Against obviousness

Things can be obvious if they are simple. If something complicated is
obvious, such as anything that anybody seriously studies, then for it
to be simple you must be abstracting it a lot. When people find such
things obvious, what they often mean is that the abstraction is so
clear and simple its implications are unarguable. This is answering the
wrong question. Most of the reasons such conclusions might be false are
hidden in what you abstracted away. The question is whether you have
the right abstraction for reality, not whether the abstraction has the
implications it seems to.

That's from Katja Grace.  Here is a good post on murder and evil.

Addendum: I liked this bit too:

Perhaps mysterious forces are just more trustworthy than social
institutions? Or perhaps karma seems nice because its promotion is read
as ‘everyone will get what they deserve’, while markets seem nasty
because their promotion is read as ‘everyone deserves what they’ve
got’. Better ideas?


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