[Link] Lifehack Article Promoting LessWrong, Rationality Dojo, and Rationality: From AI to Zombies

post by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-14T20:34:12.030Z · score: 11 (17 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 71 comments

Nice to get this list-style article promoting LessWrong, Rationality Dojo, and Rationality: From AI to Zombies, as part of a series of strategies for growing mentally stronger, published on Lifehack, a very popular self-improvement website. It's part of my broader project of promoting rationality and effective altruism to a broad audience, Intentional Insights.

 

EDIT: To be clear, based on my exchange with gjm below, the article does not promote these heavily and links more to Intentional Insights. I was excited to be able to get links to LessWrong, Rationality Dojo, and Rationality: From AI to Zombies included in the Lifehack article, as previously editors had cut out such links. I pushed back against them this time, and made a case for including them as a way of growing mentally stronger, and thus was able to get them in.

71 comments

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comment by gjm · 2015-11-16T00:59:03.365Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What the article is actually mostly promoting is Intentional Insights (6 links from the text, embedded video, 2 links to merchandise) much more than it's Less Wrong (one link), Rationality Dojo (one link, name mentioned in text), or "Rationality: From AI to Zombies" (one link).

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-16T03:20:47.327Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That count is a bit off, as Less Wrong is directly mentioned in the text and has two links, whereas Intentional Insights is not mentioned in the text. But sure, the article also happens to be highlighting Intentional Insights. After all, the large majority of readers on Lifehack would be better served in improving their rationality by going to InIn's website, as there is a much smaller inference gap there than on LW itself. After they become more advanced, that's the time to send them to Less Wrong, Clearer Thinking, CFAR, and other advanced rational thinking venues.

comment by gjm · 2015-11-16T23:12:14.773Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Oh yes, I missed one link-with-name to Less Wrong; my apologies. I didn't claim that InIn is mentioned in the text so I'm not sure what you're suggesting is "off" there -- but if you open up the page, the first three bits of non-advertisement text you see are from the video at the start, and they are (1) "Intentional Insights: Are you In?", (2) "www.intentionalinsights.org", and (3) "3 Steps to Living Intentionally" -- that last being a phrase I have never heard anywhere other than in InIn promotional material. So it's not like InIn is starving for mentions in the text.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not saying there's anything wrong with promoting your organization. That's what startup founders do, and there are good reasons why. I just think there's something ever so slightly misleading about describing something as an article "promoting X, Y, and Z", when actually the main thing it's promoting is something else.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T00:38:53.102Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, I see that the concern was with the title. I was excited to be able to get links to these included in the Lifehack article, as previously editors had cut out such links. I pushed back against them this time, and made a case for including them as a way of growing mentally stronger, and thus was able to get them in. So perhaps a longer explanation regarding that would have helped. I'll edit the post to reflect that.

comment by JohnGreer · 2015-11-15T00:20:51.626Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The link you provided isn't working. Here is the article: http://www.lifehack.org/330221/6-science-based-hacks-for-growing-mentally-stronger

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-15T20:47:39.532Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for catching that! Fixed the link, much appreciated :-)

comment by Ella · 2015-11-16T01:19:23.571Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for this article, absolutely helpful to provide rational insights to improve my thinking, decision and actions.

comment by hg00 · 2015-11-19T04:32:35.978Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

previously editors had cut out such links

What reason was given?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-19T04:47:43.082Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That the content was inappropriate for their audience.

comment by hg00 · 2015-11-19T07:49:32.049Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nothing more specific than that? Was it too long? Too many big words? Too conceptually difficult? Too much citing of scientific studies? Too many basilisk scandals?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-19T08:32:17.383Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Lol on the basilisk scandals, I wish they had enough interest to explore that topic.

