Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Erebus comments on For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books - Less Wrong

35 Post author: MichaelVassar 02 March 2010 08:11AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (102)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Erebus 04 March 2010 09:51:31AM 3 points [-]

Do you have any specific examples in mind, or is this an expression of the general idea that the academia is mad?

Comment author: MichaelVassar 04 March 2010 05:22:44PM 4 points [-]

I mentioned biology and economics, philosophy and psychology. I could go farther if desired.
However, really, since academia promotes reading old books, I'm happy to place the probablistic burden of the claim that academia is mad on it.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 04 March 2010 05:58:42PM *  8 points [-]

That doesn't seem so for mathematics, physics, chemistry...the hard sciences in general. It may be an ornament to one's education to read Euclid, Newton, and Einstein, but it is not necessary. The books that endure in these fields are the exceptionally good textbooks rather than the original works.

Comment author: rortian 04 March 2010 06:20:01PM 4 points [-]

Biology is the hot science right now. Knowledge about evolution was going to be very superficial until genetics came along. Now that tools are available, we are learning all sorts of things at an amazing clip.