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Good books for incoming college students?

1 aarongertler 06 July 2014 01:21AM

My sister (and about 2.5 million other people) are headed to college in the fall.

I gave her a copy of Cal Newport's How to Win at College as a graduation gift, but given that her life is about to change more than it has in any of the past 14 years, one book probably isn't enough.

What books do you think incoming/recently arrived college students should be reading? You can assign reading with any motivation you'd like, but I'm looking especially hard for books that meet the following criteria:

 

  • An average to somewhat-above-average college student can read them without much struggle.
  • They have some practical application in college life/job seeking/being a good adult (rather than just being a personal favorite book).
  • They are easy to find and budget-friendly (free online/cheap on Amazon/probably in the college library).
  • They are not Oh, The Places You'll Go, just to head you pranksters off at the pass.
Bonus points if it's a book that you read in late high school or college and you can tell us what impact it had on your life at the time!

My suggestions would include Getting Things Done, Thinking Fast and Slow, Redirect, and The Charisma Myth. What would you suggest?

 

July 2014 Media Thread

5 ArisKatsaris 01 July 2014 10:50PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

June 2014 Media Thread

5 ArisKatsaris 01 June 2014 03:04PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

Note for this month's thread: As per comment in last month's 'meta' subthread, the "Television and Movies" subthread has been split into two: "TV and Movies (Animation)" and "TV and Movies (Live Action)"

May 2014 Media Thread

2 ArisKatsaris 01 May 2014 09:49PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

April 2014 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 01 April 2014 07:14AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

March 2014 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 01 March 2014 03:49PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

February 2014 Media Thread

3 ArisKatsaris 01 February 2014 08:54PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

January 2014 Media Thread

6 ArisKatsaris 01 January 2014 03:19PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

December 2013 Media Thread

5 ArisKatsaris 02 December 2013 06:24PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

November 2013 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 01 November 2013 08:31PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

October 2013 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 01 October 2013 07:38PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

September 2013 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 01 September 2013 11:05AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

Effective Rationality Training Online

2 Brendon_Wong 10 August 2013 01:58AM

Article Prerequisite: Self-Improvement or Shiny Distraction: Why Less Wrong is anti-Instrumental Rationality

Introduction

The goal of this post is to explore the idea of rationality training, feedback and ideas are greatly appreciated.

Less Wrong’s stated mission is to help people become more rational, and it has made progress toward that goal. Members read and discuss useful ideas on the internet, get instant feedback because of the voting system, and schedule meetups with other members. Less Wrong also helps attract more people to rationality.

Less Wrong helps with sharing ideas, but it fails to help people put elements of epistemic and instrumental rationality into practice. This is a serious problem, but it would be hard to fix without altering the core functionality of Less Wrong.

Having separate websites for reading and discussing ideas and then actually using those ideas would improve the real world performance of the Less Wrong community while maintaining the idea discussion, “marketing”, and other benefits of the Less Wrong website.

How to create a useful website for self improvement

1. Knowledge Management

When reading blogs, people only see recent posts and those posts are not significantly revised. A wiki would allow for the creation of a large body of organized knowledge that is frequently revised. Each wiki post would have a description, benefits of the topic described, resources to learn the topic, user submitted resources to learn the topic, and reviews of each resource. Posts would be organized hierarchically and voted on for usefulness to help readers effectively improve what they are looking for. Users could share self-improvement plans to help others improve effectiveness in general or in a specific topic as quickly as possible.

2. Effective Learning

Resources to learn topics should be arranged or written for effective skill acquisition, and there may be different resource categories like exercises for deliberate practice or active recall questions for spaced repetition.

3. Quality Contributors

Contributors would, at the very least, need to be familiar with how to write articles that supported the skill acquisition process agreed upon by the entire community. Required writing and research skills would produce higher quality work. I am not sure if being a rationalist would improve the quality of articles.

Problems

1. Difficult requirements

The number of prerequisites necessary to contribute to and use the wiki would really lower the amount of people who will be able to benefit from the wiki. It's a trade off between effectiveness and popularity. What elements should be included to maximize the effectiveness of the website?

2. Interest

There has to be enough interest in the website, or else a different project should be started instead. How many people in the Less Wrong community, and the world at large, would be interested in self improvement and rationality? 

