18 karmaJoined Oct 2022


There are options between credible and lying. It's possible, for one thing, that Kelsey was engaged in some motivated reasoning herself, trying to make these trade-offs between her values while faced with a clear incentive in one direction.

I've been thinking about a conversation a friend of mine and I had while reading the book Unmask Alice, about the author Beatrice Sparks and how the books she passed off as authentic diaries contributed to the Satanic panic and the war on drugs. Specifically, we were trying to work out how to avoid making the terrible mistakes multiple grieving parents made and years later ended up deeply regretting, both in connection to Sparks and in cases we'd heard about elsewhere (at least one former advocate for the sex offender registry falls into this category). The place we got to in that conversation was that the kind of overwhelming grief felt in the immediate aftermath of tragedy makes it harder to make measured choices. It is easy to want to stamp out the problem forever, as quickly as possible, because the horrible thing that happened cannot be allowed to happen ever again. But that is not a good mental state to be in when trying to change the world.

I keep thinking about it because I feel like I'm seeing a similar pattern shaking out here. What FTX did was unacceptable, and it cannot be allowed to happen again. We have to find what allowed this and take quick decisive action about it, because anything less might let another FTX rise up. I can understand this impulse, and having seen my share of unresolved drama in related communities I too feel the fear that if we don't do anything now then nothing will ever be done. But I don't trust a lot of the solutions being floated right now. I think people have a sense that something must be done, and are reaching for anything that might be something. I just hope that we manage to come out the other side somewhere sensible.

Being fooled and being a fool are two different things with two different meanings. Being misled by someone who is skilled at and highly incentivized to mislead people doesn't make someone definitionally naive or bad at reasoning.