A Map of the Lesswrong-O-Sphere of Interest

by Elo 6mo4th May 20191 min read1 comment

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It's clear to me that we on lesswrong operate on a pile of different interest areas. In my head I am doing a sorting method that divides topics. There's not just topics I (personally) like and topics I don't like but also many sub-topics within those. Here's a list of the domain areas as I see them:

Lesswrong:

  • Artificial intelligence
    • Programming (not just AI)
    • Machine learning
    • Ethics
    • Math
      • Decision theory
  • Philosophy
    • Effective Altruism (mostly on the EA forum)
    • Ethics
    • Scientific method and crisis
    • Decision problems
  • Human Psychology
    • Therapy and related personal work
    • Biases and related thinking
    • Group thinking and how to work with people
    • Personal development (other than therapy)
    • How humans think (consciousness - overlapping with Post-rationality area)
      • Guides for doing things, like problem solving
      • Thinking exercises to try
      • reports/retrospective reflection on some event that has happened
  • Post-rationality
    • Buddhism
    • Mysticism
    • Woo
    • map/territory blurring
  • Human health and medical
    • Wellness
    • Longevity
    • Diet
    • Cryonics (uncommon)
  • Society
    • Economics
      • forecasting/prediction
    • History
    • Culture
      • The state of culture in other places virtually or physically
    • Book reviews
  • Meta: how lesswrong works or could work.
  • Original sequences and relevant theory or ongoing development (as opposed to new sequences)
  • Uncommon areas
    • Physics
    • Politics (discouraged)
    • Big/small (new) ideas and theories

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We’re not doing one thing. We’re not even doing three things, we are interested in a whole lot more topics. I could reformat the list to include more questions, along the lines of, “what are we trying to answer when we ask a history question?” but that’s not it. My point here is that we are investigating a diverse bunch of topics, and there’s a structure to our pattern. Even if it might look like a mess.

For me, I know AI is not my domain. EA, decision theory are not my domain. My domain is Humans and how they work, how they think, and (personally) how I relate to the world around me.

Personally, in regard to archipelago of forums or dividing up topics, I know I don’t comment on AI information, but I do comment on human, PR and a few other specific topics.

This post is to follow this comment because I wanted to expand on my understanding of where lesswrong has moved since the original sequence materials.

Maybe you have a better classification of the many diverse topics we cover, but as a start, here’s what’s floating in my head. Prove me wrong by writing your own list of what is covered by lesswrong and what domains you engage in.

What did I miss?

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