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You Should Probably Study Rationality

The largest mental gains I made in the shortest period of time were from studying rationality.

I was amazed to discover a couple years ago that there were people who regularly studied and discussed how to think, how to get correct and accurate beliefs about how the world works, how to understand how your mind works, and to get at the real reasons people make decisions.

The whole rationality thing is as addictive as crack-cocaine for me. I love it. The difference from crack, though, is you grow stronger and smarter the more you dive in.

Our minds are funny. We humans, we're "adaptation exercisers, not fitness maximizers" -

Fifty thousand years ago, the taste buds of Homo sapiens directed their bearers to the scarcest, most critical food resources - sugar and fat. Calories, in a word. Today, the context of a taste bud's function has changed, but the taste buds themselves have not. Calories, far from being scarce (in First World countries), are actively harmful. Micronutrients that were reliably abundant in leaves and nuts are absent from bread, but our taste buds don't complain. A scoop of ice cream is a superstimulus, containing more sugar, fat, and salt than anything in the ancestral environment.

Having A Body Of Work

On Huan M. Nguyen

Here's a link for you that may really help you to develop as a clear-thinking person: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~andwhay/postlist.html.

What is it? A list of Eliezer Yudkowsky's blog posts in chronological order over a period of about two years. It's nearly six hundred (600!) posts long; he challenged himself to write every day, for at least a large chunk of that time.

Eliezer Yudkowsky is a man who works with two extremely cool things. One, he works with artificial intelligence (AI). He has an extremely strong grasp of math and logic, and works on advancing the field. Two, Mr. Yudkowsky works with CFAR, the Center For Applied Rationality. It's an organization that aims to teach the art of rationality to willing students.

He also writes the fanfiction Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, as a sort of introduction to the art for people. HPMOR is actually quite educational and a very gripping story. if you're normally not big on fanfiction, I recommend giving it a shot just for what you can learn; I've heard some people say it's also a read that motivates them. If you like fanfics, or if you like Harry Potter, I think you'll enjoy it! Lots of little references, jokes, it's really quite captivating.

I've been reading HPMOR for a while, and known of Mr. Yudkowsky's posts for a while, but only today did I stumble upon the list of his blog posts, and realized how massive it is.

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