They try to focus on doubting themselves instead of criticizing others. The criticism is the exact opposite of reality, because reality is formed by everybody hearing the criticism all the time and over-reacting to it. Like the economics example, these combine basic mistakes with legitimate criticisms levied by rationalists themselves against previous rationalist paradigms or flaws in the movement.
But notice how many of those names are blue.
Even the early days of our own movement on Overcoming Bias and Less Wrong had a lot of this. During the last few paradigm shifts in economics, the new guard levied these complaints against the old guard, mostly won, and their arguments percolated down into the culture as The Correct Arguments To Use Against Economics.
They are among the strongest proponents of the effective altruist movement, encourage each other to give various percents of their income to charity, and founded or lead various charitable organizations. Each of those links goes to book reviews, by me, of books studying those people and how they went wrong.
A few of these are completely made up and based on radical misunderstandings of what economists are even trying to do. If any moron on a street corner could correctly point out the errors being made by bigshot PhDs, why would the PhDs never consider changing?
As for the rest, my impression is that economists not only know about these criticisms, but invented them.
I hope that constant vigilance has given us at least a tiny bit of a leg up, in the determining-what-is-true field, compared to people who think this is unnecessary and truth-seeking is a waste of time.
They include painters, poets, dancers, photographers, and novelists. Now the new guard is doing their own thing — behavioral economics, experimental economics, economics of effective government intervention. They think they can get the right answer to everything just by thinking about it, but in reality intelligent thought requires not just brute-force application of IQ but also domain expertise, hard-to-define-intuition, trial-and-error, and a humble openness to criticism and debate.
Instead of just trying to be right all the time, people should want to help others and change the world. There have been past paradigms for which some of these criticisms are pretty fair. The first accusation is about forty years out of date, the second one a misrepresentation of ideas that are themselves fifteen years out of date.The most objectionable part of straw manning is the claim that a specific person or group has a certain (poorly thought out) belief, without any solid evidence that this is the case.
T HE essays collected in this book have mostly, but not all, appeared in print.
In Europe they have appeared in the Rationalist Annual, the Bermondsey Book, the Nation, the Daily Mail, the World To-Day, the Manchester Guardian, the Graphic, the Weekly Dispatch, Discovery, Modern Science, and the Haagsche killarney10mile.com America they have been .Download