David Deutsch Megathread

People will ignore dead bodies to dance, and tell complainers to shut up.

It helps explain many people’s responses to the harassment.

Another implicit admission that he was in the wrong is that the 2nd edition of his shitty book cites you by name many times.

I have not seen any second edition. I own the book on kindle, heard a rumor of a second edition, re-downloaded it, and checked it but found no changes. Last I checked, there is no mention of a second edition on the book website either, including no information about what changes were made or why (this despite an errata section on the website…). Hackethal did not notify me of any second edition or any attempt to improve the plagiarism – last he spoke to me about that he essentially told me to fuck off and refused to fix stuff.

He also did not notify me, or give me a courtesy copy, when first publishing the book. I also presume Hackethal is the one who caused, in some manner (like getting a bunch of people to flag it), my review of the book to be deleted on Amazon.

Would you send me an ebook of the second edition since I paid for the book? And I don’t even have access to a version which doesn’t violate my copyright. He used some exact quotes of me as his own words (EDIT: maybe just one that I found? I forgot that the universality thing was ripping off my text but with slight changes), which he seemed willing to edit unlike the plagiarism, but he never notified me (or readers of the book’s website) of actually editing that and I’ve never been given any access to see any edits.

Even if there were an update that fixed some stuff, it seems that he did not actually update it for people who already bought the book on Kindle, only for new purchasers. So that’s awful. And he’s blocking all error correction from me or my associates.

I don’t understand why, if he was willing to change the book, he wouldn’t tell me and ask me to update my post exposing him as a plagiarist. (Maybe he wants my post to look out of date or wrong, so he can trick people into thinking I’m unreasonable, lying or refusing to update it?)

Unfortunately I only have the physical copy, but I’d be more than happy to ship it to you or scan a particular page or something, as I don’t plan on reading it again. DM me.

Thanks but no thanks. I don’t want a physical copy.

I scanned the two most relevant pages anyway just for fun:


Edit: Higher res version

1 Like

I added the below to the DH plagiarism blog post:

Update 2021-11-08: I have been reliably informed that DH made a second edition of the book. He did not notify me or announce it on the book’s website or, as far as I know, anywhere else in public. The errata page on the book website does not explain what was changed in the second edition. I don’t know of any explanation or listing of what changes he made or why. Last I heard from DH, he refused to fix the plagiarism, as explained in my post above.

I own the book on Kindle (I paid for it; DH did not give me a courtesy copy or even notify me that he wrote it). I re-downloaded it previously after hearing vague rumors of a second edition, but I found that it wasn’t updated. The situation on Amazon seems kinda glitchy. I think DH handled the new version incorrectly and screwed things up so that previous customers never got the updates. I don’t have a copy of the second edition. I don’t want to buy it twice and I’m not sure that trying to buy the same book again on Kindle would work correctly anyway. Based on limited information, it appears that DH made a few inadequate changes aimed at my complaints. My name is now in the book more than zero times, but he’s still clearly biased against me. And my post (above) did not attempt to be comprehensive; it was just a few examples from skimming the book. My impression is that DH should have learned what plagiarism is and how it works, then made comprehensive changes to the book, but he didn’t do all that. His changes look more like putting band-aids on some of the problems (similar to his recent blog posts, which sometimes plagiarize me and sometimes give me credit, with no clear pattern).

Replying to TCS and Coercion - #18 by lmf

DD is coerced and unproductive frequently. There’s some information about it in my background context writings re the harassment campaign. And I think it’s why he won’t speak about the problem, attempt any common preference finding, or try to do rational problem solving: because he’s too emotional and coerced to think about it and try to be reasonable. There are also a bunch of unintentional admissions about how chronically coerced he was, before he even met me, in Creativity and Untidiness

Yes “err on the side of caution” → Assume some animals have qualia. Not imprison people who act contrary to that.

I think DD is saying we should legalize animal abuse and stop imprisoning people who act like animals don’t have qualia (= harm/abuse animals, on the basis that they can’t suffer).

And DD advocates this radical, revolutionary, dangerous change in the name of caution.

