What are some beautiful, rationalist sounds?

I loved jacobjacob’s post from which I’ve stolen the title, format, and some of the language of this post. The goal of this post is to build a comment section containing links to lovely music or other sounds, possibly along with lyrics or stories that highlight why it’s directly connected to the theme of rationality.

Let’s celebrate the Art of Rationality—this time, with a joyful noise!


  • Each comment should contain a link to a free recording, and a description.

The description should show why the music or sound is directly connected to the Art of Rationality. No bare links!

  • Recordings should be somehow relate to the Art of Rationality, as practiced on LessWrong.

Allowed: Einstein on the Beach; Songs of the Humpback Whale; AI-generated cyperpunk music; Getting Better by the Beatles.

Not allowed: Random techno; Beethoven’s 9th symphony; music selected just because of how hypermodernist and dissonant it is; songs that happen to be titled “Rationality” but have no other obvious rationalist content.

These standards can be loose as long as the choice is well-justified! I expect that many pieces will need some creative interpretation to make the connection clear.

  • Recordings should be something you could appreciate independently of their connection to rationality.

Allowed: Pithopraka, a piece from the mathematical composer Xenakis’s ouvre, inspired by the statistical mechanics of gases, that happens to be relatively accessible; radio emissions from all the plants in the solar system.

Not allowed: ST/​10 by Xenakis, which is rather disorienting and harsh; The sound of a dialup modem; the theme song from Pinky and the Brain; podcast episodes and recordings of speeches; X-ray data from a black hole translated into sound.

Ideally, this is music that can benefit from focused attention, but could also be enjoyed playing in the background (perhaps on repeat, in the case of shorter clips). It should be at least a few minutes long.

  • Don’t be a jerk, but do note if you think something is a major conflict with a virtue.

No need to be a pretentious music critic, but if a composer was writing an explicitly religious composition, or a singer is noted for their anti-science attitude, that’s fine to point out.

I’m not certain if this will work as well as jacobjacob’s original post, but I thought I’d give it a try!