Robin Hanson on how to be a better contrarian

Robin Hanson, quite the contrarian himself, offers contrarians some advice:

On average, contrarian views are less accurate than standard views. Honest contrarians should admit this, that neutral outsiders should assign most contrarian views a lower probability than standard views, though perhaps a high enough probability to warrant further investigation. [...]

He goes on to list a few common but inadequate contrarian defenses and offers critiques of each:

1. They Laughed At Galileo Too
2. Standard Experts Are Biased
3. We’ve More Detail Than Critics
4. Few Who Study Us Disagree

Overcoming Bias: Contrarian Excuses

1 Comment

  1. “On average, contrarian views are less accurate than standard views.”

    Interesting. I like the ambiguously looped nature of that line.

    Meditate on that one long enough and it starts to undo rational thought.

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