CFAR Handbook

The Center for Applied Rationality set out to develop simple, concrete concepts and techniques that could be straightforwardly applied to anyone’s problems and goals, (hopefully) resulting in clearer thinking, better decision-making, and better follow-through.

This is the result of the first five years or so of that research and development.

0. Getting Started

CFAR Hand­book: Introduction

Open­ing Ses­sion Tips & Advice

Build­ing a Bugs List prompts

1. Classes

Seek­ing PCK (Ped­a­gog­i­cal Con­tent Knowl­edge)

Units of Exchange

Mur­phyjitsu: an In­ner Si­mu­la­tor algorithm

Trig­ger-Ac­tion Planning

Goal Factoring

Aver­sion Factoring


Taste & Shaping

Good­hart’s Imperius



Com­fort Zone Exploration

Re­solve Cycles


In­ter­nal Dou­ble Crux

Dou­ble Crux

Bucket Errors

1. Flash Classes

Po­laris, Five-Se­cond Ver­sions, and Thought Lengths

So­cratic Duck­ing, OODA Loops, Frame-by-Frame Debugging

Gears-Level Un­der­stand­ing, De­liber­ate Perfor­mance, The Strate­gic Level

Area un­der the curve, Eat Dirt, Broc­coli Er­rors, Coper­ni­cus & Chaos

Pen­du­lums, Policy-Level De­ci­sion­mak­ing, Sav­ing State

1. Appendices

Ap­pendix: Ham­ming Questions

Ap­pendix: Jar­gon Dictionary

Ap­pendix: How to run a suc­cess­ful Ham­ming circle