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Yvain's most important articles

21 Post author: casebash 16 August 2015 08:27AM

Important

 

Meditations on Moloch: An explanation of co-ordination problems within our society

 

Weak Men are Superweapons (supplement - feminists will like this one less)

 

The Virtue of Silence - silence is a hard virtue

 

You Kant Dismiss Universalizability - Kant is about not proposing rules that would be self-defeating

 

The Spirit of the First Amendment

 

Red Plenty - Why communism failed

 

All in all, another brick in the motte - Motte-and-bailey doctrine

 

Intellectual Hipsters and Meta-Contrarianism

 

Burdens - society owes people an existence

 

Reactionary Philosophy in an Enormous, Planet-sized Nutshell

 

Anti-reactionary FAQ

 

Right is the new Left

 

Archipelago and Atomic Communitarianism - different countries based on different principles

 

Parable of the talents - nature vs. nurture

 

Why I defend scoundrels

 

Nobody is perfect, Everything is Commensurable

 

The categories were made for man, not man for the categories - hairdryer incident

 

Non-conformism

 

Toxoplasma of rage - why the most divisive issues will always spread

 

Towards a theory of drama, Further towards a theory of drama

 

All debates are bravery debates

 

I can tolerate anything except the outgroup - what tolerance really mean

 

Who by very slow decay - Euthanasia

 

Non-libertarian FAQ

 

Consequentialism FAQ

 

Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others

 

Eight Short Studies on Excuses

 

Generalising from one example

 

Game theory as a dark art

 

What is signaling really?

 

Book review: Chronicles of wasted time

 

The biodeterminists guide to parenting

 

Social Justice General

 

Offense versus harm minimisation

 

Fearful Symmetry - Politicization, Micro-aggressions, Hyperviligance

 

In favor of niceness, community and civilisation - Importance of the social contract

 

Radicalizing the romanceless - Complaints about "Nice Guys"

 

Living by the sword - whales and cancer

 

Social justice for the highly-demanding of rigour

 

Meditations on Privilege 1 - India (Meditation 2 - follow up)

 

Meditation 3 - Creepiness

 

Meditation 5 - True love and creepiness

 

Meditation 8 on Superweapons and Bingo

 

Triggers

 

I believe the correct term is "straw individual"

 

Five case studies on politicization

 

Social Justice Careful

 

Why I defend scoundrels part 2

 

Untitled - Arguments against nerds being privileged. How feminism makes some men afraid to talk to women.

 

Social Justice and Words, Words, Words - What privilege means vs. what feminists say it means

 

A Response to Apophemi on Triggers - Should the rationality community be a safe space?

 

Meditation on Applause Lights

 

Fetal Attraction: Abortion and the Principle of Charity

 

Arguments about Male Violence Prove too Much

 

Mitt Romney

 

I do not understand rape culture

 

Useful concepts

 

Introduction to Game Theory - main ones:

 

Unspoken ground assumptions of discussion

 

Revenge as a charitable act

 

Should you reverse any advice you hear?

 

Joint Over And Underdiagnosis

 

Hope! Change! - how much change can we expect from our politicians

 

What universal human experiences are you missing without realizing it?

 

A Thrive-survive Theory of the Political Spectrum - included primarily for the section on how to get into a Republican mindset

 

Phatic and anti-inductive

 

Read History of Philosophy Backwards

 

Against bravery debates

 

Searching for One-Sided Tradeoffs

 

Proving too much

 

Non-central fallacy

 

Schelling fences on slippery slopes

 

Purchase fuzzies and utilitons separately

 

Beware isolated demands for rigour

 

Diseased thinking: dissolving questions about disease

 

Confidence levels inside and outside an argument

 

Least convenient possible world

 

Giving and accepting apologies

 

Epistemic learned helplessness

 

Approving reinforces low-effort behaviors - wanting/liking/approving

 

What's in a name

 

How not to lose an argument

 

Beware trivial inconveniences

 

When truth isn't enough

 

Why support the underdog?