3. Increasing the effectiveness of non altruistic people

How much of the target audience wants to improve the world? If most do not, then the wiki would essentially be a net negative on the world. What should the criteria be to view and contribute to the wiki? Perhaps only Less Wrong members should be able to view and edit the wiki, and contributors must read a quick start guide and pass a quick test before being allowed to post.

August 2013 Media Thread

5 ArisKatsaris 02 August 2013 09:49PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

Instrumental rationality/self help resources

35 gothgirl420666 18 July 2013 02:58AM

I took part in a recent discussion in the current Open Thread about how instrumental rationality is under-emphasized on this website. I've heard other people say similar things, and I am inclined to agree. Someone suggested that there should be a "Instrumental Rationality Books" thread, similar to the "best textbooks on every subject" thread. I thought this sounded like a good idea. 

The title is "resources" because in addition to books, you can post self-help websites, online videos, whatever. 

The decorum for this thread will be as follows:

  • One resource per comment
  • Place your comment in the appropriate category
  • Only post resources you've actually used. Write a short review of your resource and if possible, a short summary of the key points. Say whether or not you would recommend the resource. 
  • Mention approximately how long it's been since you first used the resource and whether or not you have made external improvements in the subject area. On the other hand, keep in mind that there are a myriad of confounding factors that can be present when applying self-help resources to your life, and therefore it is perfectly acceptable to say "I would recommend this resource, but I have not improved" or "I do not recommend this resource, but I have improved". 

I think depending on how this thread goes, in a few days I might make a meta post on this subject in an attempt to inspire discussion on how the LessWrong community can work together to attempt to reach some sort of a consensus on what the best instrumental rationality methods and resources might be. lukeprog has already done great work in his The Science of Winning at Life sequence, but his reviews are uber-conservative and only mention resources with lots of scientific and academic backing. I think this leaves out a lot of really good stuff, and I think that we should be able to draw distinctions between stuff that isn't necessarily drawing on science but is reasonable, rational, and helps a lot of people, and The Secret

But I thought we should get the ball rolling a little before we have that conversation. In the meantime, if you have a meta comment, you can just go ahead and post it as a reply to the top-level post. 

Personal Library Management

3 Ritalin 05 July 2013 10:14PM

I've just finished my finals, and, after six years of college, I am faced with this fact: I have accumulated one heck of a lot of books, most of which I haven't read yet.

An app, or at the very least an algorythm, on how to manage them, make a reading list, and go about reading them, is something I really wish for, but I have no idea how to approach this problem in a time-efficient, productive way, and I wouldn't want to reinvent the wheel.

Do any of you have the same problem? What are your solutions?

The main post will be gradually updated and amended as the discussion progresses.

EDIT: For Mac Users, it appears that Delicious Library is a great solution. While looking for alternatives, I found this web app, libib, which seems very promising.

EDIT 2: I've spent most of the day cataloguing all of my stuff on libib, which is incredibly efficient... as long as the ISBN is readily-recognized. This doesn't work so well with rarer books and older books, but they're a small enough minority that I can delcare a smashing success.

  1. Step 1 was making a list of all available books.
  2. Step 2 is going to be applying the Universal Decimal System,
  3. Step 3 will be Establishing a
  • Reading List and a
  • List of What's Already Read and a
  • List of What Will Probably Never Be Read

July 2013 Media Thread

2 ArisKatsaris 01 July 2013 11:12PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

June 2013 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 01 June 2013 11:37PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

Developmental Thinking Shout-out to CFAR

16 MarkL 03 May 2013 01:46AM

Preamble

Before I make my main point, I want to acknowledge that curriculum development is hard. It's even harder when you're trying to teach the unteachable. And it's even harder when you're in the process of bootstrapping. I am aware of the Kahneman inside/outside curriculum design story. And, I myself have taught 200+ hours of my own computer science curricula to middle-school students. So this "open letter," is not some sort of criticism of CFAR's curriculum; It's a "Hey, check out this cool stuff eventually when you have time," letter. I just wanted to put all this out there, to possibly influence the next five years of CFAR.

Curriculum development is hard.

So, anyway, I don't personally know any of the people involved in CFAR, but I do know you're all great. 

