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simplestudent comments on Recommended reading for new rationalists - Less Wrong

27 Post author: XFrequentist 09 July 2009 07:47PM

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Comment author: simplestudent 11 July 2009 07:42:44PM 0 points [-]

I am a student, and have recently found this website through a friend. I am intrigued by the art that you are promoting here, and it strikes a chord with my own dedication to learning and becoming a better person. In the past, I have often preferred autodidactic learning; however, this particular subject seems especially dense and in some cases even dangerous if learned incorrectly. I am thus somewhat apprehensive at proceeding along my own course.

What is a good starting point for someone like me? Is there a single grand summary of the work being done here, or some similar statement of purpose and general principles?

Comment author: Alicorn 11 July 2009 07:45:40PM 1 point [-]

You are a student of what?

Comment author: simplestudent 12 July 2009 08:33:59PM 1 point [-]

I do not restrict myself.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 12 July 2009 08:35:12PM 3 points [-]

There are only so many hours in a day.

Comment author: simplestudent 12 July 2009 09:22:36PM 1 point [-]

I have more time than I need at present, even allowing for various frivolous pursuits and time allocated for social interaction, eating, etc. I have the unique luxury of having a very flexible schedule, and am not close to filling that schedule anytime soon. Therefore, whenever I find something that I am truly interested in, I study it. To do otherwise would be wasteful.

I am truly interested in and committed to becoming a better person through any means necessary; becoming more rational will make me a better person. Thus, I am truly interested in and committed to becoming more rational.

Comment author: RobinZ 11 July 2009 10:43:33PM 0 points [-]

I would begin with some of Eliezer Yudkowsky's essays on rationality, particularly "The Simple Truth", "An Intuitive Explanation of Bayes’ Theorem", and "A Technical Explanation of Technical Explanation", and then I'd start flipping through the archives reading things that look interesting. Often-times these will have links, either at the top or in the text, to previous essays; jumping backwards through the sequences and then reading forwards back to where you began is a good method.

That's just for stuff on this site, though - I'd certainly read through the other online essays people linked in this post, and keep my eyes open for library copies of some of the books.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 11 July 2009 08:22:29PM 0 points [-]

You can try reading Overcoming Bias/Less Wrong archives.

Comment author: SilasBarta 13 July 2009 02:31:12PM 3 points [-]

Argh! I hate when people do that! If someone's asking what simplestudent is, they generally want something more precise than a giant reading list.

IMHO, the piece with the highest ratio of "what we're all about" to length is Truly Part of You. That should be the starting point.