In the past four decades, behavioral economists and cognitive psychologists have discovered many cognitive biases human brains fall prey to when thinking and deciding. Less Wrong is an online community for people who want to apply the discovery of biases like the conjunction fallacy, the affect heuristic, and scope insensitivity in order to improve their own thinking. Bayesian reasoning offers a way to improve on the native human reasoning style. Reasoning naively, we tend not to seek alternative explanations, and sometimes underrate the influence of prior probabilities in Bayes’ theorem. Less Wrong users aim to develop accurate predictive models of the world, and change their mind when they find evidence disconfirming those models, instead of being able to explain anything.
Source: Welcome to Less Wrong
Interested in improving your reasoning and decision-making skills? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Less Wrong is a large, active website for people who try to think rationally. To get a quick idea of why rationality is important and how to develop it, try reading Your Intuitions Are Not Magic, The Cognitive Science of Rationality, or What I’ve Learned From Less Wrong.
Here’s a selection of other posts from the extensive Less Wrong archives that might appeal to you:
- Like thinking about politics? Try A Fable of Science and Politics.
- Enjoy thought experiments? Here’s a good one about the nature of intention.
- Want to teach yourself something? We’ve compiled a list of the best textbooks on every subject. Try spaced repetition for helping you remember what you read (or don’t).
- Not sure if rational thinking has practical applications? Read Less Wrong on driving or buying a house.
- Want to improve your effectiveness? Humans are not automatically strategic, so learning to think more strategically can give you a leg up.
- Looking for greater purpose or meaning in life? Read a Less Wrong user’s case for effective altruism.
- Are you a busy intellectual? Consider taking time to introspect on whether you’re working towards something worth achieving, and how you could operate more effectively.
- Want to make sure your study of biases doesn’t backfire? Read how knowing about biases can hurt people.
And some slightly meatier stuff:
- Bayes’ Theorem Illustrated
- Hindsight Devalues Science
- How an Algorithm Feels from the Inside
- Make Your Training Useful
- Scholarship: How to Do It Efficiently
- Attention Control Is Critical for Changing/Increasing/Altering Motivation
- That Alien Message
- Decision Theories: A Semi-Formal Analysis parts 0, 1, 2, and 3
The Less Wrong Community
Less Wrong makes heavy use of previously introduced topics for leverage, so you may need to consult the Concepts and Jargon pages on the Less Wrong Wiki. You can also do keyword searches of past posts using the search tool near the top right corner of every page.
Unlike some skeptics, Less Wrong users don’t automatically reject odd ideas and sometimes endorse them. Odd ideas users have been known to espouse include transhumanism, cryonics, and caution regarding AI research.
If you want to know more about Less Wrong, try the Less Wrong FAQ.
The best place to start exploring the LW archives is the sequences page. Sequence posts provide Less Wrong’s philosophical foundation and cover many important ideas. You can also browse all posts by score.
Yes, blog archives can make for better reading than books.
After creating an account, you can introduce yourself in our welcome thread.
Don’t take it too hard if one of your first few comments gets voted down. Less Wrong sets a very high standardfor contributions. You might want to lurk for a while or read some archive posts to get a sense of the site.
Source: About Less Wrong