How To Write Quickly While Maintaining Epistemic Rigor
Sep 8, 2021 7:36 AM
It’s been pointed out before that most high-schools teach a writing style in which the main goal is persuasion or debate . Arguing only one side of a case is encouraged. It’s an absolutely terrible habit, and breaking it is a major step on the road to writing the sort of things we want on LessWrong.
There’s a closely related sub-habit in which people try to only claim things with very high certainty. This makes sense in a persuasion/debate frame - any potential loophole could be exploited by “the other side”. Arguments are soldiers ; we must show no weakness.
Good epistemic habits include living with uncertainty. Good epistemic discourse includes making uncertain statements, and accurately conveying our uncertainty in them. Trying to always research things to high confidence, and never sharing anything without high confidence, is a bad habit.