Drake Morrison

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Wow, this hit home in a way I wasn't expecting. I ... don't know what else to say. Thanks for writing this up, seriously. 

see the disconnect—the reason I think X is better than Y is because as far as I can tell X causes more suffering than Y, and I think that suffering is bad."

 

 

I think the X's and Y's got mixed up here. 

Otherwise, this is one of my favorite posts. Some of the guidelines are things I had already figured out and try to follow but most of them were things I could only vaguely grasp at. I've been thinking about a post regarding robust communication and internet protocols. But this covers most of what I wanted to say, better than I could say it. So thanks!

The Georgism series was my first interaction with a piece of economic theory that tried to make sense by building a different model than anything I had seen before. It was clear and engaging. It has been a primary motivator in my learning more about economics. 

I'm not sure how the whole series would work in the books, but the review of Progress and Poverty was a great introduction to all the main ideas. 

Related:  Wisdom cannot be unzipped

Reading Worth the Candle with a friend gave us a few weird words that are sazen in and of themselves. Being able to put a word to something lets you get a handle on it so much better. Thanks for writing this up. 

If the Highlights are too long, then print off a single post from each section. If that's too long, print off your top three. If that's too long, print off one post. 

Summarizing the post usually doesn't help, as you've discovered. So I'm not really sure what else to tell you. You have a lot of curated options to choose from to start. The Highlights, the Best of LessWrong, the Curated Sequences, Codex. Find stuff you like, and print it off for your friend. 

Or, alternatively, tell them about HPMOR. That's how I introduced myself to the concepts in a fashion where the protagonist had need of them. So the techniques stuck with me. 

If you have some of the LessWrong books, I would recommend those. They are small little books that you can easily lend out. That's what I've thought of doing before. 

Really, starting is the hard part. Once I saw the value I was getting out of the sequences and other essays, I wanted to read more. So share a single essay, or lend a small book. Start small, and then if you are getting value out of it, continue. 

You don't have to commit to reading the whole Sequences before you start. Just start with one essay from the highlights, when you feel like it. They're not super long. The enduring, net positive change that you are looking for cannot be shortcut. After all, Wisdom Cannot Be Unzipped. 

Think of the sequences as a full course on rationality. You don't introduce your friend who doesn't know calculus into math by showing them the whole textbook and telling them they should read it. You show them a little problem. And demonstrate that the tools you learned in calculus help you solve that problem. Do the same with rationality. 

The art must have an end other than itself or it collapses into infinite recursion. Have a problem in mind when you read the sequences, try and see what will help you solve it. Having a problem gives you a reason to apply it, and can motivate you into learning more. Have some fun while you're at it! This stuff is cool!

  • Robust communication requires feedback. Knowing you received all the packets of information, and checking whether what you received matches what they sent. 
  • Building ideas vs breaking ideas. Related to Babble and Prune, but for communities. Shortform seems like a good place for ideas to develop, or babble. For ideas to be built together, before you critique things. You can destroy a half built idea, even if it's a good idea. 

I wrote a bunch of reviews before I realized I wasn't eligible. Oops. Maybe the review button could be disabled for folks like me?

(I don't care whether my reviews are kept or discarded, either way is fine with me)

Writing up your thoughts is useful. Both for communication and for clarification to oneself. Not writing for fear of poor epistemics is an easy failure mode to fall into, and this post clearly lays out how to write anyway. More writing equals more learning, sharing, and opportunities for coordination and cooperation. This directly addresses a key point of failure when it comes to groups of people being more rational. 

This post felt like a great counterpoint to the drowning child thought experiment, and as such I found it a useful insight. A reminder that it's okay to take care of yourself is important, especially in these times and in a community of people dedicated to things like EA and the Alignment Problem. 

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