 

A case for developmental thinking

The point of this post is to make a case for CFAR to become "developmentally aware." Massive amounts of quality research has gone into describing the differences between 1) children, 2) adults, and 3) expert or developmentally advanced adults. I haven't (yet?) seen any evidence of awareness of this research in CFAR's materials. (I haven't attended a CFAR workshop, but I've flipped through some of the more recent stuff.)

Developmental thinking is a different approach than, e.g., cataloguing biases, promoting real-time awareness of them, and having a toolbox of de-biasing strategies and algorithms. Developmental literature gives clues to the precise cognitive operations that are painstakingly acquired over an entire lifetime, in a more fine-grained way than is possible when studying, say, already-expert performers or cognitive bias literature. I think developmental thinking goes deeper than "toolbox thinking" (straw!) and is an angle of approach for teaching the unteachable

Below is an annotated bibliography of some of my personal touchstones in the development literature, books that are foundational or books that synthesize decades of research about the developmental aspects of entrepreneurial, executive, educational, and scientific thinking, as well as the developmental aspects of emotion and cognition. Note that this is personal, idiosyncratic, non-exhaustive list.

And, to qualify, I have epistemological and ontological issues with plenty of the stuff below. But some of these authors are brilliant, and the rest are smart, meticulous, and values-driven. Lots of these authors deeply care about empirically identifying, targeting, accelerating, and stabilizing skills ahead of schedule or helping skills manifest when they wouldn't have otherwise appeared at all. Quibbles and double-takes aside, there is lots of signal, here, even if it's not seated in a modern framework (which would of course increase the value and accessibility of what's below).

There are clues or even neon signs, here, for isolating fine-grained, trainable stuff to be incorporated into curricula. Even if an intervention was designed for kids, a lot of adults still won't perform consistently prior to said intervention. And these researchers have spent thousands of collective hours thinking about how to structure assessments, interventions, and validations which may be extendable to more advanced scenarios.

So all the material below is not only useful for thinking about remedial or grade-school situations, and is not just for adding more tools to a cognitive toolbox, but could be useful for radically transforming a person's thinking style at a deep level.

Consider:

child:adult :: adult: ? 

This has everything to do with the "Outside the Box" Box. Really. One author below has been collecting data for decades to attempt to describe individuals that may represent far less than one percent of the population.

 

0. Protocol analysis

Everyone knows that people are poor reporters of what goes on in their heads. But this is a straw. A tremendous amount of research has gone into understanding what conditions, tasks, types of cognitive routines, and types of cognitive objects foster reliable introspective reporting. Introspective reporting can be reliable and useful. Grandaddy Herbert Simon (who coined the term "bounded rationality") devotes an entire book to it. The preface (I think) is a great overview. I wanted to mention this, first, because lots of the researchers below use verbal reports in their work.

http://www.amazon.com/Protocol-Analysis-Edition-Verbal-Reports/dp/0262550237/

 

1. Developmental aspects of scientific thinking

Deanna Kuhn and colleagues develop and test fine-grained interventions to promote transfer of various aspects of causal inquiry and reasoning in middle school students. In her words, she wants to "[develop] students' meta-level awareness and management of their intellectual processes." Kuhn believes that inquiry and argumentation skills, carefully defined and empirically backed, should be emphasized over specific content in public education. That sounds like vague and fluffy marketing-speak, but if you drill down to the specifics of what she's doing, her work is anything but. (That goes for all of these 50,000 foot summaries. These people are awesome.)

http://www.amazon.com/Education-Thinking-Deanna-Kuhn/dp/0674027450/

http://www.tc.columbia.edu/academics/index.htm?facid=dk100

http://www.educationforthinking.org/

 

David Klahr and colleagues emphasize how children and adults compare in coordinated searches of a hypothesis space and experiment space. He believes that scientific thinking is not different in kind than everyday thinking. Klahr gives an integrated account of all the current approaches to studying scientific thinking. Herbert Simon was Klahr's dissertation advisor.

http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Science-Cognition-Development-Discovery/dp/0262611767

http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~klahr/

 

