Wikipedia has become one of the dominant pillars of the internet and a shining success of knowledge. And on Wikipedia, "Citation Needed" makes sense - because they're trying to build an encyclopedia with references.
Some people don't seem to get that the entire world isn't an encyclopedia.
When you're having a discussion somewhere online, replying to something you dislike with "Citation Needed" is usually counterproductive to good discussion.
Yes, sometimes citation is needed. Especially if something seems off. But here's some guidelines to not looking stupid when you're having a discussion -
1. Do at least one Google search before saying "citation needed" - if there's clear support on your first google search, it's a fact you don't know, not some craziness from your discussion opponent.
2. Ask yourself, "Am I only applying the citation scrutiny because I dislike the point the other person is making?" Citation-needed can be a pretty passive aggressive way to disagree. It implies that the person speaking doesn't know what they're talking about. But, even if that's the case, then...
3. The more polite thing to do is express why you're curious on sources. Something like, "My experience doesn't match that, is that really how it is?" Or, "I've read the opposite... do you have any stats on this?" Or, "That doesn't sound right. Do you have a cite?" That promotes discussion. Unless you really do think they're crazy, in which case...
4. Just grow a set of balls and disagree. If you think they're wrong, just say they're wrong. Maybe link to a source. Or just state your opinion.
"Citation Needed" says "Go spend 10 minutes getting me sources before I'll bother to engage you." If someone sounds totally wrong, just say you disagree and what the facts are. If you don't know, Google it. If you don't see anything, say that and then ask where they got their source.
This same thing applies to, "How can you say that without backing it up with facts?" and other variations. At least, at the very least, please do one google search. Your discussions will improve, and the internet will thank you.
Related to: Rationalists Should Win, Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate, Can Humanism Match Religion's Output?, Humans Are Not Automatically Strategic, Paul Graham's "Why Nerds Are Unpopular"
The "Prisoner's Dilemma" refers to a game theory problem developed in the 1950's. Two prisoners are taken and interrogated separately. If either of them confesses and betrays the other person - "defecting" - they'll receive a reduced sentence, and their partner will get a greater sentence. However, if both defect, then they'll both receive higher sentences than if neither of them confessed.
This brings the prisoner to a strange problem. The best solution individually is to defect. But if both take the individually best solution, then they'll be worst off overall. This has wide ranging implications for international relations, negotiation, politics, and many other fields.
Members of LessWrong are incredibly smart people who tend to like game theory, and debate and explore and try to understand problems like this. But, does knowing game theory actually make you more effective in real life?
I think the answer is yes, with a caveat - you need the basic social skills to implement your game theory solution. The worst-case scenario in an interrogation would be to "defect by accident" - meaning that you'd just blurt out something stupidly because you didn't think it through before speaking. This might result in you and your partner both receiving higher sentences... a very bad situation. Game theory doesn't take over until basic skill conditions are met, so that you could actually execute any plan you come up with.
I was a pretty good reader as a kid. My mom recounts me sitting in the corner reading in pre-school instead of doing whatever other pre-schoolers did. In Kindergarten, I was praised for reading more books than any other kid. Throughout the elementary school summers, I dominated the summer reading programs in all the neighboring cities.
Eventually, I started to realize that all of these books are the same. Sometime when I was 10, I started to realize every book seemed to be about some derpy kid who eventually overcame his fears and saved the world, or at least his friend group.
I had the intellectual ability to read YA and adult books at the time, but not the emotional maturity. So, I hit a standstill.
Time passes on, I get into Classics (aka: any title whose name being uttered made me sound smart). I got a Kindle and subsequently got into Indie trash, at one point reading one book per day. Then the Kindle broke and I had no clue what to do.
I went through a massive overhaul on how I thought about reading, which leads us to how I read today.