Wrong answer bias

The correct answer leaves nothing to be said. The wrong answer starts a conversation, a research program, an investigation, a journey, an institute, a paper, a book, a youtube channel, a lifestyle, a tribe.

Why is reading a textbook so boring? Very few people do it. It just has right answers and few great questions to ponder. Blogs arguing about nutrition are great reading though.

If you write a research paper saying “all that shit is dumb just do the obvious thing” then you’ll probably have trouble getting it published. I tried once but my professor shut it down saying it’s a bad strat basically.

“Clean energy” is great as a conversation piece or phrase in your mission statement but “just deregulate nuclear lmao why are you wasting your time” is definitely not in my experience.

It’s fine if bad ideas are all we ever talk about but the trouble comes when it’s time for someone to sit down and do their work. The doctor trying to cure a thing mostly heard about the RCTs on all the shitty methods that barely do anything, so they pick their favorite of those. The AI safety implementer mostly heard discussions about bad methods and probably tries to patch one of those. (And fixing the mistake in a bad method is a not a good way to make a good method.) The parents in the parent group of course mostly talk about their failed attempts to fix the problems they do have (and mostly forget about the problems they never had or quickly fixed) so the parents go home and try the mediocre ideas.

Have hope, you can combat wrong answer bias with these simple tricks.

  • Do not write or speak

  • Do not read or listen

  • Hate the process of fixing things

  • Savor the experience of shit working like it should

  • Act like you have no time or money and won’t ever have any (helps if you don’t and won’t)

  • Assume your answer is too complicated

  • Assume your question is too loaded

  • Assume any task is actually really easy you’re doing it wrong

  • Hate struggle

  • Hate nuance

  • If you look impressive then you’re doing it wrong

  • Love true success

  • If it looks like you barely did anything at all then you’re doing it right

  • Observe people & orgs who get shit done or don’t have a problem you have

  • Turn your back on anyone struggling with anything for any reason. They’re probably looking for a frend or comunity instead of just focusing on nailing shit all the time like you.