Information Hazards

I’m starting this blog with the intention to develop my critical thinking skills, promote good ideas I find, and mull over new ones I have. I just discovered this paper featured from LessWrong, and wow I wish I knew about this before.

https://nickbostrom.com/information-hazards.pdf

It explains a good deal why I have trouble connecting, politically, with a lot of people in my life. I’m no fan of Trump, and yet whenever I bring up legit criticisms of Biden to my family, I get cold shoulders, hand waving, excuse making… This wasn’t just from social justice warriors, but also people very close to that have hard-science careers and otherwise solid critical thinking skills. I couldn’t understand why they would totally ignore my arguments and points of how he’s a terrible candidate for president, beyond concluding this information is a “challenge to their ego”.

But now, even just reading a couple pages from the paper, I have a better understanding that this information presents normative and ideological hazards. I presume that if someone isn’t willing to allow their belief system and understanding of the world to be damaged, the information will be rejected.

Part of my purpose in this blog is to help people digest new, challenging information *if it’s correct*. I have to be open to having my ideas challenged and corrected just the same.

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