Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I liked the content, but I didn't like the conclusion. If you have a strong belief I feel like you should be able to strongly hold (i.e. defend) it. The philosophy "strong beliefs, loosely held" will just breed rabid dogs that obey whomever has the most convincing evidence (note that convincing evidence is not necessarily strong evidence).

For example, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag4HN_jeYV4

Purple is obviously the villain here, right? Grab your pitchforks!

Now read this: https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/69xqxh/reviewer_ask...

Now it seems clear that the video creator was hiding something and that Purple is justified in their actions. Lynch the youtuber!

Now read the youtuber's response to that and be prepared to grab your pitchforks again...

I'm of the opinion that weak beliefs should be weakly held and strong beliefs should be strongly held. Something that you haven't studied yourself should be a weak belief, weakly held. Something that's only been on the news for a few days with very few actual facts should be a weak belief, weakly held (i.e. Ahmed Mohammed, Michael Brown, etc). Something you've studied or experienced over an extensive period should be a strong belief, strongly held since you are an expert.

That's an interesting point. For most beliefs, they are pretty long held and tend to move slowly (morality), but it's interesting to consider how science changes and what people's thoughts on that are, and recent quick changes in beliefs.

Example, diet fads, or what new thing causes or prevents cancer (red wine/chocolate/low carb/high carb). Some people really strongly hold these beliefs, and they do get moved around when new beliefs come out. To their detriment, usually (especially with diet fads).

I'd rather have someone have a strongly questioned strong belief, a weakly held weak belief, and the ability to know that just because you believe something doesn't make it exist.

None of that is enough to get to a strong belief. Weak beliefs weakly held is a common and perfectly reasonable stance. The important part of weak beliefs is to not make major changes based on them.

Now some things like gravity are very strong beliefs. But, you should be open to the possibility that something else is going on even with gravity. That does not mean you should stop believing in gravity based on a slick YouTube video, but rather accept that with solid evedince something else might be going on.

I can still change my mind with a strong belief, strongly held, it's just much more difficult.

For example, one strongly held strong belief that I have is that the speed of light is the maximum speed of matter. So when CERN publishes a report that they discovered superluminal particles, I don't instantly switch beliefs - that would be weakly held. Instead I stand my ground and wait to see if it's reproducible, etc.

The cern thing was not presented as solid evidence just we don't understand what's going on. The question is how much evidence it would take you to change that belief vs someone to change their stance on global warming. Supose, the consensus in 3 years was they where going faster than the speed of light would you have updated your beliefs then? Because that's not even close to enough evedence for say global worming opponents.

Further many people disagreed with QM even with a lot of evedence backing it because it was so different from what they where used to. They essentially had not threshold to update their beliefs.

> Suppose, the consensus in 3 years was they where going faster than the speed of light would you have updated your beliefs then?

Yes I would have updated my beliefs, but my new beliefs would be both weak and weakly held. If in 20 years the consensus was still solid they would become both strong and strongly held.

> Because that's not even close to enough evidence for say global worming opponents.

For them the evidence they need to see is perceptibly rising temperatures or sea levels. A lot of people view climate change as highly politicized/hyped science (which it is) and are therefore skeptical if not of climate science of the apocalyptic predictions (which are not universally agreed upon by climate scientists). They will change their minds if they see that it hasn't snowed in 10 years or if their beach front properties are getting swallowed by the ocean.

We have perceptibly rising temperatures that's not enough for these people, because it's not rising everywhere evenly and people don't really have great memories.

Well, demonizing them doesn't help. Most people are willing to talk solutions, not a lot of people like being insulted. For example, I've had lots of discussions with climate skeptics about nuclear power and I can usually get them on board by the end of the conversation.

I don't mean to demonize just be realistic.

Changes that are obvious and massive to the CEO of a company which owns ski resorts around the world may seem meaningless to people living at those same locations. I like most people don't recall the date of each snowfall over the last 50 years, because it has little real impact on me, but keeping accurate track of those same storms can be of vital importance for some people who see these trends as both obvious and critical.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact