John_Maxwell_IV comments on Open Thread #41 - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 03 September 2018 02:49:46AM *  9 points [-]

[Intercultural online communication]

The EA Hotel recently hosted EA London's weeklong retreat, and I got a chance to meet lots of EAs in Europe, which was great! One of the many interesting discussions I had was about intercultural communication differences in online discussion. Apparently my habit of spending a few minutes thinking about someone's post and writing the first thing that comes into my head as a comment is "very American". It seems that some EAs in the UK like to be fairly certain about their ideas before sharing them online, and when they do share their ideas, they put more effort into hedging their statements to communicate the correct level of confidence. I thought this was important for forum readers to know; I would hate for people to think that the thoughts I have off the top of my head are carefully considered, and similarly, it seems worth knowing that some forum users comment infrequently because they want the thoughts they do share to carry more weight. This is plausibly more of a UK vs US cultural difference than a cultural difference between the UK & US EA communities specifically, but it still seems worth knowing.