2. Developmental aspects of executive or instrumental thinking

Ok, I'll say it: Elliot Jacques was a psychoanalyst, among other things. And the guy makes weird analogies between thinking styles and truth tables. But his methods are rigorous. He has found possible discontinuities in how adults process information in order to achieve goals and how these differences relate to an individuals "time horizon," or maximum time length over which an individual can comfortably execute a goal. Additionally, he has explored how these factors predictably change over a lifespan.

http://www.amazon.com/Human-Capability-Individual-Potential-Application/dp/0962107077/

 

3. Developmental aspects of entrepreneurial thinking

Saras Sarasvathy and colleagues study the difference between novice entrepreneurs and expert entrepreneurs. Sarasvathy wants to know how people function under conditions of goal ambiguity ("We don't know the exact form of what we want"), environmental isotropy ("The levers to affect the world, in our concrete situation, are non-obvious"), and enaction ("When we act we change the world"). Herbert Simon was her advisor. Her thinking predates and goes beyond the lean startup movement.

http://www.amazon.com/Effectuation-Elements-Entrepreneurial-Expertise-Entrepreneurship/dp/1848445725/

"What effectuation is not" http://www.effectuation.org/sites/default/files/research_papers/not-effectuation.pdf

Related: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/hcb/book_suggestion_diaminds_is_worth_reading/

4. General Cognitive Development

Jane Loevinger and colleagues' work have inspired scores of studies. Loevinger discovered potentially stepwise changes in "ego level" over a lifespan. Ego level is an archaic-sounding term that might be defined as one's ontological, epistemological, and metacognitive stance towards self and world. Loevinger's methods are rigorous, with good inter-rater reliability, bayesian scoring rules incorporating base rates, and so forth.

http://www.amazon.com/Measuring-Ego-Development-Volume-Construction/dp/0875890598/

http://www.amazon.com/Measuring-Development-Scoring-Manual-Women/dp/0875890695/

Here is a woo-woo description of the ego levels, but note that these descriptions are based on decades of experience and have a repeatedly validated empirical core. The author of this document, Susanne Cook-Greuter, received her doctorate from Harvard by extending Loevinger's model, and it's well worth reading all the way through: 

http://www.cook-greuter.com/9%20levels%20of%20increasing%20embrace%20update%201%2007.pdf

Here is a recent look at the field:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Postconventional-Personality-Researching-Transpersonal/dp/1438434642/

By the way, having explicit cognitive goals predicts an increase in ego level, three years later, but not an increase in subjective well-being. (Only the highest ego levels are discontinuously associated with increased wellbeing.) Socio-emotional goals do predict an increase in subjective well-being, three years later. Great study:

Bauer, Jack J., and Dan P. McAdams. "Eudaimonic growth: Narrative growth goals predict increases in ego development and subjective well-being 3 years later." Developmental Psychology 46.4 (2010): 761.

 

5. Bridging symbolic and non-symbolic cognition

[Related: http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/A_Human's_Guide_to_Words]

Eugene Gendlin and colleagues developed a "[...] theory of personality change [...] which involved a fundamental shift from looking at content [to] process [...]. From examining hundreds of transcripts and hours of taped psychotherapy interviews, Gendlin and Zimring formulated the Experiencing Level variable. [...]"

The "focusing" technique was designed as a trainable intervention to influence an individual's Experiencing Level.

Marion N. Hendricks reviews 89 studies, concluding that [I quote]:

  • Clients who process in a High Experiencing manner or focus do better in therapy according to client, therapist and objective outcome measures.
  • Clients and therapists judge sessions in which focusing takes place as more successful.
  • Successful short term therapy clients focus in every session.
  • Some clients focus immediately in therapy; Others require training.
  • Clients who process in a Low Experiencing manner can be taught to focus and increase in Experiencing manner, either in therapy or in a separate training.
  • Therapist responses deepen or flatten client Experiencing. Therapists who focus effectively help their clients do so.
  • Successful training in focusing is best maintained by those clients who are the strongest focusers during training.

