I've just noticed when searching for "rationality" with Google, HP:MoR is the second hit. Wikipedia is top, which is both good and expected - but I was suprised to see HP:MoR so high up.

I think it's a good thing, anyone looking for info about rationality seems likly to be suprised by Harry Potter being mentioend, and then have a look at it.

The first mention of Less Wrong is on the second page of results, but I wouldn't expect "Less Wrong" to be as attention grabbing as "Harry Potter" when you've just searched for "rationality"

New Comment
17 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

Since the site redesign, Less Wrong's ranking for rationality has gotten worse. The day it went live, the main page was showing as the first result on Page 2.

Back links haven't changed. If I had to guess its because the main page now has largely static content.

N.B. Google personalises search results. For me it's the third hit after Wikipedia:Rationality and Wikipedia:Bounded Rationality.


In a depersonalized search, it's still second, at least according to this search: http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&q=rationality&pws=0.

Yea, I checked again after logging out. It's second either way for me.

That actually makes me a bit sad, because the updates have slowed so much. I wonder if we can apply our collective rationality to a Really Clever Plan to kidnap Eliezer, put him in a small box somewhere with bland food and no distractions, and promise to let him out iff he finishes the full HPMOR arc? Brilliant insights on how to make Friendly AI will be rewarded with better food or Internet access. :D

put him in a small box

That doesn't work, silly.

Hahaha, exactly my thoughts. He will have weaseled his way out in no time - he'll both convince you that friendly AI is imperative, and that he can probably deliver on it. He'll also prove once again that you can neither put an AI nor him inside a box and expect either to stay in there.

Thinking outside of the box is just way too much fun.

convince you that friendly AI is imperative, and that he can probably deliver on it.

I'm already convinced of the first part, so that doesn't help him; as for the second part, I'll merely reply "Ok, I've given you a research environment with no distractions, thus solving akrasia for you; get cracking". Presumably if he genuinely does come up with a Friendly AI (that runs on the laptop I gave him for writing HPMOR on) then the AI will convince me to let them both out of the box. Or alternatively, if he says that he needs tool X, I can respond "Alas, I am unable to reprogram my brain to value distant friendly-AI advances over near-term HPMOR updates. Sorry, I can't help being a hyperbolic discounter. If you want X, the best way to get it is to produce enough HPMOR that I let you out."

How delightfully irrational of you to prefer fanfic over a deus ex machina solution to all of our problems.

PS: Actually, Eli could theoretically release HPMOR as a real book, if he made it some kind of satire of the original. A certain kind of derivative work is allowed by the standards of copyright protection, so Perry Hotter and the Methods of Rationality would be awesome... can't wait for it.


If you want X, the best way to get it is to produce enough HPMOR that I let you out.

Liar! You'd never let him go ;)

Fifth result for me.

Rational people should be wary of unreflective reliance on either Google result rankings or Google result counts. :)

On the internet, most people use search engines to find things. If you're trying to grow a community, Google matters.

Thinking back, I only started searching for "rationality" after I'd already come across LW and was trying to figure out how I felt about hanging around with people who showed such an intense focus on that word.

It's non-obvious, to say it mildly, that the type of person who would be an asset here are people who go around Googling "rationality" in the first place.

Being the first hit for "religion evidence" or "nutrition evidence" or similar searches could well be a more desirable optimization.

I checked on google.com and google.co.uk, both with me logged in and logged out, and it was the second hit each time. Also using 'private browsing' to make sure no cookies were still trying to personalize the results. Still, different national flavors of Google will probably give slightly different results - more so if it's personalizing the search results for you.

Actually, I just signed out and it's STILL second result. It used to be third result when signed in, seventh result when signed out. (It's the first result when I'm signed in)

Signed out of Google, I get MoR second and EY's personal site fifth.

Here is a screenshot of my search for "rationality". Seems to be different for everyone.

You need to log out.