Rationality Reading Group: Part H: Against Doublethink

by Gram_Stone1 min read27th Aug 20153 comments

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This is part of a semi-monthly reading group on Eliezer Yudkowsky's ebook, Rationality: From AI to Zombies. For more information about the group, see the announcement post.


Welcome to the Rationality reading group. This fortnight we discuss Part H: Against Doublethink (pp. 343-361)This post summarizes each article of the sequence, linking to the original LessWrong post where available.

H. Against Doublethink

81. Singlethink - The path to rationality begins when you see a great flaw in your existing art, and discover a drive to improve, to create new skills beyond the helpful but inadequate ones you found in books. Eliezer's first step was to catch what it felt like to shove an unwanted fact to the corner of his mind. Singlethink is the skill of not doublethinking.

82. Doublethink (Choosing to be Biased) - George Orwell wrote about what he called "doublethink", where a person was able to hold two contradictory thoughts in their mind simultaneously. While some argue that self deception can make you happier, doublethink will actually lead only to problems.

83. No, Really, I've Deceived Myself - Some people who have fallen into self-deception haven't actually deceived themselves. Some of them simply believe that they have deceived themselves, but have not actually done this.

84. Belief in Self-Deception - Deceiving yourself is harder than it seems. What looks like a successively adopted false belief may actually be just a belief in false belief.

85. Moore's Paradox - People often mistake reasons for endorsing a proposition for reasons to believe that proposition.

86. Don't Believe You'll Self-Deceive - It may be wise to tell yourself that you will not be able to successfully deceive yourself, because by telling yourself this, you may make it true.

 


This has been a collection of notes on the assigned sequence for this fortnight. The most important part of the reading group though is discussion, which is in the comments section. Please remember that this group contains a variety of levels of expertise: if a line of discussion seems too basic or too incomprehensible, look around for one that suits you better!

The next reading will cover Part I: Seeing with Fresh Eyes (pp. 365-406). The discussion will go live on Wednesday, 9 September 2015, right here on the discussion forum of LessWrong.

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The tag rationality-reading-group doesn't seem to work. Can it be that underscores must be used?

Wouldn't I have to add those tags to the posts?

I'm perfectly willing to do that for all posts thus far and all future posts if someone can tell me what tag or tags would be appropriate.