A Failure to Disagree


Hey there! This entire website is a massive experiment. Feel free to keep clicking around, reading, listening, or if it feels like it's not your thing, no hard feelings!

This website provides the informational/explanatory backing for the A Failure to Disagree podcast.

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The title of this podcast and website comes from this paper I read a while back. The paper is join-authored by Daniel Kahneman and Gary Klein, titled:

Conditions for Intuitive Expertise: A Failure to Disagree

Daniel Kahneman wrote Thinking, Fast and Slow. I was intrigued to read the paper simply for that fact alone. It’s worth reading.

Get the paper on Scihub here

I’ve thought of this paper often. It was written by two “opposed” giants in the field of “intuition and expertise”. The authors collaborated on the paper to explore where their views overlapped and differed.

Here’s the beginning of the second paragraph of the paper:

A surprise awaited us when we got together to consider our joint field of interest. We found ourselves agreeing most of the time. Where we initially disagreed, we were usually able to converge upon a common position.

And thus, this project was born. I’d like to find where it seems like myself and someone else might be in disagreement, and I’ll see if we can end up in agreement.

The high-level theme

A large portion of what I’ll be discussing is material that’s interesting because of how provocative it is, or because of how it hints at underlying structures and realities in the world around us.

It might be that my “failure to disagree” statement is no stronger than:

Hello, {person}. I know you’re thoughtful, and I suspect that {idea/concept} is either beneficial, or interesting enough to justify spending the (minutes hours) you’ll end up spending on it.

I’m putting time and money into this project. I use rev.com for transcripts, and it costs me between $15 and $75 per episode. ($15 for the machine-generated, 80% accurate transcript, $75 for human-perfected, 99% accurate transcripts).

Eventually, I’m going to offer a “bounty” for people willing to really explore something and remain in disagreement with me.

My request of you

I’d like at least $1 from you. We all know the hassle of clicking around and adding a credit card is more expensive than the dollar you will actually spend.

The signaling value of that dollar (or the purchasing power + signaling value of any greater figure) is enormous.

If you’re reading these words, please sponsor me on github.com.

I know - it’s a bold request! I’m not asking for some of you, I’m asking for all of you.

At minimum, I request $1/mo. I know for a fact it’s more inconvenient to create a Github account (if needed) and then add a credit card than the fact that you’re parting with a dollar a month.

If you’re making solid money, and have the price of two Chipotle burritos to spare, sponsor me at $14/mo.

Your support, even at $1, is helpful to me in a way that is probably surprising to you. Start supporting me, and I’ll explain why. :)

- Josh