October 16, 2008

Politics is the mind-killer

Quote:
Politics is the mind-killer. Arguments are soldiers. Once you know which side you're on, you must support all arguments of that side, and attack all arguments that appear to favor the enemy side; otherwise it's like stabbing your soldiers in the back. If you abide within that pattern, policy debates will also appear one-sided to you - the costs and drawbacks of your favored policy are enemy soldiers, to be attacked by any means necessary.

One should also be aware of a related failure pattern, thinking that the course of Deep Wisdom is to compromise with perfect evenness between whichever two policy positions receive the most airtime. A policy may legitimately have lopsided costs or benefits. If policy questions were not tilted one way or the other, we would be unable to make decisions about them. But there is also a human tendency to deny all costs of a favored policy, or deny all benefits of a disfavored policy; and people will therefore tend to think policy tradeoffs are tilted much further than they actually are.
That's Eliezer Yudkowsky on one-sided policy debates, at Overcoming Bias, a truly excellent blog.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous dave said...

I really dug this guy when I heard him talk on the radio.

As annoying as mainstream Republicans are at Hillsdale, there's a group of mainstream Democrats who behave in the exact same way -- just there jokes and sarcastic asides contain different names.

Very rarely is ideology discussed. Much more it is about how stupid George Bush is, how stupid McCain in for being like Bush or how stupid and crazy and dangerous and bigoted Sarah Palin is.

It seems almost like Republicans are putting this shit out, because if you're spending all your time hi-fiving your friend over a word Bush fumbled instead of watching his moves in the Middle East.

October 18, 2008 at 4:13 AM 
Blogger luke said...

I've been saying recently that the only honest place to be politically is the middle/undecided/gypsy of the political landscape.

Isn't what he's talking about more partisan politics, than just politics?

October 18, 2008 at 7:11 AM 
Blogger Mark said...

The "middle voter" just seems lazy, unwilling to put some effort in, willing to be swayed by the right propaganda. But that's just me.

My own brand of idiocy is thinking that Deep Wisdom means disagreeing violently with all of the candidates.

(and begrudgingly giving into the lesser of two stupidities)

October 19, 2008 at 4:41 PM 

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