We have a shared vocabulary in which to describe problems and solutions. Self-deception, confirmation bias, magical thinking—it sometimes seems our ingenuity is boundless when it comes to shooting ourselves in the foot. In map and territory, decision theorist eliezer yudkowsky asks what a “martial art” of rationality would look like, beginning with the basic fighting stance—the orientation toward the world that lets us get the most bang for our cognitive buck, that best positions us to understand and react to brains’ strange acts of self-destruction.
. Experimental investigations of empirical human psychology; and theoretical probability theory to interpret what our experiments tell us; and evolutionary theory to explain the conclusions. These fields give us new focusing lenses through which to view the landscape of our own minds. If you live in an urban area, you probably don’t need to walk very far to find a martial arts dojo.
Why aren’t there dojos that teach rationality?Very recently—in just the last few decades—the human species has acquired a great deal of new knowledge about human rationality. Humanity may finally be ready to synthesize the martial art of mind: to refine, systematize, share, and pass on techniques of personal rationality.
When human brains try to do things, they can run into some very strange problems.
How to Actually Change Your Mind Rationality: From AI to Zombies
Deciding to burn people to death because they ‘don’t think properly’—that’s a revolting kind of reasoning, why, isn’t it? You wouldn’t want people to think that way, it’s disgusting. One of those interests is the human pursuit of truth, which has strengthened slowly over the generations for there was not always science.
I believe that it is right and proper for me, as a human being, to have an interest in the future, and what human civilization becomes in the future. In how to actually change your mind, decision theorist Eliezer Yudkowsky asks how we can better identify and sort out our biases, integrate new evidence, and achieve lucidity in our daily lives.
People who think like that, well, we’ll have to do something about them. I agree! here’s my proposal: Let’s argue against bad ideas but not set their bearers on fire. Human intelligence is a superweapon: an amazing capacity that has single-handedly put humans in a dominant position on Earth. I wish to strengthen that pursuit further, in this generation.
For we are all of us players upon that vast gameboard, whether we accept the responsibility or not. And that makes your rationality my business. Is this a dangerous idea? Yes, and not just pleasantly edgy “dangerous.
Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck
Eliezer yudkowsky's inadequate equilibria is a sharp and lively guidebook for anyone questioning when and how they can know better, and do better, than the status quo. Freely mixing debates on the foundations of rational decision-making with tips for everyday life, Yudkowsky explores the central question of when we can and can't expect to spot systemic inefficiencies, and exploit them.
When should you think that you may be able to do something unusually well? Whether you're trying to outperform in science, or just in finding good deals shopping on eBay, or in business, it's important that you have a sober understanding of your relative competencies. The story only ends there, however, if you're fortunate enough to live in an adequate civilization.
The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, but also to help us get ahead socially, are designed not just to hunt and gather, often via deception and self-deception.
The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better - and thus we don't like to talk or even think about the extent of our selfishness. This is "the elephant in the brain. Such an introspective taboo makes it hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. You won't see yourself - or the world - the same after confronting the elephant in the brain.
Then, we can work to better understand ourselves: why do we laugh? why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen?Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, once everything is clearly visible, Medicine, School, Politics, Charity, and Religion.
But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their "official" ones. The existence of big hidden motives can upend the usual political debates, leading one to question the legitimacy of these social institutions, and of standard policies designed to favor or discourage them.
Worlds Hidden in Plain Sight: Thirty Years of Complexity Thinking at the Santa Fe Institute
Over the last three decades, the Santa Fe Institute and its network of researchers have been pursuing a revolution in science. Ignoring the boundaries of disciplines and schools and searching for novel fundamental ideas, and practices, theories, this international community integrates the full range of scientific inquiries that will help us to understand and survive on a complex planet.
This volume collects essays from the past thirty years of research, in which contributors explain in clear and accessible language many of the deepest challenges and insights of complexity science. Explore the evolution of complex systems science with chapters from Nobel Laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Kenneth Arrow, Robert May, aswell as numerous pioneering complexity researchers, Brian Arthur, Richard Lewontin, including John Holland, Jennifer Dunne, and Geoffrey West.
Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI
In possible minds, john Brockman gathers their disparate visions of where AI might be taking us. The fruit of the long history of brockman's profound engagement with the most important scientific minds who have been thinking about AI--from Alison Gopnik and David Deutsch to Frank Wilczek and Stephen Wolfram--Possible Minds is an ideal introduction to the landscape of crucial issues AI presents.
