Even if "do what makes you happy" were the best rationality advice, the big problem is figuring out what actually makes you happy, how to achieve it, and how to maintain/improve it. Getting drunk is pretty bad advice for a rationality standpoint, because it's sacrificing long term gain for short term pleasure, which is basically the opposite of what you should do. The man drinking at a bar all day is happier right now than the one working extra hours or studying, but in a few years, their happiness will probably be reversed as the latter's investment pays off and the former is still just drinking (only with more health problems).

Investment dude is just working so he can buy booze, yeah? If booze in this metaphor is pleasure anyway. He's saved up a bunch of stuff, but its not like he gets bonus points when he croaks for how much is in his bank account. Ultimately, the most efficient life only does as much of what you have to as necessary to do what you want to, yeah? Anything beyond that is a fail.

Rationality Quotes Thread February 2016

by elharo 1 min read2nd Feb 201697 comments


Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:

  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.
  • Post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.