Bryan Caplan  

Two Tries at the Ideological Turing Test

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1. DeLong pretends to be Nozickian.

2. I pretend to be conservative.

Give me more examples of attempts to pass Ideological Turing Tests in the comments; I'll link to them.

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COMMENTS (14 to date)
Drea writes:

Not exactly meeting your request, but Stu Brand says (on p231 of The_Whole_Earth_Discipline) that he uses a similar idea in the debate format for the "Seminars about Long Term Thinking" at the Long Now Foundation. Each debater has to start out by stating his position, then is iterviewed by the oponent. The oponent must restate said position to the original debator's satisfaction.

Brand says they were popular with the audience, but I can't find many debates in the list of recent semiars. Seems to have failed the market test, but I'd pay to watch one of those and I suspect is was a supply problem.

Doc Merlin writes:

[Comment removed for rudeness.--Econlib Ed.]

Julien writes:

Nice job Bryan. You fooled me.

eccdogg writes:

[Comment removed for ad hominem remarks. EconLog is not a referendum about other bloggers. Comments are required to address the content of the post. --Econlib Ed.]

Scott writes:

Ilya Somin at Volokh promises an attempt in his next post:

Kevin writes:

[Comment removed for making snide ad hominem remarks. Email the to request restoring your comment privileges. A valid email address is required to post comments on EconLog and EconTalk.--Econlib Ed.]

Chandran writes:

Professor DeLong lists 14 steps in Nozicks argument.

Unfortunately for his reconstruction, Nozick does not make the claims attributed to him in steps 3, 4, the second part of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12.

Even when it comes to consequentialism, Nozick expresses some doubts about taking an absolutist position, so 1,2, 13, and 14 have to be re-thought as expressions of RN's views.

Since Nozick was very sceptical about philosophical practice and the general quest for knock-down arguments, 10 is a pretty fair statement of RN's view.

I offered this comment on the BDL site but did not make the cut. Perhaps it is still under review. I think 10 is BDL's real contribution to our understanding of Nozick.

Alexandra Thorn writes:
If marijuana legalization proves a resounding success, we can talk about harder drugs in two or three decades.

This may be a successful approach to persuading some libertarians to be more like conservatives, but it doesn't sound like the kind of argument that someone with conservative values on illegal drugs would actually make. It sounds more like a left-leaning middle-of-the-road American.

Other parts of the post also sounded a lot like arguments for mainstream values, not arguments for Conservative values.

That said, I am willing to believe that the Conservatives participating in the discussion were actually more mainstream or open-minded than the Conservatives I've encountered in life...

Tracy W writes:

Is it just me, or are these not Turing tests? We all know who wrote the piece, as they stuck their names on them, and what their real political views roughly are, so our assessment of how well everyone did is going to be biased.

Yancey Ward writes:

A wag on MR posted the following comment which was hilarious:

PoNyman June 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm

You all are fools. That was Nozick hacking DeLong’s site and writing as DeLong.

My patience with the commenters on this thread is reaching a limit.

Bryan Caplan asked for examples of attempts to pass the Turing Test. Comments in this thread should pass the test of being examples of that test. Related comments and questions, such as Chandran's or Tracy W's are also fine. Comments that consist of snide remarks about someone's personal attributes or character violate EconLog's long-standing no-ad-hominem remarks rule.

Any further backhanded, snippy, or rude personal remarks will result in the commenter's being banned from EconLog for at least a month, if not permanently.

Yancey: Your re-quoted comment is not ad hominem or snide. However, it violates one of our other policies--that of not re-pasting entire comments from other blogs. I'm letting it pass this time only because it is short--and you are right that it is clever. Please provide a link to the exact post at MR on which the comment can be found.

EconLog's comment policies may be found here:

Yancey Ward writes:


My apologies.


[Thanks, Yancey! It really is an awfully witty comment PoNyman wrote, and I quite understand getting caught up in the temptation to requote it.--Lauren (Econlib Ed.)]

Carl Jakobsson writes:

It's obvious that DeLong doesn't try to pretend to be a Nozickian. He doesn't even claim that his post is such an attempt. But if he tried to pass the Turing test with that post, I can't believe anyone would think he's a Nozickian. That should be more than obvious.

So why, really!, would you pretend that DeLong is doing anything else than making fun of natural rights-libertarians (of the Nozick-variant)?

Richard writes:

Does this differ from the 'Opposite Day' game of a few years back? Here's my best attempt at arguing for a pro-life view of abortion.

[Re-posted by request in another thread--Econlib Ed.]

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