Bryan Caplan  

Discover Your Inner Literalist

Who to Trust?... Reliability of Survey Data...

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Robin Hanson is his determined literalism. He listens to your exact words, and evaluates your specific statements as true or false. If you want to reach truth, it really helps to have someone like Robin around. I for one am deeply greatly for his scrutiny.

Here's a fine example of Robin's at his best: Tyler wrote quite a bit about his colorful colleague Robin Hanson. Robin reviews Tyler's literal claims one by one.

My main reaction: It's too bad every idea doesn't pass through Hanson's razor. It would save us all a lot of time.

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COMMENTS (5 to date)
Biomed Tim writes:

"If you want to reach truth, it really helps to have someone like Robin around."

Jamie Whyte:

It's just that, on some topics, many people are not really interested in believing the truth. They might prefer it if their opinion turns out to be true--that would be icing on the cake--but truth is not too important...and it is most annoying to be pressed on the matter.

Maybe by 2100, rational truth-seekers can rent copies of Hanson's simulated brain as friends.

Manjira Dasgupta writes:

This may sound confused, but isn't there a conflict between 'determined literalism' as you put it, and the compulsions to participate in certain common metaphors in a cultural \ social context?

Tyler Cowen writes:

See my response in the comments to Robin's post...

bradbp writes:

When is Robin's book coming out?

Mike writes:

Isn't truth somewhat elusive, perhaps impossible? Isn't the best we are able to do is come up with a warranted assertion?

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