLDR: Being understanding and nice is good for day to day normal interactions. Being understanding and nice is no protection during violent mob activity. Identity politics leads to hotheads on borders (violent mobs). The SSC guy, a practicing psychiatrist trained to manage human interactions at high wheaton levels, fears the violent mob and is taking steps to avoid death and loss of employment.

slsdly
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by slsdly »

There are two veins of concern. What happened to SSC, and can that happen to me. I haven't touched much on the former. With respect to SSC, if you find yourself wanting to do something similar, I would think about the following:

1) Get a proper pseudonym. First name and middle name is very weak. Choose something with no relation to yourself. For example, if you want a proper name, select the most popular baby names 10 + 1d20 (random dice roll) years after you were born. Bonus points for choosing a gender neutral name.

2) Don't share details such as your profession, geographical location or age.

3) Consider posting via a VPN to further mask should someone try to investigate the IP address info.

4) Any email addresses, etc, and such accounts should only be used for the purpose of your blog. Access them through a VPN as well.

5) Use hosting services that are free or let you pay anonymously (not sure how feasible the latter is. The DNS is probably the hardest one I admit.)

6) Don't talk to the media. Your five minutes of fame may be tempting, but be satisfied with the scope you set out to achieve.

7) Realize that the consequences of being doxxed in this case are a result of his profession, not his opinions. His profession which strongly recommends not running a blog because of this eventuality. He knew this going in; that's why he chose to be anonymous in the first place. To be clear, I'm sympathetic, although I wasn't a reader, but it isn't like he couldn't have foreseen this as a possibility.

Campitor
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Campitor »

@slsdy

I hear what you're saying. He new the risks and decided expressing his opinion was worth the risk. My concern is the NYT stance on potentially doxxing the blogger. Considering the NYT has protected source anonymity before, I can't see why they are pushing the "this is standard procedure" mantra in this instance. This raises the question if they interviewed the author in good faith. Are they sacrificing the author for another agenda? And what can that agenda be? I have my suspicions. I'm waiting for the article to be published or for NYT to officially declare the article DOA before forming a more solid opinion.

Some of the blogger quotes uncovered via Google have been pasted below. I imagine many groups would be willing to make him their next villain just on these 3 quotes alone.
If your decision strategy is identifying the Evil People and then minimizing their utility, you probably shouldn't be making public policy.
The moral of the story is: if you’re against witch-hunts, and you promise to found your own little utopian community where witch-hunts will never happen, your new society will end up consisting of approximately three principled civil libertarians and seven zillion witches. It will be a terrible place to live even if witch-hunts are genuinely wrong.
Imagine Moloch, in his Carthaginian-demon personification, looking out over the expanse of the world, eagle-eyed for anything that can turn brother against brother and husband against wife. Finally he decides “YOU KNOW WHAT NOBODY HATES EACH OTHER ABOUT YET? BIRD-WATCHING. LET ME FIND SOME STORY THAT WILL MAKE PEOPLE HATE EACH OTHER OVER BIRD-WATCHING”. And the next day half the world’s newspaper headlines are “Has The Political Correctness Police Taken Over Bird-Watching?” and the other half are “Is Bird-Watching Racist?”. And then bird-watchers and non-bird-watchers and different sub-groups of bird-watchers hold vitriolic attacks on each other that feed back on each other in a vicious cycle for the next six months, and the whole thing ends in mutual death threats and another previously innocent activity turning into World War I style trench warfare.

slsdly
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by slsdly »

@Campitor: Indeed :). I'm not arguing the NYT is doing a public service here. Quite the opposite. What good does it to reveal the author's identity? Journalists are people like any other. They may have terrible bosses, arbitrary rules to follow, and indeed, their own ambitions to nurse. All the while claiming it is the public interest to do so, because.

Those quotes seem reasonable to me, although obviously I don't have the full context. I can also see how righteous groups would want them nailed to the proverbial cross for it. If I have learned anything in recent years, it is often how one says something that gets one in trouble, as much as what one says.

