Preceded by: Curating "The Epistemic Sequences" (list v.0.1)
Epistemic status: speculations and ideations from me about the potential for further progress on broadly accessible instrumental rationality content.
In Curating "The Epistemic Sequences", I explained how the epistemic content of the LessWrong sequences has a different epistemic status than the instrumental content, i.e.., content on how to behave. So what's next for instrumental rationality? It would be great if there were a how-to-behave version of the sequences that was built on foundations as strong as logic, probability, statistics, and causal inference.
Unfortunately, those foundations don't yet exist. There aren't formal foundations for decision theory, game theory, ethics, meta-ethics, and political theory that are "tried and true" the way logic, probability, statistics, and causal inference ("L+P+S+C") are.
Many people argue that universally-useful how-to-behave instructions can't exist, on the the grounds that "philosophers have been trying to solve these issues for millennia", but I'm not sure that's a strong case. After all, philosophers had been trying to develop truth-seeking techniques for millennia prior to the 20th century, and then along came a bunch of progress in L+P+S+C with widespread applications, enabling what might be called an "epistemic enlightenment (for individuals)", which arguably culminated in the epistemic content of the LessWrong sequences. And, perhaps in the next decade, there could be progress in the theory of embedded agency and multi-agent rationality ("E+M") leading to real-world applications as robustly useful and well-vetted as L+P+S+C are today. If breakthroughs in embedded & multi-agent rationality then remained in practice for something like 30 years of applications in broad-sweeping domains (or, an AI-augmented equivalent of 30 human-civilization-years) the way L+P+S+C have, perhaps then will be a good time for someone to write the "The Instrumental Sequences", and a new generation of instrumentally enlightened people will look back and wonder why it was considered impossible to derive a principled account of how individuals should behave.