 

Applied picoeconomics

 

A signaling theory of class x politics interaction

 

That other kind of status

 

A parable on obsolete ideologies

 

The Courtier's Reply and the Myers Shuffle

 

Talking snakes: A cautionary tale

 

Beware the man of one study

 

My id on defensiveness - Projective identification

 

Interesting

 

Bogus Pipeline, Bona Fide Piepline

 

The Zombie Preacher Of SomerSet

 

Rational home buying

 

Apologia Pro Vita Sua - "drugs mysteriously find their own non-fungible money"

 

"I appreciate the situation"

 

A Babylon 5 Story

 

Money, money, everywhere, but not a cent to spend - that $5000 can be a crippling debt for some people

 

Social Psychology is a Flamethrower

 

Fish - Now by Prescription

 

An Iron Curtain has descended upon Psychopharmacology - Russian medicines being ignored

 

The Control Group is out of Control - parapsychology

 

Schitzophrenia and geomagnetic storms

 

And I show you how deep the Rabbit Hole Goes - story, purely for entertainment value

 

Five years and one week of less wrong - interesting for readers of Less Wrong only

 

Highlights from my notes from another psychiatry conference - Schitzophrenia

 

The apologist and the revolutionary - Anosognosia and neuro-science

Comments (29)

Comment author: Larks 16 August 2015 02:25:57PM 12 points [-]

I thought the biodeterminists guide was one of the most useful things I've ever read. I'd love it if Yvain would write the same for longevity, general fitness, IQ, etc.

Comment author: Fluttershy 16 August 2015 08:36:32PM 3 points [-]

I'd love there to be more work done on longevity, general fitness, and other practical applied rationality topics as well. The opportunity cost of having so many well written articles on social justice and the social sciences floating around is that LW users may spend more time thinking about those topics, to the partial exclusion of spending time thinking about applied rationality.

On longevity: see here.

Comment author: [deleted] 16 August 2015 08:46:17PM 2 points [-]

Romeo Stevens has a guide on general fitness here called "optimal exercise" I believe.

Comment author: 9eB1 16 August 2015 10:42:33PM 2 points [-]

That article is here

Comment author: tog 18 August 2015 05:12:20AM 1 point [-]

I asked for a good general guide to IQ (and in particular its objectivity and importance) on the LW FB group a while back. I got a bunch of answers, including these standouts:

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

http://www.newscientist.com/data/doc/article/dn19554/instant_expert_13_-_intelligence.pdf

But there's still plenty of room for improvement on those so I'd be curious to hear others' suggestions.

Comment author: Pablo_Stafforini 18 August 2015 06:43:43PM *  1 point [-]

On IQ, I strongly recommend Ian Deary's Intelligence: A Short Introduction (link to shared file in my Google Drive).

Comment author: tog 18 August 2015 05:12:47AM 0 points [-]

And a friend requests an article comparing IQ and conscientiousness as a predictor for different things.

Comment author: casebash 16 August 2015 11:09:10PM *  0 points [-]

Added. That article is pretty comprehensive so deserves a place in the list.

Comment author: MarsColony_in10years 18 August 2015 04:39:12PM 2 points [-]

This got linked to on facebook, and Rob Bensinger made the following comment:

