Written by LW user Qiaochu_Yuan.

This link post is part of LessWrong for EA, a LessWrong repost & low-commitment discussion group (inspired by this comment). Each week I will revive an EA-relevant post from the LessWrong Archives, more or less at random, from a list I started from the comments here (additional suggestions welcome via PM or in the comments).

Please feel free to,

Initially, I talked about hosting Zoom discussion for those that were interested, but I think it’s a bit more than I can take on right now (not so low-commitment). If anyone wants to organize one, comment or PM me and I will be happy to coordinate for future posts.




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I like this post a lot, especially in today's media environment, but I find it somewhat hard to apply. The main reason I think this is because I think "question" is pretty similar to "bid for attention," and it feels overwhelming to me to critically evaluate every bid for my attention. I also don't know if it's worth trying to apply this in my everyday life - I can imagine that would take up too many cognitive resources.

However, I think the final recommendation of asking "what do I plan on doing with an answer to this question?" is really good. This seems useful for robustly good habits like respecting the value of your time (which I guess is equivalent to 'attention' here) and productive communication (e.g., a 1:1 where you are double-cruxing).

I've gotten feedback that a "summary of the post and/or why...it's interesting to an EA audience" would improve these reposts. I agree, but this has to be a pretty low effort thing for me to be able to keep it up. 

If anyone is able to do this once a week, I could get you the links a week ahead of time (or a few at a time if that's easier).

I don't think I'd be able to write summaries once a week, but I'd be happy to copy+paste the single most relevant/summative line from a piece.

e.g.,  for this one I might put

Privileged questions (if there's an existing term for this, let me know): questions that someone has unjustifiably brought to your attention in the same way that a privileged hypothesis unjustifiably gets brought to your attention. [...] The problem with privileged questions is that you only have so much attention to spare. Attention paid to a question that has been privileged funges against attention you could be paying to better questions.

This is a great idea. I'm a slow writer, so this solves most of my reluctance to the summary idea. I think will do this for the time being and then leave a note in each post in case someone wants to write a summary - that is if you don't mind me stealing your idea :)

Of course - less work for me! : )

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