[Question] Can you gain weirdness points?

A use­ful idea I’ve been look­ing into more lately, is “weird­ness points”. Ba­si­cally, some good ideas are re­ally un­usual. Peo­ple are of­ten bi­ased against un­usual ideas. It’s of­ten seen to be eas­ier to fight for one weird thing, than to fight for mul­ti­ple weird things. There­fore, we ought to pri­ori­tize what we fight for, so the most im­por­tant things get our weird­ness points, and tam­per down on the weird­ness in other ar­eas of our lives/​work.

Typ­i­cal so­cial ex­pla­na­tions of weird­ness points aren’t com­pletely helpful. Power, sta­tus, and wealth would seem to be­stow weird­ness points. But poli­ti­ci­ans, celebri­ties, and wealthy peo­ple aren’t always as free from the weird­ness con­straint as would be guessed.

Maybe com­mu­ni­ties and me­dia are frac­tur­ing so much that weird­ness points are more de­pen­dent on your com­mu­nity than your ac­tions. (The so­cial psych idea, “idiosyn­crasy cred­its”, is defined in terms of a group’s ex­pec­ta­tions, not those of so­ciety-at-large or peo­ple-who-are-reach­able-but-not-already-on-your-side.)

Weird­ness points seem like a valuable (and limited) re­source, es­pe­cially if you are pro­mot­ing or en­act­ing mul­ti­ple ideas (A.I. safety and im­prov­ing ra­tio­nal­ity and open bor­ders, for ex­am­ple). As with any­thing valuable to our goals, we ought to figure out if we can get it, and at what cost.

So, the ques­tions for dis­cus­sion:

  • What ac­tu­ally de­ter­mines weird­ness points?

  • Are weird­ness points im­por­tant or use­ful or ac­cu­rate, as a pre­dic­tive model? How con­strained are peo­ple’s ac­tions, re­ally, in pro­mot­ing weird ideas? In what con­texts?

  • How can one gain weird­ness points?

  • Has any­one at any time “hacked” weird­ness points, by suc­cess­fully pro­mot­ing mul­ti­ple weird things /​ hav­ing weird habits /​ hav­ing a weird per­son­al­ity, with­out even­tu­ally run­ning their sta­tus/​cred­i­bil­ity into the ground? (The only per­son I can think of off­hand might be Richard Feyn­man.)