Most of the feedback from those editors cutting the links was that it was "inappropriate." It's a short-hand for anything they don't think will resonate with their readers. When I asked why, they generally don't respond and I have to go with that if I want it published. Some say it's too difficult for their readers, in terms of long words and concepts. Some say the content and design of the website is offputting - and it's not a surprise, given that self-improvement websites often focus heavily on graphics, and LW is almost exclusively text-based.

comment by hg00 · 2015-11-19T23:02:40.803Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

OK, I'm gonna go ahead and go with the self-serving explanation that LW is mainly useful and enjoyable for people with 130+ IQ (25 percentile on LW survey) unless someone gives me a convincing reason to believe otherwise.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-19T23:16:49.497Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I know personally people with an IQ just above average who get a lot out of Less Wrong.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-16T18:24:09.960Z · score: 1 (25 votes) · LW · GW

You're creepy and artificial. Ella is creepy and artificial. This post is creepy and artificial. The About Us page of Intentional Insights is -very- creepy and artificial. And what makes this all bizarre is that the creepy and artificial is recursive - there's something creepy and artificial about the way you're creepy and artificial, in that it is so transparent and obvious that it cannot possibly be unintentionally transparent and obvious. The way you keep selling yourself, selling your company (which itself is selling you), selling merchandise selling your company selling yourself...

Well, knock it off. I don't know if you're a spider in a human suit, or a human in a spider-in-a-human-suit suit, or a spider in a human-in-a-spider-in-a-human-suit-suit suit, but at a certain level it stops mattering. If you're a naive innocent playing at Dark Arts, you're reading as a narcissistic con artist, and not even a terribly good one. If you're a sociopath playing as a naive innocent playing at Dark Arts in order to do something more elaborate that probably only vaguely involves Less Wrong, well, that's just ridiculous, so quit that. And if you're actually a con artist, you're terrible at whatever con you're trying to execute here and should go do something with social media, which actually looks like your skill set.

comment by jsteinhardt · 2015-11-17T17:14:27.534Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I can understand your dislike of Gleb's approach and even see many of your concerns as justified; do you really think your actions in this thread are helping you get what you want though? They certainly won't make Gleb himself listen to you, and they also don't make you sympathetic to onlookers. To the extent that you have issues with Gleb's actions, it seems like pointing them out in a non-abusive way for others to judge would be far more effective.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-17T17:37:10.951Z · score: -1 (13 votes) · LW · GW

I can understand your dislike of Gleb's approach and even see many of your concerns as justified; do you really think your actions in this thread are helping you get what you want though?

Yes.

They certainly won't make Gleb himself listen to you

I tried two other tactics first. I addressed him as a fellow rationalist, and also as a fellow user of Dark Arts, and he was completely unresponsive to those tactics.

To the extent that you have issues with Gleb's actions, it seems like pointing them out in a non-abusive way for others to judge would be far more effective.

This way is better. It starts the weight of public opinion in the correct place, and allows him to prove his guilt or innocence on his merits.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T19:35:29.283Z · score: -5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, now I see that you're trying to troll me. Thanks for clarifying your intentions, much appreciated. I'd prefer to avoid engaging with trolls.

comment by gjm · 2015-11-18T12:38:20.591Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

It doesn't look like trolling to me. I don't mean that I approve of it, but if it's bad its badness seems to me to have nothing to do with trolling.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-11-18T16:00:11.020Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Treating is as trolling is Gleb's way of managing the negativity.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-18T22:59:40.970Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

To me, intentionally making abusive statements is trolling, which is the common definition of trolling: "make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them," which is the first thing that comes up on Google search. Since abusive = offensive + provocative statements, meant to upset and anger, such as "creepy" etc., this to me equates to trolling. Moreover, OrphanWilde himself indicated he deliberately chose to make abusive statements, in response to jsteinhardt's encouragement of him to avoid making abusive statements. I am open to updating my beliefs about trolling, however.

comment by gjm · 2015-11-18T23:14:40.937Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I take the essence of trolling to be the intention of provoking an angry response. It doesn't look to me as if that was OrphanWilde's goal. (I think, rather, that he was playing to the gallery, having "tried two other tactics first" and found you "completely unresponsive".)

