Welcome Carl Shulman

Today we welcome a fourth author at Overcoming Bias: Carl Shulman. The other authors have known Carl for many years, he’s posted here at OB before, and while we (ok, I) have often disagreed, he’s consistently thoughtful, clear, and interested in interesting topics. You can read more about Carl here, here, and here, but I suggest you mainly just listen to what he has to say. :)

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZX6KH3PARV2XGUQWAN3PA45Q5U R

    I hate when good blogs dilute their message by recruiting new contributors. This blog has a unique voice. I won’t be surprised to see it subtly shifted in another, more innocuous direction. 

    The problem is simple: in the media, political commentary, and cultural criticism you have a broad elite which, if temporarily forestalled by a new entry, will wait it out and co-opt it at the soonest opportunity. 

    • Anonymous

      I love when good blogs and more good bloggers

      • http://www.mccaughan.org.uk/g/ gjm

         I hate when comment spammers and useless comments

    • dmytryl

      Yes. I like what Robin writes as he strikes me as person genuinely trying to be more rational about issues that interest him, even when the conclusions contradict his general stance. This is very rare in rational community, with the majority either trying to come up with something bizarre to believe together, or trying to rationalize such things after the original argument has been shown to be flawed.

      • http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com/ srdiamond

        the majority either trying to come up with something bizarre to believe together, or trying to rationalize such things after the original argument has been shown to be flawed

        And if not that, then just belaboring the obvious.

      • Steve Bachelor

        > [a] person genuinely trying to be more rational about issues that interest him, even when the conclusions contradict his general stance.

        In that case, you’re in for a treat. Shulman’s one of the most proficient steel-man constructors I know of.

      • gwern0

         I’d be surprised if Dmytry, who nearly got himself banned from LW for among other things sockpuppeting, would much enjoy reading posts by Shulman (who worked at SIAI and comments on LW more than infrequently).

      • srdiamond

        I’d be surprised if Dmytry, who nearly got himself banned from LW for among other things sockpuppeting, would much enjoy reading posts by Shulman (who worked at SIAI and comments on LW more than infrequently).

        What in the world is “sockpuppeting,” and how the hell does it have any relevance to anything that’s being discussed?

      • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

        Steve Diamond, you’ve been in the blogosphere for a while, had you really not heard of sock-puppetry? It’s using more than one “handle”/”nym” at a site in order to pretend to be independent people amplifying a message. The most embarrassing kind is one used to praise one’s self, like “Mary Rosh” or “Sprezzatura”. There’s an author who was recently caught bashing his competitors on Amazon under different names, and that would also count even if he never commented as or about his real identity.

        I’m not active enough at LW to be familiar with the specific controversy referenced.

  • Anonymous

    I love when good blogs and more good bloggers

  • http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com/ srdiamond

    Carl’s blog contains this disconcerting posting, titled “Moderation”:

    For the record, this is a personal blog and I may arbitrarily moderate comments at any time in the name of epistemic norms, civility, or capricious whim.

    Well, for one thing, such notice really ought to be provided more visibly than stuck in a posting that commenters might not even see, that is, if one must insist on running one’s blog comments in an arbitrary and capricious fashion. (Unsurprisingly, his blog hasn’t gotten a single comment in about a year- of operation, as far as I can tell.)

    The authoritarian style with which some libertarians comport themselves when they get just a modicum of status or power–like being a blog “owner”– supports the role of authoratiarism as the hidden dynamic of libertarianism, as suggested by an article Dmitryl recently cited. (Bryan Caplan, who lays out the generously afforded  rights of commenters to his blog is a notable exception.)

  • http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com/ srdiamond

    Robin should be praised for demonstrating the virtue of generosity in adding Carl. Unlike Katja and Robert, he has done little to demonstrate effectiveness as a blogger, at least not by objective measures. His Google ranking (while based on less than a year) is 0. (By comparison, Katja and Robert reached 5, Less Wrong is at 6, and Overcoming Bias 7.) And this measure favors the highly networked, like Carl, a Fellow at SIAI,, as Katja and (I think) Robert once were. 

    On another measure, biased in other ways, Carl doesn’t even rate an Alexa ranking, suggesting an exceedingly small readership. 

    What I’ve seen of Carl’s comments is pedantic and hairsplitting more than original.