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This is a short list of common terms and phrases used on LessWrong.

See also:



ADBOC
Agree Denotationally, But Object Connotatively
Discussion in When Truth Isn't Enough
AFAICT
As Far As I Can Tell
Affect
Mood or emotion as demonstrated in external physical signs.
Affective death spiral
When positive attributions combine with the halo effect in a positive feedback loop.
AGI
Artificial general intelligence
Anti-epistemology
Bad rules for thinking itself, capable of protecting false beliefs.
Bayesian
The secret technical codeword that cognitive scientists use to mean "rational". Right up there with cognitive bias as an absolutely fundamental concept on Less Wrong.
Beisutsukai
A fictional secret society of Bayesians.
Belief update
What you do to your beliefs, opinions and cognitive structure when new evidence comes along.
Blues, Greens
Roman Empire chariot-racing teams that became part of politics. Used in place of real party names. See Mind-killer.
CEV
Coherent Extrapolated Volition
"In poetic terms, our coherent extrapolated volition is our wish if we knew more, thought faster, were more the people we wished we were, had grown up farther together; where the extrapolation converges rather than diverges, where our wishes cohere rather than interfere; extrapolated as we wish that extrapolated, interpreted as we wish that interpreted."
Clever arguer
Someone skilled at writing convincing-sounding arguments for an existing belief. Inventing clever arguments for a belief does not change the truth value of the belief.
Discussed in "The Bottom Line"
Consequentialism
A moral theory that places value on the consequences of actions. Covered in more depth here.
Crisis of faith
What to have when you may have been quite wrong for a long time.
Dark arts
Rhetorical techniques crafted to exploit human cognitive biases. Considered bad behaviour even if the belief you want to communicate is good.
Deontology/ deontological ethics
Deontological ethics (from Greek deon, "obligation, duty"; and -logia) is an approach to ethics that judges the morality of an action based on the action's adherence to a rule or rules. See Wikipedia article on deontological ethics for more. Contrast consequentialism.
EEA
Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness
An Evolutionary psychology term synonymous with the more commonly-used "ancestral environment". For humans, refers to the state of tribal bands of hunter-gatherers.
Egan's law
"It all adds up to normality." Surprising truths do not make the sky orange and grey; it stays blue.
ETA
Edited To Add (though some would rather you say "Edit:" instead)
EY
Eliezer Yudkowsky
FAI
Friendly AI
FOOM
Onomatopoetic vernacular for an intelligence explosion.
Fully general counterargument
An argument which can be used to discount any conclusion the arguer does not like.
Fuzzies
The desired but less useful counterpart to utils. They make you feel you're altruistic and socially contributing.
Hedon
A unit philosophers use to quantify pleasure. (Note: no actual quantifying is done.)
Hollywood rationality
What Spock does, not what actual rationalists do.
IA
Intelligence augmentation
IAWYC
I Agree With Your Conclusion
Generally used when nitpicking, to make it clear that the nitpicks are not meant to represent actual disagreement. Discussed in Support That Sounds Like Dissent.
I don't know
Something that can't be entirely true if you can even formulate a question.
IMO/IMHO
In my (humble) opinion
Inferential distance
The number of inferences, or intermediate steps, it takes someone to get from their existing knowledge to an understanding of the point you're making. See also illusion of transparency.
ISTM
It Seems To Me
Kolmogorov complexity
Given a string, the length of the shortest possible program that prints it.
LCPW
Least convenient possible world
A technique used to prevent oneself from evading the point of a question by nitpicking details.
Logical rudeness
A response to criticism which insulates the responder from having to address the criticism directly, without appearing to be conventional rudeness.
LW
Less Wrong
Meetup
Groups of Less Wrong members sometimes arrange to meet each other in meat space. Some geographic areas have groups that do this regularly.
Mind-killer
A topic that reliably produces biased discussions, e.g. politics or Pick-Up Artists.
MoR
Also HPMoR, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Motivated cognition
Reasoning used to reach desired conclusions rather than true conclusions.
