Confessions of a helpless epistemon

I was so pleased when I first encountered the term "epistemic helplessness", because it described my own mental state so much of the time. Feeling misunderstood is a hallmark of the emotional experience of the typical teenager, but probably most humans at any stage of life experience this emotion regarding some aspect of who they are. For me, I oftentimes think that the main element behind what routinely causes other people to not relate to me comes down to a state of epistemic helplessness which is fairly dominant in my perception of the outside world. Read more...

A Principle of Empathy

The Principle of Charity is an idea that seems to be touted fairly regularly by members of the rationalist community. Scott Alexander is especially well known as an advocate of it and even devoted the first post on his now very popular blog Slate Star Codex to declaring the Principle of Charity as the ethos of the new blog. It more or less says that in examining another person's viewpoint, one should strive for the strongest, most reasonable possible interpretation of their argument, in particular not assuming that they're being stupid or completely irrational. Read more...