A recent experience reminded me that basics are really important. On LW we talk a lot about advanced aspects of rationality.

If you would have to describe the basics, what would you say? What things are so obvious for you about rationality that they usually go without saying?

Showing 3 of 6 replies (Click to show all)
  1. People can change (e.g. update on beliefs, self-improve).
  2. How to choose your actions - think about your goals, think what steps achieve them in the best way, act on those steps.
  3. There is such a thing as objective truth.

Amazing how the basic pillars of rationality are things other people so often don't agree with, even though they seem so dead obvious to me.

6NancyLebovitz6yYou can frequently make your life better by paying attention to what you're doing, looking for possible improvements, trying your ideas, and observing whether the improvements happen.
3Qiaochu_Yuan6yI run on hardware that was optimized by millions of years of evolution to do the sort of things my ancestors did tens of thousands of years ago, not the sort of things I do now.

Open thread, January 25- February 1

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read25th Jan 2014318 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.