Why don’t rationalists win more?
The following list comes from a presentation I gave at a Slate Star Codex meetup in 2018.
- Thinkers vs. doers: selection effects  and a mutually-reinforcing tendency to talk instead of doing .
- Theoretical models spread without selection .
- Inability and unwillingness to cooperate .
- People who are more interested in instrumental rationality leave the community .
- Focusing on the future leads to a lack of immediate plans .
- Pessimism due to a focus on problems .
- Success mostly depends on specific skills, not general rationality .
- Online communities are fundamentally incapable of increasing instrumental rationality (“a chair about jogging”) .
- “Why Don’t Rationalists Win?” Adam Zerner. 2015.
- “The Craft & The Community—A Post-Mortem & Resurrection”. bendini. 2017.
- “Self-Improvement or Shiny Distraction: Why Less Wrong is anti-Instrumental Rationality”. Patri Friedman. 2010.
- “Slack Club”. The Last Rationalist. 2019.
- “Where are All the Successful Rationalists?” Applied Divinity Studies. 2020.
Tags: my work, rationality.