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Nassim Nicholas Taleb Sucks

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who is supposedly a Popperian, blocked me on Twitter today for offering some helpful corrections of one of his articles. What a fool.

He admitted I was right and then told me to get lost...

Twitter doesn't offer any good way to link all my relevant tweets from today, but see:

https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1007850325066297344

Most of my relevant tweets are replies to that Taleb tweet. I wrote several.


https://twitter.com/curi42/status/1007875578089762817

My comments afterwards (two tweets, not replies to Taleb).


https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1007871153074049024

That's the link to Taleb telling me to get lost.


https://twitter.com/curi42/with_replies

That links my recent tweets. It won't be useful in the future but works well if you see this soon.


http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/SmithBSVendor.html

That's Taleb's article, from his original tweet, which I wrote comments on.


Elliot Temple on June 15, 2018

Comments (93)

He didn't admit you were right. You made two claims:

1. He made a typo.

2. When you're saying other people make mistakes, that's a bad time to make mistakes yourself.

All he said was he makes mistakes. He didn't agree to your second claim, and implied he disagrees with it. (Rightly, because you made a typo into a moral crusade.)


Anonymous at 1:11 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9841 | reply | quote

I said he was mistaken and he agreed he was mistaken.

You claim to be paying attention to details, but you're not. I pointed out other mistakes too – including a more important one to begin with – which he didn't reply to. So saying I made a typo into a moral crusade is straightforwardly false.

It is notable that the same message both 1) told me to get lost 2) gave as reasoning, not that i was wrong, but that i was correct. He didn't deny any of my corrections, and in the case he commented on, he in fact admitted I was correct about the error I pointed out.

You're trying to be logical, rational and detailed, but you don't have the skill for it, and you're biased and hostile. You aren't trying to help me, you're angry or something.


curi at 1:37 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9842 | reply | quote

> You claim to be paying attention to details

(strongly, repeatedly implied, but not stated)


curi at 1:37 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9843 | reply | quote

"That idiot (whom I blocked) doesn't get that one can tactfully report a typo without a statement degrading one's message." - his follow on Tweet

"That idiot" being you.

I'd really like to know if you're just so socially inept to not understand how what you say comes off or whether you just want people to respect, like and engage with you despite or (perhaps because) of it.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9844 | reply | quote

>I'd really like to know if you're just so socially inept to not understand how what you say comes off

do you really regard social incompetence as a serious explanation here?

>or whether you just want people to respect, like and engage with you despite or (perhaps because) of it.

your use of parentheses doesn't make sense. if you drop the parenthetical part you have nonsense. parenthetical remarks should be optional, not required parts of the core sentence structure.

anyways, what's wrong with what curi said?

Taleb presumably got offended cuz curi took the tone of a friendly-but-critical colleague pointing out an error, and Taleb is not used to random people from the internet taking that tone with him. also curi said the error mattered, and didn't downplay it, so that made Taleb feel bad!

presumably there are people who could take that tone with Taleb -- if not now then in the past (like a professor in school, say). but curi didn't have enough status to satisfy Taleb's requirements for being able to take that tone, so Taleb got mad.

and presumably if curi had taken a tone of sufficient supplication and of minimizing the importance of the error ("oh wise scholar Taleb, sorry to trouble you with such trivialities, but I happened to notice a minor error of little importance in your tremendous and mighty post") then Taleb would have been okay with it.

is that a rational approach to criticism?

is it rational to have a default expectation that people should engage in fraud regarding their intellectual status? or regarding their judgment regarding the importance of some mistake you made? if you think it is, why? is the answer roughly "to optimize social game playing at the expense of clear communication, truth, and personal integrity"?


Mysterious Poster at 7:28 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9845 | reply | quote

>(Rightly, because you made a typo into a moral crusade.)

Here's an idea: you write a version of curi's tweet that you think Taleb wouldn't be offended by, but that expresses the same idea. In particular, it should express that the typo Taleb made matters because of the context (that is to say, he is calling out other people's errors, so it's especially important he error correct his own stuff when doing that).


Anonymous at 7:44 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9846 | reply | quote

>do you really regard social incompetence as a serious explanation here?

Yes absolutely.

>Taleb presumably got offended cuz curi took the tone of a friendly-but-critical colleague pointing out an error

That is not how the tone came off. In fact it comes off as very patronising. Colleagues are usually not patronising to each other. In fact it was Elliot who spoke as if he had higher status and that should be taken into account.

Obsessing over typos is a known way of bullying someone. Teachers use it in school all the time. This interaction closely mirrored the interactions often found in schools.

None of the comments Elliot made here helpful. None of them took into account what Taleb was trying to achieve with his post and tried helping with that.

It is amusing (and sad) that Elliot (despite nominally being against coercive education) uses the tactics of coercive educators in most of his public interactions.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 8:14 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9847 | reply | quote

>In particular, it should express that the typo Taleb made matters because of the context (that is to say, he is calling out other people's errors, so it's especially important he error correct his own stuff when doing that).

Why is it especially important to error correct your own stuff (e.g. typos) when calling out other people's errors?


Anonymous at 9:56 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9848 | reply | quote

> Why is it especially important to error correct your own stuff (e.g. typos) when calling out other people's errors?

The context was that Taleb called someone out as basically an intellectual fraud who shouldn't have his job (unethical, illogical, unprofessional bullshit operator – and that's just the headings). When making such major accusations (especially as a permanent written public statement, not as offhand verbal comments), one should try really hard to be right! That includes doing it carefully with crystal clarity, not carelessly without proofreading (and with other non-typo errors).

BTW Taleb still hasn't corrected any of the errors in his article.

> That is not how the tone came off. In fact it comes off as very patronising. Colleagues are usually not patronising to each other. In fact it was Elliot who spoke as if he had higher status and that should be taken into account.

If you want to quote specific text and write comments about your social dynamics analysis, go ahead (including comments on hypothetical alternative versions for comparison). If you don't want to do that, I don't think you will be able to successfully communicate your perspective. Just pointing at everything I said non-specifically, and then asserting a perspective/evaluation I do not share, is not a way to get your point across to me. And instead of trying to go into more detail on communicating and explaining, you instead took the time to further attack me as a coercive hypocrite, which seems hostile, unhelpful, nasty, and *premature* at this point in the discussion when we haven't even, e.g., gotten on the same page about our background knowledge of social dynamics (but it doesn't look like the type of discussion where we'll ever get on the same page about much of anything, because you are presenting as someone who will write a few careless attacks and then go silent, not someone who will work cooperatively over time to have an effective, productive, mutually-valuable discussion).


curi at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9849 | reply | quote

>>do you really regard social incompetence as a serious explanation here?

>Yes absolutely.

well i think that's silly. i think believing social incompetence is a viable explanation here involves ignoring tons of publicly available analysis of social stuff that Elliot has written.

>>Taleb presumably got offended cuz curi took the tone of a friendly-but-critical colleague pointing out an error

>That is not how the tone came off. In fact it comes off as very patronising.

It's how the tone came off to me. Do you think your interpretation is presumptively more valid because it is more conventional?

>Colleagues are usually not patronising to each other.