I included most of these in my list, but I wouldn't include The Virtue of Silence, Biodeterminist's Guide to Parenting, Burdens, Nobody is Perfect, Toxoplasma OF Rage, Chronicles of Wasted Time, The Categories Were Made for Man, Radicalizing the Romanceless, Living by the Sword, Meditations 1-3, Untitled, Social Justice and Words Words Words, Fetal Attraction, I Do Not Understand Rape Culture, Unspoken Ground Assumptions, Should You Reverse Any Advice You Hear?, Joint Over- and Under-Diagnosis, What Human Universal Experiences Are You Missing Without Realizing It?, Phatic and Anti-Inductive, Beware Isolated Demands for Rigor, Giving and Accepting Apologies, The Courtier's Reply and the Myers Shuffle, My Id on Defensiveness, The Zombie Preacher of Somerset, Rational Home-Buying, Apologia pro Vita Sua, Money Money Everywhere, Fish (Now By Prescription), An Iron Curtain Has Descended Upon Psychopharmacology, Schizophrenia and Geomagnetic Storms, And I Show You How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes, Five Years and One Week of LessWrong, Highlights From My Notes From Another Psychiatry Conference. And I included many that were left out. A few of these I think are unusually bad posts, but most just don't seem essential for people getting started on his writing (or their points are made better elsewhere), though there are lots of fun/interesting bits in them for the completionists.

Might consider Parable of the Talents and Epistemic Learned Helplessness. I haven't read Why I Defend Scoundrels, Mitt Romney, Non-Conformism, Offense versus Harm Minimization, or Towards a Theory of Drama, Straw Individual, Revenge as a Charitable Act, Hope! Change!, Approving Reinforces Low-Effort Behaviors, What's in a Name, Why Support the Underdog?, That Other Kind of Status, A Parable on Obsolete Ideologies, Bogus Pipeline, I Appreciate the Situation.

Stingray suggested that a condensed list would be useful, and judging by the 6 upvotes several other people agree. In order to do this, I've taken the intersection of the two lists (by removing the items that didn't make Rob Bensinger's list from the OP list). I'd expect what's left to be higher value pieces. (although a few removed items definitely sound interesting.)

Important

Meditations on Moloch: An explanation of co-ordination problems within our society

Weak Men are Superweapons (supplement - feminists will like this one less)

You Kant Dismiss Universalizability - Kant is about not proposing rules that would be self-defeating

The Spirit of the First Amendment

Red Plenty - Why communism failed

All in all, another brick in the motte - Motte-and-bailey doctrine

Intellectual Hipsters and Meta-Contrarianism

Reactionary Philosophy in an Enormous, Planet-sized Nutshell

Anti-reactionary FAQ

Right is the new Left

Archipelago and Atomic Communitarianism - different countries based on different principles

Parable of the talents - nature vs. nurture

Why I defend scoundrels

Non-conformism

Towards a theory of drama, Further towards a theory of drama

All debates are bravery debates

I can tolerate anything except the outgroup - what tolerance really mean

Who by very slow decay - Euthanasia

Non-libertarian FAQ

Consequentialism FAQ

Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others

Eight Short Studies on Excuses

Generalising from one example

Game theory as a dark art

What is signaling really?

Social Justice General

Offense versus harm minimisation

Fearful Symmetry - Politicization, Micro-aggressions, Hyperviligance

In favor of niceness, community and civilisation - Importance of the social contract

Social justice for the highly-demanding of rigour

Meditation 5 - True love and creepiness

Meditation 8 on Superweapons and Bingo

Triggers

I believe the correct term is "straw individual"

Five case studies on politicization

Social Justice Careful

Why I defend scoundrels part 2

A Response to Apophemi on Triggers - Should the rationality community be a safe space?

Meditation on Applause Lights

Arguments about Male Violence Prove too Much

Mitt Romney

Useful concepts

Introduction to Game Theory - main ones:

  • Nash Equilibria and Schelling Points

  • Bargaining and auctions

  • Prisoner's dilemma includes discussion of limited crimes

Revenge as a charitable act

Hope! Change! - how much change can we expect from our politicians

A Thrive-survive Theory of the Political Spectrum

Read History of Philosophy Backwards

Against bravery debates

Searching for One-Sided Tradeoffs

Proving too much

Non-central fallacy

Schelling fences on slippery slopes

Purchase fuzzies and utilitons separately

Diseased thinking: dissolving questions about disease

Confidence levels inside and outside an argument

Least convenient possible world

Epistemic learned helplessness

Approving reinforces low-effort behaviors - wanting/liking/approving

What's in a name

How not to lose an argument

Beware trivial inconveniences

When truth isn't enough

Why support the underdog?

