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The 20 best posts chosen by author Leo Babauta.
 
Gabriel's top posts on getting traction for your startup.
 
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Comedian Amber Harper-Young stops by the DTP as our first comedic guest, and we couldn't be more excited! We talk to Amber about the great protectors of nature (the house cat), learning comedy in Toronto, the difference between the east and west coast comedy scene, working in a strip club, meeting her lover there, and conquering your faults by ...…
 
Lots of No Man's Sky talk this week folks! Josh, Chad, Dave, and special guest Ray discuss the world of video games! Spoilers, it's a great world! Join us for PlayStation 4 4.0 update talk, FFXV is delayed, the reason we play video games, and GameScoop's 20 Questions! We have fun, and we think you will too! Thanks for listening!Support us on Pa ...…
 
Previously in series: Well-Kept Gardens Die By PacifismFollowup to: My Way I have said a thing or two about rationality, these past months. I have said a thi
 
There are three great besetting sins of rationalists in particular, and the third of these is underconfidence. Michael Vassar regularly accuses me of this sin,
 
Once upon a time, Seth Roberts took a European vacation and found that he started losing weight while drinking unfamiliar-tasting caloric fruit juices. Now supp
 
Previously in series: Mandatory Secret Identities I’ve noticed a serious problem in which aspiring rationalists vastly overestimate their ability to optimize o
 
Previously in series: Collective Apathy and the InternetFollowup to: Helpless Individuals Previously: Let’s say we have two groups of soldiers. In group 1,
 
Followup to: Rationality is Systematized Winning Yesterday I said: “Rationality is systematized winning.” “But,” you protest, "the reasonable person doesn’t a
 
Previously in series: Beware of Other-Optimizing Followup to: Bystander Apathy Yesterday I convered the bystander effect, aka bystander apathy: given a fixed problem situation, a group of bystanders is actually less likely to act than a single bystander.
 
The bystander effect, also known as bystander apathy, is that larger groups are less likely to act in emergencies – not just individually, but collectively. Put an experimental subject alone in a room and let smoke start coming up from under the door. 75% of the subjects will leave to report it.
 
Previously in series: Money: The Unit of Caring Yesterday: There is this very, very old puzzle/observation in economics about the lawyer who spends an hour vo
 
Previously in series: Helpless Individuals Steve Omohundro has suggested a folk theorem to the effect that, within the interior of any approximately rational,
 
Previously in series: Rationality: Common Interest of Many Causes When you consider that our grouping instincts are optimized for 50-person hunter-gatherer ban
 
Previously in series: Church vs. Taskforce It is a non-so-hidden agenda of this site, Less Wrong, that there are many causes which benefit from the spread of r
 
Previously in series: Can Humanism Match Religion’s Output?Followup to: Is Humanism a Religion-Substitute? I am generally suspicious of envying crazy groups o
 
Previously in series: Your Price for Joining Perhaps the single largest voluntary institution of our modern world-bound together not by police and taxation, no
 
Previously in series: Why Our Kind Can’t Cooperate In the Ultimatum Game, the first player chooses how to split $10 between themselves and the second player, a
 
Followup to: Why Our Kind Can’t Cooperate One of the likely characteristics of someone who sets out to be a “rationalist” is a lower-than-usual tolerance for f
 
Previously in series: Rationality Verification From when I was still forced to attend, I remember our synagogue’s annual fundraising appeal. It was a simple en
 
Previously in series: Schools Proliferating Without EvidenceFollowup to: A Sense That More Is Possible I strongly suspect that there is a possible art of rati
 
Previously in series: Epistemic Viciousness Robyn Dawes, author of one of the original papers from Judgment Under Uncertainty and of the book Rational Choice i
 
Previously in series: A Sense That More Is Possible Someone deserves a large hattip for this, but I’m having trouble remembering who; my records don’t seem to
 
Previously in series: Raising the Sanity WaterlineFollowup to: Teaching the Unteachable To teach people about a topic you’ve labeled “rationality”, it helps f
 
To paraphrase the Black Belt Bayesian: Behind every exciting, dramatic failure, there is a more important story about a larger and less dramatic failure that m
 
