Unpopular Ideas: Theory and Links

I was inspired by some of Julia Galef’s posts and am going to collect some unpopular ideas here as it’s paramount we consider ideas far outside the status-quo on a continual basis.

Just as many ideas we hold as true today were counter-intuitive in the past, we will probably eventually shift towards accepting a number of currently counter-intuitive beliefs in the future. This seems almost inevitable unless you think we have reached the pinnacle of human progress, but that is probably (not to mention hopefully) not the case. Since an eventual change in many of our beliefs is almost inevitable, we should hasten the progress and let “that which can be destroyed by the truth, be destroyed by the truth.”

One way this can happen quickly is by taking unconventional and unpopular ideas seriously and trying to make them work. Not only will we find hidden truths sometimes, but even when we do disprove these unconventional ideas, we still benefit from decoupling a bit from the status-quo and thinking in a new way.

A counterargument to considering unconventional ideas are that some of them are information hazards and that merely by considering them, one will inevitably be brought astray. I acknowledge that this can be the case in some people, and even in myself if I somehow forget my priors and to be intellectually rigorous in my explorations. That being said, if some of our most rational people cannot safely consider unpopular ideas, humanity probably doesn’t have the intelligence to survive long-term anyways.

I am not endorsing these ideas! I disagree with many of them and am merely collecting them for the sake of intellectual thoroughness.

Julia Galef’s Lists of Unpopular Ideas about:

My List: Coming soon once I get through Julia’s.

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