Quality colleagues are direct and honest. And also interpret statements from friendly people in a generous way (as opposed to getting easily triggered.)

>In fact it was Elliot who spoke as if he had higher status and that should be taken into account.

That's not how i read it.

>Obsessing over typos is a known way of bullying someone.

One tweet constitutes an obsession? if not, why invoke obsessions?

>Teachers use it in school all the time. This interaction closely mirrored the interactions often found in schools.

You mean the interactions where the middling-IQ person in a position of authority frequently offers incompetent criticism of your forced writing assignments in a setting you can't voluntarily leave? Which parts of the tweet mirrored that?

>None of the comments Elliot made here helpful. None of them took into account what Taleb was trying to achieve with his post and tried helping with that.

Presumably Taleb was trying to write correct, grammatical English.

>It is amusing (and sad) that Elliot (despite nominally being against coercive education) uses the tactics of coercive educators in most of his public interactions.

This is a disgusting and vicious slander. Wow.

your overall approach here seems to be to assume your more conventional interpretations of social stuff are presumptively valid. and to assume people who disagree with you are either incompetent or similar to evil teachers or maybe both.

are you a Popper fan? do you think your approach to the discussion so far reflects the spirit of "I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth"?

my proposal that you write your own version of curi's tweet still stands.


Mysterious Poster at 11:47 AM on June 17, 2018 | #9850 | reply | quote

Regarding my second tweet:

For context, here's the first tweet:

> > Noah Smith … [{presents} the Black Swan as only overestimating market crashes]… "… Taleb might be wrong -- people might be overestimating, rather than underestimating…"

> No, Smith accuses @nntaleb of underestimating, not overestimating. (But Taleb's main point is correct.)

This could be a misreading, logical error, or typo. It's hard to know, but it's a problem. Regardless, it's confusing for readers. And now my second tweet::

> > and his editor, James Grieff contradiction Smith by saying

> Should be "contradicted" not "contradiction". @nntaleb I sympathize with what you're doing, but you should carefully edit an article of this type! Calling someone out for errors is a bad place to make your own errors!

So, not very far in to the article, Taleb already had a second error. I thought it was important, but people often dismiss typos as unimportant. So in addition to helpfully reporting the error, I also helpfully explained why it mattered.

I was thinking about the issues, not social dynamics. I think everything I said is true and important. Is it condescending to believe I am capable of detecting and correcting an error by Taleb? I don't think so. That is how i would treat a peer or someone a bit above me. Maybe it implies I don't think he's so far out of my league I couldn't possibly improve any of his writing – but not necessarily: pretty much anyone can catch typos and inversions in my articles and sometimes they do (I respond by fixing the error and often thanking the reporter, without feeling like it makes them my philosophical rival, peer, better, inferior, or any particular status – I take it as status-independent. If in addition to a typo report they also included some explanation of why error correction matters, contextually or generally, then I might think they were potentially a good thinker and be interested in discussion.).


curi at 12:02 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9851 | reply | quote

> You mean the interactions where the middling-IQ person in a position of authority frequently offers incompetent criticism of your forced writing assignments in a setting you can't voluntarily leave? Which parts of the tweet mirrored that?

LOL

> Presumably Taleb was trying to write correct, grammatical English.

I stopped presuming that by the time I got to the end of the article, but yeah I was presuming that at the start. That's why I didn't report this later typo (mid-word line break, emphasis omitted from quote):

> Did it hit him that trades are something that don't last 4 years? No. D

> id it hit him that bonds collapsed after the talk? (markets happen to go up and down). No.


curi at 12:09 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9852 | reply | quote

Why didn't curi contact Taleb privately to correct the typo?

What value did the public display have?


Anonymous at 1:28 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9853 | reply | quote

Taleb chose to be available publicly. He uses Twitter. jfc.

And public is better so other ppl can read it and learn about it (both about curi's perspective and also about curi-Taleb discussion/interaction). curi's tweets had a lot more to say than pointing out one typo.

Now everyone in the world who cares has total clarity that Taleb is an intellectual fraud to be ignored, and all of the evidence is publicly recorded so people can see and judge for themselves. That's great. Thanks curi.


Anonymous at 1:33 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9854 | reply | quote

>(but it doesn't look like the type of discussion where we'll ever get on the same page about much of anything, because you are presenting as someone who will write a few careless attacks and then go silent, not someone who will work cooperatively over time to have an effective, productive, mutually-valuable discussion).

Funnily enough that's my impression of you. Whenever someone tries to talk to you critically you hardly make a reasonable effort to understand what they are trying to say.

Instead one is always treated with this stream-of-conciousness style reply where you seem to be explaining/rationalising to yourself why a particular person sucks and why you don't need to take what they said seriously. It looks strange because reasonable people don't need to justify to themselves why they will ignore something. This usually takes the form of finding the first thing the person says that can be interpreted in a contrived way as saying something silly and then focusing on that.

Also you often accuse people of not putting in the effort but you hardly ever do that yourself. You could have for instance asked questions rather than asking me to laboriously look for quotes. It is completely unreasonable to expect someone to do that.

---------

Having said that I would find your view on what the underlying social dynamics of the situation were interesting. What do you see as having happened in that interaction? Do you agree with the other poster's view on what role status played?

(I am sure there are people who you like more who would also be interested in the answers to such questions as well)


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 1:33 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9855 | reply | quote

> Funnily enough that's my impression of you. Whenever someone tries to talk to you critically you hardly make a reasonable effort to understand what they are trying to say.

You haven't made your first substantive comment yet where you quote something I said on Twitter and analyze it. You made an opening statement but where's the meat? Instead of seriously trying to communicate, you repeatedly attacked me. I guess you don't know how to discuss.

I do routinely offer substantive comments in discussions.

> You could have for instance asked questions rather than asking me to laboriously look for quotes.

If you think using quotes in discussions is too laborious, then you don't know how to have a productive discussion. Is that something you'd like to learn? Or you can just give up. There are non-hostile people interested in learning, so what do you have to offer in comparison?

And asking about what you thought was wrong with what particular text, and for your social dynamics analysis, *is* a question to move things forward.


curi at 1:41 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9856 | reply | quote

>Why didn't curi contact Taleb privately to correct the typo?

>What value did the public display have?

on fooledbyrandomness.com it says

>Mail: Important (only): gamma -at- fooledbyrandomness-dot-com. The current backlog is > 10 months. (Please keep very short (postcard style); please avoid attachments and links).

>I beg journalists & members of the media to get in contact with the publishers if they need to, not me (please, please). Also, please no documentary films, newspaper articles, book chapters, and interviews beyond book launches.

lol @ 10 months. that's basically saying "don't expect a reply, ever".

so by using twitter, curi was able to actually get interaction in a format the author chooses to make himself available in.

btw anon, did you actually investigate privately contacting Taleb and still think, after finding the same information i found above, that it was a reasonable suggestion? i doubt it.

btw anon why haven't you tried writing your own version of curi's tweet?

as an aside, Taleb sounds really overwhelmed and in in need of some communications/email management help.


