Combatting the absurdity heuristic by reversal

By dkl9, written 2023-213, revised 2023-213 (0 revisions)

When presented with unusual-at-the-time propositions for reform — believing evolutionary theory, believing modern physics, transhumanism, teaching predictive history, not wearing shoes, etc — people tend to reject them based on their weirdness without proper evaluation (whether or not a proper evaluation would show them to be reasonable), as a subset of a pattern known as the absurdity heuristic. (This may not exactly be the absurdity heuristic, but the exact term isn't important here.) We could think more accurately about reform if we could avoid this error.

Here, then, is another heuristic to stack in response to the absurdity response. Imagine a world in which the absurd proposal was taken seriously and followed. Consider the response, in that world, to a proposal taking society back to how things are in current reality.