[Link] What opinions do you hold that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of effective altruists? Anonymous form.

Added Sep 26 2019: I’m not go­ing to do an anal­y­sis or sum­mary of these re­sponses – but I and oth­ers think it would be in­ter­est­ing to do so. If you’d like to do so, I’d wel­come that and will link your sum­mary/​anal­y­sis in the top of this post here. All the data is ac­cessible in the Google Spread­sheet be­low.

Sub­mit your an­swers anony­mously here: https://​​docs.google.com/​​forms/​​d/​​e/​​1FAIpQLSfiUmvT4Z6hXIk_1xAh9u-VcNzERUPyWGmJjJQypZb943Pjsg/​​viewform?usp=sf_link

See the re­sults here: https://​​docs.google.com/​​forms/​​d/​​e/​​1FAIpQLSfiUmvT4Z6hXIk_1xAh9u-VcNzERUPyWGmJjJQypZb943Pjsg/​​vie­w­an­a­lyt­ics?usp=form_confirm

And you can see all re­sponses be­yond just the first 100 here: https://​​docs.google.com/​​spread­sheets/​​d/​​1D-2QX9PiiisE2_yQZeQuX4QskH57VnuAEF4c3YlPJIA/​​edit?usp=sharing

In­spired by: http://​​www.paulgra­ham.com/​​say.html

Let’s start with a test: Do you have any opinions that you would be re­luc­tant to ex­press in front of a group of your peers?

If the an­swer is no, you might want to stop and think about that. If ev­ery­thing you be­lieve is some­thing you’re sup­posed to be­lieve, could that pos­si­bly be a co­in­ci­dence? Odds are it isn’t. Odds are you just think what you’re told.

Why this is a valuable exercise

Some would ask, why would one want to do this? Why de­liber­ately go pok­ing around among nasty, dis­rep­utable ideas? Why look un­der rocks?
I do it, first of all, for the same rea­son I did look un­der rocks as a kid: plain cu­ri­os­ity. And I’m es­pe­cially cu­ri­ous about any­thing that’s for­bid­den. Let me see and de­cide for my­self.
Se­cond, I do it be­cause I don’t like the idea of be­ing mis­taken. If, like other eras, we be­lieve things that will later seem ridicu­lous, I want to know what they are so that I, at least, can avoid be­liev­ing them.
Third, I do it be­cause it’s good for the brain. To do good work you need a brain that can go any­where. And you es­pe­cially need a brain that’s in the habit of go­ing where it’s not sup­posed to.
Great work tends to grow out of ideas that oth­ers have over­looked, and no idea is so over­looked as one that’s un­think­able. Nat­u­ral se­lec­tion, for ex­am­ple. It’s so sim­ple. Why didn’t any­one think of it be­fore? Well, that is all too ob­vi­ous. Dar­win him­self was care­ful to tip­toe around the im­pli­ca­tions of his the­ory. He wanted to spend his time think­ing about biol­ogy, not ar­gu­ing with peo­ple who ac­cused him of be­ing an athe­ist.

Thanks to Khor­ton for the sug­ges­tion to do it as a Google form.