[Question] What are some beautiful, rationalist artworks?

So you can now drag-and-drop images into com­ments. (Thanks, LessWrong dev team!)

Hence, this post is an ex­cuse to build a beau­tiful, in­spiring, pow­er­ful — and pri­mar­ily vi­sual — com­ment sec­tion.

Let’s cel­e­brate all that is great about the Art of Ra­tion­al­ity, with images.


  • Each an­swer must con­tain a pic­ture. No links!

It should be pos­si­ble to just scroll through the com­ments and adore the art­work. There shouldn’t be any need to click-through to other pages. (Think of it like a Pin­ter­est board, if you’ve ever seen those.)

Ad­ding text is fine, but con­sider do­ing it in a com­ment un­der­neath your image, so it can be col­lapsed.

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

Allowed: a breath­tak­ing shot of a SpaceX launch; that solemn shot of Petrov deep in thought, gaz­ing out his win­dow; a paint­ing of Gal­ileo spear­head­ing em­piri­cism against the in­qui­si­tion, …

Not al­lowed: a ran­dom pretty moun­tain; the Mona Lisa; ab­stract ex­pres­sion­ism, …

I’ll be liberal with this con­di­tion if you can give a good jus­tifi­ca­tion for why you chose your piece.

  • Pic­tures should be beau­tiful art in­de­pen­dently of their re­la­tion to ra­tio­nal­ity.

Allowed: an exquisite shot of some piece of el­e­gantly en­g­ineered ma­chin­ery; a richly colour­ful and swirling galaxy, …

Not al­lowed: a ran­dom pic­ture of Ein­stein and Gödel hang­ing out; a low-re­s­olu­tion photo of a galaxy which is cool be­cause it rep­re­sents an im­por­tant ad­vance in as­tron­omy, but which in-and-of-it­self just looks like some lame com­puter graph­ics; Petrov’s own tourist pho­tos, …

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

Prob­a­bly goes with­out say­ing… but don’t be a pre­ten­tious art critic. The point of this thread is to pay trib­ute to those virtues that keep us striv­ing to leave this world in a bet­ter place than we found it, guided by the Light of Science. Don’t shout over the mu­sic.

That be­ing said, I do care about pic­tures ac­tu­ally rep­re­sent­ing ra­tio­nal­ity. For ex­am­ple, take that photo of the ex­hausted sur­geon af­ter a 23h heart trans­plant. If it turned out (hy­po­thet­i­cal) to have been the re­sult of re­ally poor util­i­tar­ian calcu­la­tions, and ac­tu­ally is in di­rect con­flict with some of our virtues: I think it’s im­por­tant to note that.


Note: I’m cer­tainly not say­ing that the above rules are all that ra­tio­nal­ist art is about. I’m just go­ing for a par­tic­u­lar vi­sion with this com­ment field. Other posts can en­force other vi­sions. :)