[ExI] cynicism

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Thu Feb 7 06:14:30 UTC 2013


-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 4:15 PM
To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Subject: Re: [ExI] cynicism

On 05/02/2013 21:48, Mike Dougherty wrote:
> Thanks for that.  Originally meant as a throwaway kind of tagline, it 
> got more response than anything I've posted lately.  :)

That is sadly how most things work out :-)

> I'm curious though, especially in this group - does one "look good" as 
> an idealistic cynic or as a repentant cynic?

I don't think cynics look good, because people are so used to fake cynics
trying to look good as idealistic cynics (or at least smart, "hah! I can see
right through it!"). So I would go with the repentant cynics, aiming at
becoming critical thinkers.

There was a nice study a while ago showing that people who tended to believe
in conspiracy theories also were more likely to want to join the conspiracy,
which suggests that they are close to cynical cynics (and likely driven by a
need to get social status - after all, conspiracies are also good

[ Today we in the FHI gang were accused by a visiting physicist of being
cynics when we explained why a certain well-funded big research project was
methodologically flawed, but we cheerfully explained that we were just
philosophers. We *are* trying to change things, it is just hard. ]

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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