I think you miss the point entirely with justifying some of these actions as wrong based on your own set of values instead of based on the goals and values of the person doing them. For example:
Being overly skeptical to demonstrate how skeptical you are
The person doing this values social signalling of skepticism more than efficiency in this particular matter
Always fighting for the truth, even when you’re burning more social capital than the argument is worth
The person doing this values truth more than social capital, or values the argument more than the lost social capital
Optimising for charitability in discussions to the point where you are consistently being exploited
The person doing this values the outcomes of being seen as consistenty charitable more than the effect of being exploited on occasion
Refusing to do any social signalling or ever bow to social norms to signal that you’re above them
The person doing this is not doing it for signalling purposes, but because the effort to comply with social norms or signalling would take away from the spoons they have to do other things that are more important to them.
It seems to be that the “pseudo-rational” trap one should actually avoid is to apply one’s own goals/values/utility functions to other people by default.
Thanks, this is an excellent reply. Sometimes you will find that someone’s goals truly are something different from what you might expect. But more often, I suspect that people aren’t fully aware of the trade-off or haven’t fully embraced it. I mean, so much of what we do is just because it feels right and not because we’ve consciously considered it and come to a decision. And, maybe I should have spent some time acknowledging this possibility in my post, because I definitely simplify the situation somewhat. I guess the point of this post is to be somewhat provocative, to point out ways someone might be acting that might not match their true values (here I mean values that hold up under reflection).