Recommended Rationalist Resources

by MichaelHoward1 min read5th Mar 200934 comments

6

Reading GroupCommunity
Personal Blog

I thought Recommended Rationalist Reading was very useful and interesting. Now we have voting and threading it seems a good time to comprehensively gather opinions on online material.

Please suggest high-quality links related to or useful for improving rationality. It could be a blog, a forum, a great essay, a reference site, an e-book, anything clickable. Anyone interested can then check out what looks promising and report back.

[edit]
There seems to be confusion... The post's for online material, not physical books. We already have Recommended Rationalist Reading, but as that hasn't got threading and voting, if people think it's a good idea I (or someone else) can do a seperate post for books [metaedit] ...not happening, is against blog guidelines. [/metaedit]

Looks like we're getting lots of suggestions, so please don't forget to vote on them so busier readers have an idea which ones are worth more investigating!
[/edit]


Contributors - if making multiple suggestions, please give each their own comment so we can vote on them separately. Click 'Help' for how to do links.

Voters - for top level comments containing suggestions (as oppose to comments replying to suggestions) please vote on the quality of the resource, not anything else in the comment. If you feel strongly about the comment quality, just post a sub-comment.

Here's 3 to get started:

34 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 8:59 AM
New Comment

Paul Graham's essays have been linked to on Overcoming Bias every now and then.

As some particular examples, What You Can't Say and Lies We Tell Kids are both recommended rationalist reading.

Critical Thinking Mini Lessons

At the Skeptic's Dictionary, I also recommend the parent site.

MIT Open Courseware

Great (somewhat incomplete) resource for learning science in general.

Charlie Munger gave a very accessible talk on rationality at Harvard Law School in the 90s: http://www.vinvesting.com/docs/munger/human_misjudgement.html

It seems to have good explanations, but without context or a point-by-point introduction, it's not for the beginner.

in the same vein: how about a post on rationalist games (such as the calibration quizzes mentioned recently). More specifically: most games reward the player for a rational appraisal of the actions available to him, but which games give feedback other than win/lose on how rational you were?

Nazgul: games like the ones on http://www.philosophersnet.com/games/ , which often come with discussions of contradictions or difficulties with the positions you take and links to further discussion?

(They're simple games, but I like'em anyway.)

Argh. I wish I'd caught this earlier. Okay, this would make for some nice consolidated reading but all these comments should be submitted separately to Less Wrong once your karma is high enough. They won't be promoted unless they're really good, they'll just be voted up and down as links, a la Reddit. Except that unlike Reddit you should include at least a line or two of description of what we expect to find there.

Also, book reviews should be, you know, real book reviews, as posts 'n stuff.

all these comments should be submitted separately to Less Wrong once your karma is high enough.

And they still can. But with this we get the opinions of those without a posting voice, and those who wouldn't want to devote a whole post to it but are happy to comment.

That and I thought it would be worthwhile to compare and contrast high-quality rationality resources being side-by-side.

So for clarification, this post shouldn't exist, and instead anyone who wants to mention a rationalist resource should post it as an article? Is that right?

That's the idea. Just remember that the article might not be promoted.

Quick online reviews because we can easily just go check it out for ourselves. Books require more resources to obtain so the description should be in-depth.

[-][anonymous]13y 0

Arg, Cameron, stop! :-) The post's for online material, not deadtree books. Although Amazon is an excellent resource, I'm not sure it deserve four mentions!

[reply to below...] That's OK. :-) I've edited the post to avoid confusion. Books may get a seperate post.

[-][anonymous]13y 3

Pardon me, I missed the exclusive to online part. :)

I wouldn't mind another post for those deadtree books, I've found that lot far more influential than all but Eleizer's online stuff.

[-][anonymous]13y 1

That's OK. :-) I've added an edit, so hopefully no-one else will get confused.

[-][anonymous]13y 0

That's OK. Hopefully the post's clear enough now.

Although we already have Recommended Rationalist Reading, that hasn't got threading and voting, so yeah, let's have a post for books if people think it's a good idea (I vote yes!)

If so I'd suggest everyone limits it to, say, their top 5 book choices, to keep quality up & avoid people pasting 20 books in to game the comment karma!

[edit] ...not happening, by order of the management :( [/edit]

[-][anonymous]13y 0

The Road to Reality : A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe (Physics, most of it. Written in a way that is actually a joy to read. A lot of the math it introduces comes in handy too.)

[-][anonymous]13y 0

A Practical Study of Argument (My introduction to traditional rationality. Hundreds of examples with worked answers.)

[-][anonymous]13y 0

The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (I keep coming back to this one. Forget 'excellence pornography'. This goes into detail on just how to become an expert in a field, really.)

Bayesian network learning by compiling to weighted MAX-SAT

This is not an introduction to bayesian networks; it is working code, which I find educational.

[-][anonymous]13y -1

Cameron Taylor LOOK Cameron Taylor Cameron Taylor LOOK Cameron Taylor

...please stop and reread the post!

Cameron Taylor LOOK Cameron Taylor Cameron Taylor LOOK Cameron Taylor

[-][anonymous]13y 1

Interesting. Race condition on the delete.

The link is to PROBABILITY THEORY: THE LOGIC OF SCIENCE by Jaynes

You can find the full PDF version (seems to be complete) via gigapedia.

Here, actually: http://ifile.it/23ulwa7/0521592712.rar rar pwd: gigle.ws

[-][anonymous]13y -1