Rationality Quotes July 2016

post by bbleeker · 2016-07-01T09:02:15.327Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 21 comments

Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Document · 2016-07-02T18:52:22.537Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Crazy guy: Hey, June*! Do you know that my cabinets keep opening and closing by themselves?
June*: Well, do you believe in ghosts?
Crazy guy: Yes, I do!
June*: Maybe your place is haunted, and the ghosts just want to say hello.
Crazy guy, after thinking a while: No, I think it's just my schizophrenia.

Allegedly overheard.

comment by Document · 2016-07-02T18:42:46.558Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

They didn't anticipate what the Internet would become--because they weren't fucking insane...

Robert Evans, Cracked

Related: Stranger Than History.

Replies from: philh
comment by philh · 2016-07-04T09:19:50.124Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not sure what the lesson is here. A sane forecaster could never have been accurate? That seems like it would need some justification.

Replies from: Tem42
comment by Tem42 · 2016-07-23T02:41:59.024Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A simple justification of a slightly less extreme position is easy enough: there were many sane people who did not predict the value of the internet, indicating that being sane and smart are not sufficient to predict such things.

There are plenty of quotes from people who were supposed to be experts (or at least well-educated) saything that heavier than air flight was impossible, computers would always be room-sized monstrosities of limited use, etc. I assume that this quote is pretty much the same idea (that future technology is unpredictable), but using a technology that is 1. more recent, and thus more relatable, and 2. not simply a matter of technology, but of adapted use; that is, most smart people might have guessed that the early internet could be made faster, webpages better, and the network more comprehensive. They simply didn't see the value that this would produce, and so assumed that technology would not move in that direction.

Replies from: philh
comment by philh · 2016-07-25T09:35:08.003Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Being sane and smart are not sufficient" is very different from "being insane is necessary".

Compare: "they didn't think heavier-than-air flight was possible - because they weren't fucking insane".

comment by [deleted] · 2016-07-21T21:34:41.102Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

When the man doesn't fit the narrative change the narrative to fit the man

Our Brand is Crisis - a movie about political campaign management

comment by [deleted] · 2016-07-01T17:40:36.740Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A pop-happiness tip that appeared on the front page of Reddit:

Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he/she deserves it, don't allow their anger to become your anger..

Replies from: soreff
comment by soreff · 2016-07-09T21:39:45.861Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

How about "You're so cute when you're angry."?

comment by WalterL · 2016-07-01T14:58:47.156Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

-It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.

George Washington, letter to his niece Harriet Washington, October 30, 1791 First president of US (1732 - 1799)

Replies from: ChristianKl, Pimgd
comment by ChristianKl · 2016-07-02T10:21:38.603Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There are studies about skipping lines in supermarkets that suggest that giving a bad excuse to skip the line quite often results in the person allowing you to skip a line while giving no excuse doesn't.

comment by Pimgd · 2016-07-01T15:23:37.275Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Contradicts "leave a retreat" - offering someone a bad excuse to get out of a situation "You're late. Was it traffic again?" might work better for the current situation than demanding why they are late.

But in politics it might make sense.

Replies from: WalterL
comment by WalterL · 2016-07-01T16:23:01.553Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't think it is a contradiction. You can think excusing oneself is a weak move while giving other people the chance to do it. I don't smoke, but I'd sell cigarettes.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-07-21T21:34:36.025Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Please stop throwing rocks because you have already broken my windshield

Our Brand is Crisis - a movie about political campaign management

Replies from: Glen
comment by Glen · 2016-07-26T18:42:59.543Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

So, in context this is someone trying to diffuse a dangerous situation with placating lies. How is this rationality?

comment by [deleted] · 2016-07-01T17:40:41.869Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A guy named Harold Schraeder studied prevelance of chronic whiplash in Lithuania, of all things. He found the prevalence was zero. In most Western nations, a certain subset of people who get in car accidents suffer chronic disabling neck pain, presumably related to having their neck get suddenly jerked by the force of the impact. But Schrader found that this never happened in Lithuania, even though they had a lot of accidents and their cars were no safer than ours. Simotas and Shen found that there was zero whiplash in demolition derby drivers, even though they got into crashes all the time and it was basically their job description. Further studies found that accident victims with more neck injury were no more likely to develop whiplash than victims with less neck injury. Perhaps, they argue, chronic whiplash isn’t a bodily injury at all, but a culture-bound syndrome in which people who expect whiplash to exist use its symptom profile as a way of expressing their psychological tension.

Replies from: ignoranceprior, ChristianKl, WalterL
comment by ignoranceprior · 2016-07-01T20:42:22.291Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Source, since you didn't link it.

comment by ChristianKl · 2016-07-02T10:20:11.517Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Downvoted for failure to provide the source.

Replies from: Good_Burning_Plastic
comment by Good_Burning_Plastic · 2016-07-02T16:58:26.802Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

From the bullet at the end, I guess he tried to link it but got the Markdown wrong.

Replies from: ChristianKl
comment by ChristianKl · 2016-07-02T20:39:11.125Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There's an edit button. It doesn't take that much work to fix formatting.

comment by WalterL · 2016-07-02T05:08:06.113Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Dude seems to be bending over backwards to avoid the obvious conclusion. Whiplash is a scam, just a lie folks tell to try and get settlements.

Replies from: ChristianKl
comment by ChristianKl · 2016-07-02T10:27:17.033Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's just on story of many that fits into the same explanation. Explaining the story isn't the core motivation of his theory.