How can we get more and better LW contrarians?

I’m wor­ried that LW doesn’t have enough good con­trar­i­ans and skep­tics, peo­ple who dis­agree with us or like to find fault in ev­ery idea they see, but do so in a way that is of­ten right and can change our minds when they are. I fear that when con­trar­i­ans/​skep­tics join us but aren’t “good enough”, we tend to drive them away in­stead of im­prov­ing them.

For ex­am­ple, I know a cou­ple of peo­ple who oc­ca­sion­ally had in­ter­est­ing ideas that were con­trary to the lo­cal LW con­sen­sus, but were (or ap­peared to be) too con­fi­dent in their ideas, both good and bad. Both peo­ple ended up be­ing re­peat­edly down­voted and left our com­mu­nity a few months af­ter they ar­rived. This must have hap­pened more of­ten than I have no­ticed (partly ev­i­denced by the large num­ber of com­ments/​posts now marked as writ­ten by [deleted], some­times with whole threads writ­ten en­tirely by deleted ac­counts). I feel that this is a waste that we should try to pre­vent (or at least think about how we might). So here are some ideas:

  • Try to “fix” them by tel­ling them that they are over­con­fi­dent and give them hints about how to get LW to take their ideas se­ri­ously. Un­for­tu­nately, from their per­spec­tive such ad­vice must ap­pear to come from some­one who is them­selves over­con­fi­dent and wrong, so they’re not likely to be very in­clined to ac­cept the ad­vice.

  • Create a sep­a­rate sec­tion with differ­ent so­cial norms, where peo­ple are not ex­pected to main­tain the “proper” level of con­fi­dence and nice­ness (on pain of be­ing down­voted), and di­rect over­con­fi­dent new­com­ers to it. Per­haps through no-holds-barred de­bate we can con­vince them that we’re not as crazy and wrong as they thought, and then give them the above-men­tioned ad­vice and move them to the main sec­tions.

  • Give new­com­ers some sort of hon­ey­moon pe­riod (marked by color-cod­ing of their user­names or some­thing like that), where we ig­nore their over­con­fi­dence and as­so­ci­ated so­cial trans­gres­sions (or just be ex­tra nice and tol­er­ant to­wards them), and take their ideas on their own mer­its. Maybe if they see us take their ideas se­ri­ously, that will cause them to re­cip­ro­cate and take us more se­ri­ously when we point out that they may be wrong or over­con­fi­dent.

I guess these ideas sounded bet­ter in my head than writ­ten down, but maybe they’ll in­spire other peo­ple to think of bet­ter ones. And it might help a bit just to keep this is­sue in the back of one’s mind and oc­ca­sion­ally think strate­gi­cally about how to im­prove the per­son you’re ar­gu­ing against, in­stead of only try­ing to win the par­tic­u­lar ar­gu­ment at hand or down­vot­ing them into leav­ing.
P.S., af­ter writ­ing most of the above, I saw this post:
OTOH, I don’t think group think is a big prob­lem. Crit­i­cism by folks like Will New­some, Vladimir Slep­nev and es­pe­cially Wei Dai is of­ten up­voted. (I up­vote al­most ev­ery com­ment of Dai or New­some if I don’t for­get it. Dai makes always very good points and New­some is of­ten wrong but also hilar­i­ously funny or just brilli­ant and right.) Of course, folks like this Dymytry guy are of­ten down­voted, but IMO with good rea­son.
To be clear, I don’t think “group think” is the prob­lem. In other words, it’s not that we’re re­fus­ing to ac­cept valid crit­i­cisms, but more like our group dy­nam­ics (and other fac­tors) cause there to be fewer good con­trar­i­ans in our com­mu­nity than is op­ti­mal. Of course what is op­ti­mal might be open to de­bate, but from my per­spec­tive, it can’t be right that my own crit­i­cisms are val­ued so highly (es­pe­cially since I’ve been mov­ing closer to the SingInst “in­ner cir­cle” and my crit­i­cal ten­den­cies have been de­creas­ing). In the spirit of mak­ing one­self re­dun­dant, I’d feel much bet­ter if my oc­ca­sional voice of dis­sent is just con­sid­ered one amongst many.