http://www.focusing.org/research_basis.html

http://www.amazon.com/Focusing-Eugene-T-Gendlin/dp/0553278339/

http://www.amazon.com/Focusing-Oriented-Psychotherapy-Manual-Experiential-Method/dp/157230376X/

http://www.amazon.com/Self-Therapy-Step-By-Step-Wholeness-Cutting-Edge-Psychotherapy/dp/0984392777/ [IFS is very similar to focusing]

http://www.amazon.com/Emotion-Focused-Therapy-Coaching-Clients-Feelings/dp/1557988811/ [more references, similar to focusing]

http://www.amazon.com/Experiencing-Creation-Meaning-Philosophical-Psychological/dp/0810114275/ [favorite book of all time, by the way]

 

6. Rigorous Instructional Design

Siegfried Engelmann (http://www.zigsite.com/) and colleagues are dedicated to dramatically accelerating cognitive skill acquisition in disadvantaged children. In addition to his peer-reviewed research, he specializes in unambiguously decomposing cognitive learning tasks and designing curricula. Engelmann's methods were validated as part of Project Follow Through, the "largest and most expensive experiment in education funded by the U.S. federal government that has ever been conducted," according to Wikipedia. Engelmann contends that the data show that Direct Instruction outperformed all other methods:

http://www.zigsite.com/prologue_NeedyKids_chapter_5.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Follow_Through

Here, he systematically eviscerates an example of educational material that doesn't meet his standards:

http://www.zigsite.com/RubricPro.htm

And this is his instructional design philosophy:

http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Instruction-Applications-Siegfried-Engelmann/dp/1880183803/

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, lots of scientists have cared for decades about describing the cognitive differences between children, adults, and expert or developmentally advanced adults. And lots of scientists care about making those differences happen ahead of schedule or happen when they wouldn't have otherwise happened at all. This is a valuable and complementary perspective to what seems to be CFAR's current approach. I hope CFAR will eventually consider digging into this line of thinking, though maybe they're already on top of it or up to something even better.

May 2013 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 01 May 2013 11:09AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

April 2013 Media Thread

7 ArisKatsaris 04 April 2013 10:55PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

March 2013 Media Thread

4 ArisKatsaris 04 March 2013 10:35PM

(I decided to temporarily usurp RobertLumley's place in posting this thread. I hope he doesn't mind)

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

February 2013 Media Thread

2 RobertLumley 02 February 2013 01:36AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

 

January 2013 Media Thread

6 RobertLumley 08 January 2013 02:20AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

December 2012 Media Thread

3 RobertLumley 01 December 2012 06:53PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

 

November 2012 Media Thread

4 RobertLumley 02 November 2012 06:13AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you think there should be a thread for a particular genre of media, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

October 2012 Media Thread

6 RobertLumley 01 October 2012 03:16PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you have a thread to add, such as a video game thread or an Anime thread, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

 

What are the best books on evolutionary psychology?

4 diegocaleiro 21 September 2012 07:59PM

I'd like to divide three classes of reasons to read a discipline:

1) You are curious and want to begin reading by something 100-500 pages. I'd go for Pinker's 1990's  "How the mind works"

2) You want to screen the whole field, by reading something 500-1500 pages. I definitely recommend David Buss 2004 "The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology" which defeats the usual SI recommendations on the field

3) You want to know the state of the art of the field, so you really need something that is very recent, say from the last 2 or 3 years at most.  This is me. Please help me if you know what should I read.  300-1500 seems a good interval.

Just for a comparative, in Cognitive Neuroscience, 3 would be 2009 "MIT The Cognitive Neurosciences IV"

 

Post your opinions on what 1 2 and 3 should be for Evolutionary Psychology.

Oh, and if you like Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience (a field so new I don't know any of the 3) please post yours too...

September 2012 Media Thread

1 RobertLumley 04 September 2012 06:46PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you have a thread to add, such as a video game thread or an Anime thread, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

 

August 2012 Media Thread

3 RobertLumley 01 August 2012 06:29PM

 

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres. There is a meta thread for comments about future threads.
  • If you have a thread to add, such as a video game thread or an Anime thread, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

 

July 2012 Media Thread

5 RobertLumley 01 July 2012 06:06PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres, which I was apparently too dumb to do.
  • If you have a thread to add, such as a video game thread or an Anime thread, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

 

Summary of "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

18 Cosmos 30 June 2012 08:49PM

In the very back of Kaj's excellent How to Run a Successful Less Wrong Meetup Group booklet, he has a recommended reading section, including the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

It just so happens that not only have I read the book myself, but I have written up a concise summary of the core advice here. Kaj suggested that I post this on the discussion section because others might find it useful, so here you go!

