Today's post, ...What's a bias, again? was originally published on 27 November 2006. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):

Biases are obstacles to truth seeking caused by one's own mental machinery.

Discuss the post here (rather than in the comments to the original post).

This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was  Why truth? And... and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.

Sequence reruns are a community-driven effort. You can participate by re-reading the sequence post, discussing it here, posting the next day's sequence reruns post, or summarizing forthcoming articles on the wiki. Go here for more details, or to have meta discussions about the Rerunning the Sequences series.

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This seems like a really good introductory post. I didn't care as much for the two previous posts.

The italic section links do not appear to work.

Fixed 'em.


You're completely welcome, but no thanks are necessary; I'm just doing my job - I am sworn to use my powers for good ;)

I hope that oath isn't the only thing holding you back from world (or at least LW) domination...

Well, even the oath would be useless if it weren't combined with my own indelible sense of shining justice for great righteousness.

Well you might strongly value keeping oaths, but otherwise value becoming an evil overlord. Or perhaps your idea of great righteousness is so strange that you need to take over the world in order to achieve it. You're not a baby eater are you?

I'm not a baby eater. I do not wish to become an evil overlord. My idea of great righteousness is foreign to many people here but on a practical level in the real world, it often comes to the same thing.

If a particular impediment to accurate belief is a bias, what actionable consequences does that have relative to it not being a bias? EY seems to hint at biases being more difficult to correct than other impediments, and intuitively that makes sense, but is the actual approach any different?

I second this question.