Applied picoeconomics

A signaling theory of class x politics interaction

That other kind of status

A parable on obsolete ideologies

Talking snakes: A cautionary tale

Beware the man of one study

Interesting

Bogus Pipeline, Bona Fide Piepline

"I appreciate the situation"

A Babylon 5 Story

Social Psychology is a Flamethrower

The Control Group is out of Control - parapsychology

The apologist and the revolutionary - Anosognosia and neuro-science

Comment author: casebash 19 August 2015 12:09:11AM 4 points [-]

One thing that I'd like to know before considering Rob Bensinger's suggestions is how strongly feminist he is (this doesn't count as an ad hominem, as that only applies when someone has given reasons and you ignore them in favour of who they are, not when they've stated an opinion with no reasons). Because a lot of those articles are rather highly critical of feminism and it wouldn't make much sense, for example, to ask a Christian whether you should read certain articles about atheism.

That said, maybe he just feels that these articles would turn people off - in which case - I probably should have done a better job of labelling than with my current system.

(For reasons of disclosure, my views on feminism are pretty close to Scott. I can appreciate that feminism has done lots of good in the past and that they make some good points, but I also don't like what the movement has become).

I'm much more interested in the articles that he would have included, then the ones that he excluded because I'm taking a completionist approach - the idea is that if you read through the list, you shouldn't miss anything important.

The other thing I did when compiling this list, which I wish I hadn't, was to include articles for a single strong section, without actually noting that this was the case. In particular, the useful concepts section contains many articles where I only want you to get a single concept out of the article. If someone already knows the concept, I guess you could skip them.

Actually, I definitely want to produce a revised version of the list that does a better job of breaking into sections based on why the articles were included so that people can decide for themselves which articles they want to read or not. It'll probably take me several months to get round to it, but I think that it could be valuable.

Comment author: RobbBB 25 August 2015 03:57:51AM *  3 points [-]

My list has a lot of added posts; I'll try to get a draft to link to in the next few weeks. I'd say there are different sets of introductory articles I'd recommend to people who I know to be feminists and people who I know to be anti-feminists, and the list I'm currently working on is one I'd feel comfortable giving to either group.

That means posts that take for granted at the outset that the reader thinks feminism is obviously terrible (e.g., Radicalizing the Romanceless, which quips that people who talk about Nice Guys are "blurring the already rather thin line between 'feminism' and 'literally Voldemort'") are less-likely-than-baseline to make my list, whereas ones that make a persuasive and sympathetic case against common ideas in feminism (e.g., Weak Men Are Superweapons) are more-likely-than-baseline to make my list.

Comment author: casebash 25 August 2015 10:22:10AM 2 points [-]

Looking forward to seeing the list when it is done.

Comment author: RobbBB 15 September 2015 09:25:48PM 3 points [-]
Comment author: RobbBB 25 August 2015 10:36:37AM 1 point [-]

I'll let you know! I'll also want feedback on what you and others think I should add/remove, since I don't expect the list to be perfect even at achieving my own Scott-promoting goals.

Comment author: hg00 19 September 2015 10:46:18PM *  0 points [-]

Off topic, but... since you are allegedly a strong feminist, maybe you can recommend specific feminist writing that you think is good reading as a counterpoint to SSC's stuff? I've read a fair amount of feminist writing but I haven't managed to find much that is as well-argued/thoughtful/reasonable as the SSC stuff. Ideally it would be feminist writing that attempts to respond to SSC directly.

Comment author: RobbBB 20 September 2015 08:08:23PM *  2 points [-]

"As well-argued/thoughtful/reasonable as the SSC stuff" is a pretty hard target to hit on most topics. Could you be more specific than "feminist writing", e.g., talk about a certain claim SSC makes that you'd like to see assessed by others?

