Difference between revisions of "Rationalist movement"

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The most recent popular illustration of the communities is from September 2014 on [[StarSlaterCodex]]<ref>http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/05/mapmaker-mapmaker-make-me-a-map/</ref> Scott Alexander has also suggested the following definition in 2016:<ref>http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/04/04/the-ideology-is-not-the-movement/</ref>
 
The most recent popular illustration of the communities is from September 2014 on [[StarSlaterCodex]]<ref>http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/05/mapmaker-mapmaker-make-me-a-map/</ref> Scott Alexander has also suggested the following definition in 2016:<ref>http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/04/04/the-ideology-is-not-the-movement/</ref>
<blockquote>'''Rationalists''': The rationalist community is a group of people (of which I’m a part) who met reading the site [[Less Wrong]] and who tend to hang out together online, sometimes hang out together in real life, and tend to befriend each other, work with each other, date each other, and generally move in the same social circles. Some people call it a cult, but that’s more a sign of some people having lost vocabulary for anything between “totally atomized individuals” and “outright cult” than any particular cultishness.
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<blockquote>'''Rationalists''': The rationalist community is a group of people (of which I’m a part) who met reading the site [[Less Wrong]] and who tend to hang out together online, [[Less Wrong meetup groups|sometimes hang out together in real life]], and tend to befriend each other, work with each other, date each other, and generally move in the same social circles. Some people call it a cult, but that’s more a sign of some people having lost vocabulary for anything between “totally atomized individuals” and “outright cult” than any particular cultishness.
  
 
But people keep asking me what exactly the rationalist community is. Like, what is the thing they believe that makes them rationalists? It can’t just be about being [[Rationalism|rational]], because loads of people are interested in that and most of them aren’t part of the community. And it can’t just be about [[transhumanism]] because there are a lot of transhumanists who aren’t rationalists, and lots of rationalists who aren’t transhumanists. And it can’t just be about [[Bayesian|Bayesianism]], because pretty much everyone, rationalist or otherwise, agrees that is a kind of statistics that is useful for some things but not others. So what, exactly, is it?
 
But people keep asking me what exactly the rationalist community is. Like, what is the thing they believe that makes them rationalists? It can’t just be about being [[Rationalism|rational]], because loads of people are interested in that and most of them aren’t part of the community. And it can’t just be about [[transhumanism]] because there are a lot of transhumanists who aren’t rationalists, and lots of rationalists who aren’t transhumanists. And it can’t just be about [[Bayesian|Bayesianism]], because pretty much everyone, rationalist or otherwise, agrees that is a kind of statistics that is useful for some things but not others. So what, exactly, is it?

Revision as of 01:39, 15 April 2017

The rationalist movement represents a set of modes of bayesian thinking from self-described rationalists typically associated with the less wrong diaspora.

The most recent popular illustration of the communities is from September 2014 on StarSlaterCodex[1] Scott Alexander has also suggested the following definition in 2016:[2]

Rationalists: The rationalist community is a group of people (of which I’m a part) who met reading the site Less Wrong and who tend to hang out together online, sometimes hang out together in real life, and tend to befriend each other, work with each other, date each other, and generally move in the same social circles. Some people call it a cult, but that’s more a sign of some people having lost vocabulary for anything between “totally atomized individuals” and “outright cult” than any particular cultishness.

But people keep asking me what exactly the rationalist community is. Like, what is the thing they believe that makes them rationalists? It can’t just be about being rational, because loads of people are interested in that and most of them aren’t part of the community. And it can’t just be about transhumanism because there are a lot of transhumanists who aren’t rationalists, and lots of rationalists who aren’t transhumanists. And it can’t just be about Bayesianism, because pretty much everyone, rationalist or otherwise, agrees that is a kind of statistics that is useful for some things but not others. So what, exactly, is it?

This question has always bothered me, but now after thinking about it a lot I finally have a clear answer: rationalism is the belief that Eliezer Yudkowsky is the rightful caliph.

References