Rationality 101 - how would you introduce a person to the rationalist concepts? What are the best topics to learn/explain first?

by rayalez1 min read3rd Mar 201616 comments


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How do you think curriculum of rationality 101 should look like? I want to make a brief course(a series of short animated youtube videos), ideally on the level accessible to a normal 14-17 year old person. Can you help me to make the list of concepts I should start with?

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52 Concepts To Add To Your Cognitive Toolkit -- a list of useful ideas

EDIT: The idea is that you could select some of these concepts, and make one video per concept.

http://status451.com/2016/01/06/splain-it-to-me/ <- Summed up succinctly: View disagreement as information exchange rather than a status game.

Reflecting on that post, I have a mixed style of discourse. I view low-information responses as nitpicking - status game-y. Solid contradiction, however, I regard to be useful, and tend to be quite appreciative of. I guess the question is whether low-information responses are useful in their own right, or whether, as a whole, they just produce a lot of noise obscuring more useful information.

Tetlock has 10 commandsments for Superforcasters at the end of his book. I think they would make good material for videos.

The are good empirical-based advice.

I wrote a best of LW article for Business Insider that might be helpful.

'become a PUA'?


I probably should have not put that in. I don't remember what I thought (or new) about PUA in 2011.

Start with cognitive biases and show how people fail to choose the correct decision, it will hook his attention. Then say that there are ways to improve your decision making.

Checking blogs about becoming more rational could help in explaining this better. I have read several post on Intentionalinsight.org this has helped me a lot they try their best in explaining better what Rationality concept it's all about.

How has it helped you specifically?

I have read blogs on intentional insight which has helped me in seeing reality clearly, knowing the various ways i could become successful while making effective decisions. I have also learnt how i could possibly control my emotions i must admit this has helped me a lot.

I do know that the Intentional Insights have a lot to offer in sharing their thoughts about this, reflecting on this post there are a lots of mixed values of experience that the Intentional Insights can bring to the lime light.

Yeah i agree with you they also have good blogs which could help us in becoming more rational.

As a newbie on Rationality, your idea of making YouTube videos should be great! Well, I suggest you'll start with the definition of terms and how the terms are being different from the norms. Since the target audience age bracket is 14 -17 yrs old, it would be better to present it with several illustrations, but not to that point that it's becoming comical.

Looking forward to this. Please notify me. :)

This is something we at Intentional Insights have been working on quite a bit. You're welcome to PM me or email me at gleb@intentionalinsights.org

Yeah that's true i also appreciate their efforts in writing good blogs with lot of ideals that could help us become more rational thinkers and also successful in future.

Thanks, and I appreciate your efforts on behalf of spreading these ideas as an Intentional Insights participant :-) Glad you've joined Less Wrong!