Less Wrong Gems 2021

I don’t remember when did it exactly happen, but at some point I landed on a elegant looking community blog that is called Less Wrong. They advertise themselves as “[…] a community dedicated to improving our reasoning and decision-making” and the name is derived by the realisation that in order to learn, we must constantly err, but each time less and less.

It is basically a blog where anyone can post essays or ideas on the topic of rationality and real-world applications of it. Applications such as AI, decision making, or community structuring. The site offers a very nice way of commenting and ‘rating’ these essays, and in general it seems like a nice place to be, so I kept visiting it every now and then.

On one my first visits on the site, I saw they are advertising a series of self-published booklets gathering some of the highest rated essays. I was sold almost immediately, especially since the booklets had a really nice design. So I ordered and that’s how I dived into the world of Less Wrong.

I received the booklets in the beginning of this year, and I have just finished reading all the essays this week. What I really appreciated in them is the introduction to some ideas that were very different than what I am used to encounter in my daily life. Not that I found always these ideas correct or justified enough, but it provided me with a different viewpoint for the world which I missed lately. Below, you can see some of my favourite examples in this respect.

The Pavlov strategy

This is about Game theory and cooperation, and a very rudimentary explanation of why civilizations rise and fall. It’s also a short read and gives and idea of what kind of gems you can find here.

Babble and Prune

This is a series of essays on language and creativity. I have read the first three of them, and it gave me a little bit of insight of how my kid learns how to talk. And also on some of my ‘best’ jokes of making up words in languages I am not native (mainly Romanian).

The Intelligent Social Web

This one is a bout how life can be seen as improvisational theatre.

The Tails Coming Apart As Metaphor For Life

Some insights on happiness and subjective well-being.

If you are interested in rationality, and are curious about different viewpoints, I strongly recommend you have a look. And please let me know if you find something else interesting!

Lecturer on Robotics and Biomechanics
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