Firstly, the current thesis of this is:

"Lying is just bad."

The thesis should be:

"We should be punishing liars more and here's why and how."

The essay should be organized around this thesis, put it at the beginning and end, and all the points should relate back to it.

You say you're directing the essay to people who agree with you, so maybe you can dispense with the 'why,' but in that case this entire essay should be about the 'how' and explanations for why the 'how' is good.

Secondly you're doing what I consider a very bad lie- which is argument through definition. You are trying to control people's definitions to attach behavior which you do not like to bad words. You're doing this when you say that a lie is anti-information, and that a liar is anyone who consistently conveys anti-information. You may feel that your definitions are more literally or morally correct, but the key point is that they are different than others. So you're using words in a way that's different from other people's, conveying anti-information because they're still using their own definitions, and not being explicit that this is what you're doing.

It's a type of emotional rewiring where you're attaching behavior you do not like to bad words. If you want to be honest- you should say explicitly that you believe the behavior is bad, and that we should enforce a norm against lying much more seriously, including by using harsher language. You shouldn't argue it by saying 'this is just what the word means objectively' and then using it that way in conversations with people who don't share that opinion.

You did not invent this style of influence, it's 1984-type shit.

Thirdly- the best type of editing cuts things out. You don't need to respond to comments in the intro, just put the post you wrote and all the necessary context. Here's how I would have it:

"I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback on my last post: “Lying is Cowardice, not Strategy”. Nice! I’ve been happy to see people discussing public honesty norms. This post is dedicated to people who tried to understand and/or apply my ideas, but are confused, because there is a lot that I have just not written. To help with this, in this post, I’ll cover _____thesis_____."

And then into your first point.

Make sure when you edit, you're cutting out everything unnecessary. That means that things that feel like content but do not contribute to the main thesis need to go.

Finally- and this is only if you truly want to be great, you need to write about things you really deeply know. When I write I have a habit of writing 'creatively.' I write advice that I have not attempted and for people who are not me, and then I have to realize this and cut it all out. This type of writing is anti-information that people put out with the justification that everyone else is doing it.

I've been reading self-help for a while, and there is no end to it.

Do you know that your advice works? What have you tried? What were the results? Have you put any advice in your writing which you have not attempted yourself?

Do you have something worth writing about?


To summarize:

1. Have a thesis and organize around it

2. Don't use definitions as arguments

3. Cut out everything irrelevant

4. Write about the things you deeply know and can share

I really think you're on the right path, pursuing truth. Follow it as far as it will take you and then go a little more.

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Awesome post! Perfectly clear by the way--you don't need a ghost writer. Whatever gave you that idea? One thing I got from the discussion is that honesty and social norms of behavior are often incompatible. I think that does not bode well for us.

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This could generally benefit a lot from shifting it's focus to truth, rather than lies. Much of the same points could be applied and the post would be more pleasant and inspiring to read, rather than feeling like a long, rambling complaint.

See some of my other points here: https://x.com/Johndav51917338/status/1725611512419496274?s=20

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