[EDITED to add:] Of course it's possible that OrphanWilde is not being honest about his intentions, or that he's deliberately or accidentally misrepresenting his previous attempts at engagement. So what he's written is compatible with an intention to troll. But he hasn't admitted to trying to troll you, which is what I think you're saying he has done.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-18T23:31:27.775Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, let me see if I understand you correctly. You do not consider abusive statements to be trolling? Abusive statements to me by their definition are meant to provoke an angry response.

comment by gjm · 2015-11-19T10:01:53.190Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Correct: I don't consider them to be trolling. If you make that intention part of your definition of "abusive" then I think they aren't abusive either, for precisely that reason. (Personally I wouldn't say that "abusive" implies intention to provoke an angry response, and I would categorize some of what OrphanWilde's written about you as abusive.)

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-19T17:53:25.769Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, then I think we have differences in our interpretation of words like "abusive" and "meant to provoke an angry response." Let's get more specific and concrete to ground things out with an example. For example, OrphanWilde using terms like "you are creepy" to me are ad hominem attacks intentionally meant to provoke an angry response. Would an external observer reading this comment think that this is an ad hominem attack intentionally meant to provoke an angry response - what do you think?

comment by Lumifer · 2015-11-19T17:59:41.709Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You don't think he actually finds you creepy? Are you sure?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-19T22:48:06.854Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

He clearly indicated that his use of such language was intentional. He also admitted to lying in an attempt to harm my reputation. So while I cannot be sure - no one can be except himself - a Bayesian approach would point to probabilistic likelihood of deliberate use of provocative ad hominem language as a trolling technique.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-11-20T16:31:24.860Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

a Bayesian approach would point to probabilistic likelihood of deliberate use of provocative ad hominem language as a trolling technique.

LOL. You're on LW, y'know, not Lifehack. People like me will look at you taking a random collection of keywords, throwing them all into a blender set on high, and then regurgitating them onto a page -- and be not impressed.

To quote My Cousin Vinny, "...everything that guy just said is bullshit" X-)

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-23T01:01:28.571Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Don't be dismissive. If you disagree, make an actual argument and lay out your disagreements. Thanks!

comment by Lumifer · 2015-11-23T15:42:24.450Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Don't be dismissive.

Why not? A lot of things ought be dismissed.

comment by gjm · 2015-11-19T19:45:46.933Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, I suppose I'm an external observer (I promise that I am neither OrphanWilde nor Gleb_Tsipursky), and I would say yes it's an ad hominem attack but no it's probably not intended to provoke an angry response. I would guess that other external observers with the same context available to them as to me would mostly say the same.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-19T22:38:43.019Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I perceive an ad hominem attack as by its nature designed to provoke an angry response.

comment by gjm · 2015-11-20T00:56:27.959Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Why?

It seems to me that there are plenty of other obvious reasons why people might make ad hominem attacks. For instance:

  • They might expect them to influence other people in a direction they like. (I would guess that this motivation is substantially more common than desire to provoke an angry response.)
  • They might be angry (or otherwise upset) themselves, for whatever reason, and respond as angry people often do by attacking in any way that presents itself.
  • They might be failing to distinguish between an idea and the person presenting it, and be only dimly aware that what they're doing is an ad hominem attack at all.
  • They might be hoping to provoke (not an angry response but) reflection on the part of the person being attacked ("wow, I had no idea anyone would react so strongly to what I said; could there be something wrong with it?"). I doubt this works very often, but there might be cases where it's a reasonable last resort.

