Hidden Agendas

I sometimes read a little Scott Aaronson.  He is obviously a bright and, I think, extremely sincere guy, but many of the questions he is interested in don't interest me that much - like a recent discussion of whether rational thinkers (or Bayesian agents with common priors) can honestly disagree.  That particular notion is not very interesting to me since I don't really believe humans can usefully be approximated by either Bayesian agents with common priors (or rational thinkers, for that matter.)

Anyway, I wound up reading a post on Robin Hanson.  In it he vehemently argues that Robin Hanson is absolutely not insincere or possessed of a hidden agenda.  I found this amusing since in the same post he discusses a recent book of Hanson's whose theme is that much of human activity is not directed towards its ostensible end but rather consists of "signalling."  Which pretty much by definition is insincere behavior with a hidden agenda.


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