the non-valley of non-reputational rationality

Posted in Uncategorized by sarkology on October 12, 2012

It is actually very easy to avoid the bad valley of rationality if you are immune to reputation effects. Anybody can recognize in specific cases that they are being irrational. All you have to do is to be sensitive enough to allow them to indulge you enough with their patience, for you to point how concretely, with reference to concrete consequences appropriate to the context, what it is that they are doing wrong. They won’t have to get caught up with the idea that some Chesterton fence is a supposed fallacy and to have to naively apply that rationality lesson to their own lives, thereby ruining it.


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  1. steve said, on October 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    This sounds insightful, but I lost track of the pronouns partway through and I’m not sure who’s pointing out what to whom, with respect to who needs immunity to reputation effects (the mythical “not caring about status?”)

    • sarkology said, on October 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      It’s not about immunity to reputation effects. It is about not constructing a community with such reputation effects in the first place.

      Instead of there being a necessity for there to be a rationality culture, our existing one pretty much works. It does allow for meta, but it does not let prospective reforms go too far. Meta-heuristics are adopted whenever they have an immediate improvement at their appropriate level. Here one’s reputation is conditional on improvements one can make towards our ways of doing things, no matter the level of meta. But one does not get rewarded for pretending to solve everything at once.

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