Meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion

post by OpenThreadGuy · 2013-08-09T06:07:27.370Z · score: 4 (5 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 23 comments

Contents

  Discussion article for the meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion
  Discussion article for the meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion
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23 comments

Discussion article for the meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion

WHEN: 14 August 2013 07:00:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 10850 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064, USA

How to get in: Go to the Westside Tavern in the upstairs Wine Bar (all ages welcome), located inside the Westside Pavillion on the second floor, right by the movie theaters. The entrance sign says "Lounge".

Parking is free for 3 hours, or for longer if you apply some chicanery.

Discussion:

Lonely dissent doesn't feel like going to school dressed in black. It feels like going to school wearing a clown suit.—Eliezer Yudkowsky

Sometimes it feels more like going to clown school wearing a suit.—Catharine G. Evans

On August 7, #confessyourunpopularopinion made the rounds as a (perhaps ironically, very popular) Twitter hashtag.

Examples:

This is an inherently LessWrongish thing to do, so this is what we will be doing. I don't expect it to be a problem, but just in case, I will be enforcing (with my fists) a rule: No one's opinions are to be ridiculed or mocked. The point is to profess unpopular opinions.

Recommended reading:

No prior knowledge of or exposure to Less Wrong is necessary; this will be generally accessible. Because a few people didn't get the joke last time, I have been instructed not to pretend that you have to have memorized the core sequences in order to attend without getting kicked out. It's still a good idea to read the sequences, though.

There may or may not be a highly visible whiteboard, which may or may not have Bayes's Theorem written on it.

Discussion article for the meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion

23 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Davidmanheim · 2013-08-09T13:19:20.239Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I will miss all of you, stuck in the middle of the mind killer out here in DC, literally spending my time mapping bureaucratic processes and how they interact.

Some of my unpopular opinions (for a lesswrong meetup:) 1) Most stereotypes are useful cognitive shortcuts, but are largely damaging and should be replaced with less efficient cognitive methods when considering actions in public. 2) The excessive focus on philosophy, while fun, is damaging in terms of how rationality is discussed outside of explicitly Rationalist circles. 3) Currently in the world, religion is a net positive, and the increasing secularization of society has led to a damaging cycle where the gap created by people no longer participating in explicitly religious groups allows many people who now exploit society to do so, and they would otherwise be constrained from doing so.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-08-11T18:49:03.632Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Currently in the world, religion is a net positive, and the increasing secularization of society has led to a damaging cycle where the gap created by people no longer participating in explicitly religious groups allows many people who now exploit society to do so, and they would otherwise be constrained from doing so.

Examples?

comment by Davidmanheim · 2013-08-16T14:03:46.498Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

50 years ago, Investment bankers had to walk into the Church at the end of the week, and if the pastor/community found out that they had been involved in insider trading, their social lives were over.( Social pressure was a powerful motivator when social groups were near-mandatory religious affiliations.)

Similarly, presidents, senators, and other political figures used to need to attend church every week, and they would have been subject to extreme social pressure if it was clear that they were uninterested in the public welfare.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-08-09T12:47:58.763Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"objects are syllables in a message/one aspect of god's lonely edge"

What is this even supposed to mean?

comment by OpenThreadGuy · 2013-08-09T18:28:26.194Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I have no idea. I just included it because it was Sister Y

comment by passive_fist · 2013-08-09T12:31:21.342Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Inheritance should be illegal. You deserve nothing from your parents' deaths."

Now here's a legitimately unpopular opinion (and one that is rightly unpopular, for many reasons).

comment by cousin_it · 2013-08-09T11:55:20.162Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Any ideas on how to stop this from turning into a "my unpopular opinion is sexier than yours" contest?

comment by RichardKennaway · 2013-08-09T13:33:03.206Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What else could it possibly be?

comment by cousin_it · 2013-08-10T00:11:40.463Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe you could let people nominate unpopular opinions for discussion without having to endorse them. That way you might get less one-upmanship and more genuinely edgy stuff. For example, I would nominate Aristotle's "some people are slaves by nature".

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2013-08-10T13:09:36.703Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

And add in C.S. Lewis' idea that no people are masters by nature.

From memory: Lewis presented Aristotle's idea as being that natural slaves were people who weren't responsible enough to run their own lives.

comment by satt · 2013-08-11T01:58:52.673Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A pretext for sniping at opposing ideologies and political positions? But yes.

comment by JenniferRM · 2013-08-14T20:52:41.902Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'll be there!

comment by iamesco · 2013-08-11T15:15:19.633Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think Slavoj Zizek pulls off the beard better than Eliezer.

comment by Emile · 2013-08-09T13:12:41.917Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Things on #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion seems pretty tame to me - either me or those people is wrong about which opinions are really unpopular (though some cases can just be explained by different social environments).

comment by gwern · 2013-08-09T15:56:41.343Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If the responses weren't tame and people were expressing genuinely unpopular opinions, it'd basically be a suicidal let-100-flowers-bloom folly.

EDIT: my RSS reader today furnishes an excellent example of why even popular opinions can be too dangerous to tweet.

comment by wedrifid · 2013-08-09T16:51:05.684Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Things on #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion seems pretty tame to me - either me or those people is wrong about which opinions are really unpopular (though some cases can just be explained by different social environments).

Obviously 'unpopular opinion' refers to wearing the rebel uniform instead of whatever uniform their parents wear. You wouldn't want to actually confess something weird.

comment by Lumifer · 2013-08-09T16:06:21.670Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you have a really unpopular (socially suicidal) opinion, why would you publish it for the world to see -- just because of a twitter hashtag?

comment by wedrifid · 2013-08-09T16:57:08.261Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If you have a really unpopular (socially suicidal) opinion, why would you publish it for the world to see -- just because of a twitter hashtag?

#UnconvictedKillersConfessYourCrimes

#PoliticiansConfessYourCorruption

This is better than 'sudo'.

comment by Emile · 2013-08-09T16:58:28.801Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, there's going to be a strong selection effect, most people aren't going to publish their really unpopular opinion, what I find more surprising is that so many people post opinions that they should know aren't really unpopular, like

addicts shouldn't go to mansions/nice places to recover while cancer patients have to sit in a hospital room

(seriously, who's going to disagree with that? Some people might say "that doesn't happen", or "this is taking some edge cases to muddle the pciture", but I don't expect many saying "I'm fine with that happening")

I would have expected more people who post things that are unpopular in many circles but not in their clique (like "I think Gay Marriage is wrong"), or people posting "real" unpopular opinions if they don't care or are sufficiently anonymous.

comment by Lumifer · 2013-08-09T17:41:46.440Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

what I find more surprising is that so many people post opinions that they should know aren't really unpopular

I think you take all this at face value, while you really should be looking at the meta-game since that's what most people are playing.

comment by gwern · 2013-08-09T17:15:16.279Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

(seriously, who's going to disagree with that? Some people might say "that doesn't happen", or "this is taking some edge cases to muddle the pciture", but I don't expect many saying "I'm fine with that happening")

Personally, comrade, I think we need not 1 mansion for cancer patients, but 50 mansions!

comment by Multiheaded · 2013-08-09T12:17:23.199Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(OT: Ms. Evans certainly has a very good opinion of herself...)

comment by OpenThreadGuy · 2013-08-11T06:31:47.032Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

wouldn't you, if you were her?