Those snippets are strongly worded, and make it as if the author is minimizing the cause for which these "witch hunters" see themselves fighting for (again, without any other context). That will attract their ire. Framing these in the vein of "Noble intentions are insufficient, and can have consequences" communicates the same vision with less fronts to defend against. The second quote is probably the closest to that.

nomadscientist
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by nomadscientist »

The NYT didn't exactly state it had a policy of naming its sources always. This was something said spontaneously by the particular journalist in one-on-one correspondence with Alexander in response to Alexander's request to not be named. The most likely explanation for this is that it was an ad hoc attempt to deflect the implication it's a hit piece ("you're being treated the same as everyone else" - lie) without having to agree to Alexander's otherwise very reasonable request. Which means it is a hit piece. Alexander probably knows this, but is playing politics with the NYT, trying to keep his job.

As for go along to get along, again, OK, so long as being forced to tell lies isn't that unpleasant to you, and so long as you don't start believing the lies by accident if they're massively dangerous to you, and so long as a society with a public culture built on lies doesn't turn too mad and bad with long range consequences you can't escape.

Generally speaking, showing weakness in political disputes is also not wise. "I didn't see it that way, I will see it your way from now on" is effective in some situations because you suggest you are an apolitical person who is compliant but simply did not follow some recent change in detail. Of course any successful movement must allow people to peacefully join without endlessly punishing them for once having not been in the movement. But in other situations, your supposed ignorance will not be considered a valid excuse, and your concession will be treated as a guilty plea. Since having differing opinions isn't - yet, in the USA - actually a crime, is notionally even a protected and holy right, it is much harder to do anything substantial without a guilty plea.

Scott Alexander did not show weakness, for example, although he did make a substantive concession (deleting the blog) without making a moral concession. For now, he still has his job. For now, the NYT article (which of course was all about how wonderful Scott Alexander is :roll: ) has not been posted.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Boeing's top spokesperson resigns over 1987 article on women in combat

The mistake is in bending the knee.

Show no weakness. Concede nothing.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Woe unto America when it is considered good practice for the best and brightest not to speak up and instead curl up into a pathetic ball.

I am not saying everyone has to be a crusader, but there are more becoming things to be in life than a shill for a broken system.

7Wannabe5
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“Jacob” wrote: One can think of the lowest level as combat (destroy the opponent), the next level as sport (without rules the competition makes no sense), and the highest level as a dance (we're here to make each other better).
George Lakoff in “Metaphors We Live By” offers the example of war as metaphor for verbal argument in explaining how we derive meaning from metaphors that at core reflect physical reality. Coincidentally to your comment, he suggests that if dance was used as the metaphor, the culture itself would be different.

The metaphors used in combat and sport are basically the same. The metaphors used in dance (excepting dance contests which obviously can be quite brutal) are quite different. Words like “balance”,”frame”,”flow”, “transition”, “tight”, “fluid”, “expressive”, “flexible” would be more applicable. Therefore, it is much more difficult to “make sense” or “re-make sense” from Sport to Dance than from War to Sport. OTOH, the language of the courtroom, for example, does carry forward the metaphors from War and Sport into the arena of verbal argument.

In fact, two boxers who are “dancing with each other” are not yet fighting or engaged in the sport, and if we are “dancing around the issue”, we are understood to be avoiding the conflict necessary towards resolution. The two branches of metaphor may be joined, but a bridge or graft must first be formed.

slsdly
Posts: 334
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by slsdly »

I think many (but not all) people who express the most fear on this forum have a lot in common with the mob. You communicate in the exact, same, way. Like you have a chip on your shoulder. Like you are a lone crusader against a world full of injustice. And sometimes you make good points.

But if you think altering how you interact with others is weakness, and giving up, rather than a strategy, then by all means, continue bashing your head against wall, making no progress on your ideals, and waiting for the mob to tear you apart. Because that's what a brave red blooded American would do.

Me, I prefer to change my strategy so that I can achieve my goals, rather than complaining the world isn't the way it should be, and how unfair that is. That can do attitude is what brought me to ERE. It is what brought me from being a friendless loser who has his own share of whining to Internet strangers, to someone who is quite happy with his social life, and finds making friends relatively easy :).

