in dialog: perhaps, for those who take the point of view that the influence priors are unavoidable given the cost of computation and communication, there should be a standardized way to reply to someone with 'i disagree with that but i consider this viewpoint 'beyond the pale' or 'crazy' and so rather than rationally discussing it i refuse to discuss it further'. After which the counterparty has a chance to present a short summary of their 'crazy' viewpoint and a link to further information, and then that topic is closed within this dialog.


the avoiding-getting-"into the weeds" thought pattern is useful


people say they like communities that have less "politics" but what do they mean by that?

first let's get rid of some obvious misinterpretations (skip the next 4 paragraphs if you want):

they probably don't mean politics in the sense of involvement with actual government, since usually they are talking about communities that are clearly not governments ("The title of the Politics literally means "the things concerning the polis."" -- )

they probably don't mean they want a community that tries less to improve people's character, because although Aristotle thought of politics this way, this is no longer how we think of "politics" ("As he says in Nicomachean Ethics at 1099b30, "The end [or goal] of politics is the best of ends; and the main concern of politics is to engender a certain character in the citizens and to make them good and disposed to perform noble actions." Most people living today in Western societies like the United States, Canada, Germany, or Australia would disagree with both parts of that statement. We are likely to regard politics (and politicians) as aiming at ignoble, selfish ends, such as wealth and power, rather than the "best end", and many people regard the idea that politics is or should be primarily concerned with creating a particular moral character in citizens as a dangerous intrusion on individual freedom, in large part because we do not agree about what the "best end" is. In fact, what people in Western societies generally ask from politics and the government is that they keep each of us safe from other people (through the provision of police and military forces) so that each of us can choose and pursue our own ends, whatever they may be. This has been the case in Western political philosophy at least since John Locke. Development of individual character is left up to the individual, with help from family, religion, and other non-governmental institutions. More will be said about this later, but the reader should keep in mind that this is an important way in which our political and ethical beliefs are not Aristotle's. " -- )

they probably don't mean they don't want any governance mechanisms (even some anarchists would agree with some consensual private groups having governance mechanisms) [1]

they probably don't mean they don't want any "practice and theory of influencing other people" [2], because surely most people will concede it is necessary to sometimes try to persuade other people, if only on narrow technical matters or logistical (eg where do we go for lunch?)

one thing that i do think people mean is that they want to be free of having to spend time and energy on coming to consensus with and/or competing with other people for finite resources (including whether or not the group is going to do one thing or another). But this is unachievable; other people exist, and insofar as you choose to or are forced to work with them, sometimes there will be disagreements and finite resources. Yet, often when people say 'they don't like politics' they mean they want a role in a community where, whether due to their role, or the structure of the community, or the external circumstances of the community, they are required to devote a relatively small amount of time and energy to the task of getting along with others.

another thing that people sometimes mean is that they don't like conflict; they are fine with people coming to agreement in a very polite, positive, consensus-y way, but not with open disagreement, bluntness, or aggression.

another thing that people sometimes mean is that they don't like factions; they don't like 'us vs. them'.

another thing that people sometimes mean is that they don't like when individual popularity is important. They either don't like when they themselves feel they must try to become popular (and therefore try to be inoffensive, to recruit allies and/or followers, etc); or they don't like when they have to interact with others doing so.

another thing that people sometimes mean is that they don't like when a moralizing mode of interpersonal relations occurs; "We all know what it feels like when the moralization switch flips inside us - the righteous glow, the burning dudgeon, the drive to recruit others to the cause." -- STEVEN PINKER . They might not like this because it is unpleasant, or they might not like it because it has the effect of driving individual people apart (Alice can no longer be friends with Bob because he does something Alice feels is immoral), and of splintering the community (if you don't join the attack on the person who is doing something immoral, we will consider you an enemy too).

(other ideas?)