Mar 12, 2023Liked by Hazard Spence

This seems like a pretty good explanation, with which I basically agree. However there are simpler heuristics you can be applying more explicitly. When I got to this paragraph:

> The pre-truth game is cooperative among those in the know who are playing it, but what about everyone else? Danco makes clear that not everyone is in on it. The rules and limits of the pre-truth game are nebulous and implicit, part of a "nudge-wink fraternal understanding", and even the existence of the game is taboo to talk about. People outside Silicon Valley aren’t synced up on playing pre-truth with founders. He also notes there being plenty of founders who don't pre-truth, not just because of principled reasons, but because they don't have social access to "the rules". Given all the obfuscation and the nature of the pre-truth game I'm very confident that not everybody knows, and there's going to be plenty of collisions between pre-truthers and truth-claimers. When these mismatches occur the mismatch will "fail silently" and not be immediately obvious to either party

It seemed to me like that was pretty much a decisive explanation. In the absence of a compelling alternative explanation, the function of a local practice of narrative distortions with those effects just is to create an adversarial advantage for participants in the narrative distortion, i.e. CS Lewis’s Inner Ring.

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I think I agree that the function of a local practice of narrative distortion just is the Inner Ring things. I actually had some unresolved tension while writing most of the case study portion of this post because I wasn't exactly clear what I was trying to do or who I was talking to. As in, if I was questioning someone engaged in these practices I expect their responses would largely me made of "come on man!"s, "how dare you!"s, attempted derailing of the convo, and *maybe* some of the hypothetical rebuttals I gave. So I wasn't reconstructing arguments from a good-faith source and responding to them. I might have been targeting my more nerdy friends who aren't wrapped up in many parasitic language games, but are wrapped up in trying to ignore them, and they would be more included to reach for the rebuttals I outlined, still not in good faith, but they'd feel compelled to fight with things that at least look like reasoned arguments.

I thought about explicating that meta in the post but decided against it. A more interesting post to write would be one were I make the bare bones case about parasitic language games, and then have transcripts from several convos where I'm talking to people about it to illustrate more in depths ways people try to obfuscate the topic.

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I think that in hindsight this is going to be a definitional characteristic of the early 21st century: the issues caused by massive low-impedance communication networks. Our equivalent, perhaps, of the depth charge of evolution dropped on religious frameworks in the Victorian era...and possibly as hard to parse a century from now.

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