Thursday, July 7, 2016

Myself and the Rationalists

Since I was about twelve I've wondered what's wrong with me. More recently the question evolved into what's so different about me.

I don't think I've ever found and answer to that question. But among the people who call themselves the rationalist community I've found that the same ways of thinking that set them apart also set me apart.

What's a shame is I've never met a rationalist person in real life, and barely communicated with them online. But they like to talk ideas using the internet as a forum, and I get this eureka moment when I read their output, like that's exactly what I've been thinking and nobody else gets it.

Like, in my early 20s it seemed obvious to me that the main political parties are more tribal than policy oriented. Why? Because their long lists of policy likes and dislikes have nothing to do with each other, but strongly correlated. Why should pro-choice people also want higher taxes? The only reasonable answer is that there isn't some thread of consistency or foundational assumption to all their correlative beliefs, they're just different types of people who socialize over shared beliefs.

When I tried to explain this to normal people, they didn't get it. And then I find out that rationalist type folks talk about this a lot.

I think it may just be a highly cerebral anti-social personality that sets me and the rationalists apart.