I disagree. I don’t think we should legalize animal abuse. (Also, as usual, I think bringing qualia into the discussion confuses things and makes the discussion worse and less clear.)

Earlier in the thread DD wrote:

But “non-humans have qualia” has the same status as “humans have souls”: ritual cultural utterance. Not scientific.

This seems basically like flaming the outgroup … without realizing you are the outgroup. DD has an extreme outlier position that everyone hates and hasn’t written much explanation or argument about it.


  1. Problem solving is good.
  2. Meta discussion is bad.

But what about meta problems? How will those be solved?

Plus, if you talk about a problem – about attributes of a problem itself – that is meta discussion, just the same as talking about the attributes of any other idea. So the “no meta” rule prevents solving non-meta problems.

A CritRat has contacted me several times without disclosing that he’s a CritRat. He likes my writing. I told him:

Please condemn the harassment and the people who refuse to say they are opposed to harassment. Alternatively, push for people to participate in conflict resolution and condemn those who refuse. If you won’t, and you continue to have friendly interactions with them, then you’re encouraging them to think their harassment (plus refusal of all conflict resolution) is OK, in which case you wouldn’t be welcome to contact me.

He refused. His excuse is that the harassment issue is too boring to investigate, and he can’t take sides without investigating it. His solution? Participate in the CritRat community and act as if I’m wrong or lying. He seems to think that’s neutral. I explained on my website why it’s not neutral and not OK, but he won’t read that… I asked on my website for people like him to leave me alone and not contact me, but I guess he didn’t read that either… I don’t think he understands my point well from my brief email, but he won’t read the longer version that explains it better… Sigh.

I’ve had to spend time on him and give him a clear, direct, personal no contact request (unless he reconsiders). They won’t leave me alone. I think this individual will probably now leave me alone, but that’s not OK for me because this kind of stuff is a recurring pattern.

I’ve publicly said that I do not want CritRats to contact me, at all, unless they’re willing to discuss/address the harassment issue. Then they do anyway.

Meanwhile, a different, anonymous CritRat harassed me on Twitter yesterday. I was not even active on Twitter and he decided to enter my notifications after one of the worst harassers brought me up.

What is your current attitude regarding your fans arguing with critrats on Twitter about the harassment stuff? Indifferent? Against? For? If indifferent or for, would you prefer to be tagged or not? I’m inclined towards doing it some but wouldn’t want to, out of misguided good intentions, give you more unwanted Twitter notifications (or possibly agitate evil harassers - I recall one person got angry and started spamming high profile people you followed).

I am in favor and have asked people to do things like that, e.g.:

Curiosity – Harassment Summary

I hope people who read this will ask DD and other CritRats to answer for this, and will bring up the issue to DD and his community. Please don’t harass them, but do raise the issue, ask challenging questions, and share critical opinions.


If you’d like to help, please ask David and his community about the problem, criticize them and complain, but don’t harass them in return. Maybe David will stop his bad behavior if people complain. David’s public email address is david.deutsch@qubit.org and his Twitter is @DavidDeutschOxf.

If people do this stuff, I do prefer to be aware of what’s going on. Yes, tag me on tweets.

This was apparently Justin, since Justin started tweeting under his own name to start an unproductive fight with an anonymous CritRat on Twitter.

Justin was trolling Elliot by asking a question he already knew the answer to. He baited Elliot to waste his time looking up articles Justin had already read to provide quotes Justin already knew.

What was the point of posting anonymously here, if he was going to use his real name on Twitter? Apparently to mislead Elliot.

People don’t seem to be very outraged by DD’s actions and won’t say why. They don’t act very outraged. I have an idea about why.

It’s partly because ET writes long things, not emotional appeals, and it feels kinda academic to them. It’s like reading a philosophy book. It’s not about real life. It’s just abstract ideas.

ET also writes short summaries like “DD lied about me” or “DD violated my rights”. People find those implausible because they see DD as high social status and a rationality leader. They wouldn’t expect him to do that. They also tend to assume, in general, that anyone from their religion, subculture, socio-economic group (or a higher one), nationality, or various other groupings would be a decent person who wouldn’t do things like that.

