Groovies think that, when selecting beliefs, we should aim for accuracy and nothing else than accuracy; that nothing else than properly-processed evidence will get us there; and that living up to this principle, far from being a natural tendency of humans and their organizations, takes a constant, conscious struggle, with its own lore and its own pitfalls.
Why “Groovy”? Because our information, as it flows in, defines a groove through the spacetime of beliefs. It is this groove that we strive to get down with. As it were.
Groovies believe that a human mind, or a community made up of human minds, is a giant monster that feeds on truth and chokes on confusion. Perhaps if you’re really clever and really lucky, you can make it choke in exactly the right way. But mostly you aren’t.
We believe that promoting less than maximally accurate beliefs is an act of sabotage. Don’t do it to anyone unless you’d also slash their tires, because they’re Nazis or whatever. Specifically, don’t do it to yourself.
(Sadly, we may have to count everyday social interactions as a partial exception.)
One of our mottoes is “if we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities”. Another is “life is demanding without understanding”. False beliefs hurt both the believer and others.
To start from Robin Hanson’s metaphor of beliefs as clothes,
- A belief is not a uniform. It is not for making you the same as everyone else.
- A belief is not a gothic dress. It is not for making you different from everyone else.
- A belief is not a clown suit. It is not for entertaining your audience.
- A belief is not a crown. It is not for asserting your authority.
- A belief is not a slipper. It is not for giving you comfort.
- A belief is not a Che t-shirt. It is not for showing allegiance to a cause.
- A belief is not a high-heeled shoe. It is not for making you sexy.
- A belief is not an asbestos suit. It is not for avoiding getting you flamed, or fired.
- So what is a belief? A belief is a mirror suit, for reflecting the world.
I would very much like to see Grooviness become a widespread norm:
“If Europe continues down its path of disbelieving in God, its civilization will fade away because of the lack of babies.”
“Dude, that’s not Groovy.”
“That’s exactly the kind of reasoning that leads to rape.”
“Dude, that’s not Groovy.”
“If ze Cherman people are to attain kreatness, ve must maintain an unshakable confidence in ze superiority of our race.”
“Dude, zat is not Kroovy.”
Yes, Groovy ideals are already rather widely shared, at least on a lip service level. But in discussions among even intelligent people, you can easily find reasoning that, to us Groovies, is haram. We all have a little overworked demon in our heads whose job it is to decide what to believe (you may say you “contain multitudes”, but why aren’t they applying Aumann’s agreement theorem?). And the good news you can tell that demon is it needn’t worry about what’s “fair” or “fruitful” or “inspiring”. That’s not its job. Deciding what’s true is worry enough.