I have (honestly, I assure you) failed to see where you “did ask, more than once” for others to endorse your account of what you were saying. I just took another (admittedly cursory, because I need to be somewhere else in five minutes) look over the thread and still can’t see it.
Let me say for the avidance of doubt that I do not begrudge the time I took to write the above, or the fact of my having written it, and that I am not irritated, and that I neither had nor have any interest in lowering your status.
As for “genuinely meant” versus “actually said”, I stand by what I wrote above: when I read what you actually originally wrote, I cannot see how it says what you now say it said. It rather conspicuously avoids making any very precise claim, so I won’t say it definitely says what Ben says it does—but his reading seems a more natural one than yours.
I am very happy to accept that what you are now saying is what you always meant, and I am not for an instant suggesting that there’s anything dishonest or insincere in what you’re now saying, but after reading and re-reading those words I cannot see how it says what-you-say-it-said rather than what-Ben-said-it-said, and in particular I cannot see how it is reasonable to complain that Ben was “uncharitable and inaccurate”.
(This is not any kind of recantation of my earlier “I don’t think Conor was quite claiming …“, precisely because I do accept what you say about what you meant by those words. But when you’re judging other people’s reactions to those words, what those words actually say at face value is really important.)
I’m sort of confused by this comment. Conor’s comment doesn’t actually (to my eyes) say what you said it says.
If Conor had wanted to say “You should try this because I said it’s good” then there’s a lot of comments he could’ve written that would be more explicit than this one. He could’ve said
That’s an interesting argument you raise. However in my experience, and given my expertise in this domain, trust me when I say this works.
Howeve, what Conor said was
[Your comment] doesn’t engage with whether or not my voucher provides useful Bayesian evidence.
Not “your comment doesn’t engage with the fact that my voucher provides useful Bayesian evidence”. The explicit meaning is “You didn’t use social evidence—have you consider doing so?” while being agnostic about the outcome of such a reasoning step.
In general there are a lot of ways someone would write a comment that explicitly states what the outcome of such reasoning could be, and the fact that Conor wrote it in one of the few ways that specifically doesn’t say his voucher should be trusted is sort of a surprising fact, and thus evidence he didn’t want to say his voucher should be trusted. I don’t think Conor intended to say exactly what he said, and his motivation was not status-based.
Analagously, if a friend says “This coffee shop I went to is great, you should try it!” and you said “You’ve given me no argument about why this coffee shop should reliably produce better products than the dozens of other coffee shops in the area” you may say “You’re right, I only wanted to let you know that I thought it was great, and if you think I’ve generally got good judgement about things like this you might find value in trying it” and that’s generally fine.
Note: I keep being quoted as saying Conor “genuinely meant” something he didn’t say. I didn’t say that. (Wow this is a fun game of he-shaid she-said.) I said “You said X, but I think you meant to say Y, but if you genuinely meant X, then I disagree.” I’m not denying that he said X, and I think he said X.
Might have something to do with people coming to the same line with different priors? E.g., based on coming from different points on the ask-guess spectrum, or from different varieties of ask/guess. For a combination of reasons—such as “it’s rude to outright assert that you’re an authority, so people regularly have to imply it and talk around it,” and “it’s just not that common for people to have zero interest/stake in a conversation, or to deliberately avoid pushing for their interest”—it’s not surprising that some people’s prior is skewed toward other interpretations, such that you need to very heavy-handedly and explicitly clarify what you mean (possibly even explicitly disavowing the wrong interpretation) before you can shift those people away from their prior.
Priors just feel like how the world is, though; it’s not natural (and often not possible) to distinguish the “plain” or “surface” meaning from the text from your assumptions about what people would most often mean by that text.
I think I took it as read that Conor was saying his voucher provides useful (and positive) evidence because that seemed the only way to make sense of his saying what he said in response to what he said it to. I mean, you can’t tell whether CoolShirtMcPants had considered whether Conor’s testimony was evidence from what he wrote; all you can tell is that apparently he didn’t think it was.
In any case, I’m now definitely confused about who has at what times thought Conor meant what by what. What I remain confident of is that Conor did not so clearly not say that we should take his endorsement as evidence as to make it unreasonable to say he did; and I think your comments above should give Conor good reason to reconsider his characterization of what you said before as “uncharitable” (given that strictly only people, not words, can be uncharitable, and that it’s hard to see why someone uncharitably disposed would write what you did above).
And I think there are too many levels of he-said-she-said going on here...
I do not think that comment should have been negative. I upvoted to counteract. I take you at your word that you meant what you say. I see similar problems you do with the R-community and their trendsetters/decision makers.
I loved your articles. In fact, they turned out to be the only thing that was making LesserWrong interesting to me as opposed to just a bunch of AI/Machine Learning stuff I totally don’t care about (I am not the target audience of this site). If you leave, I probably will too, by which I mean going back to checking it once a month-ish to see if anything particularly interesting has been written. Without your articles there really isn’t much here for me, that I can’t get by checking individual blogs, which it turns out I have to do anyways since not everything is crossposted to frontpage.
The Green in me doesn’t like that you aren’t just letting this go. The problematic signs you see I think are true, but you aren’t going to be able to change it by having neverending debates. Accept the community as-is, or move on (but tell me where you’re going, so I can read you elsewhere).