Rationality: Abridged

by Quaerendo 1 min read6th Jan 201825 comments


This was originally planned for release around Christmas, but our old friend Mr. Planning Fallacy said no. The best time to plant an oak tree is twenty years ago; the second-best time is today.

I present to you: Rationality Abridged -- a 120-page nearly 50,000-word summary of "Rationality: From AI to Zombies". Yes, it's almost a short book. But it is also true that it's less than 1/10th the length of the original. That should give you some perspective on how massively long R:AZ actually is.

As I note in the Preface, part of what motivated me to write this was the fact that the existing summaries out there (like the ones on the LW Wiki, or the Whirlwind Tour) are too short, are incomplete (e.g. not summarizing the "interludes"), and lack illustrations or a glossary. As such, they are mainly useful for those who have already read the articles to quickly glance at what it was about so they could refresh their memory. My aim was to serve that same purpose, while also being somewhat more detailed/extensive and including more examples from the articles in the summaries, so that they could also be used by newcomers to the rationality community to understand the key points. Thus, it is essentially a heavily abridged version of R:AZ.

Here is the link to the document. It is a PDF file (size 2.80MB), although if someone wants to convert it to .epub or .mobi format and share it here, you're welcome to.

There is also a text copy at my brand new blog: perpetualcanon.blogspot.com/p/rationality.html

I hope you enjoy it.

(By the way, this is my first post. I've been lurking around for a while.)