I suspect that more people are willing to read a summary of a book from the 1930s than an actual book from the 1930s. What I will say about reading the long-form text is that it can be more useful for internalizing these concepts and giving examples of them. It is far too easy to abstractly know what you need to do, much harder to actually take action on those beliefs...

June 2012 Media Thread

3 RobertLumley 01 June 2012 01:39PM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that reading the sequences makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres, which I was apparently too dumb to do.
  • If you have a thread to add, such as a video game thread or an Anime thread, please post it to the Other Media thread for now, and add a poll to the Meta thread asking if it should be a thread every month.

 

How do you find good scholarly criticism of a book?

7 Emile 24 May 2012 10:51AM

When I read a book with new and interesting ideas, I usually want to know if there are major flaws that any knowledgeable scholar in the field would point out immediately (Two recent examples are Pinker's "The Better Angels of our Nature", and Harriss's "The Nurture Assumption")

I usually:

  • Look at reviews on Amazon (especially the negative ones)
  • Google with keywords like "criticism, "review", "problem", (and whatever major issues I seem to have run in) etc.
  • Search Google Scholar for the same thing
  • Ask in some communities (LessWrong, reddit AskHistorians) if anybody read it

One problem is that I end up spending a lot of time reading stuff of no interest - either reviewers explaining the book to people who haven't read it (and sometimes even misrepresenting it's arguments, or framing them in terms of their pet controversy), or bloggers/posters who haven't read the book so go off a summary and come up with arguments that are already well-addressed in it.

So, what tips and strategies do you have for finding solid scholarly criticism ?

[Book Suggestions] Summer Reading for Younglings.

8 Karmakaiser 12 May 2012 04:57PM

I bought my niece a Kindle that just arrived and I'm about to load it up with books to give it to her tomorrow for her birthday. I've decided to be a sneaky uncle and include good books that can teach better abilities to think or at least to consider science cool and interesting. She is currently in the 4th Grade with 5th coming after the Summer.

She reads basically at her own grade level so while I'm open to stuffing the Kindle with books to be read when she's ready, I'd like to focus on giving her books she can read now. Ender's Game will be on there most likely. Game of Thrones will not.

What books would you give a youngling? Her interests currently trend toward the young mystery section, Hardy Boys and the like, but in my experience she is very open to trying new books with particular interest in YA fantasy but not much interest in Sci Fi (if I'm doing any other optimizing this year, I'll try to change her opinion on Sci Fi).

Lesswrong Community's How-Tos and Recommendations

25 EE43026F 07 May 2012 01:41PM

The Lesswrong community is often a dependable source of recommendations, network help, and advice. When I'm looking for a book or learning material on a topic I'll often try and search here to see what residents have found useful. Similarly, social advice, anecdotes and explanations as seen from the point of view of the community have regularly been insightful or eye-opening. The prototypical examples of such articles are, on top of my head :


http://lesswrong.com/lw/3gu/the_best_textbooks_on_every_subject/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/453/procedural_knowledge_gaps/

the topics of which are neatly listed on

http://lesswrong.com/lw/a08/topics_from_procedural_knowledge_gaps/

 

And lately

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/c6y/why_do_people/

 

the latter prompted me to write this article. We don't keep track of such resources as far as I know. This probably belongs in the wiki as well.

 

Other potentially useful resources were:

 

http://lesswrong.com/lw/12d/recommended_reading_for_new_rationalists/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/2kk/book_recommendations/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/2ua/recommended_reading_for_friendly_ai_research/



math learning

http://lesswrong.com/lw/9qq/what_math_should_i_learn/


http://lesswrong.com/lw/8js/what_mathematics_to_learn/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/a54/seeking_education/


misc learning

http://lesswrong.com/lw/5me/scholarship_how_to_do_it_efficiently/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/4yv/i_want_to_learn_programming/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/3qr/i_want_to_learn_economics/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/3us/i_want_to_learn_about_education/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/8e3/which_fields_of_learning_have_clarified_your/


social

http://lesswrong.com/lw/6ey/learning_how_to_explain_things/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/818/how_to_understand_people_better/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/6tb/developing_empathy/


community

http://lesswrong.com/lw/929/less_wrong_mentoring_network/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/7hi/free_research_help_editing_and_article_downloads/


