5 Project Hufflepuff Suggestions for the Rationality Community

by lifelonglearner 3y4th Mar 20172 min read35 comments

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<cross-posed on Facebook>


In the spirit of Project Hufflepuff, I’m listing out some ideas for things I would like to see in the rationality community, which seem like perhaps useful things to have. I dunno if all of these are actually good ideas, but it seems better to throw some things out there and iterate.

 

Ideas:


Idea 1) A more coherent summary of all the different ideas that are happening across all the rationalist blogs. I know LessWrong is trying to become more of a Schelling point, but I think a central forum is still suboptimal for what I want. I’d like something that just takes the best ideas everyone’s been brewing and centralizes them in one place so I can quickly browse them all and dive deep if something looks interesting.


Suggestions:

A) A bi-weekly (or some other period) newsletter where rationalists can summarize their best insights of the past weeks in 100 words or less, with links to their content.

B) An actual section of LessWrong that does the above, so people can comment / respond to the ideas.


Thoughts:

This seems straightforward and doable, conditional on commitment from 5-10 people in the community. If other people are also excited, I’m happy to reach out and get this thing started.



Idea 2) A general tool/app for being able to coordinate. I’d be happy to lend some fraction of my time/effort in order to help solve coordination problems. It’s likely other people feel the same way. I’d like a way to both pledge my commitment and stay updated on things that I might be able to plausibly Cooperate on.


Suggestions:

A) An app that is managed by someone, which sends out broadcasts for action every so often. I’m aware that similar things / platforms already exist, so maybe we could just leverage an existing one for this purpose.


Thoughts:

In abstract, this seems good. Wondering what others think / what sorts of coordination problems this would be good for. The main value here is being confident in *actually* getting coordination from the X people who’ve signed up.


Idea 3) More rationality materials that aren’t blogs. The rationality community seems fairly saturated with blogs. Maybe we could do with more webcomics, videos, or something else?


Suggestions:

A) Brainstorm good content from other mediums, benefits / drawbacks, and see why we might want content in other forms.

B) Convince people who already make such mediums to touch on rationalist ideas, sort of like what SMBC does.


Thoughts:

I’d be willing to start up either a webcomic or a video series, conditional on funding. Anyone interested in sponsoring? Happy to have a discussion below.

 

EDIT:

Links to things I've done for additional evidence:

 


Idea 4) More systematic tools to master rationality techniques. To my knowledge, only a small handful of people have really tried to implement Systemization to learning rationality, of whom Malcolm and Brienne are the most visible. I’d like to see some more attempts at Actually Trying to learn techniques.


Suggestions:

A) General meeting place to discuss the learning / practice.

B) Accountability partners + Skype check-ins .

C) List of examples of actually using the techniques + quantified self to get stats.


Thoughts:

I think finding more optimal ways to do this is very important. There is a big step between knowing how techniques work and actually finding ways to do them. I'd be excited to talk more about this Idea.


Idea 5) More online tools that facilitate rationality-things. A lot of rationality techniques seem like they could be operationalized to plausibly provide value.


Suggestions:

A) An online site for Double Cruxing, where people can search for someone to DC with, look at other ongoing DC’s, or propose topics to DC on.

B) Chatbots that integrate things like Murphyjitsu or ask debugging questions.


Thoughts:

I’m working on building a Murphyjitsu chatbot for building up my coding skill. The Double Crux site sounds really cool, and I’d be happy to do some visual mockups if that would help people’s internal picture of how that might work out. I am unsure of my ability to do the actual coding, though.

 

 

Conclusion:

Those are the ideas I currently have. Very excited to hear what other people think of them, and how we might be able to get the awesome ones into place. Also, feel free to comment on the FB post, too, if you want to signal boost.

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