Thursday, 9 December 2010

LessWrong Overcoming Bias (more notes) on Facebook

Regarding a Facebook comments-discussion... this blog will focus on some more notes for my critique of "Less Wrong" and "Overcoming Bias", which I hope to write sometime before June 2011. This blog focuses on LessWrong.

These comments were in relation to a Facebook wall post by Br****** Gar**** (I must censor her name otherwise I fear she could try to get this blog deleted). She didn't appreciate my comments and has now unfriended me; so I no longer have access to her wall comments therefore I cannot provide a URL for her wall post (it is possible she has deleted the whole post). Thankfully I saved my comments in my computer rather than only in Facebook cyberspace.

Ironically her "political views" are listed as "libertarian". The nature of her wall post, which I commented on, was that she was stating something such as: here is the best, greatest, and most rational article on the web and she was linking to a LessWrong article (sorry I don't have the link, I couldn't retrieve it before she unfriended me, but I did manage to save this additional link, which she cited as another alleged example of allegedly great rationalism).

I'm absolutely exhausted. AH the PAIN! I've been running on adrenaline too long trying to enlighten people, wearing my body down, but these things needed to be stated at this point in time, for the record, and I will now log them (not in the original order):

My Facebook wall comments to Br****** Gar****:

  • LessWrong is basically a negative (unwittingly-pessimistic) movement, it would be better to say "MoreRight"; but "MoreRight" doesn't mean we should ignore the negatives, it is simply a realization that the concept of "Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" is a powerful force therefore focusing on the positives is MoreRight.

    It all depends on how you define "rational" some people "think" they are rational but they are actually not. The logic of LessWrong is somewhat flawed. At some point in the future I will publish an article about the unaware-bias of LessWrong; but having stated this I don't want to appear overly critical because we should focus on points we agree on, we should seek unification thereby progressing forward positively.

    Peter Thiel writes in the article:

    "From a contrarian perspective, one could be more optimistic if others were not so naively “optimistic.” "

    Peter is making a poor back-handed excuse for pessimism. Pessimists blame others for their shortcomings whereas optimists take charge of a situation to achieve their goals. "Making excuses" is NOT a symptom of a rational mind. It is shocking to see in Peter's article about our financial futures that he fails to mention the concept of Post-Scarcity.

    Sometimes it can be positive to highlight failings. You have to break a few eggs make an omelette. Via bringing to your attention possible failings you and others can then progress forward positively. Imagine if you see somebody doing something wrong, but they don't realize what they are doing is wrong; if you tell them how they are wrong they may mistakenly deem your criticism as negativity, but in actual fact the criticism is made positively so that they can modify their negative actions thereby progressing forward positively in the future. It is difficult to correct mistaken notions because people don't like to be criticized even when the criticism is helpful. My comment was made with positive intentions. Furthermore none of us are perfect, perhaps I could have explained the situation in a more positive light; thankfully we will all become perfect because the utopian Singularity is coming by 2045 at the latest.

    LessWrong and MoreRight are both "invariant" methods of thought, but one is pessimistic and the other is optimistic. Optimism (MoreRight) is rational whereas LessWrong (pessimism) is irrational.

    LessWrong seems to admit fundamental flaws (pessimism) whereas MoreRight seems to admit fundamental perfection (optimism). The LessWrong premise, as I see it, is that we are all wrong but we can be less wrong. LessWrong is an improvement upon wrongness but it is nevertheless wrong at the core, thus pessimistic; whereas MoreRight starts out from a positive outlook (we are right) and the positivity feeds back thus we become MoreRight.

    LessWrong is the rationalist equivalent of a person with cancer cutting back on smoking cigarettes. The smoker with cancer cuts back and says to him or herself: "smoking 3 a day is less wrong than smoking ten a day." The truly rational solution is not to smoke.

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