Employment

http://lesswrong.com/lw/43m/optimal_employment/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/2qp/virtual_employment_open_thread/


http://lesswrong.com/lw/38u/best_career_models_for_doing_research/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/4ad/optimal_employment_open_thread/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/626/job_search_advice/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/8cp/any_thoughts_on_how_to_locate_job_opportunities/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/7yl/more_shameless_ploys_for_job_advice/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/a93/existential_risk_reduction_career_network/

 

Entertainment

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/tag/recommendations/?sort=new

May 2012 Media Thread

4 RobertLumley 02 May 2012 01:34AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that reading the sequences makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees for genres, which I was apparently too dumb to do.

April 2012 Media Thread

5 RobertLumley 01 April 2012 04:55PM

Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing!

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees, which I was apparently too dumb to do.

March 2012 Media Thread

5 RobertLumley 01 March 2012 03:10PM

There was a recent discussion considering the idea of a monthly Book (later expanded to movies, links, etc) thread. The poll was pretty unanimous that this was A Good Idea (tm). The past two threads have had a decent amount of activity, so let's keep going.

Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing!

Rules:

  • Please avoid downvoting; this is a thread for sharing subjective experiences, and people should feel comfortable posting their personal opinion without fearing a karma backlash. If you disagree with a person's recommendation, please post a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees, which I was apparently too dumb to do.

[LINK] The Hacker Shelf, free books.

9 paper-machine 14 February 2012 04:52PM

Yes, this a repost from Hacker News, but I want to point out some books that are of LW-related interest.

The Hacker Shelf is a repository of freely available textbooks. Most of them are about computer programming or the business of computer programming, but there are a few that are perhaps interesting to the LW community. All of these were publicly available beforehand, but I'm linking to the aggregator in hopes that people can think of other freely available textbooks to submit there.

The site is in its beginning explosion phase; in the time it took to write this post, it doubled in size. If previous sites are any indication, it will crest in a month or so. People will probably lose interest after three months, and after a year the site will probably silently close shop.

MacKay, Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms

I really wish I had an older version of this book; the newer one has been marred by a Cambridge UP ad on the upper margin of every page. Publishers ruin everything.

The book covers reasonably concisely the basics of information theory and Bayesian methods, with some game theory and coding theory (in the sense of data compression) thrown in on the side. The style takes after Knuth, but refrains from the latter's more encyclopedic tendencies. It's also the type of book that gives a lot of extra content in the exercises. It unfortunately assumes a decent amount of mathematical knowledge — linear algebra and calculus, but nothing you wouldn't find on the Khan Academy.

Hacker Shelf review, book website.

Easley and Kleinberg, Networks, Crowds, and Markets

There's just a lot of stuff in this book, most of it of independent interest. The thread that ties the book together is graph theory, and with it they cover a great deal of game theory, voting theory, and economics. There are lots of graphs and pictures, and the writing style is pretty deliberate and slow-paced. The math is not very intense; all their probability spaces are discrete, so there's no calculus, and only a few touches of linear algebra.

Hacker Shelf review, book website.

Gabriel, Patterns of Software

This is a more fluffy book about the practice of software engineering. It's rather old, but I'm linking to it anyway because I agree with the author's feeling that the software engineering discipline has more or less misunderstood Christopher Alexander's work on pattern languages. The author tends to ramble on. I think there's some good wisdom about programming practices and organizational management in general that one could abstract away from this book.

Hacker Shelf link, book website (scroll down).

Nisan et. al., Algorithmic Game Theory

I hesitate to link this because the math level is exceptionally high, perhaps high enough that anyone who can read the book probably knows the better part of its contents already. But game/decision theory is near and dear to LW's heart, so perhaps someone will gather some utility from this book. There's an awful lot going on in it. A brief selection: a section on the relationship between game theory and cryptography, a section on computation in prediction markets, and a section analyzing the incentives of information security.

Hacker Shelf review, book.

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