If you want me to be completely honest, I'll give you the same advice I give to the mob members when I think the time is right: Get help. Learn cognitive behavioural therapy. Many people are deeply radicalized and make themselves very unhappy for no reason. This is ERE. We can do better than that.

I wouldn't endorse mindless positivity. This world is going to burn, either by radicals, or more likely by the climate, because people aren't willing to consciously change. There is a certain acceptance I have for that. I will do my part in fighting the sick cultural elements, in the spirit of "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around." As a few people have remarked (in my day to day), I have been the agent of (positive) change in their lives. That is my goal, and it pleases me to achieve it one person at a time. I don't tell them I am the fucking Messiah, although I do try to lead by example.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Different species have different adaptations.

Rabbits, for example, not having much in the way of fangs or claws (rendering them at a severe disadvantage in combat with predators), have muscled hindlegs enabling them to run away quickly. Rabbits run on their toes to gain the optimal stride during locomotion.

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

slsdly wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:32 am
Many people are deeply radicalized and make themselves very unhappy for no reason. This is ERE. We can do better than that.
Along these lines, I recommend anyone who is upset by today's political climate to read The Prisons We Choose to Live Inside. It was written by a former activist from the 60s/70s who describes how politics tends to go in circles and the unhappiness it causes. It's a short read and very applicable to today.

jacob
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by jacob »

I'll attempt to show that combat, sports, and dancing are all different ways of engaging with the same reality with some approaches being more destructive and some being more constructive. They're also good metaphors interactions between different number of groups of different sizes ranging from the individual to the masses. For example, a boxing or a soccer match might include a mass audience and a mob fan base which is also an important part of the set.

The stereotypes from sports carry over to real life and if one wants to get philosophical about it, there's a lot to be learned from sports, war, or dancing. Of course some warriors and athletes do get very philosophical about it and they usually make the best ones. Since some sports also include "dancing" I'll include that too. There's an even higher level than "dancing" but only the participants tend to recognize it when they see it.

I did Shinkendo for a few years (about 400-500 hrs of practice). Shinkendo is a sword art and one its focuses is tachiuchi which is like a kata (known set of moves) with a partner. In other words, a choreographed fight. This is much like a dance. Since it's done with enough force and speed to hurt if done wrong it requires the corporation of both "fighters" who become partners. The better you are, the more you can compensate for your partner's mistakes. You can measure your skill in terms of how good you make the other one look in a friendly match. For example, proper distance is obviously crucial. If you want to strike someone with a sword in the most effective way, you need to be lined up and within 1" of the correct distance (you're usually about 8' apart when engaged, so there's some precision required.. on the order of 1%). When you both move a step you need to make sure you end up in the correct place relative to each other. With some practice, this becomes possible in the same way that a basketball player can shoot the ball within an inch of the hoop. However, if things are moving fast your opponent might move too far or not far enough. Then everything fails and if it was real one or both of you would be either disengaged or dead. However, if you're good enough to compensate for their mistake as well as your own, you can make them look better. And of course, if this was a real fight, you could use this skill in reverse by deliberately setting their position up for failure while setting yours up for success. However, to do that you have to understand how they move(*). Similar a terrible dancer will perform better when paired up with a great dancer and in particular it is ability to elevate the partner that makes the great dancer great. This metaphor can be extended to any number of people but it breaks down for solo dancing. Problems obtain when dancers in the solo-mindset are incapable of considering/compensating/coordinating the partner when they dance. "ARGH! Stop stepping on my toes and put your feet in the right place" rather than "Okay, you don't have this position thing dialed down, so I'm going to compensate in a way that still makes the dance work". The latter is an example of a much better dancer.

One can have the same attitude in debate or life in general. For example, yielding or bending like a straw in the wind does not necessarily mean weakness. The strong oak that refuses to bend is more likely to break in a storm. One dojo example would be the proverbial punk who is out to prove to the world that they're the strongest by challenging everyone to a fight including people outside the dojo. They measure themselves by how well they fight and they have little respect for those they fight. These guys are toxic in the dojo and ultimately nobody wants anything to do with them. (For a Hollywood example, there's Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid movie :lol: )

(*)In boxing you can take a few hits going in and overpower them with force. With sharp swords, you can never take even one hit. When boxers dance around or when samurais engage in a stare off, they're already engaged. This is to learn about the other person so as to get a positional advantage. It might even be to indicate to the other person that they have zero advantage and are bound to lose. Compare this strategy to a punk who just engaged head first with full confidence that they'd win.

