MR vocabulary guide

by on November 19, 2009 at 10:33 am in Education | Permalink

1. "Self-recommending": the very nature of the authors and project suggest it will be good or very good.  This also often (but not always) means I haven't read it yet.  I am reluctant to recommend *anything* I haven't read, but I am signaling it is very likely recommendation-worthy and I wish to let you know about it sooner rather than later.

2. An "Assorted link" that ends with a question mark: Worth thinking about, but I wish to distance myself from the conclusion and the methods of the study, without being contrary per se.

3. Hansonian: of, or relating to Robin Hanson.  Yesterday I asked Garett Jones whether his date was as pretty as Robin is smart.

4. The Jacksonian mode of discourse.  I am opposed to this.  Political and economic pamphlets in the Jacksonian era were excessively polemical and sometimes the Jacksonian mode is still used today, in 2009, believe it or not.

5. Wunderkind: Take the average age of that person's relevant peers.  If said person is either under twenty or less than half that average, that person may qualify for "Wunderkind" status. 

6. Markets in everything: Some of these are celebratory but many of these are sad or tragic.  Usually I am trying to get you to think about — as a philosophical question — why the market exists at all and not whether it should be legal.  

7. Tyrone is my brother and alter-ego who believes the opposite of what Tyler believes.  Trudie offers personal advice.  Neither has good time management skills and thus they don't write very much these days.

8. "Shout it from the rooftops": What to do with wordy, obscure truths which the world badly needs to learn.

What have I left out?

nelsonal November 19, 2009 at 10:58 am

Pretty good list, but I think Tyrone deserves a shout out.

Andrew November 19, 2009 at 11:13 am

Tyler, you need to define “Shout it from the rooftops” for new readers!

Larry November 19, 2009 at 11:25 am

Evil. I’m pretty sure you use this word in a different way than most people do. For example, you describe
Roissy’s writing as evil.

JB November 19, 2009 at 11:39 am

Hansonian: adj.

1. Having a hammer and seeing everything as nails.
2. Ironically prone to intellectual bias.

anonymous November 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I breathlessly await the MR post that simultaneously combines as many of the above elements as possible.

Perhaps some clever parodist could oblige us?

londenio November 19, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I think many bloggers are copying your “best sentence I read [relevant time period]” title. For me, it is a very MR title that deserves some comment.

“Department of *”

Rama November 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm

What is the difference between marginal revolution and marginal evolution?

AnonTylerFan November 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Why do you idolize Robin Hanson so much? You seem way smarter. You were a child prodigy who turned out well-adjusted. You read more widely than seems humanly possible and you (gently) tore to shreds a philosopher like Peter Singer. Hanson seems like some singularity-obsessed whack job. I’d rather be called “Cowerian” than “Hansonian.”

kebko November 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Never mind JB, abc & AnonTylerFan. They are simply signalling their primary loyalty to Tyler, and their intellectual superiority over Robin Hanson.
Their social landscape hinges on unfinished nails, so while their denial of Robin’s hammer seems on its face to be unjustified, there would be no way for them to accept it without tempting a wholesale disruption in their own social/intellectual support system.

Remember, blog comments are not about commenting.

dearieme November 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm

“What have I left out?” Wankerkind – a banker of the era now closing.

anon November 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Why do you idolize Robin Hanson so much?

Tyler does not idolize Hanson, Tyler is just being nice.

Tyler is a polymath and recognizes that a polymath never describes him or her self that way.

Robin Hanson is a very smart person who describes himself as a polymath and isn’t, except in his own mind.

Tyler is just being nice.

londenio November 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Tyler, what is the optimal age to write an autobiography? I was thinking that I wanted to read your autobiography and I would like to know whether you are waiting for the optimal time to do write it.

IVV November 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Although I can figure it out from context, a definition of “bleg” would be nice.

Robin Hanson November 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Wow, I seem to generate a lot of hostility. I’d be interested to see someone elaborate their critique of me at more length. Anonymously if need be, but I neither intend nor would encourage any retaliation; I’m honestly if morbidly curious.

Bob Knaus November 19, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Robin, I lack your accomplishments and I lack your credentials, but I have one thing you don’t — I can tell you in a few concise sentences the major reasons why people dislike me. It’s something I’ve put a fair amount of effort into, and knowing it serves me well.

If you can’t look yourself in the mirror and see the flaws that others see, then so far as I’m concerned you’ve failed as an intelligent human. Something about the unexamined life. I think it’s a form of bias, no?

nelsonal November 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Robin,
I don’t know you beyond your blog and comments, so I could be quite wrong, but I suspect most of your critics hold the same view of you that you expressed in your post Contrarian Excuses. You bring up many contrarian viewpoints, and well supported or not, most people require far more evidence to cause them to challenge a strongly held belief. Just look at the ongoing Patriots/Colts game discussions as an example.

Even if you don’t believe your critisms apply to you, others require substantially more evidence so they apply them to you as well.

I very much appreciate you because few people challenge me to think so hard about a topic as you frequently do.

Scoop November 19, 2009 at 9:56 pm

A guide to how to tell when Tyler is kidding, or at least partially kidding. Alex never kids, or if he does, it’s so subtle that I don’t get it.

poke November 20, 2009 at 3:22 am

“If I believed in…”

Laserlight November 20, 2009 at 8:54 am

Addendum to my earlier comment: “Being a genius” doesn’t necessarily imply “has social skills”.

In fact I sometimes wonder if there’s a negative correlation between social skills and being a genius (or at least being recognized as one–if you’re socially competent you might be a genius but not perceived as such). Asperger’s FTW.

This is a general comment, not necessarily applicable to Robin (or Tyler, for that matter).

Michael F. Martin November 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm

“most absurd belief” := most passionately held countercyclical (i.e., out of phase with the herd) theory

anomdebus November 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Tyler,
I came here looking for your description of “Jacksonian Discourse” and am still unclear; unless as per the form of other definitions and it means “I am opposed to this”. The only description in that section is “excessively polemical”, which would seem to be a better term to use as it makes sense to those outside the know. If it means more than that, you did not say so.

Bob,
I think you are being unfair to Robin. It is possible to come up with ways might dislike yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can come up with the exact ways certain people might dislike yourself. Also, asking for an outside opinion may reveal to you avenues of thought that would be difficult to self-discover. In other words, you shouldn’t believe you can imagine all of the ways someone might dislike yourself.

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