Announcement: The Sequences eBook will be released in mid-March

The Se­quences are be­ing re­leased as an eBook, ti­tled Ra­tion­al­ity: From AI to Zom­bies, on March 12.

We went with the name “Ra­tion­al­ity: From AI to Zom­bies” (based on shminux’s sug­ges­tion) to make it clearer to peo­ple — who might oth­er­wise be ex­pect­ing a self-help book, or an aca­demic text — that the style and con­tents of the Se­quences are rather un­usual. We want to filter for read­ers who have a wide-rang­ing in­ter­est in (/​ tol­er­ance for) weird in­tel­lec­tual top­ics. Alter­na­tive op­tions tended to ob­scure what the book is about, or ob­scure its breadth /​ eclec­ti­cism.

The book’s contents

Around 340 of Eliezer’s es­says from 2009 and ear­lier will be in­cluded, col­lected into twenty-six sec­tions (“se­quences”), com­piled into six books:

  1. Map and Ter­ri­tory: se­quences on the Bayesian con­cep­tions of ra­tio­nal­ity, be­lief, ev­i­dence, and ex­pla­na­tion.

  2. How to Ac­tu­ally Change Your Mind: se­quences on con­fir­ma­tion bias and mo­ti­vated rea­son­ing.

  3. The Ma­chine in the Ghost: se­quences on op­ti­miza­tion pro­cesses, cog­ni­tion, and con­cepts.

  4. Mere Real­ity: se­quences on sci­ence and the phys­i­cal world.

  5. Mere Good­ness: se­quences on hu­man val­ues.

  6. Be­com­ing Stronger: se­quences on self-im­prove­ment and group ra­tio­nal­ity.

The six books will be re­leased as a sin­gle sprawl­ing eBook, mak­ing it easy to hop back and forth be­tween differ­ent parts of the book. The whole book will be about 1,800 pages long. How­ever, we’ll also be re­leas­ing the same con­tent as a se­ries of six print books (and as six au­dio books) at a fu­ture date.

The Se­quences have been tidied up in a num­ber of small ways, but the con­tent is mostly un­changed. The largest change is to how the con­tent is or­ga­nized. Some im­por­tant Over­com­ing Bias and Less Wrong posts that were never offi­cially sorted into se­quences have now been added — 58 ad­di­tions in all, form­ing four en­tirely new se­quences (and also sup­ple­ment­ing some ex­ist­ing se­quences). Other posts have been re­moved — 105 in to­tal. The fol­low­ing old se­quences will be the most heav­ily af­fected:

  • Map and Ter­ri­tory and Mys­te­ri­ous An­swers to Mys­te­ri­ous Ques­tions are be­ing merged, ex­panded, and re­assem­bled into a new set of in­tro­duc­tory se­quences, with more fo­cus placed on cog­ni­tive bi­ases. The name ‘Map and Ter­ri­tory’ will be re-ap­plied to this en­tire col­lec­tion of se­quences, con­sti­tut­ing the first book.

  • Quan­tum Physics and Me­taethics are be­ing heav­ily re­ordered and heav­ily short­ened.

  • Most of Fun The­ory and Eth­i­cal In­junc­tions is be­ing left out. Tak­ing their place will be two new se­quences on ethics, plus the mod­ified ver­sion of Me­taethics.

I’ll provide more de­tails on these changes when the eBook is out.

Un­like the print and au­dio-book ver­sions, the eBook ver­sion of Ra­tion­al­ity: From AI to Zom­bies will be en­tirely free. If you want to pur­chase it on Kin­dle Store and down­load it di­rectly to your Kin­dle, it will also be available on Ama­zon for $4.99.

To make the con­tent more ac­cessible, the eBook will in­clude in­tro­duc­tions I’ve writ­ten up for this pur­pose. It will also in­clude a LessWrongWiki link to a glos­sary, which I’ll be re­cruit­ing LessWrongers to help pop­u­late with ex­pla­na­tions of refer­ences and jar­gon from the Se­quences.

I’ll post an an­nounce­ment to Main as soon as the eBook is available. See you then!