[Link] You Have No Idea How Wrong You Are

post by Cogitus_Maximus · 2012-07-23T02:37:51.422Z · score: -5 (12 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 6 comments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8V8rtdXnLA&feature

Be sure to make it to the last 5 minutes of the lecture as the tone shifts significantly.

6 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by knb · 2012-07-23T05:45:38.879Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This video seems pretty pointless. He makes the claim that historically, people have been wrong about essentially all of their beliefs. That seems wrong--most people's beliefs are things like "mountains are tall", "my knee hurts", or "there are fruit trees in this valley".

He also assumes that we are not in a "more privileged position with respect to the Truth". But obviously we are, at least to some extent. Someone who only only has access to the data they collected from the first day of an experiment knows less than someone who collects another day of results and can read the first person's notes.

Overall, there just isn't anything in the video that makes it worth watching, especially for people who spend time on LW.

comment by Cogitus_Maximus · 2012-07-23T06:53:31.397Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm new to the community so I appreciate your willingness to explain the poor reception this video got. That said I think the point you critique is still valid and that you might be less critical if you'd watched the last 5 minutes of the video. Are we in a "more privileged position"? Yes, and he acknowledges that towards the end. However, "more" is a relative term. In all likely-hood a thousand years from now scientists will look back and say we were less wrong than we had been in the past but still far more wrong than they will be. If with each new revolutionary thought or finding we think we've come to final truth we're likely to slow our efforts. However, if we can think of it instead as becoming less wrong we stay motivated to make the next step to becoming even less wrong. Either way I appear to have been misguaged the interests of the community and would appreciate any suggestions for further submissions. Is there a page on submission guidelines/protocol that I've missed?

comment by knb · 2012-07-23T08:10:31.875Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm new to the community so I appreciate your willingness to explain the poor reception this video got.

I suspect this was downvoted mainly because you posted a link without any kind of description. Even links posted in an Open Thread should have at least a one-sentence description of the link content. A discussion-level post should have a minimum of a short descriptive paragraph. That helps people determine if it is worth their time to click through.

you might be less critical if you'd watched the last 5 minutes of the video.

I did watch the last 5 minutes, mainly because you implied it would get better. In reality, he just makes these trivial arguments favoring acceptance of improved but still imperfect ideas, while still looking for future improvements (as though anyone expects absolute perfection and rejects non-perfect improvements). Arguing that we should prefer the term "less wrong" over "right" is based on a narrow semantic definition of "right" that nobody actually uses and is therefore worthless. It's like arguing that we should stop using the term "cold" to describe anything but absolute zero, and use "less hot" instead.

comment by Cogitus_Maximus · 2012-07-23T16:10:02.658Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks much for the feedback.

comment by David_Gerard · 2012-07-23T07:34:25.079Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In all likely-hood a thousand years from now scientists will look back and say we were less wrong than we had been in the past but still far more wrong than they will be.

Well, they say that now. We have something that works better than what we had before. I commend Asimov's essay The Relativity Of Wrong.

Either way I appear to have been misguaged the interests of the community and would appreciate any suggestions for further submissions. Is there a page on submission guidelines/protocol that I've missed?

It's along the right lines of interest, I think :-) I suspect people are reacting badly to a video without much commentary from you - judging by a recent strawpoll on the subject, lots of people here really hate watching videos without a transcript.

comment by Lapsed_Lurker · 2012-07-23T12:01:53.782Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, they say that now. We have something that works better than what we had before. I commend Asimov's essay The Relativity Of Wrong.

Good to read that again. Thanks.