In politics, this could be e.g. the libertarian who insists on using an Austrian economic lens on every single human issue being fully prepared to die on that particular hill no matter what. If someone disagrees, it's simply because they do not understand economics the right way. I happen to know a lot of examples because I was once that person worshiping on the altar of Ayn Rand and I therefore happen to know a lot of libertarians while I know less zealots from other *isms. But then I grew up and learned that the real world doesn't run on isms. (Some of the identity politics warriors and all the other warriors will eventually grow up too. Warring is very much a young person's game---or an old person's game using young persons as cannon fodder.) It's important to keep in mind that just because some of the new warriors are flawed (as we all are to greater or lesser degree) it doesn't mean that we can't learn anything from what they're proposing. For example, libertarianism offers many valuable lessons. It's just that it's not a complete/righteous description of how the world actually works. Same thing with identity politics. However, grokking that requires being open to other perspectives rather than "hardening up" one's position when challenged.

However opening up rather than closing and doubling down requires some kind of epiphany/personal growth. What often happens is that hardened up warriors band together and start crusading instead. A band of warriors holed up in their castle (an echo chamber on the internet) and traveling to distant corners of the world (other parts of the internet) to push their ideology constantly engaging in conflict yet rarely convincing anyone else easily end up thinking that the entire world is out to get them. While they don't really think of themselves that way, they've turned into a de facto mob, and that's how the rest of the world come to think of these stalwart warriors. At some level they know it too which is the source of all the projecting. Mobs do attract the same types of hotheads regardless of what cause they're fighting for. Projection is an interesting effect because it requires a distinct familiarity with the misbehavior that one is accusing others of while at the same time denying it in oneself. In most aspects of life, projection peaks around middle school and the "I'm rubber, you're glue"-mindset kinda fades away with increasing levels of introspection after that for most people in general. Yet for some extremely strongly held beliefs it might stick around much longer because deeply held values in oneself are often buried so deep they're hard to see; even or perhaps especially when they're easy to see by others!

(Radicalization of the "true believer" kind can be compared somewhat to a drug addiction. Engaging with the drug---like pwning the opposition for likes on facebook or shouting slogans in a protest march---results in short term gratification but it gradually causes long term problems, e.g. loss of family and friends and more importantly the ability to interact with anyone who is not also an addict of the same drug. Frequently there's denial that "there's no problem here" and that "it's everybody else who has a problem if there's a problem---I can stop at any time". It's the lack of perspective that causes this. The true believer has only one perspective because he insists there can be one and only one perspective.)

Team sports requires an internal (intra team) dance to work well. A team of skilled individualists is a disaster because it's not a team but a collection of showboaters. Optimizing individual players might not work as well as optimizing for who plays well together. Again, there are life lessons here. There are people on teams who might not be the best at anything (striking, defending, goal keeping, dribbling, ...) but are crucial because they're the "engineer" who gets all the other parts of the team machine working together. Having grown up with solo sports (swimming, running, lifting), I did not recognize this aspect of sports until I started playing hockey and then I thoroughly enjoyed it because it was an whole new concept to "doing sports".

(Likewise, war has gone from bands of heroes randomly engaging with spears and swords in single combat mayhem... to Roman turtle formations ... to the highly information dense coordination of modern warfare where everyone on the battlefield is hooked electronically up to everyone. If you want to watch "flow", check out how a military or SWAT entry team clears a room. There's really nothing that doesn't flow there.)