In this particular case I think the first and last of those are the most likely motives.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-20T04:02:43.180Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not talking about the motivation, I am talking about the outcome. We can't read people's minds, we can only observe actions and their consequences. The outcome of an ad hominem attack is to provoke an angry and otherwise emotional response in the person attacked.

comment by gjm · 2015-11-20T11:16:20.949Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What you wrote before was (emphasis mine):

Abusive statements to me by their definition are meant to provoke an angry response.

and

OrphanWilde using terms like "you are creepy" to me are ad hominem attacks intentionally meant to provoke an angry response.

and I don't know how to interpret those other than in terms of motivation and not only outcome. But if you've now changed your position from "ad hominem abuse is intended to provoke an angry response" to "ad hominem abuse is likely to provoke an angry response" then we have no disagreement on that any more.

The original question was actually not about the intentions of ad hominem attacks in general but about whether OrphanWilde was admitting to trolling. Trolling is defined in terms of its intention and not merely its effects, so your change of position here doesn't alter my opinion that OrphanWilde was probably not trolling.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-23T06:32:14.566Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

To me, taking an action highly likely to provoke an angry response indicates an intentional desire to provoke a negative response. This should also be read in light of OrphanWilde's other actions on this thread. I don't want to say that one ad hominem attack necessarily constitutes trolling. I perceive trolling as about several acts that together constitute a sum of evidence of trolling, i. .e, taking actions highly likely to provoke an angry response, and knowing in advance that one's actions are of the type likely to provoke a negative response.

comment by Viliam · 2015-11-18T08:26:48.041Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

There is an important discussion we could have had about this topic, but your comment is absolutely not the way to do it. You just wrote "I despise you" in many words.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-11-18T15:58:15.306Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You just wrote "I despise you" in many words.

So what? LW isn't a "safe space".

comment by signal · 2015-11-18T16:05:13.335Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

That may be the case. But even Lukeprog preferred to be given feedback in a nice wrapping, because after all we are still primates and will appreciate it more.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-11-18T16:10:25.466Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe my standards are skewed, but nobody called anyone a fucking moron or expressed a desire to see him die in a fire.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-18T14:49:24.570Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If it's left to a random person to say something, what they say might just fall short of the idealized version of the discussion you never actually started. And he's been selling here for a year and a half.

And if you're also Villiam_Bur, you've been here since his beginning, when you chewed somebody out and deleted their account for (I assume, since the comment is deleted, but the context suggests it) accusing him of buying upvotes off some site. I'll dryly observe that some priors really should have been updated based on that very uncommon accusation.

comment by Viliam · 2015-11-18T21:16:39.741Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What you described feels kinda familiar, but my memory refuses to bring more details now. Sorry.

So, as you already know, I opened the discussion explicitly.

(Yes, I am Viliam Bur. Recently I decided to be a bit more careful about using my name online; no big security, just a little trivial inconvenience. The date of changing the username is more or less the date when I de facto stopped being a moderator.)

comment by Ella · 2015-11-17T01:28:52.034Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I'm quite disheartened by your response. I really don't know your issues about me. The article from Intentional Insights are quite helpful to improve rational thinking. I do believe if we think rationally, we think logical and put our actions into logical manner. When we think and rationalize our every actions and set aside overwhelming emotions, I'm quite sure that we lead our life satisfactorily.

I do not know your propositions that gave you an insight that I'm a narcissist in any way or a sociopath. What are your sylogism of your attacks.

My point of view if we learned froma science-based research organization on how to improve thinking, chances are we think and act in a logical way.

If we learn to think logical. We act logical. We know that are actions may affect other people and so the society. If the people in the world would think and act like this, I can see a better world without a narcisist, extremist, sociopath and people that speak, act and attack from all presumptions.

I am Ella and I'm nothing against you and I'm a fan and a believer of the studies from a science based organization, Intentional Insights,

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T20:59:49.299Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Ella, sorry that my introduction of you to Less Wrong coincided with this burst of negativity against Intentional Insights and that you're caught in the backlash. Hope the actions of this one person don't cause you to disengage from Less Wrong altogether. There are many really smart people here with wise things to say!

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2016-04-19T17:26:21.172Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Could you give an example or two of how you're thinking more rationally and how your life is better as a result?

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-17T12:58:10.522Z · score: -4 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I'm quite disheartened by your response.

