↑ comment by phl43 ·
2017-02-02T06:52:54.651Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
You're clearly not interested in discussion of your condemnation of liberals, and certainly not rational discussion.
Look, if you had just said that my tone makes it unlikely that I'm interested in rational discussion for someone who doesn't know me, I would have conceded that point to you. But it's simply not true that I'm not interested in rational discussion and, crucially, anyone who has read my post can see that it's not true. Indeed, in the note at the end of the post, I say that on the blog where the original version of this post was published, I report a conversation about that post I had with a friend which led to some useful clarifications. I actually report the conversation verbatim and, if you go read it, you will see that it's not only civil and rational, but also fruitful. Now, you may think that, given the tone of the post, people are less likely to read that conversation and you're probably right about that. But it doesn't change the fact that it's not true that I'm clearly not interested in rational discussion and the evidence to the contrary is available to anyone who has read my post.
Also, while I agree with you that, by saying the kind of things you quote, I made it less likely that people will read my post,I want to make clear that it doesn't mean they are just false, gratuitous assertions. It's certainly true of some of them, so I'll grant you that, but I don't believe for a second it's true of all. For instance, when I say that Trump's victory led to hysterical reactions in academia, I don't see how any reasonable person who works in academia and understand the meaning of the word "hysterical" could deny it. Of course, we could even argue about this, but that's because as philosophers know, you can always give a seemingly reasonable argument for virtually every claim no matter how absurd. But this doesn't mean that you're being rational.
People who don't already agree with you won't be convinced because you obviously disdain them and are writing with obviously massive bias against them.
Again, I would have conceded a weaker point, but this is just false. I actually have argued for the claim I'm defending in my post with some of my liberal friends in a non-confrontational way and, not only did it fail to have any effect on them, but it was met with accusations that I was insensitive to the plight of minorities. (To be clear, I'm not suggesting that it justifies the tone I'm using in my post, I'm only saying that it's evidence against the strong claim you make.) Most of them are highly intelligent people with a PhD, yet when it came to this issue, they adopted standards of evidence that on any other issue they would have rejected as completely unacceptable. So while I would be happy to concede that, in some cases, the fact that I used abrasive language may have prevented me from convincing people whose mind I would otherwise have changed, but it doesn't mean that, in most cases, it's because I used that kind of language that I failed to convince people and, indeed, I think it's false. Some facts are causally overdetermined and I think it's one of them.
It's not even true that I didn't convince anyone who wasn't already convinced, since I know for a fact that some people were. This should not be surprising since, although there is a sense of "strength" according to which my tone make the argument in my post weaker (i. e. the probability that I will succeed in convincing people who have a look at it), there is another sense of "strength" (i. e. how well my evidence and my reasoning establish my conclusion from a purely logical/statistical point of view) according to which my tone is completely irrelevant to how strong my argument was. Intelligent people should be able to make abstraction of the tone to assess the merits of the argument independently of it, although I agree with you that intelligent people should also be able to avoid the kind of language that makes it less likely that others will read what they have written.
Replies from: username2, phl43
↑ comment by username2 ·
2017-02-02T08:05:30.865Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Shev's comment was an informative response to your original question about what Less Wrong is looking for in political discussions, and why LW rejected your earlier post. Shev shared some information on LW's "house style", and on what inferences LWers will tend to draw about people who do not follow that style when writing about politics. Arguing about some of the details in shev's comment is unlikely to accomplish anything valuable.
Replies from: phl43
↑ comment by phl43 ·
2017-02-02T08:33:11.551Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I agree that shev's comment was informative, but he or she also made claims I disagree with. Just because they are only indirectly related to my original question, I don't see why I should not explain why I disagree with the claims in question. If shev doesn't think continuing this conversation is likely to be productive, which I would understand, I imagine he or she will just not stop replying. I know I'm new here, so I'm not used to your customs, but this kind of comment strikes me as weird.
Replies from: phl43