Rationality for Other People

by atucker1 min read11th Feb 201114 comments


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I'm putting this through discussion because I’ve never written a main section post before… If you have helpful criticism please comment with it, and if it does well I’ll post it in the main section when I get back from school tomorrow.

Things between the bars are intended to be in the final post, the rest are comments

There’s lots of things which can end the world. There’s even more things which can help improve or save the world. Having more people working more effectively on these things will make the world progress and improve faster, or better fight existential risks, respectively.

And yet for all of my intention to help do those things, I haven’t gotten a single other person to do it as well. Convincing someone else to work towards something is like devoting another lifetime to it, or doubling your efforts. And you only need to convince them once.

So there’s two things I want to learn how to do:

  1. Convince people to try and save the world
  2. Convince people to use more effective methodologies (especially with regards to world-saving)

I think that the rationalist community as a whole isn’t particularly good at doing these. Small efforts are made by individuals, but I think that most of the people who do try to do these run into the same problems.

I propose that we do more to centralize and document the solutions to these problems in order for our individual efforts to be more effective. This thread is for people who encounter problems and solutions for convincing other people.

  • I think that the activity of convincing people to try and save the world and using more effective methodologies should have a word or phrase. Suggestions?
  • Should it just be a thread? I feel like some of the particularly good comments would make good independent posts. Just link to the post version from in the thread?
  • I’m a bit worried that this sounds a bit culty… If you disagree please mention, and if you agree please tell me why.
  • This is a bit prompted by Alicorn's post , and some things which have recently happened in my life.


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