Treating Ideas Badly

People encounter ideas, think they are bad ideas, and then want to treat those ideas badly because they're (allegedly) bad. They want their treatment of ideas to correspond to the nature or quality of the ideas. They want to be interested in good ideas, and uninterested in bad ideas. They want to spend time and energy on good ideas, not on bad ideas. They want to be curious about good ideas and dismissive of bad ideas. You probably can see how this makes some sense and why it'd be typical. There's a logic to it.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I added two new sentences to the final paragraph:

When you try to refute ideas, if you’re not too biased, you’ll sometimes fail to refute them and realize they’re actually good. And if do find or create a refutation, other people can learn from it and change their mind too, or potentially provide a counter-argument with information that’s new to you.

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I wonder if that’s because being sure of your own ideas and dismissive of others is a trait that’s respected by society.

One thing I’d like to practice is thinking about how the concept of Paths Forward applies to different situations. For example, I think Paths Forward is related to the concept of practice. I think that practicing things will expose your mistakes and errors more quickly. Like you’ll try to do things and fail and you’ll realize you’re making an error. If you don’t practice your ideas, then you could go for a long while without running into an error. So you could be stuck with bad ideas while ignoring other paths forward you could find by practicing.

I think for me thinking about the sequence of practice activities I would have to do was daunting. There were so many options and I didn’t know the best place to start or which thing I should do to practice. Like if somebody had just provided me with a big list of things to practice in order, I would have been more likely to start practicing.

I think that was a mistake and that it’s better to just pick one thing and practice it. And depending on which errors you make you can decide the next best thing to practice. Trying to plan out a sequence of things to do in advance doesn’t make sense because you won’t know in advance which errors you’re going to make.

I sometimes find it harder to participate in groups. Like if I was writing directly to someone I trusted and respected, that would be a lot easier than talking to that same person in front of a group. Being in front of a group feels more vulnerable and I don’t usually like feeling vulnerable in front of other people. So when the group is a public forum where anyone can read it’s kind of scary.

I really like this paragraph. I think it’s related to Paths Forward because Paths Forward aren’t always obvious (for me at least). If you dismiss paths based only on your initial impression then you’ll dismiss a lot of Paths forward and and end up on bad paths. You can’t trust that your judgement is good enough to dismiss ideas without refuting them. Not being able to refute an idea is like a warning sign that you shouldn’t dismiss it.