Instrumental rationality/​self help resources

I took part in a re­cent dis­cus­sion in the cur­rent Open Thread about how in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity is un­der-em­pha­sized on this web­site. I’ve heard other peo­ple say similar things, and I am in­clined to agree. Some­one sug­gested that there should be a “In­stru­men­tal Ra­tion­al­ity Books” thread, similar to the “best text­books on ev­ery sub­ject” thread. I thought this sounded like a good idea.

The ti­tle is “re­sources” be­cause in ad­di­tion to books, you can post self-help web­sites, on­line videos, what­ever.

The deco­rum for this thread will be as fol­lows:

  • One re­source per comment

  • Place your com­ment in the ap­pro­pri­ate category

  • Only post re­sources you’ve ac­tu­ally used. Write a short re­view of your re­source and if pos­si­ble, a short sum­mary of the key points. Say whether or not you would recom­mend the re­source.

  • Men­tion ap­prox­i­mately how long it’s been since you first used the re­source and whether or not you have made ex­ter­nal im­prove­ments in the sub­ject area. On the other hand, keep in mind that there are a myr­iad of con­found­ing fac­tors that can be pre­sent when ap­ply­ing self-help re­sources to your life, and there­fore it is perfectly ac­cept­able to say “I would recom­mend this re­source, but I have not im­proved” or “I do not recom­mend this re­source, but I have im­proved”.

I think de­pend­ing on how this thread goes, in a few days I might make a meta post on this sub­ject in an at­tempt to in­spire dis­cus­sion on how the LessWrong com­mu­nity can work to­gether to at­tempt to reach some sort of a con­sen­sus on what the best in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity meth­ods and re­sources might be. luke­prog has already done great work in his The Science of Win­ning at Life se­quence, but his re­views are uber-con­ser­va­tive and only men­tion re­sources with lots of sci­en­tific and aca­demic back­ing. I think this leaves out a lot of re­ally good stuff, and I think that we should be able to draw dis­tinc­tions be­tween stuff that isn’t nec­es­sar­ily draw­ing on sci­ence but is rea­son­able, ra­tio­nal, and helps a lot of peo­ple, and The Se­cret.

But I thought we should get the ball rol­ling a lit­tle be­fore we have that con­ver­sa­tion. In the mean­time, if you have a meta com­ment, you can just go ahead and post it as a re­ply to the top-level post.