Modern Rationality

A modern philosophical movement that had its origins in the likes of Mr. Eliezer Yudkowsky (of the ‘LessWrong’ fame), known for its members’ rather excursive 1 style of writings resulting from hyperfocus on cognition and blindness to affect.

Being artful often takes the form of armchair sophistry 2 (“gish gallop” for instance) in rationalists. Like anyone with an identity, native intelligence does not always operate and function cleanly and clearly on the movement’s members, despite well-meaning efforts and intentions.


Associated fields & beliefs

Effective Altruism (EA)

EA proponents generally care more about, say, animal rights than the mental health of their fellow humans. See Kathleen Stock’s article Effective altruism is the new woke:

Effectively, both longtermism and woke progressivism take a highly restricted number of emotional impulses many of us ordinarily have, and then vividly conjure up heart-rending scenarios of supposed harm in order to prime our malleable intuitions in the desired direction. Each insists that we then extend these impulses quasi-rigorously, past any possible relevance to our own personal lives. [..]

What is perhaps particularly scary about the longtermists, as opposed to the other lot, is not that they are driven by emotion, but that they don’t know they are. [..] Grand-scale fantasies of saving the world are easy. Personal relationships are hard.

The “You Can’t Change Human Nature” hoary belief

Rob Henderson, et al.

People skeptical of rationalists

Ctrl+F excursive in this page for examples.

See this tweet for one way of expressing this sophistry:

[..] “sophisticated” thinkers often have just build layers of thought/words/rationalizations on top of the same emotions as everybody else.

[..] emotion driven arguments can be articulately woven with the form and vocabulary of rational norms

Links to this page
  • Psychology behind wokeism

    Despite being irrational, wokeism is nevertheless an intelligent worldview. It’s intelligent but not rational because its goal is not objective truth but social signaling, and in pursuing this goal it’s a powerful strategy. People who engage in woke rituals, such as proclaiming their pronouns during introductions, or capitalizing the word “black” but not the word “white,” signal to others that they’re clued-up, cosmopolitan, and compassionate toward society’s designated downtrodden. This makes them seem trustworthy and likable, and explains why wokeism is most prevalent in industries where status games and image are most important: politics, media, academia, entertainment, and advertising.