I played in a league. Usually in the earlier rounds we'd go easy on the new skaters. If a noob momentarily lost puck control in a non crucial moment we wouldn't go in and "own" them but rather hang back a bit to let them regain control and then pressure them just slightly above their skill level. Being nice made them come back and play again and they quickly became better. It created a good team-vs-team (inter-team) culture. However, getting closer to the finals when there was a glorious t-shirt on the line for the winning team, nobody went easy on anyone anymore and a few players (not all, not even the majority) even turned into fucking animals cross checking and starting fights (this was a physical no-check league). This goes to show that changing the stakes even for something as irrelevant in the grand scheme of things as a t-shirt can cause behavioral regression.

Just like individuals can "dance" with swords, teams can dance in exhibition matches. At that level, a courtroom drama also becomes an exhibition as far as the rest of society goes. The players are going through a choreographed motion to perform the ritual of "justice". It's important to frame the verdict so it appears fair not only to the contesting parties but also to the legal system on the whole. Insofar the prosecutor doesn't interact well with the position of the defense, people will stop believing in the system as a whole.

There is---I think by construction---a lot of interaction on the social media that is unnecessarily combative. (And one can indeed spot combative people from a mile away.) Some passionately dying on hills that most other people really don't care or even know about. In most cases (other than mine of course :P ) I believe these "social casualties" are needless. One of the questions I ask myself before responding and before hitting send is whether I'm being combative or tried to instigate or trigger someone? I also ask myself based on having possible danced with someone in the past whether I'm likely to move them in any way. Likewise, if I see someone trying to needle or trigger me to engage in combat, I'll simply circle or bend away and maintain the same distance. I'll let them punch holes in the air. Maybe they'll get tired. There's some recognition that I will have to live with them in the future, so I try to avoid destroying anyone. Very few are beyond redemption but they usually have to come about it on their own. I do not always succeed but this kind of dancing is the overall strategy.

In very many cases---on very many hills---it's a win-lose or a lose-lose proposition to engage. That is direct confrontation is a net loss proposition for most controversial issues---especially when there's a risk of third-party collateral damage. For me it's not really a question of "never backing down" because I've seen where that attitude ends (insert war metaphors) but whether a particular hill is worth fighting and dying on or whether it's better to control the hill in better or more subtle ways. For example, I can engage someone from the index investor cult all day long and sometimes it's tempting. Yet what's the point when we're both free to invest however we want? Instead I can focus my energy on making people better investors and at some point some will realize that investing is not about being for or against indexing (combat) but rather that indexing is part of investing (dance).

TL;DR - It's all about perspectives and it's usually the wrong perspective (e.g. seeing every challenge as win-lose single combat) that causes social ruin rather than the wrong ideology.

nomadscientist
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by nomadscientist »

It takes two to tango but only one to war.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

What happens when they come to your house? Agreeing and being as yielding as water is a fine path of least resistance for most of life, but when people come to your door and demand you bend a knee?

The mob who think that is ok just didn’t arrive at that point. They think it’s ok because you have already conceded the linguistic territory. As @nomadscientist said, if people agree to BS in public discourse because yielding does not rock the boat, it inevitably leads to people actually believing the BS. And then acting on it. Against you. Taking away someone’s livelihood is one step removed from showing up at someone’s door.

Campitor
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Campitor »

I came across this article today: Cade Metz Pulls a ‘Deep Capture’ on Slate Star Codex

Quote from the article writer Gary Weiss:
I believe that Metz embarked on this story with the intent of doxing “Scott Alexander.” I think his assurances that the article would be favorable can also be discarded as so much campaign rhetoric. I hold that belief because I have dealt with Metz, and I found him to be a totally unscrupulous, unethical reporter — a first-class skunk, to put it bluntly.
The writer elaborates on Metz' alleged unethical behavior as a reporter. His finishes his article with the following:
I expect that the Times will circle the wagons around Metz, as it tends to do when reporters are caught with their pants down. Thanks to the Internet, Metz’s shabby treatment of Scott Alexander is now on display for all to see. Whatever happens to Cade Metz, whether he’s kept in the bosom of the Times or sent packing, anyone who talks to him for a story is taking a grave risk. I wouldn’t believe a thing Metz ever says, including “hello” and “I think it’s raining outside.”
That someone like Metz is on the NYT payroll speaks volumes.

nomadscientist
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by nomadscientist »

Wheaton levels are in danger of jumping the shark in that they are becoming a rhetorical device for persuading/shaming people to accept the thought processes the user is trying to frame as highest level rather than description of views that unambiguously exist arranged in an undeniably logical hierarchy. The ERE Wheaton level chart worked so well because there were many high profile people on the internet who not only held the mindsets described at each level but did so in their own terms and without shame. Whereas in the more recent reapplications of the term, all but the highest level (the writer's own view) is described in terms few would use to describe himself.

