Thinking of our epistemically troubled friend

I used to have a friend who got into this pattern of.. I guess.. taking in and propagating a lot of signals that were very rousing and suggestive on the surface, and not checking anything with enough detail to tell whether the surface impressions were really true or not.

They found so many surfaces all agreeing that, say, lizard people are real (neutral example, not sure whether they believed that one, but they believed comparably strange things), and usually we’d just try to have fun with it, but sometimes we would do the work they weren’t doing and show them how a signal had to be false, they’d just be like, “It doesn’t matter if that one was wrong, what about all this other stuff that I saw.”

Well, I imagine that’s what they were thinking. They’d become too mean and too hubristic to say anything that nice to us.

It was like they didn’t believe that trends of falsehood found in randomly sampled subsets of the population of claims could be generalized over the entire population. Like they didn’t believe in surveys. Or maybe they thought we weren’t doing a fair random sample, that we were just honing in on trivial details to antagonize them.

But we weren’t.
It was always the most interesting claim (or the only interesting claim) in these posts that turned out to be bullshit.

It was always the claim that I put time and energy into investigating that lead to nothing but disappointment, but when I told them about it, it never seemed to move them, or to lead them to question these sources in general, they acted like I was missing some larger point, and they kept posting things of this pattern, and always it was the most surprising part that was false, and eventually I just had to stop listening.

Some of my NT goblins still talk to them. I wonder how they are. I ask the goblins why we couldn’t save them. We were all in the halls of rationalism, they had read the sequences, at some point, they had read “arguments as soldiers”. It hadn’t been enough. What was missing. What had we failed to convey.