Are you sure you aren't "sad"?

comment by Dagon · 2015-11-16T20:40:53.850Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I don't find it creepy, and it seems quite genuine to me. However, this is a not-uncommon complaint about thoughtful living and use of system 2 for topics that are typically chosen purely by system 1. To some, the ability to dispassionately consider possible futures is kind of freaky, bordering on alien.

I'd like to be able to engage with the fear and negative reaction, but instead I tend to just dismiss it. Sorry.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-16T21:15:48.141Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

He comes across as genuine?

He comes across to me as somebody who is so obviously not genuine that I'm left wondering whether his lack of genuineness is genuine. Have you looked at Intentional Insight's About Us page?

comment by Dagon · 2015-11-17T14:30:59.439Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if we mean different things by "genuine". I find it quite easy to believe that his actual desires and his stated goals are the same, and I find him relatively transparent in his theories about how to other-optimize.

I'll gladly admit that it's not my thing, but that's different from thinking that it's evil or creepy.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T19:34:15.468Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I generally try to be consistent between my actual desires, my stated goals, and my actions, which exhibit my revealed preferences.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T00:43:45.884Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm sad you feel this way. As I stated below, the "About Us" page lists testimonials of people who benefited from Intentional Insights content, and experts who endorse the content. This is pretty standard for nonprofit websites. Do you complain about CFAR's testimonials?

comment by gjm · 2015-11-17T16:39:09.198Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This is pretty standard for nonprofit websites.

Just to be clear: is InIn a nonprofit?

... Aha, this page on the website says it's a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It might be worth making that more explicit somewhere easier to find, because one thing I thought on looking over the website was "huh, that's interesting: they seem to be trying hard to give the impression of being a nonprofit without actually saying in so many words that they are; I wonder why".

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T19:07:55.078Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for pointing that out. The curse of knowledge is such a powerful fallacy, and we fell prey to it.

I had the website revised to insert mentions of InIn being a nonprofit on the front page, and on the About Us page. Here's the link to our Guidestar profile for anyone interested.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2016-04-19T17:31:40.066Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not crazy about Gleb, but he doesn't ping my emotional immune system the way he does yours. I'm inclined to think there's some pattern-matching going on, and people are carrying different sets of patterns.

I'm not saying that you or I are necessarily right or wrong, but it's really hard to convey to someone else what's going on with that sort of pattern-matching. Just asserting that your pattern-match is completely obvious doesn't work.

One of my best friends is revolted by LW. We've spent some time on what the issue is, and we haven't been able to figure it out.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-11-16T21:35:53.335Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I would probably characterise International Insights as cargo cult marketing, blindly following the Three-Ring Binder[1]. It says "advertise on the social networks" so, by golly, we'll advertise on the social networks! etc.

They built the sticks-and-mud control tower and are doing the parade ground drill. The airplanes with cargo should arrive any time now.

[1] "You just have to find a sufficiently virulent business plan, condense it into a three-ring binder - its DNA - xerox it, and embed it in the fertile lining of a well-traveled highway, preferably one with a left-turn lane." -- Neil Stephenson, Snow Crash.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T00:53:27.126Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, we do have some airplanes arriving, if we equate airplanes to getting the rationality message out there to broad audiences, which is the whole point of Intentional Insights. A clear example is the placement of the above article in Lifehack, where it has been shared over 1K times, or this presentation to a humanist community group in Columbus, or this article in Salon. Our Advisory Board has attracted experts in the field of judgment and decision-making, education, and social work. We are doing exactly what we set out to do, so I think we can reasonably state that the airplanes are arriving.

And yes, we are using a Three-Ring Binder used by self-improvement groups and marketing gurus. That's the strategies we chose to follow in order to get rationality out to a broad audience. So we are not blindly following that model, but quite intentionally and agentively, using the kind of methods that will achieve our goals.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-17T13:04:20.974Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Yeeeup.

