Social rules are one of the most powerful enemies of reason.
They aren’t all bad. They have some useful purposes. But, regardless of the upsides, they have huge, irrational downsides.
The useful purposes are helping structure or organize how people interact. This gives people more of an idea of what to expect. People don’t realize what it’d be like dealing with a stranger with no customs to guide the interaction. That’s actually a really hard problem. Our social rules handle it pretty well.
When people are “anti-social”, it’s often only a small portion of social rules which they violate. For example, they say taboo words like “retard” or they say something bluntly (directly and honestly) which you’re supposed to tell “white lies” about or avoid saying anything about.
People who violate those rules still use many social customs such as greetings (“hi”), farewells (“bye”), or understanding and using the conversational dynamic of questions and answers.
The small portion of social rules which are commonly violated are not very important. The really important stuff is pretty uncontroversial. Particularly in intellectual conversations. In those conversations, people may be rude or insulting, but it’s basically nothing like trying to talk with a savage or barbarian who is ignorant of civilized modes of interaction.
Politeness helps reduce violence among semi-civilized people. But we’re so civilized today in America that we really expect people to be able to refrain from violence even if they are insulted. We think it’s barbaric to duel over honor.
Social communication rules limit what you say. This limiting makes it much harder to say certain ideas. Some of those ideas are true. Being able to speak freely lets you better focus on speaking the truth without worrying about other factors.
Some truths are very hard to say politely because, socially, you’re just not supposed to say them. For example, people lie all the time but you’re not supposed to point it out. Thinking people lied is common but saying so is considered an aggressive attack (regardless of whether it’s true). What if you want to point out lies so that people can learn to stop lying? What if the goal is improving in many ways including integrity? Then social rules make that hard.
Social rules cause people to take offense rather than rationally analyze what was said. Social rule following involves a way of evaluating statements as polite or rude, which people do before and often instead of evaluating whether the statement is true. This is contrary to truth-seeking. It causes people not to think about whether a criticism is true or not if they find it personally offensive.
There is an interesting issue about what to blame. Did the social rules teach people to get offended by “insults”? Or were they already offended by insults and the social rules just help avoid triggering that underlying flaw? Regardless, one can group it all together under the general heading “social dynamics” or “social rules related issues” and say there is a problem there.
Many problems occur because social rules are unwritten rules which people treat as an automatic, expected default. They won’t say what offends them or what rules they want to be treated by. Actually they often pretend they are willing to hear any criticism, but still expect social rules prohibiting some criticism to be followed.
If people said “I am fragile and get offended by things I perceive as insults. We need to somehow accommodate this flaw of mine in our discussions.” then they’d be easier to deal with. But people don’t honestly face the reality of their situation.
The main things that offend people are criticisms that imply they are bad in some way. This includes being incompetent at something where the social expectation (the general, default expectation of our society or culture) is that adults are competent at it. It also includes being dishonest, being bad at thinking, having immoral ideas, being dumb, not understanding something that people think only a dumb person wouldn’t understand, making dumb mistakes (dumb according to social perception, not objectively), and being irrational.
But people are irrational, dishonest, dumb or incompetent (because our culture’s expectations about skill are actually unrealistic and high in some ways (and low in other ways, they are not very accurate)). Those are crucially important issues for anyone trying to be a rational thinker. People need criticism of those issues. They need to get better at those things, not avoid discussing them. So social rules block intellectual progress.
Social rules are an instance of unclear or arbitrary moderation rules (such as the moderation rules for typical online discussion forums). These kinds of rules limit what people say and serve to prevent unbounded discussions.
> People who violate those rules still use many social customs such greetings (“hi”), farewells (“bye”), or understanding and using the conversational dynamic of questions and answers.
People who violate those rules still use many social customs such *as* greetings (“hi”), farewells (“bye”), or understanding and using the conversational dynamic of questions and answers.
how do i get a cute autistic gf?
how does this work with autistic girls? normal relationship stuff isn't interesting and meeting normal social expectations is difficult or impossible. brain generates too many 'delusions'.
#13620 bro, AWALT
red is too scary for me to handle. it gives me strong bodily stress and nightmares. it's hard to look people in the eyes even in photographs or cartoons.
weird deja vu happening.
thanks this solved my sudoku
#13683 I'm seeing a page for uploading an image that will be deleted after first view. I'm guessing you used that, so your link is not a permalink. Please don't.
> Social rules are an instance of unclear or arbitrary moderation rules
At the same time, in a different sense, all moderation rules are a type of social rule.
The law of least effort is one of the most important social rules:
Interesting (pre-trump) post on outgroups and red tribe vs blue tribe.
#16566 I think I mostly agree with the article and see it routinely.
One thing I've noticed recently is mask wearing is increasingly being portrayed in the media as an explicit sign of one's tribe. Originally the split was over, roughly, "save masks for health workers" vs. "protecting yourself is your first responsibility". Then people figured out how to make cloth masks, the government guidelines changes and now it's more of a Red vs. Blue thing.
Blue = wear a mask, give dirty looks to people who don't wear a mask and/or call nanny-state government.
Red = don't wear a mask, among other reasons to prove you're not one of those scardy-cat government loving Blues.
This is taking on a self-reinforcing nature: Blues see their friends all wearing masks and saying how dumb everyone is who doesn't. Reds see their friends not wearing masks and saying how smug and weak everyone is who does. At the margins this drives more mask-wearing among Blues and less among Reds. Over time it becomes increasingly reliable as a tribal indicator.
More people are gonna die because of that shit.