[LINK] Why taking ideas seriously is probably a bad thing to do

Yvain’s blog: Epistemic learned hel­pless­ness.

A friend in busi­ness re­cently com­plained about his hiring pool, say­ing that he couldn’t find peo­ple with the ba­sic skill of be­liev­ing ar­gu­ments. That is, if you have a valid ar­gu­ment for some­thing, then you should ac­cept the con­clu­sion. Even if the con­clu­sion is un­pop­u­lar, or in­con­ve­nient, or you don’t like it. He told me a good por­tion of the point of CfAR was to ei­ther find or cre­ate peo­ple who would be­lieve some­thing af­ter it had been proven to them.

And I nod­ded my head, be­cause it sounded rea­son­able enough, and it wasn’t un­til a few hours later that I thought about it again and went “Wait, no, that would be the worst idea ever.”

I don’t think I’m over­sel­ling my­self too much to ex­pect that I could ar­gue cir­cles around the av­er­age high school dropout. Like I mean that on al­most any topic, given al­most any po­si­tion, I could to­tally de­mol­ish her and make her look like an idiot. Re­duce her to some form of “Look, ev­ery­thing you say fits to­gether and I can’t ex­plain why you’re wrong, I just know you are!” Or, more plau­si­bly, “Shut up I don’t want to talk about this!”