On Communication

I've been reading Overcoming Bias regularly for the last couple of months. It's become one of my favorites for mental stimulation.

Eliezer Yudkowsky on communication barriers:

If you want to sound deep, you can never say anything that is more than a single step of inferential distance away from your listener's current mental state. That's just the way it is. (From How to Seem (and Be) Deep)

The audience doesn't know anything about an evolutionary-psychological argument for a cognitive bias to underestimate inferential distances leading to traffic jams in communication. They'll just think you're condescending. (From Expecting Short Inferential Distances)


Thanks for the tip... although the contextless and non-sequiteurial quotes almost put me off following the link, as it made the writing seem so obtuse. But maybe that was the point?

No, it was my bad. I pasted too hastily. I'll edit the post to make it clear that they are from different entries.