In a recent thread I saw someone argue that the highest Wheaton level of political thought was to have a straight down the party line set of (2020 USA) left wing views, and the lowest level to have corresponding set of (2020 USA) right wing views. This is actually political Wheaton level 0, in which the speaker is merely a tool in the hands of an organisation created and controlled by others, with no effective thought processes of his own. Put in less negative way: the user almost always agrees with op ed pages of [his party's] paper/talking heads of [his party's] news network and considers consuming them worth his time, because he cannot predict what they're going to say or he just enjoys group identity reinforcement.

Wheaton level 1 would be accepting the basic framework of a party morality, but then drawing some independent conclusions from it. You'd be amazed how much trouble this can already get people in. I would argue that Alexander was Wheaton level 1.5.

Wheaton level 2 might be "seeing both sides" - that is, accepting that a priori either moral framework of the big factions of his own time and place might be correct, but not realising the possibility that neither might be correct and that both might have substantial similarities that are not random but reflect a common process of evolution. In other words, there is independence of thought but the domain of thought is small.

Wheaton level 3 might be reading a lot of history and seeing past views, or seeing views in very foreign countries like China* in the same way**, that a priori they can also be correct stances. These are almost always far outside the current time/place window of acceptability, so doing this reduces your ability to talk to people at Wheaton level 2 and functionally eliminates the ability to talk to Wheaton level 0 and 1 partisans.

*admittedly hard without learning foreign languages; even European countries that are quite similar "think differently" in subtle ways that their languages reflect

**or writing science fiction, which in its original and most interesting form was an attempt to widen the thought domain still further by including "hypothetical societies"

Wheaton level 4 would be transcending the viewpoint of "choose/find the view that is right," even if perhaps by mixing and matching from broad source material. Instead, it sees politics as a functional process like business that individuals engage in for their own reasons relevant to their daily lives, which has functional causes and functional effects. The Wheaton level 4 politics thinker doesn't deny the existence of morality or its functional importance to those at the low levels, who are themselves an important part of the whole mechanism, but it doesn't see it as transcendental, instead it is just another part of the natural world.

As in the original ERE Wheaton level system, more than one or two levels apart these worldviews become essentially unintelligible and often quite hostile, unlike in the formulations where the top is simply one party's program and the bottom is its most public opponent party's program, which are hostile despite (or because of) intelligibility.

A society itself has a political Wheaton level in terms of what political Wheaton level it tolerates and encourages in its members. Higher Wheaton level societies are smarter politically, because they take in more information and treat it more critically, but less cohesive. In terms of societal competitiveness there is a trade-off to be made (you might have noticed that this is archetypical Wheaton level 4 perespective). What we are seeing in recent years in the USA is the country moving down the political Wheaton scale from the Wheaton level 3 perspective of the Founding Fathers described in sources like the Federalist Papers, to the Wheaton level 1 of the past decades, to now perilously close to Wheaton level 0 where not only must everyone have the same basic framework of thought but even express those thoughts in the same way, at the same time, with the same style of art design...

jacob
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by jacob »

@nomadscientist - Yes, the Wheaton framework or any framework with its apparent ranking is too easily used to clobber people on the head with. It is useful, but it's not going to win friends or influence people unless it's hashed out in a way that "everybody" agrees with. When we made the original table, there were problems too. Some clearly didn't get it insisting that they were somewhat on all levels simultaneously. A very interesting problem was that it was really really hard to work out/describe levels that are 1 or more levels beyond oneself. (The feature is also a bug.) This is also why the ERE Wheaton levels look like they do and why they stop at 8. Nobody here is much beyond 7 ... and the "direction" was picked to reflect ERE and not e.g. FIRE or some other dimension. FatFIRE would have a very different opinion of what Wheaton levels of FatFIRE should be---they'd focus a lot more on the income side than the spending side for example.

