It is one thing to know a long list of cognitive biases and reasoning errors, and quite another to train yourself to avoid those types of mistakes. This workshop focuses on errors stemming from the imprecise use of words and categories in our thoughts and arguments. We will develop — and share — Trigger-Action Plans as an antidote to these errors.
- Pick an entry from the 37 Ways Words Can Be Wrong that you tend to struggle with
- Read the article linked in the entry
- For example if you chose entry #1, then you should read The Parable of the Dagger
- Generate a Trigger-Action Plan (TAP) designed to notice and correct for the error described by the entry
Note. Don't feel bad about choosing an entry. There are many errors and even experienced rationalists tend to fall into them — it takes constant work to avoid getting sucked into these traps. That's what makes them worth spending a workshop on.
Help improve and complete my Chicken-and-Egg-oriented version of the 37 Ways Words Can Be Wrong, meant for children.
Before breaking into cohorts, each cohort will be assigned a distinct random number from 1-37. This number corresponds to an entry in the 37 Ways Words Can Be Wrong.
- [15 minutes] Share the TAPs you developed for the Pre-Meeting Assignment. Discuss the associated entry in the article and the TAP itself.
- [15 minutes] Take your cohort's entry from the article and try to rewrite it such that it passes the Up-Goer Five Text Editor
Example. Entry #17 is: You argue over the meanings of a word, even after all sides understand perfectly well what the other sides are trying to say.
This could be rewritten as: You fight over the meaning of a word, even after everyone agrees on what the person using the word really means. Stop fighting after you understand and agree with a person's meaning, even if you don't agree with the way they're using a word.