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Kaj_Sotala comments on Raising the Sanity Waterline - Less Wrong

114 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 March 2009 04:28AM

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Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 14 March 2009 12:58:41AM *  20 points [-]

Also, I think it's the way OB's teachings get reinforced daily. You don't just study one course and then forget about it: if you read OB/LW regularly, you get constant tiny nudges in the right direction. There's research suggesting that frequent small events have a stronger effect on one's happiness than rare big ones, and I suspect it's the same when it comes to learning new patterns of thought. Our minds are constantly changing and adapting, so if you just make a change once, it'll be drowned out in the sea of other changes. You'll want to bring it up to the point where it becomes self-reinforcing, and that takes time.

This is the reason why I suspect Eliezer's book won't actually have as big of an effect as many may think. Most people will probably read it, think it amazing, think they absolutely have to apply it to their normal lives... then go on and worry about their bills and partners and forget about the book. The main benefit will be for those who'll actually be startled enough to go online and find out more - if they end up as regular readers of OB and LW, or find some other rationality resource, then they have hope. Otherwise, probably not.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 14 March 2009 02:19:04AM 11 points [-]

This is a very good point that I'll try to keep in mind, and another solution would be to have a decent community.

Comment author: MBlume 14 March 2009 01:08:32AM 5 points [-]

Perhaps Eliezer's book should have a note -- please read one chapter per day?

I don't know, I came in and read a little over a year's worth of Eliezer's OB posts in a couple months' exploration, and I think it had a pretty solid impact on me.