Mini thoughts on mintheism 2021-01-11T05:14:59.524Z


Comment by craigmichael on Covid 1/21: Turning the Corner · 2021-01-22T20:05:05.541Z · LW · GW

lol imagining Very Serious People telling us to eat out. Like someone named Colonel Angus.

I mean... are other 80s/90s kids laughing at 'eat out to help out' and then feeling old? Because I am.

Comment by craigmichael on In Defense of Twitter's Decision to Ban Trump · 2021-01-11T23:15:55.948Z · LW · GW

Your post is a good one and it sucks people are coming down on it that way.

It made me wonder if Eliezer and Jaron Lanier had ever had a conversation before. They did not too long ago and I missed it. -- video is missing from the LW post but is here

I would love to see this happen again with a moderator and some more structure. 

I wonder if this isn't a consequence of a kind of philosophical blind spot in EYs rationalist perspective. Sort of that to EY Twitter represents an achievement to pedestalize rather than a albatross that we've bought in to and accept because of network lock-in effects.

I used to tell people in college that I "had two pack a year habit." I would smoke rarely to strike up conversations because it was an easy ice breaker when I wanted a conversation. Twitter is like that, but instead trading seven minutes of your life you're trading chunks of your humanity.

I mean... I'm jealous of Trump for losing access to his drug of choice. I think it could be a really positive things for him and for all of us. :)  

Comment by craigmichael on In Defense of Twitter's Decision to Ban Trump · 2021-01-11T20:29:13.666Z · LW · GW

My Translation: I'm worried that banning Trump from twitter will increase polarization because it will make the two tribes more segregated than they were before. This is not that similar to your #7, and otherwise missing from the list entirely.

I can't prove this isn't true, but I believe it's unlikely given what we know about how the algorithms currently work. To generate outrage engagement you want to identify ideas that are being shared on social media in various forms and then find out what groups of people are most enraged by have increased engagement with the platform when viewing them and find ways to show that content to those people more often.

Segregating platforms wouldn't fundamentally change this. I'd say it's a wash either way. 

Comment by craigmichael on In Defense of Twitter's Decision to Ban Trump · 2021-01-11T20:19:34.453Z · LW · GW

I agree with 6 and 7, and I agree with your conclusion in general--removing Trump at this point in time was better for the world than leaving him on the platforms. Let me point out where I see the gap. 

I believe the model that Eliezer, Naval and Balaji are using here would be correct if this was, say, 2015 before Twitter's timeline went algorithmic.

In 2020 when someone talks in a way that presupposes Twitter and Facebook are "speech platforms" similar to writing a blog or a book or something like that, the immediate question that comes to mind is if they've read any Shoshana Zuboff or Jaron Lanier?

Twitter is addictive and Trump is a Twitter-addict. To the extent you can blame the existence and marketing of a drug for someone's addict behavior while they're on it, Twitter as an behavioral addiction platform is very culpable in what happened on January 6th. They're something like the drug dealer or the Purdue Pharma the analogy.

If you're Jack Dorsey, getting the president of the Untied States addicted to your technology is a big win. As a corporation Twitter profited off Trump for the better part of a decade and a significant percentage of Twitter's traffic was dependent on his presence there.

A better analogy is something like getting banned from a casino or getting 86'd from a bar. High rollers sometimes get kicked out of casinos even if they still have plenty of money to spend. In a similar sense this is Twitter saying "you've made us a lot of money, but your presence is starting to detract enough from our other customers that on balance you're no longer valuable to us."


I'm nonplussed with Eliezer, Naval and Balaji's takes on this. It may be their own use of Twitter that's making it difficult for them to see (I mean, I do too, but I consciously equate Twitter usage with something like smoking a cigarette in terms of it's impact on my health--and I should cut back). 

In a way, we would all be lucky if we were to get suspended from Twitter.