Abridged entry to the LessWrong community
Hint: Open links in new tabs (CTRL+click), so this index stays open.
There's a lot of material on LessWrong... just take a look at the sequences, top scoring, or recently promoted posts, and something will probably catch your eye. If you want a shorter introduction to the community, here is my personal pick of material to read or glance at, in order:
Selected from LessWrong Wiki; basic concept formulations to assure you that LessWrong treats abstract nonsense as it should: quickly.
- Map and territory, Rationality, Truth, Improper belief, Evidence, Bayes' theorem, Priors, Belief in belief.
Selected from Map and Territory (sequence):
- What do we mean by rationality?
- An Intuitive Explanation of Bayes' Theorem (for those not yet familiar)
- What is evidence?
- How to convince me that 2+2=3
- Occam's Razor
- The lens that sees its flaws
Selected from Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions:
- Making Beliefs Pay Rent
- The Virtue of Narrowness
- Hindsight Bias
- Fake Explanations
- Guessing the Teacher's Password
- Fake Causality
- Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions
- The Futility of Emergence
Selected from A Human's Guide to Words:
- How An Algorithm Feels From Inside
- Feel the Meaning
- Taboo Your Words
- Replace the Symbol with the Substance
Selected from Reductionism (sequence) (first half):
- Dissolving the Question
- Wrong Questions
- Righting a Wrong Question
- Probability is in the Mind
- Explaining vs. Explaining Away
- Fake Reductionism
Selected from Joy in the Merely Real:
- Joy in the Merely Real
- Bind Yourself to Reality
- If You Demand Magic, Magic Won't Help
- Mundane Magic
- The Beauty of Settled Science
- To Spread Science, Keep It Secret
Selected from Reductionism (sequence) (second half):
Selected from Zombies and supernaturality:
- Zombies! Zombies?
- GAZP vs. Giant Look-Up Tables
- Belief in the Implied Invisible
- Zombies: The Movie
- Excluding the Supernatural
(This list is always up for revision)
My rationalist imperative
- "I especially want to attract people in academia and positions of intellectual leadership to being actively and morally rational, since their attitudes spread to their students and apprentices. When you have an intelligent mentor who isn't using her intelligence to directly analyze and improve her own life, you're unconsciously less convinced it's a fruitful pursuit. When the opposite happens, it can really start a cascade.
- Provided such a cascade preserves peoples' sense of morality, which requires some serious care to ensure, it can be a great thing for them and the people around them."
I don't do sarcasm
On the internet, I am never being sarcastic. If you're already worried you're being tricked you with meta-sarcasm, then you understand my complaint: there's simply too much sarcasm online.
So I'm inviting you to relax. Please, accept that I'm at least a half-decent person, who's publicly pre-committing to sincerity because
- I value being understood, and
- I don't take pride in deceiving others.
In particular, I consider optimism a valuable commodity when it's justified, so I never portray it sarcastically. If I say "Good for you", it's because I actually mean it.