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LessWrong rationality quotes.

Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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1/26/2013 6:21:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think many of these are genuinely profound: http://people.mokk.bme.hu...

Sample:

"tags like "stupid," "bad at __", "sloppy," and so on, are ways of saying "You're performing badly and I don't know why." Once you move it to "you're performing badly because you have the wrong fingerings," or "you're performing badly because you don't understand what a limit is," it's no longer a vague personal failing but a causal necessity. Anyone who never understood limits will flunk calculus. It's not you, it's the bug."
-celandine13

"And here, according to Trout, was the reason human beings could not reject ideas because they were bad: Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity. The ideas Earthlings held didn"t matter for hundreds of thousands of years, since they couldn"t do much about them anyway. Ideas might as well be badges as anything."
-Kurt Vonnegut

"Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect"
-Teller

"This time he covered a lot more ground and was willing to talk about the mundane details of presidential existence. "You have to exercise," he said, for instance. "Or at some point you"ll just break down." You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. "You"ll see I wear only gray or blue suits," he said. "I"m trying to pare down decisions. I don"t want to make decisions about what I"m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make." He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one"s ability to make further decisions. It"s why shopping is so exhausting. "You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can"t be going through the day distracted by trivia.""
-Michael Lewis on Barack Obama.

Thoughts?
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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1/26/2013 6:27:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Oh, and one of my favourites from one of my favourite psychology papers:

"Most people don't know the basic scientific facts about happiness"about what brings it and what sustains it"and so they don't know how to use their money to acquire it. It is not surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about wine end up with cellars that aren't that much better stocked than their neighbors', and it should not be surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about happiness end up with lives that aren't that much happier than anyone else's. Money is an opportunity for happiness, but it is an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they think will make them happy often don't."

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu...(2011).pdf
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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1/27/2013 8:38:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Most of these are just basic concepts being expressed in different, wiser sounding terms. For instance, that part about humans not caring about contents of ideas and accepting what the group does (ironically one of the key drawbacks of Lesswrong) is pretty obvious to anyone who knows basic psychology or sociology- no, not even that; a basic grasp of history will do.

Lesswrong is a bit of a cult, and seems to attract only a particular demographic. I don't go on it anymore.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)