Mysterious Poster at 1:42 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9857 | reply | quote

I don't get it, anon. You begin with open hostility in #9841 and then you act surprised or upset that the conversation doesn't go well after that? And you've so far refused to go into detail about your criticism. What do you expect? What did you imagine would happen when you were highly aggressive and hostile while also keeping the discussion on the level of superficial impressions? How was this ever supposed to work out well? What do you want? If you want a serious, detailed discussion, *say so and start acting like it*. If you want something else, say so and again act accordingly. Instead you've posted sloppy smears with no clear purpose, then blamed the discussion failing to meet your unstated goals on curi for noticing you were being a low-substance jerk.


Dagny at 1:45 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9858 | reply | quote

Oh noticed you've already written something about this.

>I was thinking about the issues, not social dynamics.

Maybe but your actions would suggest otherwise to just about any reasonable person. Making a big deal out of typos almost always has social connotations. You should take that into account.

>I think everything I said is true and important.

Might be true but certainly felt more like irrelevant spam.

>Is it condescending to believe I am capable of detecting and correcting an error by Taleb?

Not at all. But I am sure anybody who uses a spellchecker agrees and indeed thinks an uncreative box is able to discover errors they have missed.

>I don't think so. That is how i would treat a peer or someone a bit above me. Maybe it implies I don't think he's so far out of my league I couldn't possibly improve any of his writing – but not necessarily: pretty much anyone can catch typos and inversions in my articles and sometimes they do (I respond by fixing the error and often thanking the reporter, without feeling like it makes them my philosophical rival, peer, better, inferior, or any particular status – I take it as status-independent.

Sounds basically reasonable.

>If in addition to a typo report they also included some explanation of why error correction matters, contextually or generally, then I might think they were potentially a good thinker and be interested in discussion.).

You said "I sympathize with what you're doing, but you should carefully edit an article of this type! Calling someone out for errors is a bad place to make your own errors!"

This is patronising and, frankly, stupid.

The typo is irrelevant. Even if you think otherwise and are right that is the prevailing theory.

Then you imply he didn't carefully edit the article (which again is social connotation rich). Finally you imply that this mistake somehow reduces the credibility of his article. (Which it obviously does not and again has social connotations)

Any reasonable person would have acted like he did.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 1:52 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9859 | reply | quote

BTW part of the reason I am talking about social dynamics is because I have a vague impression you actually desperately want to be better at that. It explains your interest in PUA and many other things. It's sort of tragic if the main reason that you are the way you are is because you have completely deluded ideas about this one instrumental thing.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 1:55 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9860 | reply | quote

> Maybe but your actions would suggest otherwise to just about any reasonable person. Making a big deal out of typos almost always has social connotations. You should take that into account.

You don't know enough about what I think, or why, to tell me what to do. You are being aggressive and pushy (and violating standard social norms, the very thing you're complaining about). You should stop. If you want to learn something, ask or read. If you want to teach, you need to engage with some of my existing knowledge on this topic, e.g. AS, FH, Szasz, RSD, Girls Chase. You can't change my mind while ignoring or being ignorant of my relevant knowledge and just asserting what I "should" do and think (seemingly contrary to my values and goals). Also drop the continued, open hostility or I don't expect I'll reply further.


curi at 1:59 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9861 | reply | quote

>You don't know enough about what I think, or why, to tell me what to do. You are being aggressive and pushy (and violating standard social norms

See this - this is exactly how Taleb felt when he read your Tweet.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 2:11 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9862 | reply | quote

>If you want to teach, you need to engage with some of my existing knowledge on this topic, e.g. AS, FH, Szasz, RSD, Girls Chase.

Why?


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 2:14 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9863 | reply | quote

I need to know more about Taleb and his goals and values to suggest he fix errors? Your complaint is that I was wrong to give Taleb the benefit of the doubt as someone who cares about truth, correctness, etc? Sure that was wrong in retrospect, but I don't regret giving Taleb the benefit of the doubt; I think it's a good policy for how to treat people initially.

BTW I pointed out typos to patio11 and Daniel Greenfield on Twitter in the last couple days and they both reacted positively.

> > If you want to teach, you need to engage with some of my existing knowledge on this topic, e.g. AS, FH, Szasz, RSD, Girls Chase.

> Why?

I have ideas. You assert I should have different conclusions but don't address which ideas to change or why. How can you even know if your conclusions are better than mine without knowing my reasoning? You can't compare with or evaluate my knowledge, let alone offer improvements to it, without understanding it.


curi at 2:17 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9864 | reply | quote

> > If you want to teach, you need to engage with some of my existing knowledge on this topic, e.g. AS, FH, Szasz, RSD, Girls Chase.

> Why?

That existing knowledge includes *arguments* which you have not addressed.


curi at 2:18 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9865 | reply | quote

how learning works

(I'm writing this because I think it's of general interest and relevance.)

Let's say I have 1000 ideas related to social dynamics and other relevant things, which are all consistent with each other. A big web of knowledge.

If you corrected/modified 5 of them using some general concepts or principles I don't know, then maybe I could use those new ideas to correct others. I could take the theme from you and apply it and go correct another 500 on my own without you going through them individually. This is easiest if you can state what your general principle(s) is, but possible with just examples of it.

After correcting 500 out of 1000 ideas, I would have an inconsistent set of ideas. I would see partially how to change my overall view, but not fully. I would then say to you: "What about X, Y, Z?" Those would be 3 of my remaining ideas which I still think are right, which contradict the new ideas based on your pattern/theme/principle/concept(s), which I think are fairly distinct. My hope would be to then get 3 new principles (or a really powerful one that unifies things that looked separate to me). Then I could use those to get up to perhaps 980 changes (you having told me only ~8 things at this point), and mostly change my mind, then bring up a few of the remaining issues with you.

This is how learning works in general. There's always a ton of ideas to modify, and a teacher gives some representative examples and addresses some of the important ideas someone has, and then the learner goes through and deal with lots of the implications themselves. (People who don't want to do that – take some general concepts and make a bunch of detail changes themselves – are not actually teachable.)

BTW, in discussions often it isn't known in advance who will end up being the learner, and everyone may learn something. It's good not to get stuck on rigid roles at the outset. Also, one can learn things while in the teacher/mentor role – it's good practice to explain and refute ideas, and one can review the existing knowledge of the learner and learn something from it (e.g. if you were right about social dynamics, you still might learn some other things while reviewing Rand's books). And finding out all the ways people disagree with your ideas can help you figure out ways to improve it so it better addresses all the potential doubts, misconceptions, etc.

It's theoretically possible to do something like this learning process even if you don't engage with any of my existing ideas or sources. You could say some great general purpose ideas and I could then apply them without you giving me any examples. If your knowledge was vastly superior to mine, then maybe you could dismiss all of Girls Chase, Rand, RSD, etc, without ever being familiar with any of it, cuz you just have so much more advanced ideas it blows it all away. This is not realistic in general (takes a *really huge* intellectual lead), and the indications so far are you have pretty conventional views on these matters instead of super advanced views, and there have been no signs of advanced principles i've never heard of. It would be realistic if e.g. I had just woken up from 1000 years in cryonics, so I was behind on 1000 years of intellectual progress.


curi at 3:02 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9866 | reply | quote

> It's theoretically possible to do something like this learning process even if you don't engage with any of my existing ideas or sources. You could say some great general purpose ideas and I could then apply them without you giving me any examples.

