Eliezer Yudkowsky writes:
Then all the causes which benefit from spreading rationality, can, perhaps, have something in the way of standardized material to which to point their supporters – a common task, centralized to save effort – and think of themselves as spreading a little rationality on the side. … Atheism has very little to do directly with marijuana legalization, but if both atheists and anti-Prohibitionists are willing to step back a bit and say a bit about the general, abstract principle of confronting a discomforting truth that interferes with a fine righteous tirade, then both atheism and marijuana legalization pick up some of the benefit from both efforts.
So is there a workable natural alliance between more-rational-than-average folks? Consider two related but unpopular alliances:
Extremists – People who hold extreme views seem to have a common cause in persuading others that central/conventional views are less reliable than they may seem; they agree outsiders deserve more chances to prove themselves without being dismissed just for holding extreme views.
Folks Who Think They'd Win Bets – People who think their views will eventually be vindicated seem to have a common cause in promoting the creation of, use of, and deference to betting markets; they expect market odds to discount opponents who deep down know their arguments are weak.
My experience is that such alliance members are seen as low status, making others reluctant to join them. Since on average crazy folks tend to be more attracted to extreme views than sane folks, most kinds of extremists try to distance themselves from other kinds. And since on average lowbrow folks find open betting markets and track records more engaging, most elite-aspiring intellectuals avoid open betting markets and forecast track records. I conclude that the proposed alliance of rational folks will only fly if can find a way for its members to be seen as high, not low, status.