Regardless, the logical framework of Wheaton levels would be
  • [1] There are always fewer people on the next level.
    [2] People think those too far above or too far below are extreme regardless of level. (Similar to Overton windows)
    [3] It is not possible to skip a level.
    [3.1] You're probably lower than you think.
    [3.2] It's very difficult to describe levels higher than yourself.
If I suggest that something has a Wheaton structure, I'm really implying a kind of Plato's Cave situation in which it is difficult to climb further out to see the next level as long as one firmly believes that the current level is already at the top of the mountain. ("How can I be chained to the floor when I show complete mastery of everything I see on the wall?")

There's also a certain curse of knowledge going on with the Wheaton framework. Kegan levels have the same logic minus (2). Also, I don't think the curse of knowledge holds for Kegan to the same degree. The self-authoring or self-transforming minds do understand the imperial (teenage) or socialized (average adult) mind because they remember how that was and it's still part of them(*)---they're just aware of it so they control it rather than the other way around. I think politics are more reflective of Kegan levels than Wheaton levels but that's a minor point. It's not that teenagers or children are incomprehensible ... it's more that arguing about batman vs superman is not the most interesting use of time past a certain age.

(*) Similar to how I still contain my libertarian roots from my late teens and twenties but I no longer think it's very productive or smart to insist that libertarianism is the one true way by means of showing non-libertarians the error of their ways from a individualist/freedom/Austrian economics framework.

Add: Allowing for some moral outrage/frustration over "people who are clearly not getting it" could add (2) back in.

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Jean
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Jean »

The Map isn't the territory.
Consensus isn't always possible.
But mapping ans trying to be consensual aren't a waste of ressources.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Exodus 23:1-2

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

It seems also that perhaps by “shill for the system” it was interpreted as a disagreement from another thread regarding economics. Although the NYT is a propaganda wing of a power structure so it is not as though this is disconnected. Everyone has their own way of dealing with this environment so that comment was not directed toward different strategies.

I just don’t see the need to defend NYT. That is the current problem with institutions, they are unaccountable and the damage they cause gets to be chalked up as bureaucratic obtuseness (“It wasn’t me, it was our procedure that doxxed you”). Whether it’s the NYT or WHO we have the right to be critical. The lies are insulting to my intelligence. And a criticism of an institution is not a criticism of science or scientists.

When stuff gets erased- blogs with reasonable discourse, posts of old forum mainstays- everyone is poorer for it.

Chris Martenson has been aggregating a lot of info on the virus and is much more trustworthy to me than the MSM. So of course the powers that be deleted his Wikipedia page in February. It seems the more likely you are to be honest, the greater the chance of being canceled, silenced, or deleted. And it’s a shame.

So while I can understand why someone would avoid openly speaking against the mainstream narrative, out of self-preservation, I cannot understand defending the institutions. Even if defending the institution is a smokescreen, it’s going to be hard to communicate effectively using riddles and codes.

7Wannabe5
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Re: RIP Slate Star Codex

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@jacob:

I grant that there are metaphorical links between dance and discourse, although my first thought was that the form of discourse which is most analogous to dance would be flirtation. I guess my question would be whether the "trying to make each other look good" dance partner/troupe style of discourse best or better serves the purpose of punching holes in ->through the "pinata" which is NOT (except on a bad day :lol: ) the individual(s) with whom you happen to be discoursing/debating/dancing, but rather the idea/concept which has been metaphorically "put up."

Anyways, making use of dance analogy, I would suggest that it would be very bad form for the NYT to reveal name in this instance. However, I think the real elephant in the room is the concept of "professionalism." Where do we go from "professionalism" towards greater integration? Can we fully accept the reality that "professionals" have personal lives in a world where both can be viewed simultaneously on split-screen live feed? Do we need a grown-up version of "Everybody Poops?"
ssldy wrote: "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around."
Why not "You are the total variance..."

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