More Wrong by calculated effort

Just a brief comment on my interactions with Less-Wrong. http://lesswrong.com/

I am not very familiar with the website, but I’ve understood for a long time it was a group devoted to understanding the cognitive biases that affect human thinking and training themselves to become “less-wrong” by overcoming their biases.

So I went over there and made a few comments that were pertinent.
http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/lj4/what_topics_are_appropriate_for_lesswrong/buvj
http://lesswrong.com/lw/ki4/too_good_to_be_true/bsxh

And as you see I rapidly escalated my negative score, to the point where I can’t post and stuff.

So my quick observation of Less-Wrong, and its relationship to the world as I see the world, and as usual I’d love to be corrected with a reason and a link in the comments, is that
(1) The Less-Wrong community has zero appreciation of Crowd Think in the sense of Le Bon, see post 4 herein.
(2) Crowd think is the dominant source of cognitive bias in the modern world. And of course, its crowd think that causes people to miss this observation.
(3) Based on my limited experience, the Less-Wrong community is itself a Psychological Crowd, that has adopted training and mental attitudes and even web scoring system, that all serve to perpetuate their own crowd think opinions and likely increase their overall cognitive bias well beyond that of random members of the population who are not Less-Wrong members so that the Less-Wrong members tend to more confidently believe more false statements about the world than random people do and are less likely to listen to correctly reasoned arguments against them.

3 thoughts on “More Wrong by calculated effort

  1. I agree that there’s a lot of crowdthink on LessWrong, but knowing them well, I’m pretty sure you were downvoted not because of crowdthink, but because of your self-assured and condescending tone. Try saying the same things without the anger and rhetoric. This entire paragraph has no purpose other than to irritate people and say you’re smarter than them:

    “If you look at the actual empirical results published in the scientific literature, the situation is clear, even though it is the opposite of what all the surveys tell you in their summaries. If you ignore this, you are destined to fail to realize that committees of doctors or government officials are incapable of understanding a scientific literature or making medical decisions that are better for health than random, and more generally that crowd think is an important phenomenon in the world.”

    1. I think it has purpose, so maybe its unclear since you didn’t take it.
      Its talking about the larger picture. I think people assume what I’d said was wrong because they have implicit faith in the ability of Doctor Organizations and the system to understand the scientific literature, so they can’t understand how I can be right. I’m pointing out that that assumption is misguided, and highlighting it so they will examine it. Before I highlight it, I think people may not appreciate its existence- the faith is implicit. I also think people don’t think about the difference between committees and individuals, so I’m highlighting that, and they also don’t realize individuals get trapped in crowd think.
      I’m also pointing out that there are much larger consequences. Large as vaccines are, the crowd think extends to more of medicine and more of the world.

      Also, what I find really bizarre about the whole interchange at Less Wrong, is that I’m pointing out perhaps the greatest catastrophe in the history of the world: the medical community has taken maybe 15 IQ points off the entire population, killed large numbers of babies, given large numbers of people autism and peanut allergies and mycoplasmas and cancers…,
      And I’m pointing out the scientific literature is open and shut, and it says the opposite of what everybody always told them,..
      and I’m pointing out their understanding of the world is highly deluded (as mine was until recently) about many many things,…
      and all the comments I get are about tone or style. Absolutely nobody has anything to say about the content, or seems to care about it.

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