LessWrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. This is a collection of our best essays from 2018, as determined by our 2018 Review. It contains over 40 redesigned graphs, packaged into a beautiful set of 5 books with each book small enough to fit in your pocket.
Each year thousands of posts are written to LessWrong. Since 2019, users come together once a year to review and vote on the best posts from two years ago. This is our attempt to build an online forum that rewards truth-seeking content that can stand the test of time, rather than short-term attention-seeking. 41 of the most highly rated essays in last year's review have been compiled in this book set. Meanwhile, this year's review is just getting started.
A scientist does not just try to understand how life works, chemicals combine, or physical objects move. Rather, they use the general scientific method in each area, empirically testing their beliefs to discover what's true. Similarly, a rationalist does not simply try to think clearly about their personal life, how civilization works, or what's true in a single domain like nutrition or machine learning.
A rationalist is someone who is curious about the general patterns that allow them to think clearly in any area. They want to understand the laws and tools that help them make good decisions in general. The essays here explore many elements of rationality, including questions about aesthetics, artificial intelligence, introspection, markets, altruism, probability theory... and much more.