I think pseudo-rationality is still better than no rationality, and it’s not obviously possible for someone to move to “real” rationality without pseudo-rationality as an intermediate step.
I’m rather doubtful of this claim as presented. I agree that there is a you’re-worse-before-you’re-better effect involved in taking up any new skill, but why shoud we expect it to take the form of pseudo-rationality presented here. To me much of the behaviors of pseudo-rationality look like what happens if you try to mix in rationality to a person who already exhibits certain behaviors. Not to say that pseudo-rationality is not common, especially among actual rationalists, but that someone coming to rationality from a different background than that of the standard rationalist would probably take different sorts of missteps.
But maybe that’s what you meant and I’m just objecting to your phrasing that makes it sound as if pseudo-rationality is a propery someone might take up rather than a set of behaviors we observe them having.
I think I was confused and wanted to pick out that this notion of “pseudo-rationality” actually is an entangling of at least two distinct behaviors that I would treat completely separately, a la geeks, mops, sociopaths:
“Sociopaths” trying to game the rationalist social ladder for power without actually learning rationality.
“MOPs” trying to get as much out of rationality as possible with minimal effort and critical thinking.
I think I was mostly responding to the first set of things.
This article reminds me of “Uncritical Supercriticality”, where people argue in favor of “rationality” a little too hard. Could also be either an innocent mistake, or it can be done strategically for social reasons. (If it’s the latter, you are likely to put “rational” in the name of your website, because that gets even more social points.)