Curiosity – Misquoting and Scholarship Norms at EA

After an hour, on EA, this has reached -5 karma with 4 votes (after starting at +4 karma with 1 automatic vote from myself).

I think my most downvoted article is the misquoting and deadnaming one.

I think they really don’t like the idea that misquotes might matter. Or, more generally, that higher intellectual standards matter and you shouldn’t just ignore lots of “small” errors with no post mortem or explanation.

Ignoring whatever small errors you want is a huge bias enabler since people will apply that rule unevenly. They will find small errors in things they don’t like and decide that those matter – often without writing out their reasoning. One way to rationalize this to yourself is to mentally categorize the error as non-small without following any clear, written, bias-resistant rules or procedures for error size evaluation.

The biggest issue with “small” errors is you don’t know how big/impactful/important an error is until after you fix it. That is not reliably predictable. You can have a guess/intuition that is significantly better than a random guess, but you shouldn’t expect it to be very accurate.

If the error is so small, just fix it. Why be so resistant to fixing errors by claiming they don’t matter? If the error is hard to fix, that’s a sign it isn’t small.

BTW there’s a pattern at EA, like reddit, where stuff gets downvoted initially. Then later it will get upvotes from people who wouldn’t upvote it if it had positive karma, but they will upvote it to cancel out downvotes that they consider undeserved.