I see basically every post that gets submitted to LessWrong, whereas many users come in and read things more occasionally, so I thought I'd list 10 posts I like in the 2018 Review that people might have missed.
I wasn't able to write quick reviews of each of them, so this is more like a list of nominations. I've left out a few posts that I expect will naturally be very popular.
- Naming the Nameless by Sarah Constantin
- This points to a variety of specific mechanisms and gears by which culture and aesthetics affect our judgments and our choices, and combines them into an essay that walked me much further than I was before-hand in noticing these effects. I think it might be in my top 5 posts of 2018.
- Explicit and Implicit Communication by lionhearted
- This has some powerful arguments about when not to say things out loud - when not to make background assumptions explicit - which I think is a really powerful datapoint for a rationalist to take on board. And the anti-Nazi 'Simple Sabotage Field Manual' is amazing.
- Challenges to Christiano's capability amplification proposal + Paul's research agenda FAQ by Eliezer Yudkowsky and zhukeepa (respectively)
- These together are maybe the first time I really understood what Paul's ideas were. Really helpful. I'm mostly talking about the Eliezer-Paul dialogue, both on Eliezer's post, and in the comments of Alex's post. I appreciate zhukeepa putting in the explanatory work post as a necessary step for that dialogue to continue.
- Varieties of Argumentative Experience by Scott Alexander
- So. Many. Examples. This is a strong step forward in conceptualising arguments and disagreements, written by someone who's read and been involved in an incredible amount of good (and bad) ones on the internet.
- Unrolling social metacognition: Three levels of meta are not enough. by Academian
- This very clearly lays out the iterative process by which social emotions and attitudes are built up. Foundational for a lot of social modelling.
- Act of Charity by Jessicata
- A thoughtful dialogue throwing into contrast a lot of key intuitions around deception, self-deception, and ethics.
- Public Positions and Private Guts by Vaniver
- This post says a lot about how formal communication ignores many messy parts of what it's actually like being a human, that helps show how what communication needs to be changes at scale.
- Optimization Amplifies by Scott Garrabrant
- One of the most important ideas IMO when thinking about AI and AI alignment. Best summarised by the line: "I am not just saying that adversarial optimization makes small probabilities of failure large. I am saying that in general any optimization at all messes with small probabilities and errors drastically."
- Intelligent Social Web by Valentine
- Really well-written explanation of a basic way of understanding social dynamics, that helps me understand a lot of my experiences.
- Prediction Markets: When Do They Work by Zvi
- This post communicates a lot of Zvi's taste and experience about how to design basic markets - prediction markets, in particular. Shaped a lot of my thinking about this subject, and has been a good guide when I've been (a little bit) involved in trying to build forecasting infrastructure.
I'd be interested to see posts that other users really liked.