Give Up Seventy Percent Of The Way Through The Hyperstitious Slur Cascade

Source: Astral Codex Ten
by Scott Alexander

“A hyperstition is a belief which becomes true if people believe it’s true. For example, ‘Dogecoin is a great short-term investment and you need to buy it right now!’ is true if everyone believes it is true; lots of people will buy Dogecoin and it will go way up. ‘The bank is collapsing and you need to get your money out right away’ is likewise true; if everyone believes it, there will be a run on the bank. … Slurs are like this too. Fifty years ago, ‘Negro’ was the respectable, scholarly term for black people, used by everyone from white academics to Malcolm X to Martin Luther King. … now it’s a slur and society demands that politicians resign if they use it.” (03/08/23)