When they read the long arguments, they find it pretty convincing, but they can’t connect it to the short things. They can’t put the two together. They can’t take the persuasion from the long articles and apply it to the short claims, believe the short claims, and then be outraged by them. They can’t connect all the long arguments to their meaning about reality and the appropriate conclusions. In other words, they can’t use reasoning (from long articles) to change their initial intuitions about the short summary claims.

One reason is that the arguments in this case are unusually long and complicated. To get a persuasive case about DD’s role in the harassment campaign, they actually need to consider knowledge from multiple long articles at the same time. ET even wrote a bunch of background context explanations, which on the one hand is useful, but on the other hand implies that the issues would be hard to understand unless you take into account that additional non-standard context. People are bad at this in general, and this case is more complicated than a lot of other stuff that people fail with.

This issue with failing to change intuitions based on explicit reasoning is related to how and why they fail to learn in general. The basic solution to it is the practice and mastery stuff ET has written about. Intuitions are automatizations, and to change them people need to automatize new things. The thing that should happen if people were doing it right is that when they read some articles that explain abstract points, they automatize some better intuitions that take those points into account. If that’s too hard to do simply while reading, then they’d think it over, chew it, practice it, etc., until they succeed at the automatization (aka the updating of their intuitions), before thinking they were done with it.

Which stuff are you talking about? Did you have some specific articles in mind?

One of the things perpetuating the harassment campaign is that lots of CritRats keep reading my stuff. That keeps them thinking and caring about me. It keeps their internal conflicts related to me active in their minds. It also leads sometimes to talking about me, linking me and being asked about me, etc., which leads to expressing hateful opinions about me to other people (both to people who didn’t already have an opinion about me, and also to other haters to reinforce their hatred). It also leads to plagiarism since they don’t want to give me credit, status, etc. (and they fear being attacked by other people in their community if they do).

It’s really weird/unusual to hate someone, and either ghost them entirely or refuse to talk about any conflict resolution, but also to keep reading their stuff. It’s problematic. They have this ongoing mix of love and hate towards me, and ongoing internal conflict about it, which is why they won’t leave me alone. That’s a major characteristic of Andy B and comes up with lots of them.

They are partly mad at me because they like me and want to have discussions with me and want to have people in their community who write things like I write … but they find something is blocking that. And they’d rather blame me than blame themselves for why that isn’t working and they aren’t on my forum. They don’t want to blame it on their incompetence, dishonesty, social climbing, arrogance, or anything like that. Some of them hate me for implying – or sometimes outright saying – that they could and should be better.

They also – related to reading my stuff and thinking it’s great – see me as important, high status, and a significant part of the world, which is related to why some of them they are so scared of my criticism and avoid saying stuff in public. In a way, the more they like me, the more my criticism means to them, so the more they dislike me.

Tip: If you must have someone to blame other than yourself, try blaming DD, whose leadership led to this toxic situation. Regardless, stop blaming your internal conflicts on me. Even when you see me as the leading representative of reason, so your internal conflicts related to reason seem to you like they are about me … and even when some of my writing brings up some conflicts you have or even teaches you a new idea that is in conflict with some of your other ideas … it’s not really about me, so leave me alone.


An anecdote from just now:

I wanted to look for the quote behind the ‘let our ideas die in our place’ idea. I started less specific than searching for a quote but hit on some quotations – all the early results had no source or some connection to / mention of DD.

That said, I was surprised to see that searching for popper "let our ideas die in our place." on both DDG and google links to https://curi.us/2462-misquotes-by-david-deutsch. It’s a bit surprising b/c of google’s past deranking of curi.us, so seems worth mentioning.

I also wanted to mention b/c it helped me – @Elliot’s post is basically the best thing to find WRT searching for a quote.

https://curi.us/2462 is my 6th of my DDG results and 2nd on my google results:

Philosophy Highlights: David Deutsch attacking Ayn Rand, intellectuals, surviving irrational culture - YouTube

Just saw this claim that I haven’t read DD. I laughed.

There’s also a way to view it where it says something sad about the world and what too many people are like. He’s badly wrong and reiterated his error. People often make assumptions this wrong and biased and don’t state them out loud but do act on them.