Similarly, for instrumental rationality, I’ve been trying to lean harder on putting myself in environments that induce me to be more productive, rather than working on strategies to stay productive when my environment is making that difficult.
As a note on terminology, I don’t think that (Yudkowskian) rationalists use the word “rationalism” to describe our worldview/practice. It’s a natural modification of “rationalist”, and I’ve seen a few people outside the rationalist community use it to refer to our worldview, but e.g. no one ever comes up to me at a party and says, “Have any thoughts about rationalism lately?” We tend to just say “rationality” or “the art of rationality”.
I’d also strongly advocate that we not start using the word “rationalism” for it. Mostly this is because I share your grumble about how the word “rationalist” already has a well-defined meaning to the rest of the world, and I don’t want to extend that overloading and inevitable confusion by using the word “rationalism” alongside it.
I’m tempted to try to come up with better names for our worldview, but there are actually some advantages to not having a clear proper-noun-type name. One is that everyone immediately gets the gist of what “rationalists” are about. Stereotypes aside, it’s an advantage over being called “the Frobnitzists” or something else inscrutable. Another is that, as described in the virtue of the void, we don’t know exactly what the name is for what we want; we’re trying to move toward that which cannot be named. If we give our current best-guess a proper noun like the Debiasers or the Bayesian Conspiracy, then we might be stuck with that even after we shift to a better understanding, or worse yet, we might think we’ve found the ultimate answer and become stuck to it through the name.
It’s someone peering under the veil of the celestial sphere to gaze at the underlying machinery of nature. It’s a common image for depicting science.
This depicts a community of scholarship.
It would be hard to say, because he’s outside the entire paradigm of being an agent.
This is one of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. The optical effects are stunning, and the fact that you can see the entire scope of it, for a planet of inconceivable size, in one view just blows me away. This image feels like the essence of cosmological wonder. It’s almost painful to take in.
Worth noting that these are all photographs. (Some of them are modified, e.g. the earth is added from another picture, and some of them are colorized.)
I find this a fascinating choice because of how not-rationalist Dr. Manhattan is for much of the novel.
Maybe these should be moved into answers, instead of as this comment? (And as separate answers, so people can vote/discuss them separately.)
Widget bug; they have a tiny bit of transparency such that you can read the back of the card before clicking.
Small note of feedback on style; something feels weird to me about using named, hypothetical people for each of the described types of self-control. It’s like you’re introducing a character that I’m supposed to keep track of, but then you never reuse them. To use another analogy, it feels like you’re highlighting each paragraph with a different color, but then those colors are never used again and have no meaning.
I’m guessing that you’re doing it strategically, possibly based on some social science studies about how it makes people remember content better. If so, far be it from me to deny the outside view! But I personally find it kind of… infantilizing? As if I’m reading a kid’s book, or something.
There is listener demand for informal unscripted conversation.
This reminds me of the popularity of streaming, a la Twitch. Instead of being a conversation between guests, Twitch streaming is a conversation between the streamer and whatever chat messages the streamer decides to interact with.I’ve also noticed for myself that I’ve been slowly drifting toward watching youtube content where a person is essentially just talking. Unscripted, and only lightly edited. If I care about the content, then listening to it will take up my full attention. If I don’t care about the content, then I’ll listen to it as ambient background audio. I haven’t had other people tell me that they do the same thing, but it felt very similar to the content of this post.
I see. I just searched for “central example” on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and it pops up there in tons of results too. Although there still isn’t e.g. a page called “Central Example”.