The hour is very late, and the choice of good and evil knocks at our door. In the wake of advances in unsupervised, self-improving machine learning, a small but influential community of thinkers is considering Wiener's words again. It is the second coming and the Apocalypse at the same time: Good AI versus evil AI.
John brockmanmore than sixty years ago, mathematician-philosopher Norbert Wiener published a book on the place of machines in society that ended with a warning: "we shall never receive the right answers to our questions unless we ask the right questions. Serious, searching and authoritative, Possible Minds lays out the intellectual landscape of one of the most important topics of our time.
Science world luminary john brockman assembles twenty-five of the most important scientific minds, people who have been thinking about the field artificial intelligence for most of their careers, for an unparalleled round-table examination about mind, thinking, intelligence and what it means to be human.
Artificial intelligence is today's story--the story behind all other stories.
Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration
American policy-makers have long been locked in a heated battle over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in the country. But economist bryan caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy―greatly benefiting humanity.
Economist bryan caplan makes a bold case for unrestricted immigration in this fact-filled graphic nonfiction. Those in favor of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favor of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens. With a clear and conversational tone, and vibrant illustrations by Zach Weinersmith, exhaustive research, Open Borders makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny.
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. A new york times bestsellersuperintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.
It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
Oxford University Press. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. Will it be possible to construct a seed artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain.
. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control.
Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind
Oxford University Press. New york times bestseller"if you’ve ever wondered how you have the capacity to wonder, some fascinating insights await you in these pages. Adam grant, free will, this mind-expanding dive into the mystery of consciousness is an illuminating meditation on the self, New York Times bestselling author of OriginalsAs concise and enlightening as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, and felt experience.
What is consciousness? how does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we?In this wonderfully accessible book, philosophies, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness.
Where does it reside, or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, in the age of artificial intelligence, we must grapple with how to define it and, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion, who or what might possess it. Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness—allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.
Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models
How can mental models help you? Well, here are just a few examples. If you've ever been overwhelmed by a to-do list that's grown too long, maybe you need the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to help you prioritize. Ever sat through a bad movie just because you paid a lot for the ticket? You might be falling prey to Sunk Cost Fallacy.
Set up forcing functions, like standing meeting or deadlines, to help grease the wheels for changes you want to occur. Use the 5 whys model to better understand people's motivations or get to the root cause of a problem. Oxford University Press. You've got to have models in your head. Charlie munger, vice chairman of berkshire hathawayThe world's greatest problem-solvers, investor, forecasters, and decision-makers all rely on a set of frameworks and shortcuts that help them cut through complexity and separate good ideas from bad ones.
So, the next time you find yourself faced with a difficult decision or just trying to understand a complex situation, let Super Thinking upgrade your brain with mental models. A wall street journal bestseller!"you can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts. They're called mental models, and you can find them in dense textbooks on psychology, economics, physics, and more.
Or, you can just read super Thinking, a fun, illustrated guide to every mental model you could possibly need. If the facts don't hang together on a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form.
Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals
So, in a culmination of 20 years of thinking and research, how do we proceed? Tyler Cowen, provides a roadmap for moving forward. Growth is good. His best, most ambitious and most personal work. Tim harford, author of the undercover economist as a means of practicing the altruism that Stubborn Attachments argues for, Tyler Cowen is donating all earnings from this book to a man he met in Ethiopia earlier this year with aspirations to open his own travel business.
Oxford University Press. In this new book, and responsible individuals, stubborn attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, Cowen argues that our reason and common sense can help free us of the faulty ideas that hold us back as people and as a society. In stubborn attachments he combines economics and philosophy in a truly important achievement.
Through history, in particular, has alleviated human misery, economic growth, improved human happiness and opportunity, and lengthened human lives. Tyler cowen is one of the most intriguing and eclectic thinkers on the planet like many people, I read something by him every day. Stubborn attachments, at its heart, makes the contemporary moral case for economic growth and delivers a great dose of inspiration and optimism about our future possibilities.
Wealthier societies are more stable, and ensure greater autonomy, greater fulfillment, produce better medicines, offer better living standards, and more sources of fun. If we want to continue on our trends of growth, and the overwhelmingly positive outcomes for societies that come with it, every individual must become more concerned with the welfare of those around us.