Another scenario:

I read and refute 25 different versions of induction. You learn a different version of induction. I might then be able to tell you stuff about induction without being familiar with your particular version, because your version has shared features with knowledge I *am* familiar with.

What might happen then is i tell you some general anti-induction arguments, and give some generic examples, and then you apply it to your particular induction variant.

This is much more realistic and common than just straight up not knowing anything about someone's knowledge and still blowing it away with some general concepts.

Also, even in the case of 1000 years of cryonics, their knowledge when I wake up would actually have been developed over time. In the past, some of the contributors would been from my time period or closer, and would have had some familiarity with some of my ideas, and addressed them and taken them into account. The people when I wake up might not knowledge about my ideas directly, but their knowledge would have some intentional design already in it – from ppl who did know some of my ideas – to address my ideas.

To really get "knows nothing about my ideas, but so advanced it doesn't matter" I might need to meet some advanced aliens. So they actually have no prior engagement with my perspective. Alternatively, if I was in cryo for billions of years, maybe when I wake up things are so different that any connection between my ideas and the future world's ideas are basically long, long gone and forgotten (especially if there were major wars and destruction and stuff, and America got wiped out and whatever country a few Americans ended up in also got wiped out, and so on, repeatedly, so there's no meaningful way to trace any kind of lineage back to America or any other present country, the traditions of the future society go back to some new society that really revolutionized things and broke with the past at some point, and that never works totally but it could have happened hundreds of times and been effective eventually at erasing the culture and knowledge I'm from.)


curi at 3:16 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9867 | reply | quote

> > If you want to teach, you need to engage with some of my existing knowledge on this topic, e.g. AS, FH, Szasz, RSD, Girls Chase.

> Why?

Why would I need to point out any mistakes in Republican ideas? Why would I even need to know what they are or ever have read a single Republican book in my life? I can just explain why the Democrat ideas are great. That should be convincing!?


Dagny at 3:33 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9868 | reply | quote

He's fucking with you, curi. He's only like 1% conscious of what he's doing, so he'll deny it. But that 'Why?' wasn't honest. It wasn't expressing real, deep ignorance of e.g. why a Democrat would need to know anything whatsoever about Republican thinking in order to teach some Republicans that Democrat ideas are correct. If he was on the other side of it, he'd change his tune and suddenly know some reasons his opponent needed to have a clue about his ideas. He was carelessly throwing work at you, curi. That's how people handle debates: they avoid substance (cuz they can't) and they demand substance from you (figuring you can't, so they'll win – or, failing that, you will not want to spend the energy to deal with them, which they will declare was a matter of your ignorance and inability). And if you actually respond substantively, they use it to try to control the social dynamics (you are putting in more effort than them = you are lower status than them) and also they take every substantive comment you make and deny it's any good (or just ignore it and generate distractions).


Dagny at 3:41 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9869 | reply | quote

> Then you imply he didn't carefully edit the article

Taleb didn't even spellcheck the article. He didn't carefully edit. He's mad he got caught. And it looks really bad for him to unprofessionally call out someone else for being unprofessional. Which is why curi thought it mattered and was telling Taleb to fix it. But Taleb reacted with the same character and intellectual stature he had when he wrote an unprofessional rant calling a public intellectual unprofessional – and then put it at a permalink on his website and tweeted it to hundreds of thousands of people.


Dagny at 3:45 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9870 | reply | quote

curi wasn't trying to catch Taleb. curi was genuinely trying to help. Taleb could have reacted like, "Oh shit, my bad, I was careless and I fucked up. Thanks for letting me know. I'll fix it." But (we now know) Taleb isn't that kind of person.

As usual, curi offends people by *overestimating* them. He gave Taleb *too much of the benefit of the doubt* as a rational intellectual instead of cautiously treating Taleb like an irrational, conventional person.

I don't expect curi to change, or recommend it, because where's the downside risk? If the person is great, curi's strategy is optimal. curi will stand out more that way and has the best chance to give and gain value. And if they aren't great, curi fails more clearly and quickly, which is good.

And if they aren't great, they have no major value to offer curi anyway. (In direct interaction; sometimes mediocre people can write a valuable book if they spend many years on it; that's a different kind of thing than being any good in a discussion or being able to think well in anywhere near real time; curi wouldn't lose access to that book anyway. E.g. Dawkins has some good books. I don't think Taleb's books are very good. BTW if anyone thinks Taleb's books are great, please share a quote with the best idea.).


Someone Else at 3:56 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9871 | reply | quote

Also, dear god, curi on Twitter was far more polite to Taleb than Taleb was polite to Smith in Taleb's article. Taleb can dish it out, but can't take anything at all...

Taleb's article basically offered two alternatives. 1) He doesn't care about politeness conventions, which he massively violated. Or 2) He's a jerk.

Apparently it was (2).


Someone Else at 4:00 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9872 | reply | quote

What touchy mediocrities the world has. You might think someone with Taleb's success, popularity, etc, would be secure and wouldn't feel threatened by curi (who Taleb sees as just a random person on Twitter). But Taleb is so insecure he's getting triggered and angry and fighting with random nobodies (from his perspective) who point out typos in his article. Taleb actually felt threatened, whereas I think curi was kinda assuming Taleb was too high status to be threatened or care about such things

Is it that Taleb desperately wants to gain a bit more status, climb the social ("intellectual") status ladder a bit higher? If so, fighting with randoms on Twitter cannot help him. That only makes Taleb look bad. High status responses available to Taleb were e.g.:

1) too busy, don't respond or do anything (this is an option even if he's bored and not doing anything, he can just act this way anyways)

2) fix the error, respond to curi with either nothing or a short, positive comment. also optionally put an "updated on date to fix some errors" or other kind of notice on the article.

3) respond to curi in an *above the fray, not caught up in petty crap* way. like respond to whatever parts of what curi said Taleb found valuable, and ignore the rest, cuz no time to notice negative stuff he isn't benefitting from.

high status people have been flamed too often, and are too busy, to be putting their effort into twitter fights that serve no positive purpose of their own. Taleb just came off as reactive, low status, petty, angry, etc. He's harming his own social climbing (minorly – this isn't very important one way or another in terms of social stuff, it's just a little incident with no publicity).

i know lots of high status celebs are fragile as fuck. lots of them got their status by being good at being conventional + lucky. intellectuals ought to be something different than actors.

And here's the "touchy mediocrities" reference for those who missed it. This quote has lots of relevance! *Atlas Shrugged*:

> “Miss Taggart, do you know the hallmark of the second-rater? It’s resentment of another man’s achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone’s work prove greater than their own—they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal—for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them—while you’d give a year of your life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don’t know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors—hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom—the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don’t respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?”


Dagny at 4:19 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9873 | reply | quote

>What touchy mediocrities the world has. You might think someone with Taleb's success, popularity, etc, would be secure and wouldn't feel threatened by curi (who Taleb sees as just a random person on Twitter). But Taleb is so insecure he's getting triggered and angry and fighting with random nobodies (from his perspective) who point out typos in his article. Taleb actually felt threatened, whereas I think curi was kinda assuming Taleb was too high status to be threatened or care about such things

John Podhoretz is a big conservative guy. editor of Commentary, columnist for New York Post, author of several books, former speechwriter for Reagan, etc. etc.

