I often have ideas to do things that I know everyone else probably thinks are stupid. But I often like my dumb ideas. Using the inside view, my ideas seem very reasonable.

But given how stupid everyone else would probably think my weird proposal is, I’m willing to accept a Chesterton’s fence argument that I shouldn’t actually think I’m right. What I really want to do is discuss my weird proposal with someone.

This is kind of an embarrassing conversation to have though. In the past it has felt like an argument which I end up losing and looking dumb. “Hey there,” it feels like I am saying. “I know that this idea sounds weird but I don’t understand why it’s so weird and it sounds like a good idea to me. Now that I’ve convinced you that I’m an extremely clueless person, do you feel like arguing with me until I give up?”

I only noticed this pattern recently. In the past, I’ve dealt with this problem by not telling people about most of my stupid ideas, or only telling people who I don’t think are very smart (so that if they point out flaws in my ideas and I feel bad about it, I can beat them in an argument), or only telling smart people about them when I am more confident than usual that my idea is a good one (which is only a smallish fraction of my weird ideas; usually I am convinced that my idea is bad).

But now that I’ve identified this pattern, it’s less of a problem. I plan to explicitly call attention to the fact that my idea is probably bad. I will clarify that I am aware of the Chesterton’s fence argument against my current idea, and I probably won’t follow through with it until I’ve followed the usual Chesterton’s fence due diligence. I’ll explain that I’m mostly interested in discussing my idea because I want to improve my understanding of the world. Armed with loudly signaled humility, I will enthusiastically face the prospect of being corrected by my trusted friends and learning more about why normal things are normal!