The Conservative Radical

Excellent advice from Robin Hanson on how to be an effective radical:

This freethinker strategy of being radical on every possible dimension pretty much guarantees that something will go very wrong with at least one of these dimensions. 
To have the best chance of succeeding in a radical project, you should instead choose just a few related dimensions on which to make radical choices, and then make conservative conventional choices on all the other dimensions.  This strategy minimizes the chance that some other project dimension will go badly wrong and take down your central radical idea with it.

This is is basically why we have to wear jackets and ties at the Cato Institute.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

5 thoughts

  1. “once we come to a broad social consensus on standards, some factions in the culture wars are left defenseless and end up an impotent doomed remnant.”
    Obviously you are blessed with depth and perception, but I pause when I hear people celebrating the obliteration of traditional values at the hands of “broad social consensus.”
    Who defines “broad” and “consensus” in your brave new world?
    What if today’s consensus becomes tomorrow’s oppression?
    By labeling your vanquished foe as an “impotent remnant” have you really achieved any higher form of humanity than that secured by the gladiator standing over his bloody opposite in the coliseum?
    Just a few thoughts of my own.

  2. In my view,metaarguements are means to avoid actual arguements and to some extend correct also.

  3. That’s just you being you, though; believing in a future free of belief is just you exercising your right to believe what you want. What happens when you go to the mat to defend an idea that ends up eradicating any chances you have at seeing this magical world filled with smart people?

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