↑ comment by Viliam_Bur ·
2014-12-19T10:36:09.084Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Thanks! On the other hand, lest I prove too much, each of these ways can work:
1) Irrationality does not have to be fatal. Dilbert makes a living complaining about irrationality of companies, and yet those companies make billions of profit.
2) Open source software exposes all their bugs, and still many open-source projects are respected. (Although this may be because their exposed weakness is incomprehensible for most people, so on the social level it is as if they exposed nothing.)
3) Most organizations have people with privileged access to information, and don't expose everything to public. Most organizations have a clear boundary between a non-member and a member, between a non-manager and a manager. People don't question this, because it's business as usual.
So probably the problem here is that LessWrong is not an organization, and that LessWrong is somehow not sufficiently separated from MIRI. Which feels ironical, because I am on LessWrong every day, and I mostly don't know what people in MIRI are working at now, so the separation clearly exists from my view; but it may not exist from an outsider's view, for whom simply LessWrong = Eliezer, and MIRI = Eliezer (so if Eliezer said something low status on LessWrong, it automatically means MIRI is low status). So my conclusion is that compartmentalization has an important role, and Eliezer failed to do it properly.
In real life, we usually don't have much data about leaders of high-status organizations. From the outside they seem like boring people, who only do their work and that's all they ever do. (Think about what it did for Bill Clinton's career when the details of his sex life became public.) I understand the desire to be influential and to be free to expose whatever you want about yourself, but it probably doesn't work this way. By exposing too much, you limit your status. Powerful people do not enjoy freedom of speech in the same way popular bloggers do. Eliezer went the popular blogger way. Now we need a way to promote MIRI which does not mention Eliezer.
Replies from: Lumifer
↑ comment by Lumifer ·
2014-12-19T16:27:47.722Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I understand the desire to be influential and to be free to expose whatever you want about yourself, but it probably doesn't work this way. By exposing too much, you limit your status.
It certainly doesn't work that way, but I think it's not just about status. If you want to be influential (aka have power, that's different from just being high-status), you should be instrumentally rational about it, that is, evaluate whether the consequences of your actions serve your goals. In this particular case, you need to carefully manage your public persona, the image you present to the outside. This careful management is not very compatible with exposing " whatever you want about yourself".
This is actually a problem in that it's a serious disincentive for good people to get involved in high-level politics. Would you want a team of smart lawyers and investigators to go over your visible life with a fine-toothed comb looking with malice for any kind of dirt they can fling at you?