One time Podhoretz was flaming Islam scholar Robert Spencer on Twitter. I said something to Podhoretz on the order of: if you think Spencer is such a crap scholar as you say, can you linked me to your detailed written-out criticisms of his scholarship? And Podhoretz replied by blocking me.


Mysterious Poster at 4:56 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9874 | reply | quote

Dagny:

> He's fucking with you, curi. He's only like 1% conscious of what he's doing, so he'll deny it. But that 'Why?' wasn't honest. It wasn't expressing real, deep ignorance

Someone Else:

> As usual, curi offends people by *overestimating* them. He gave Taleb *too much of the benefit of the doubt* as a rational intellectual instead of cautiously treating Taleb like an irrational, conventional person.

So, perhaps I overestimated anon at 4:14, and took his question as merely low effort (e.g. he didn't bother to say any alternative) when it was worse.

But I don't think that's quite it. I didn't really think about him. I don't know who he is, or care. People usually aren't curious when they ask questions, but I usually don't think about it. That's their problem, not mine.

My problem is: do I like the issue being brought up? Do I want to say something about it? And what matters here is my interpretation of the issue, even if that's not what the person meant.

This particular question has some really basic answers, which aren't too interesting to me. But it also had a more advanced answer I was interested in writing about. So I did.

I don't think I'd be better off if I spent more time catching people being bad. I can do that if I try, but it's not necessary. Who cares if he's dishonest or fucking with me or whatever, as long as I'm writing things that interest me then it doesn't matter. I wasn't writing for hope of helping him and him providing value in the future. I was writing for its own sake, as an end in itself. I like explanations. In that context, I don't have to evaluate if he's any good, or curious, or going to learn, or going to reply ever again, or any of that.

So I don't think I was overestimating him (anon at 4:14), actually. I just didn't think of him. It wasn't personal. His personal attributes and intentions don't matter.

BTW this is very high status of me – to not really even notice he exists as an individual. It's very far from what Taleb did. But I don't consistently act high status. I like making an effort (e.g. I've written a bunch in his thread with some internet anon – which people read as me not having anything valuable to do with my life and therefore low status. and they also read making an effort as meaning i am too low status to have found a way to avoid effort!), and I like reacting to some things sometimes (but being reactive is low status). So I send mixed status messages. Sometimes the mixed messages confuse some people, but I don't really care. Maybe I'd fix it if there was a trivial solution, but I don't think there is – I think controlling what I communicate about status would be a big project with major downsides and would restrict my action and get in the way of rational action. I think the solution is for other people to have better ideas (which I am helping with – i'm working towards a solution in that way).


curi at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9875 | reply | quote

>BTW I pointed out typos to patio11 and Daniel Greenfield on Twitter in the last couple days and they both reacted positively.

As I have meticulously explained it was not that you corrected a typo that set this off. It was the patronising text surrounding it. Such text was absent in the other two cases.

OK guys this is it for me. But to anyone else reading this I'd just like point out that the next time you realise you're poor or that your relationships are falling apart it is because you are members of this cult.

You should know you can leave and other people won't judge you for having joined it and will give you the love and support you need.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 5:24 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9876 | reply | quote

> you're poor

Odd comment. I have been pretty public about the fact that I'm not poor. FI in general skews towards things like programmers, not poor people.

I guess it doesn't stand out though. That entire message is disconnected from reality.

Please don't come back with some new identity. The "TCS is a cult" cult is not wanted. If you want to come back, please at least identify yourself so people who read this discussion don't have to relearn who you are. (Sadly it looks like this probably isn't your first time writing bad comments and then changing identities. If anyone has good ideas about how to deal with that problem in general, let me know! There's value in anonymity but it is problematic when the same guy writes nasty stuff repeatedly and no one can filter it by author after the first time.)


curi at 5:31 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9877 | reply | quote

> OK guys this is it for me.

See, he cared so little about his question that he didn't care to say a word about it even after getting multiple great answers.


Dagny at 6:01 PM on June 17, 2018 | #9878 | reply | quote

>I have been pretty public about the fact that I'm not poor. FI in general skews towards things like programmers, not poor people.

I meant other people here not you. Though TBH is hustling your list members for O(100$) in cash something you just do for fun?

>The "TCS is a cult" cult is not wanted.

Is there a "TCS is a cult" cult? Would love to get in touch with these people.

>please at least identify yourself so people who read this discussion don't have to relearn who you are.

I used the same name "Anonymous at 4:14 AM" in all messages(apart from the first).

>If anyone has good ideas about how to deal with that problem in general, let me know!

Cookies, email related user registration ... I mean why am I telling you this, you're a world class programmer.

>There's value in anonymity but it is problematic when the same guy writes nasty stuff repeatedly and no one can filter it by author after the first time.

My apologies. If you make it easy (like a checkbox for posters making comments some may want to filter) I'll gladly click it should I ever choose to comment again.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 3:57 AM on June 18, 2018 | #9879 | reply | quote

Anon at 4:14 seems miserable. He's lashing out and trying to hurt people. He desperately needs philosophy.

It's sad. I sort of feel sorry for him.


Anonymous at 8:31 AM on June 18, 2018 | #9880 | reply | quote

Lol the feeling is mutual bro... it's like we have so much in common.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 8:42 AM on June 18, 2018 | #9881 | reply | quote

Cult?

#9876

> ...you are members of this cult.

In what way do you think "this" (presumably FI / TCS) is a cult?

I have already thought some on my own about whether FI is a cult. FI did, initially, set off some "cult" vibes for me which is why I considered the topic carefully before deciding it's not.

It seems to me that there are some common characteristics that identify cults. Here's how I analyze FI against those characteristics.

- Social nonconformity. I think nonconformity is the cult characteristic that both initially set off my "Is this a cult?" question. FI does advocate several positions that are different from what's socially normal. But nonconformity is also the least useful cult characteristic. People stop conforming to social expectations for a variety of reasons, not just or primarily because of cults. There are actual stated high quality arguments for FI's positions, not just bucking convention for its own sake or because of some authoritative edict. FI also has respect for social traditions, and doesn't want to radically throw them all out.

- Insiders and outsiders. There's a bit of that in FI, but it fails as a cult marker. I think it's mostly that people who comparatively know a lot of FI can talk to other people who know a lot of FI in ways that people who don't know much FI won't understand. In that way it's more like a technical association than a cult. There's also a friend/buddy network going on with some FI people, but that's not cultish - it's actually one of the most socially "normal" things about FI. There's no cultish norm or expectation of cutting off non-FI family/friends/relationships. There's no insider membership card or pledge of fealty or anything like that.

- Charismatic leader. Elliot is clearly a leader, but he's not charismatic and doesn't try to be. Most FI people (including me) have never met him or even seen a picture of him. Recordings of his voice are not highly polished or emotional. As such, Elliot is a bad fit as a cult leader. And there isn't anyone else in FI trying to take on that role.

