Change A View: An interesting online community

post by habryka (habryka4) · 2019-04-30T18:34:37.351Z · score: 53 (20 votes) · LW · GW · 7 comments

This is a link post for https://changeaview.com/our-mission

I've recently stumbled across the platform Change A View, which is a subreddit that forked/graduated to its own website that is centered around the idea of people creating posts in which they ask to have their mind changed. This tends to create a frame that enables much more healthy discourse than most online discussion.

Their new platform is centered around the ideas of "deltas" which users can award to other users when their minds have been changed by them.

I've surfed around the site a bit and generally found it pretty enjoyable and figured other people might find it valuable to. It's also an interesting for studying the psychology of what changes people's minds and what facilitates good discourse.

7 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by romeostevensit · 2019-05-01T03:23:58.187Z · score: 23 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I see a 2x2 in the pattern of questions and responses.

Simple question, simple answer. Only arises to the level of intention if an idiot or a very motivated argumentative person wants to use it for something that isn't really about the original question.

Complicated question, simple answer. Everyone loves these, they make dumb people feel like they're smarter than they are.

Complicated question, complicated answer. Self limiting in the effort of the people willing to engage with it.

Simple question, complicated answer. Here is where all the problems are. Even though a satisfactory answer exists the question recurs perennially because the people who ask it haven't read any of the other long responses. People's misperceptions about it go in many directions meaning that the path to gaining understanding is idiosyncratic and a person capable of understanding the answer has to hand hold arguers through the inferences necessary. Even if such a person decides to do this, they will eventually get fed up and leave. This will be taken by people as evidence that the question does not have a good answer.

comment by redlizard · 2019-05-02T04:19:43.677Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
Even if such a person decides to do this, they will eventually get fed up and leave.

Will they, necessarily? The structure of the problem you describe sounds a lot like any sort of teaching, which involves a lot of finding out what a student misunderstands about a particular topic and then fixing that, even if you clear up that same misunderstanding for a different student every week. There are lots of people who do not get fed up with that. What makes this so different?

comment by romeostevensit · 2019-05-03T04:38:45.312Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

unpaid internet arguing, without the reward of seeing a change positively impact someone's life. The selection effect means you wind up interacting mostly with those who want to argue rather than collaborate.

comment by MakoYass · 2019-05-01T06:57:58.688Z · score: 16 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I found the Rationally Speaking interview quite interesting http://rationallyspeakingpodcast.org/show/rs-206-kal-turnbull-on-change-my-view.html

comment by mr-hire · 2019-05-02T12:18:48.477Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've participated a bit in the Change My View subreddit, both asking and answering questions, and found it very rewarding to change someones mind and have my mind changed. I've found that the type of thinking I've learned in the rationality, post-rationality, and EA communities have allowed me to engage there with a clarity of thought that's rate.

comment by Dagon · 2019-05-03T23:13:19.799Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can you link to a few examples of particularly good question or mind-changing answers (yours or others)? I glanced over a few pages and was unimpressed.