I was giving him too much credit. He's not intentionally bad at this, he's -oblivious- to how bad he is at this.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T00:55:05.120Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To many, the possibility of considering what they are thinking and feeling as distinct from their own selves is freaky and bordering on alien.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-16T19:39:18.950Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Wow, that's pretty hard-core stuff. I see that you have some issues with what I'm doing, and I'm sad to see that. My aim is to be as transparent about what I'm doing as possible - raise the sanity waterline for the broad population out there.

Ella is an aspiring rationalist who was introduced to Less Wrong through Intentional Insights content and is enthusiastic about rationality. She is from Albay in the Phillipines, which might the cause for your perception of her - please don't judge people by their ability to write well in English. In fact, many of the people who engage with Intentional Insights content are from developing countries, as we collaborate with international skeptic and reason-oriented organizations such as Atheist Alliance International.

Sad to see you being so disparaging to aspiring rationalist newbies. I suggest you consider carefully the impact of your words and actions, and how they come off to others, especially newcomers. Thanks!

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-16T20:39:06.890Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

The extent of Ella's interactions with LW to this point have been entirely praising how you and your writings have somehow mysteriously improved her rationality - if she's an aspiring rationalist, she should spend less of her time considering how great you are, and spend more of it examining her own mind.

Her comments share a lot in common with the compliments of yourself filling Intentional Insight's About Us page, really.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T00:35:27.772Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

As I think I stated before, Ella is enthusiastic about rationality and was introduced to it through Intentional Insights, which she is also enthusiastic about. She's from Albay in the Phillipines, so please don't judge her by her English. She's a newbie to Less Wrong, and she is starting to engage with it by focusing on what she knows best. It's not surprising that she has a positive opinion about my activities, is it?

The "About Us" page lists testimonials of people who benefited from Intentional Insights content, and experts who endorse the content. This is standard for nonprofit websites. Do you complain about CFAR's testimonials?

I'm sad to see you responding this way to efforts for raising the sanity waterline for a broad audience.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-17T12:59:20.901Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

It's not surprising that she has a positive opinion about my activities, is it?

No, no it isn't, since you do.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T19:08:53.976Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm confused by your point.

I also noticed you chose not to respond to the point about CFAR's testimonials. Are you backing down from that claim?

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-17T19:48:48.916Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

...I seem to recall a reasonably-popular post on LW not too long ago talking about people relying on debate tactics. I found myself disagreeing with it because I'd never met somebody who actually argued like they were in a debate, tracking points, with victory depending on whether or not you left points unaddressed. I found the whole thing vaguely ridiculous, predicated on a style of argument I had never encountered, in spite of years spent arguing on the internet.

I'm updating now. People who think debate rules apply outside debate club do exist.

Now, to dissect what I just did, I combined an admission that I was wrong about something, with a note that I was updating my beliefs - both extremely positive things on Less Wrong. And I did so in the context of eviscerating anything like a point you might have thought you had, by linking your behavior to a recently-noted poor practice in rationality. I established my own virtue while cutting yours down; if I had thought your point was worth avoiding due to its danger to my position, I would simultaneously have cut off any ability of you to bring up the point again without looking even more pathetic and losing even more face. That is artfully executed Dark Arts.

It wasn't a danger, incidentally. The reason I didn't respond to it is that it wasn't worth responding to. Bluntly, if you can't tell the difference between endorsements of yourself personally and endorsements of your organization, you're not running an organization at all, you're running a cult of personality. Which ties into another thing - if Ella is an independent person... well, I say the word "independent", but she behaves more like an extension of yourself, reflecting even your style of writing/speech. Which is to say, she behaves like a member of a cult.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T19:59:59.138Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Congratulations on your artfully executed Dark Arts. I hope any Less Wronger can see through the Dark Arts.

Endorsements of Intentional Insights content created by me is endorsements of me personally? That is a very strange thing to say for an aspiring rationalist. There's a difference between the person and her/his actions.