- Secret doctrines. As far as I know, FI's positions are all public and readily accessible. There aren't any secret FI doctrines reserved for the elite after years of basic indoctrination.

- Intolerance of dissent. FI is very tolerant of dissent. I have openly and publicly disagreed with some key FI conclusions for years. I haven't been asked to leave or shut up. In fact, FI people generally want me to talk about my disagreements more than I do.

- Ritualistic behavior. I don't see any of that in FI.

- Mystical or religious beliefs. FI has none of those.

- Disindividuation. FI is strongly individualist and anti collectivist. Does not apply.

- Something or someone that is held to be beyond criticism. FI more clearly and explicitly rejects this than any other group or organization I've ever encountered. In this respect FI is an anti-cult.

In sum, I think most of the typical cult markers don't apply to FI at all. A few can superficially seem to apply, but there's better explanations for them than that FI is a cult.


PAS at 12:01 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9882 | reply | quote

> In sum, I think most of the typical cult markers don't apply to FI at all. A few can superficially seem to apply, but there's better explanations for them than that FI is a cult.

Yeah except your comment is refuted:

> I think nonconformity is the cult characteristic that *both* initially set off my "Is this a cult?" question.

Emphasis added.

Apparently you were planning to mention two things, but then only mentioned one. **Error!!** Busted! Refuted!

Also one of the typical features of cults is people involved are attached to them and defend them. They wouldn't want to leave, and they disagree with various criticisms of the cult which they've heard and argued against before. FI is super guilty of that! (So is Google – lots of employees like it, defend it, and don't want to leave. So is the scientific method – lots of its adherents like it, defend it from criticism, don't want to abandon it, etc. Of course some people leave Google or turn against the scientific method, and also some people change their mind about FI or TCS, both in dramatic ways ("I see now that it was bad!") and mild ways ("It was pretty good but I'm going to do this other thing now!") or just by gradually becoming less involved with no conscious reason.)


NoYes at 12:12 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9883 | reply | quote

cult?

> There's no cultish norm or expectation of cutting off non-FI family/friends/relationships.

The post linked to below does suggest socializing only with other philosophers. It also says that if you make lots of progress in FI you will eventually not like your family and friends any more.

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/rIomoZS9Bq8/G371O7SOBwAJ

This isn't quite the same as a cult telling people to cut off all contact with family and friends immediately. But it does raise some 'cult flags' for me.

> Something or someone that is held to be beyond criticism. FI more clearly and explicitly rejects this than any other group or organization I've ever encountered. In this respect FI is an anti-cult.

Yes, FI does clearly and explicitly reject this. But in practice there isn't much criticism of Elliot. I think some people are scared to criticize him. I think other people figure he's probably right about everything, whether or not they understand why.


another anonymous at 12:35 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9884 | reply | quote

> It also says that if you make lots of progress in FI you will eventually not like your family and friends any more.

No it doesn't. It says if you make tons of progress *and they don't*, then you will eventually stop liking each other. You'd no longer be similar people.

So it specifically recommends that you encourage others to learn too, rather than encouraging separating yourself from them.

And in this little bit of text, this isn't even the only misrepresentation of a short email!

It's hard to tell if this is a reading comprehension problem or bias. But there's other evidence. I think it's bias because of the "This isn't quite the same as [totally different thing]" comment.

> But in practice there isn't much criticism of Elliot.

I guess the criticism from Anonymous at 4:14 AM doesn't count? Nor from Taleb, nor any other outsider? Elliot goes way out of his way to get criticism, e.g. by visiting hostile forums like LW, HBL, CRFB, ACOC, etc. And he's super tolerant of hostile comments here. And there are active critics on FI sometimes, too – and Elliot invites more of them.

Since you seem to be blaming and criticizing Elliot for lack of receiving criticism ... do you have a serious suggestion for what Elliot should do differently to get more criticism? What, specifically, is he doing wrong, if anything? Also do you have a criticism of any of ET's major positions like TCS, PF, Overreaching, YesNo, liberalism, Oism or CR?


Someone Else at 12:55 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9885 | reply | quote

The reason ET is hard to criticize today is he used self-criticism and past-criticism to address the low hanging fruit.


Dagny at 1:17 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9886 | reply | quote

>The reason ET is hard to criticize today is he used self-criticism and past-criticism to address the low hanging fruit.

But presumably if Popper and Deutsch are right his ideas are full of error as well, right?


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 3:42 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9887 | reply | quote

you are biasedly ignoring the point i was making about low hanging fruit, or you're stupid. why don't you leave like you said you would?


Dagny at 3:44 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9888 | reply | quote

One thing cults do is they destroy people's sense of self. Elliot is very good at doing that. He often makes statements to the effect of somehow knowing you better than you know yourself that often make people feel bad about themselves. He does many things that stir up existing insecurities in people.

Your attitude should be that your mind is none of his business.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:05 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9889 | reply | quote

Another type of statement Elliot often makes is asking for *quotes* to go with hostile accusations or criticisms. I guess while surveying Elliot's statements you conveniently ignored those statements.


Dagny at 4:08 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9890 | reply | quote

>you are biasedly ignoring the point i was making about low hanging fruit, or you're stupid. why don't you leave like you said you would?

I don't understand what "low hanging fruit" means in the context of infinite ignorance.

You're right - I stayed too long. I should get a life or something. Then again I wouldn't be surprised if you like me being here. You can hate on me and it feels good.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:08 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9891 | reply | quote

Some criticisms are easier to find than others (the easier to find ones are low hanging fruit). Most of the criticisms which are easy to find (for any of a wide variety of people from our culture today) have already been found by ET or given to ET by others. So finding *new*, *different* criticisms to tell ET is hard now (because the easier ones are not new).

I don't think you're too stupid to figure this out. It's heavy bias and hostility. You aren't putting much effort into understanding, and you're also putting some effort into preventing understanding.


Dagny at 4:12 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9892 | reply | quote

>Another type of statement Elliot often makes is asking for *quotes* to go with hostile accusations or criticisms. I guess while surveying Elliot's statements you conveniently ignored those statements.

OK, mein Bruder von einer anderen Mutter. Aber wir haben ein Problem. Meine Zeit auf dieser Welt ist sehr begrenzt. Daher ist es für mich nicht möglich, diese Anstrengungen zu unternehmen. Wie soll ich das machen? Meine allgemeinen Kommentare werden tun müssen.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:17 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9893 | reply | quote

>I don't think you're too stupid to figure this out. It's heavy bias and hostility. You aren't putting much effort into understanding, and you're also putting some effort into preventing understanding.

Bro you can stop using your Jedi mind tricks. You are not going to break me. This is not the dupe you are looking for.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:25 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9894 | reply | quote

Oh, he won't think about things because he's scared they might persuade him. He decided in advance that if he was persuaded that would indicate he was duped, so he's taking steps to sabotage persuasion/learning/thinking.


Someone Else at 4:29 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9895 | reply | quote

>Bro you can stop using your Jedi mind tricks. You are not going to break me. This is not the dupe you are looking for.

Though to be fair if you were a hot woman it would totally work. It's like most men have this bug in the mind which makes it possible for women to make them do anything.

