This is an old version of the LessWrong About page. See the current page at www.lesswrong.com/about
Interested in improving your reasoning and decision-making skills? Then you've come to the right place. We’re an online community dedicated to the study of human rationality, the general field of improving our decisions. LessWrong pulls together a variety of material from mathematics, economics, cognitive science, and other disciplines which can all be relevant when considering how we think. We’re also interested in technology, the long-term future of humanity, and philosophy.
To get a quick idea of why rationality is important and how to develop it, try reading Your Intuitions Are Not Magic, The Cognitive Science of Rationality, or What I've Learned From Less Wrong.
LessWrong dates back to 2006 when Eliezer Yudkowsky starting writing about rationality on economist Robin Hanson's blog Overcoming Bias. In February 2009, those posts were used as the seed material for Less Wrong. Since 2006 we have collected many friends.
The best introduction to the ideas on this website is "The Sequences", a collection of posts that introduce cognitive science, philosophy, and mathematics. An abridged and edited epub version called Rationality: From AI to Zombies is also available for download. Eliezer is also well known for writing Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (HPMOR), one of the world’s most popular Harry Potter fanfictions.
Less Wrong makes heavy use of previously introduced topics for leverage, so you may need to consult the Concepts and Jargon pages on the Less Wrong Wiki. You can also do keyword searches of past posts using the search tool near the top right corner of every page.
The Discussion board on LessWrong is active, and includes links to other posts around the internet that we find interesting, as well as user-submitted essays on varying topics. Main has been closed since mid-2016, and was reserved for posts that were elevated from the discussion forum for their quality. There are still many posts there of high quality but it no longer updates.
If you are new here we like to encourage you to post in the latest welcome thread to introduce yourself and start a conversation, more instructions are in that thread.
You can find a map of our physical meetups on the homepage. If you are in a city with a meetup, it’s a great experience and we love new participants!
If you want to put yourself on the map, we would be delighted if you would join us!
There is active conversation on the LessWrongers slack and in the IRC chat room. We also have a Russian slack if you speak Russian.
If you need a place to commit to studying alongside others - our Study hall is a place to visit.
Several organizations spun off from the community, such as The Center For Applied Rationality (CFAR), the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI), and the Effective Altruism movement.
Some other notable businesses include Beeminder, Complice, and Mealsquares.
Some blogs of our friends include Scott Alexander’s Slate Star Codex, Nate Soares’ MindingOurWay, Gwern’s Gwern.net and philosopher Nick Bostrom.
We can’t always keep track of all the topics we are interested in. Some of the less mainstream ideas that we entertain include: Cryonics, Transhumanism, Universal Basic Income, Defeating Death, X-risk.
If you want to know more about Less Wrong, try the Less Wrong FAQ. Otherwise, here's a selection of other posts from the extensive Less Wrong archives that might appeal to you:
And some slightly meatier stuff:
The best part about LessWrong is that although we don’t always agree, we find it easy to maintain our charitable and friendly attitude to all. We hope you will join us for some interesting discussions and enjoy your stay!