Thanks for the accusation of me being a cult leader. I appreciate the sentiment, but it places me on too high a pedestal, I think.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-17T20:20:06.278Z · score: -3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Congratulations on your artfully executed Dark Arts.

Thank you. Congratulations on your artful use of graciousness as a literary weapon.

I hope any Less Wronger can see through the Dark Arts.

Your hope is misplaced. Nobody can reliably see through the Dark Arts. I lack sufficient hubris to claim that even for myself, an individual who I hold in very high regard.

Endorsements of Intentional Insights content created by me is endorsements of me personally?

Endorsements of you, personally. As in "Dr. Tsipursky has done a terrific job..." and "Dr. Tsipursky has done a great job..." and "Tsipursky, a college professor and scholar of scientific and research-based approaches to answering big questions has put together a step by step guide to help you reflect on what you really and truly care about" and "Gleb Tsipursky brings useful tools, based on the fruits of recent scientific and academic research, to those seeking to use reason in their personal search for meaning and purpose" and "[Dr. Tsipursky's book] Find Your Purpose Using Science clearly is one of the centerpieces of humanist education" and "Professor Tsipursky shows us that..." and "Dr. Tsipursky, without rancor, demonstrates successfully to my mind that..." and "Dr. Tsipurky's voice is unique, speaking to the hope, idealism, angst and empowerment of the current global population" and I'm tired of copying comments.

I inserted your name into the "centerpieces of humanist education" one, but otherwise, every single one of those endorsements, supposedly of your organization, are about you, personally.

Thanks for the accusation of me being a cult leader. I appreciate the sentiment, but it places me on too high a pedestal, I think.

You're not a particularly good one, if it makes you feel any better. You just crib the notes of people who are good at it, and openly admit to it.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T20:34:59.712Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I hear that you're triggered by those endorsements. However, all those endorsements are standard style endorsements for a book. They point not to me, but to my actions, and evaluations of my actions in writing the book to which those comments refer.

If you actually focus on interpreting what they say, they do not say "Dr. Tsipursky is awesome." They say things like "Dr. Tsipursky has done a terrific job..." and "Dr. Tsipursky has done a great job" etc. They are about my actions. These actions draw support from people, who wish then to show support through endorsing the book.

The book was published by Intentional Insights. I am also donating more than half the profit from author's royalties to Intentional Insights. So this is an Intentional Insights book as much as my own. Hope that clarifies things.

Anyway, I see that you intend to keep trolling me. Please consider how your actions and words come off to others. Thanks!

comment by OrphanWilde · 2015-11-17T20:43:36.561Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

If you believe that I am trolling you, the correct response is not to reply, not keep "feeding the trolls".

An observation: Every conversation between us that has ended, has ended because I chose not to reply. The same is true of every other conversation I see you involved in. You're incapable of not replying.

comment by dxu · 2016-04-19T16:57:19.702Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

...Well, that's one way to get someone to stop replying.

comment by LessWrong (LessWrong1) · 2015-11-17T09:55:45.786Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The thing is that, in any community (what defines 'community' is up to you, although the the broadest definition is "having something in common", and that is not a good one) that both respects itself and is actually useful, it usually grows organically, attracting people who are interested in both heart and spirit, and it grows incrementally, with members being slowly added.

Rather than drafting people in, a good community will slowly evolve because it attracts interested people. I'd go on but I'd just be repeating "Wellkept gardens" so I'll stop here.

I don't want to think about attracting people anymore, because we've already had the Eternal September, and any person who spent a major amount of time on the internet can agree to have experienced it in one form, or intensity, or in their own, individual way, and I do believe we can agree THAT was terrible.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-11-17T19:29:38.498Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yup, I don't want Eternal September either. My primary goal is to raise the sanity waterline broadly, through publishing articles for broad venues and getting people engaged with Intentional Insights content. For people who prove to be highly engaged with rational thinking and wish to advance further, those are the people I would direct to Less Wrong more explicitly.