On Long and Insightful Posts

post by MinJune Kim (qria) · 2019-02-13T03:52:20.249Z · score: 20 (19 votes) · LW · GW · 3 comments

Concise articles are more constructive because their main argument is easier to refute.

3 comments

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comment by Rob Bensinger (RobbBB) · 2019-02-13T07:03:57.394Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Long articles are often easier to refute because they make more claims, and their claims are more detailed.

Additionally, the point of writing a blog post isn't to make it easy to refute; and you don't get extra points for refuting an entire post vs. a piece of a post.

comment by MinJune Kim (qria) · 2019-02-13T13:05:44.665Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I am still getting used to this site so excuse me if I had made any faux pas.

I agree that longer articles with multiple bullet points are easier to refute in parts. However I think majority of the claims should be falsified to falsify the whole argument. For example, you have made 3 points to refute my argument. If I refute only 1 of your point, I believe your point still stands. Therefore I have to present counter argument for more claims. Start of the refute was easier but ultimately it seems harder.

Perhaps the wording could be improved. I have edited the article to reflect this.

Regarding your second claim, I agree that the point of a blog post isn't to make it easy to refute. However I believe that the point of the blog article is to get the argument across and have an insightful discussion. Because refutability is a key element in rational discussion, thus articles that have better refutability is more constructive.

About refuting an entire post versus part I believe this is where we might have a disagreement. I still believe that refuting only part of the post does not refute the argument of the post, therefore less valuable for the discussion. Therefore refuting entire post will hopefully be rewarded extra internet points by the community for contributing to the discussion more.

comment by ESRogs · 2019-02-13T22:08:31.583Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Relatedly: shorter articles don't need to be as well-written and engaging for me to actually read to the end of them.

I suspect, though, that there is wide variation in willingness to read long posts, perhaps explained (in part) by reading speed.