Popehat's Shirts and Shirtiness strikes me as an especially high-quality post that's SSC-ish while coming out in favor of some ideas you see in feminism. Agenty Duck's Hasty Genderalizations gives a broader argument for worrying about gender bias. Ben Kuhn's On Inclusivity in Less Wrong is an example of a good feminism-relevant response to a specific SSC argument (though I don't necessarily agree 100% with Ben's arguments, and some of them may be dated at this point).

I'm not sure which of these is closest to what you're looking for. I find blogs like Thing of Things, Gruntled and Hinged, and The Unit of Caring useful both for clearly articulating ideas in the feminist memespace and for providing independent confirmation for some SSC views.

Comment author: Stingray 16 August 2015 09:22:42AM *  2 points [-]

What criteria have you used to decide which posts are the most important?

Comment author: casebash 16 August 2015 09:41:28AM *  6 points [-]

Well, it's very subjective. I tried to optimise heavily for originality, ideas that I've seen on Slatestarcodex, but haven't seen anywhere else. On the other hand, I've also included comprehensive rebuttals like Why I hate your freedom, Consequentialism FAQ and Who by very slow decay. Here it isn't so much the ideas that are unique, but how comprehensively he tackles these issues and with how much charity.

The reason why the list is so long is that I've tried to be inclusive. My aim is to try ensure that it includes all the "must read" articles, even if this results in the list being very long.

Comment author: Stingray 16 August 2015 10:20:08AM 7 points [-]

I think that if someone who is completely unfamiliar with Yvain's writings saw your post, she/he would likely be scared of a wall of links. If you want your list to be useful, you should provide a recommended reading order for new readers. I've upvoted you, but at the moment the list is ordered randomly.

Comment author: casebash 16 August 2015 11:47:22AM 0 points [-]

That's an interesting idea. However, the most likely outcome is that I'll be distracted by other projects and never get round to this. Compiling that list already took way too much of my time.

Comment author: MarsColony_in10years 17 August 2015 02:50:52PM *  2 points [-]

I'm only one data point, but I am fairly similar to the hypothetical "someone" that Stingray described, and I do intend to actually read most of these. This should slightly shift your estimate toward fewer people being scared off by the wall of links.

On the other hand, if you went through and bolded the important articles, I'd probably read just them. So, I'd still be getting a little value out of your prioritization work, but much less value than any hypothetical people scared off by the wall of links.

EDIT: Rob Bensinger made a useful comment on the LW facebook page about what he'd take off and add to this list. I've taken the intersection of the two to make a more selective list of what you both recommend. I'll probably just read through those, with the exception of a few interesting-sounding items.

Comment author: Benito 16 August 2015 08:52:22AM 2 points [-]

"Virtue of Silence" link is wrong.

Comment author: Viliam 16 August 2015 04:45:29PM 3 points [-]

"Virtue of Silence" link is wrong.

That's the point! /s

Comment author: casebash 16 August 2015 09:04:04AM 1 point [-]

Thanks. Fixed

Comment author: Yudkowsky_is_awesome 24 August 2015 07:19:46PM 8 points [-]

I really liked the consequentialist FAQ!

Comment author: tog 18 August 2015 05:10:01AM 1 point [-]

I've been looking for this all my life without even knowing it. (Well, at least for half a year.)

Comment author: Netwall 04 September 2015 02:42:05PM 0 points [-]

Hey, the Purchase Fuzzies and Utilons Separately post seems to actually be written by Yudkowski. Is it possible that you meant to link to the related Doing your good deed for the day?

Thanks for the list, though. As a new reader it's been interesting going through these posts.

Comment author: IsTheLittleLion 25 August 2015 04:36:07PM 0 points [-]

"Eight Short Studies on Excuses" link is wrong.

Comment author: casebash 26 August 2015 11:32:48PM 0 points [-]

Fixed