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pdf23ds comments on The Martial Art of Rationality - Less Wrong

42 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 November 2006 08:00PM

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Comment author: pdf23ds 28 November 2006 02:18:56AM 5 points [-]

Steve, you're probably right, but I doubt that's really a big obstacle. Rationality has plenty of uses, and if anyone wants to teach it for money, they shouldn't have problems finding ways to promote it, in the long run. Besides, if people want to learn karate to beat people up, why don't dojos advertise based on that?

But I think that the analogy to martial arts is ill-advised for other reasons. Martial arts is a mostly anachronistic practice when evaluated against its original purpose. If you're really serious about self-defense nowadays, you get weapons. (Weapons have always been an advantage, but it's only been for a few hundred years now that they've become such a decisive advantage.)

Where are the tools for giving us a rational advantage? Sure, we have plenty of them for bringing knowledge to us quickly. The internet has been pretty successful at that. But what about other prostheses that specifically target our rational acuity?