MWI
Many-Worlds Interpretation, an interpretation of quantum mechanics advocated in Eliezer Yudkowsky's quantum mechanics sequence
NPC
Non-Player Character (think of an MMORPG like World of Warcraft that has characters controlled by humans and characters controlled by a computer; the characters controlled by humans would be PCs (player characters) and the characters controlled by a computer would be NPCs (non-player characters))
Noncentral fallacy
A rhetorical move often used in political, philosophical, and cultural arguments. "X is in a category whose archetypal member gives us a certain emotional reaction. Therefore, we should apply that emotional reaction to X, even though it is not a central category member."
OB
Overcoming Bias
One-box
One of the choices for Newcomb's problem.
Omega
A hypothetical superintelligent being, canonically found in Newcomb's problem.
Ontology/ontological
The philosophical study of the nature of being, existence, or reality, deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. See also ontological argument at Wikipedia for an example of (ab)using ontology to try and prove the existence of God.
Paperclip maximizer
An AI that has been created to maximize the number of paperclips in the universe. A hypothetical unfriendly artificial intelligence.
Paranoid debating
A group estimation game in which one player, unknown to the others, tries to subvert the group estimate.
Password
The answer you guess instead of actually understanding the problem. See Guessing the teacher's password
PC
Player Character (think of an MMORPG like World of Warcraft that has characters controlled by humans and characters controlled by a computer; the characters controlled by humans would be PCs (player characters) and the characters controlled by a computer would be NPCs (non-player characters))
PCT
Perceptual control theory
PD
Prisoner's dilemma
Philosophical zombie or P-Zombie
A creature which looks and behaves indistinguishably from a human down to the atomic level, but is not conscious. See Zombies (sequence)
Priors
What you update from in Bayesian calculations. In practical terms, everything you think you know now.
Privileging the hypothesis
The fallacy of singling out a specific hypothesis for investigation when there isn't enough evidence at hand to select this hypothesis over others.
"We have no idea who committed the murder, so let's consider the possibility that Mortimer Q. Snodgrass did it, and investigate him."
"The origin of the universe sure is mysterious! Have you considered that it could have been done by the God of the Bible?"
QALY
Quality-adjusted life year; a concept from the economics of health care
Rationalist taboo
A technique for unpacking words into concepts: taboo the use of a given word or its synonyms. Particularly useful in arguments over definitions.
Reversed stupidity is not intelligence
"The world's greatest fool may say the Sun is shining, but that doesn't make it dark out."
Reality is normal
Semantic stopsign
A term that looks like an explanation but, on closer examination, doesn't actually explain anything. Also called curiosity stopper.
Shut up and multiply
How to do a utility calculation without scope insensitivity.
Signaling
Conveying information by performing an action which would be costly to perform, if the information were not true.
Solomonoff induction
A formalized version of Occam's razor based on Kolmogorov complexity.
Steel man
A term for the opposite of a Straw Man
Taboo the word ...
See rationalist taboo.
Teleology
Discussing an event as though it were caused by its future consequences.
tl;dr
Too long; didn't read.
Polite use: one-line summary at top of your long article. Impolite use: dismissive response to another's long piece of writing or unparagraphed slab of text.
Topic that must not be named
When LessWrong was started, Eliezer put a temporary moratorium on discussion of the Singularity or AI. You will see this used in old discussions to allude to these topics.
Two-box
One of the choices for Newcomb's problem.
Tsuyoku naritai
Japanese: "I want to become stronger."
uFAI
Unfriendly AI
Ugh field
A subject that is thought about less over time due to behavioral conditioning.
Utility function
A utility function assigns numerical values ("utilities") to outcomes, in such a way that outcomes with higher utilities are always preferred to outcomes with lower utilities.
Utils
Units of utility; sometimes called "utilons". Contrast fuzzies.
Update
See Belief update.
WBE
Whole Brain Emulation
YMMV
Your Mileage May Vary
See Other-optimizing