Sunlight enriched air already alive with curiosity, as dawn rose on Brennan and his fellow students in the place to which Jeffreyssai had summoned them. They sa
 
Followup to: Make An Extraordinary Effort, On Doing the Impossible, Beyond the Reach of God The virtue of tsuyoku naritai, “I want to become stronger”, is to a
 
Followup to: Trying to Try, Tsuyoku Naritai "It is essential for a man to strive with all his heart, and to understand that it is difficult even to reach the
 
Followup to: Use the Try Harder, Luke “Persevere.” It’s a piece of advice you’ll get from a whole lot of high achievers in a whole lot of disciplines. I didn
 
Followup to: Trying to Try “When there’s a will to fail, obstacles can be found.” -John McCarthy I first watched Star Wars IV-VI when I was very young. Se
 
“No! Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda Years ago, I thought this was yet another example of Deep Wisdom that is actually quite stupid.
 
Hunter-gatherer tribes are usually highly egalitarian (at least if you’re male)-the all-powerful tribal chieftain is found mostly in agricultural societies, rarely in the ancestral environment. Among most hunter-gatherer tribes, a hunter who brings in a spectacular kill will carefully downplay the accomplishment to avoid envy.…
 
In Orthodox Judaism there is a saying: "The previous generation is to the next one as angels are to men; the next generation is to the previous one as donkeys
 
Followup to: The Magnitude of His Own Folly I remember (dimly, as human memories go) the first time I self-identified as a “Bayesian”. Someone had just asked
 
Followup to: The Magnitude of His Own Folly Today’s post is a tad gloomier than usual, as I measure such things. It deals with a thought experiment I invented to smash my own optimism, after I realized that optimism had misled me.
 
Followup to: My Naturalistic Awakening, Above-Average AI Scientists In the years before I met that would-be creator of Artificial General Intelligence (with a
 
Followup to: The Proper Use of Humility, Tsuyoku Naritai (At this point, I fear that I must recurse into a subsequence; but if all goes as planned, it really w
 
Followup to: Fighting a Rearguard Action Against the Truth In yesterday’s episode, Eliezer2001 is fighting a rearguard action against the truth. Only graduall
 
Followup to: That Tiny Note of Discord, The Importance of Saying “Oops” When we last left Eliezer 2000, he was just beginning to investigate the question of how to inscribe a morality into an AI. His reasons for doing this don’t matter at all, except insofar as they happen to historically demonstrate the importance of perfectionism.…
 
Followup to: The Sheer Folly of Callow Youth When we last left Eliezer1997, he believed that any superintelligence would automatically do what was “right”, and
 
Followup to: My Childhood Death Spiral, My Best and Worst Mistake, A Prodigy of Refutation “There speaks the sheer folly of callow youth; the rashness of an ignorance so abysmal as to be possible only to one of your ephemeral race…”
 
Followup to: My Childhood Death Spiral, Raised in Technophilia My Childhood Death Spiral described the core momentum carrying me into my mistake, an affective death spiral around something that Eliezer 1996 called “intelligence”. I was also a technophile, pre-allergized against fearing the future.
 
Followup to: My Best and Worst Mistake My father used to say that if the present system had been in place a hundred years ago, automobiles would have been outl
 
Followup to: My Childhood Death Spiral Yesterday I covered the young Eliezer’s affective death spiral around something that he called “intelligence”. Eliezer 1996, or even Eliezer 1999 for that matter, would have refused to try and put a mathematical definition-consciously, deliberately refused. Indeed, he would have been loath to put any defin ...…
 
Followup to: Affective Death Spirals, My Wild and Reckless Youth My parents always used to downplay the value of intelligence. And play up the value of-effort
 
Followup to: Something to Protect The following may well be the most controversial dilemma in the history of decision theory: A superintelligence from another galaxy, whom we shall call Omega, comes to Earth and sets about playing a strange little game.
 
Followup to: Should We Ban Physics? It may come as a surprise to some readers of this blog, that I do not always advocate using probabilities. Or rather, I d
 
Followup to: Tsuyoku Naritai, Circular Altruism In the gestalt of (ahem) Japanese fiction, one finds this oft-repeated motif: Power comes from having somethin
 
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