Maybe we could work together to discover the secret only One has hitherto discovered about how this happens and how to stop it.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:31 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9896 | reply | quote

>Oh, he won't think about things because he's scared they might persuade him. He decided in advance that if he was persuaded that would indicate he was duped, so he's taking steps to sabotage persuasion/learning/thinking.

Elliot will not like you more, or treat you more nicely, or have more of a bond with you because of you having written this.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:34 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9897 | reply | quote

Nah, I totes liked it.

Don't speak for me.


curi at 4:34 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9898 | reply | quote

Hmm well you liked it not him. I didn't speak for you, I spoke off you.

I appreciate what you are trying to do but posts designed to point out others' mistakes are a bad place to make errors yourself!

You should carefully review each comment before you send it.

I hope you will appreciate this collegial advice.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:41 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9899 | reply | quote

#9899

so angry and mean


Anonymous at 4:42 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9900 | reply | quote

>so angry and mean

So you agree with Taleb then?


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:44 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9901 | reply | quote

Everything said by Anonymous at 4:14 AM today is bait. He's doing whatever to try to bait replies/reactions.


Dagny at 4:45 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9902 | reply | quote

>Everything said by Anonymous at 4:14 AM today is bait. He's doing whatever to try to bait replies/reactions.

Bro you just made a total bitch out of me. I would now like to proceed to sucking your dick.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 4:47 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9903 | reply | quote

Anon @ 4:14 AM what value are you getting out of your posting here


Anonymous at 5:05 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9904 | reply | quote

I love cum and being called names. So I hope to extract both by my continued participation in this one-of-a-kind forum.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 5:10 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9905 | reply | quote

Do you not have anything better to do with your life than to say boring, vulgar crap at people you think are in a cult?


Anonymous at 5:12 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9906 | reply | quote

>> I should get a life or something.

> Do you not have anything better to do with your life than to say boring, vulgar crap at people you think are in a cult?


Anonymous at 5:15 PM on June 18, 2018 | #9907 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 4:14 AM wrote:

> One thing cults do is they destroy people's sense of self. Elliot is very good at doing that. He often makes statements to the effect of somehow knowing you better than you know yourself that often make people feel bad about themselves. He does many things that stir up existing insecurities in people.

>

> Your attitude should be that your mind is none of his business.

i don’t know exactly what “Anonymous at 4:14 AM” is trying to say.

notice the 3rd sentence. what exactly is he complaining about?

does he think it’s impossible for elliot to know something about you better than you do?

does he think elliot’s goal is to make people feel bad about themselves? does he know that people often feel bad when they face truth’s that they do not want to face?

notice the last sentence. i’ll quote it again:

> Your attitude should be that your mind is none of his business.

Why should that be a person’s attitude?

Anonymous at 4:14 AM apparently cannot imagine a scenario where somebody wants elliots help with his mind.


New person at 4:07 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9908 | reply | quote

#9879

>> I have been pretty public about the fact that I'm not poor. FI in general skews towards things like programmers, not poor people.

> I meant other people here not you. Though TBH is hustling your list members for O(100$) in cash something you just do for fun?

I don’t know how to understand this comment.

Is it a dig? Or does he just not understand capitalism/business? Or both? Or what ?

Is there such a thing as being too rich to want payment for ones services?

Or is there a premise in anon @ 4:14am’s question that if elliot was rich then he wouldn’t be trying to get a few hundred dollars from his clients? (The premise makes no sense. All businesses start off with zero income, and then a little income, and then more and more.)


Anonymous at 4:51 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9909 | reply | quote

>Do you not have anything better to do with your life than to say boring, vulgar crap at people you think are in a cult?

That wasn't me. I think Elliot should really do something about this user identification problem.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 6:12 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9910 | reply | quote

>Anonymous at 4:14 AM apparently cannot imagine a scenario where somebody wants elliots help with his mind.

Yes the twisting of self esteem involved in doing so is something that is pretty hard to imagine for me personally.

Like I said above, when you people decide you want to move on from this you should know you will have other people's love and support and also that you will be able to retain everything you found meaningful or exciting about this.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 6:18 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9911 | reply | quote

>> I meant other people here not you. Though TBH is hustling your list members for O(100$) in cash something you just do for fun?

>I don’t know how to understand this comment.

>Is it a dig? Or does he just not understand capitalism/business? Or both? Or what ?

Well he seems to be rather desperate about it. Hence "hustling".

>Is there such a thing as being too rich to want payment for ones services?

No but a billionaire how would insist on a 400$ consulting fee would look rather weird.

>Or is there a premise in anon @ 4:14am’s question that if elliot was rich then he wouldn’t be trying to get a few hundred dollars from his clients? (The premise makes no sense. All businesses start off with zero income, and then a little income, and then more and more.)

Yes. That's a good point but this business is never going to grow. So if he was rich why bother with it?


Anonymous at 6:32 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9912 | reply | quote

Sorry the above comment is me. Forgot to include the name.

You should really do something about this. It will make your blog a nicer happier place.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 6:33 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9913 | reply | quote

> Like I said above, when you people decide you want to move on from this you should know you will have other people's love and support and also that you will be able to retain everything you found meaningful or exciting about this.

Who are these people who will love me and support me and help me learn how to think better and learn better? How do I find them?


anonymous nice person at 7:25 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9914 | reply | quote

> > But in practice there isn't much criticism of Elliot.

> I guess the criticism from Anonymous at 4:14 AM doesn't count? Nor from Taleb, nor any other outsider? Elliot goes way out of his way to get criticism, e.g. by visiting hostile forums like LW, HBL, CRFB, ACOC, etc. And he's super tolerant of hostile comments here. And there are active critics on FI sometimes, too – and Elliot invites more of them.

> Since you seem to be blaming and criticizing Elliot for lack of receiving criticism ... do you have a serious suggestion for what Elliot should do differently to get more criticism? What, specifically, is he doing wrong, if anything? Also do you have a criticism of any of ET's major positions like TCS, PF, Overreaching, YesNo, liberalism, Oism or CR?

I should have said there isn't much criticism of Elliot from long-time FI list members. Yes, there is plenty of criticism of Elliot from other people.

I am not blaming Elliot for this. I don't know how it could be changed. It could be that Elliot is just right about most things and the people who've been around him a long time recognize and understand that. Or it could be that some people are leaning on Elliot's thinking too much and not thinking for themselves enough. I don't know.


another anonymous at 7:50 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9915 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 4:14am wrote:

>> Or is there a premise in anon @ 4:14am’s question that if elliot was rich then he wouldn’t be trying to get a few hundred dollars from his clients? (The premise makes no sense. All businesses start off with zero income, and then a little income, and then more and more.)

> Yes. That's a good point but this business is never going to grow. So if he was rich why bother with it?

*You* may believe that it's never going to grow, but *your* beliefs don't matter to this topic. Elliot's belief's do matter, cuz the topic is elliot's actions (not your actions).


New person at 4:07 AM at 9:09 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9916 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 4:14am wrote:

>> Is there such a thing as being too rich to want payment for ones services?

> No but a billionaire how would insist on a 400$ consulting fee would look rather weird.

why are you talking about what does and doesn't look weird?

