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Mere Reality

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Mere Reality is the fourth book contained in the ebook Rationality: From AI to Zombies, by Eliezer Yudkowsky. It focuses on practical and philosophical questions related to science and the character of physical law.

Mere Reality contains six sequences of thematically connected essays, plus the stand-alone essay A Technical Explanation of Technical Explanation. These are all collected in the Rationality: From AI to Zombies ebook, but the essay names below also link to the original blog posts.

The previous book in the series is The Machine in the Ghost, and the next book is Mere Goodness.



O. Lawful Truth

181. Universal Fire
182. Universal Law
183. Is Reality Ugly?
184. Beautiful Probability
185. Outside the Laboratory
186. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Engines of Cognition
187. Perpetual Motion Beliefs
188. Searching for Bayes-Structure

P. Reductionism 101

189. Dissolving the Question
190. Wrong Questions
191. Righting a Wrong Question
192. Mind Projection Fallacy
193. Probability is in the Mind
194. The Quotation is not the Referent
195. Qualitatively Confused
196. Think Like Reality
197. Chaotic Inversion
198. Reductionism
199. Explaining vs. Explaining Away
200. Fake Reductionism
201. Savanna Poets

Q. Joy in the Merely Real

202. Joy in the Merely Real
203. Joy in Discovery
204. Bind Yourself to Reality
205. If You Demand Magic, Magic Won't Help
206. Mundane Magic
207. The Beauty of Settled Science
208. Amazing Breakthrough Day: April 1st
209. Is Humanism a Religion-Substitute?
210. Scarcity
211. The Sacred Mundane
212. To Spread Science, Keep It Secret
213. Initiation Ceremony

R. Physicalism 201

214. Hand vs. Fingers
215. Angry Atoms
216. Heat vs. Motion
217. Brain Breakthrough! It's Made of Neurons!
218. When Anthropomorphism Became Stupid
219. A Priori
220. Reductive Reference
221. Zombies! Zombies?
222. Zombie Responses
223. The Generalized Anti-Zombie Principle
224. GAZP vs. GLUT
225. Belief in the Implied Invisible
226. Zombies: The Movie
227. Excluding the Supernatural
228. Psychic Powers

S. Quantum Physics and Many Worlds

229. Quantum Explanations
230. Configurations and Amplitude
231. Joint Configurations
232. Distinct Configurations
233. Collapse Postulates
234. Decoherence is Simple
235. Decoherence is Falsifiable and Testable
236. Privileging the Hypothesis
237. Living in Many Worlds
238. Quantum Non-Realism
239. If Many-Worlds Had Come First
240. Where Philosophy Meets Science
241. Thou Art Physics
242. Many Worlds, One Best Guess

T. Science and Rationality

243. The Failures of Eld Science
244. The Dilemma: Science or Bayes?
245. Science Doesn't Trust Your Rationality
246. When Science Can't Help
247. Science Isn't Strict Enough
248. Do Scientists Already Know This Stuff?
249. No Safe Defense, Not Even Science
250. Changing the Definition of Science
251. Faster Than Science
252. Einstein's Speed
253. That Alien Message
254. My Childhood Role Model
255. Einstein's Superpowers
256. Class Project