All good ideas started out weird. The idea that the earth is not flat was a weird idea before tons of people adopted it. So what's the point of pointing out that an idea is weird?

From what i can tell, people who complain about other people's ideas being weird are people who care about social status instead of truth.


New person at 4:07 AM at 9:17 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9917 | reply | quote

> That wasn't me. I think Elliot should really do something about this user identification problem.

They appear to be lying and actually were not impersonated.


curi at 9:28 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9918 | reply | quote

The big things about this conversation are that anon414 never writes substance and never replies to substance. Examples of non-meta, non-psychology substance comments:

#9866 curi analyzes how learning works.

#9882 PAS analyzes whether FI/TCS is a cult.

#9892 Dagny explains about ET's library of criticism.

All of those were directly replying to issues anon414 brought up, but he didn't want to talk about them once there was some substantive intellectual opposition.


curi at 10:13 AM on June 19, 2018 | #9919 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 4:14 AM wrote:

>> Anonymous at 4:14 AM apparently cannot imagine a scenario where somebody wants elliots help with his mind.

> Yes the twisting of self esteem involved in doing so is something that is pretty hard to imagine for me personally.

so anon414 thinks that in order to want help with one's mind, one must have twisted his self esteem.

but that's backwards. it's people who have low self esteem who wouldn't want help from people smarter than them. it's people with high self esteem who want to find people smarter than them.

good people (truth seekers) seek out people better than them, knowing that that would improve their lives.

bad people (status seekers) try to avoid finding people better than them, cuz being around them makes them feel bad (e.g. reminds them that they hate themselves).


New person at 4:07 AM at 12:20 PM on June 19, 2018 | #9920 | reply | quote

> They appear to be lying and actually were not impersonated.

Did you verify this? Are these comments not in fact anonymous? Please clarify the anonymity policies.


Anonymous at 1:27 AM on June 20, 2018 | #9925 | reply | quote

If you don't write your name, I don't know your name. Of course e.g. your web server accesses still show up in nginx's standard access.log

If you want more clarity on how websites work, and what information about you they have access to, do your own research.

I'm not using cookies or tracking scripts or anything like that.

I don't normally check anything but he specifically claimed to be impersonated so I looked into it with the limited available information. I think he lied.


curi at 1:37 AM on June 20, 2018 | #9926 | reply | quote

curi (and other FI ppl): why do you think FI ppl so often seem unhappy? other communities, even similar topics like rand, don't seem to have this struggle aspect. they seem unhappy *around FI*. what do you think is the cause? is it "high standards" or something else?

fyi i'd post this to the FI forum but posting anon here is easier. lower setup barrier


Anonymous at 9:55 AM at 1:55 AM on June 21, 2018 | #9931 | reply | quote

> why do you think FI ppl so often seem unhappy?

I deny the claim (that they so often seem unhappy). You didn't share anything about why you think it's true or how you came to that conclusion. Explain?


Dagny at 11:03 AM on June 21, 2018 | #9932 | reply | quote

>You didn't share anything about why you think it's true or how you came to that conclusion. Explain?

Bro you didn't share anything about why you think it *isn't true* or how you came to that conclusion. You just denied it. That doesn't make for a good discussion.

(Or at least that's what master curi says right?)


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 1:51 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9934 | reply | quote

Seriously though guys what breaks the symmetry?

We can spend all day telling each other what the other's posts didn't contain rather than focusing on what they did contain. It's a really trivial rhetorical device. What fun is that when there is so much great things to do, food to eat, things to build?


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 1:56 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9935 | reply | quote

Also Dagny tbh you seem pretty unhappy. There is no shame in that I also feel like that sometime. Even Elliot.


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 1:59 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9936 | reply | quote

Also it's somewhat strange that a group of people who has "fallibility" in its name treats Elliot as defacto infallible.

I have a fun idea for a game. Let's go in a circle and each try to remember one time Elliot was wrong about something. Anyone want to play?


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 2:04 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9939 | reply | quote

In general (as is well known) it's hard to argue some types of negative claims as the opener of a discussion. I'll do it anyway if he offers enough money or catches my interest enough. Otherwise, well, it's his topic, not mine. If he doesn't want to provide more information, I'm content with not talking about it further.

anon414, your view of the discussion is adversarial. But I wasn't in an adversarial mindset when I replied, nor did anon955 indicate he was adversarial.

I wasn't concerned with the symmetry you bring up. I thought maybe he'd be willing to voluntarily go first and explain his thinking so he could get feedback on it. I thought he might *like* that as a next step. I was trying to offer helpful guidance about how to productively continue with the discussion he initiated and presumably values.

I also am aware of the possibility that he hasn't thought through his position, and might learn something by having attention drawn to that and then doing some thinking. Basically, he might start to try to reply and then realize he doesn't know where his impression of frequent unhappiness is coming from. If that happens, that's progress. Or if he does have reasoning, that's good too. (One of the possible bad outcomes is he tries to reply, finds it hard, and then blames me – thinks I did a rhetorical tactic to cause his problem. Or he could otherwise consider that a negative experience, rather than recognize that he discovered about himself – that he'd thought about something less than he realized– which is useful information and allows for positive ways forward.)


Dagny at 2:07 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9940 | reply | quote

> I have a fun idea for a game. Let's go in a circle and each try to remember one time Elliot was wrong about something. Anyone want to play?

Easy. ET made a mistake by talking to you too much. He was overly generous, charitable, and tolerant – he gave too much of the benefit of the doubt to a person who wasn't worth it (not even close because you're way too hostile). You didn't appreciate it and spat on him for it, and now that he "fed the trolls" with attention you're posting an ongoing stream of comments to his blog that include quite hostile, nasty, bad ones. You aren't making an honest effort to learn, so I don't think he wants you here. I think ET does and should prefer dealing with people who want to cooperate, collaborate, or otherwise have positive interactions. ET should write more canonical/generic stuff, or at least talk with better, friendlier people.

(Yes, I know I may be guilty of a similar mistake for talking to you myself, but maybe not. I have a different situation and I've talked with you differently.)

I think ET will agree with me about this, which is why he started ignoring you. Conceivably he thinks he talked to you just the right amount, but I don't think he did, and I'm guessing he won't claim that. I think he talked to you too much and then corrected his mistake.


Dagny at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9941 | reply | quote

@#9941

Heh, sure, granted. It's complicated and I don't want to go into the details, but I'll concede some error there.

Nevertheless, the following is something I'd be happy to answer in general, and I think it's of general interest, so I'm going to do it briefly despite the author:

> remember one time Elliot was wrong about something

The errors I made in evaluating DD.


curi at 2:22 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9942 | reply | quote

>> remember one time Elliot was wrong about something

>The errors I made in evaluating DD.

That sounds interesting. What errors do you feel you made?


Anonymous at 4:14 AM at 2:37 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9943 | reply | quote

>Easy. ET made a mistake by talking to you too much. He was overly generous, charitable, and tolerant – he gave too much of the benefit of the doubt to a person who wasn't worth it (not even close because you're way too hostile).

OK let me ask you differently. Do you have any important substantive disagreements with Elliot?


Anonymous at 4:14 at 2:53 PM on June 21, 2018 | #9944 | reply | quote

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)