Recommended Readings

Most readings suggested here fulfill the “insight-a-minute” criteria. As a result, many of those are dense in information and some of the ideas presented may be significantly challenging or disorienting.

Outside of their great literary and informational value, these readings also serve as introductory material to the field of Existential Risk Prevention as catalyzed by Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, Cambridge’s Center for the Study of Existential Risk, MIT’s Future of Life Institute, and UC Berkeley’s Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence.

Remember that whatever you read here does not change reality, only your understanding of it. To keep a healthy mind, listen to yourself and take breaks (ideally) before it is necessary for you to do so, spend time with those you love, and take time to recalibrate your thinking against that of reasonable people you know.

Slate Star Codex: The Joyful Reduction of Uncertainty
Rationality: From AI to Zombies
    by Eliezer Yudkowsky – Online & Offline. Free. (50 hrs). A collection of six volumes further broken down into 300+ essays, bringing forth the science underlying human irrationality in an attempt to fundamentally improve critical reasoning for generations to come.
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    Bringing cognitive biases into light one by one, the decision theorist and researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky carefully works his way through the science — and the art — of human rationality. Topics range from computer science, physics, philosophy, to the future of artificial intelligence, and are interlaced with a mix of fables, argumentative essays, and personal vignettes. A most comprehensive review of this book is available here.

    The comprehensive work:

    1. Lays foundational conceptions of beliefevidence, and understanding.
    2. Reviews the systematic biases and common excuses which cause us to believe false things.
    3. Offers guidance on how to change our minds and how to use language effectively.
    4. Depicts the nature of human psychology with reference evolution.
    5. Clarifies the kind of morality we can have in a reduciblephysical.
    6. Repeatedly reminds us that confusion and mystery exist only in our minds.

The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
    by Kevin Simler & Robin Hanson
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    More info coming soon. But for now, enjoy these few links:
    Here’s a Ted Talk given by its author,  a detailed outline, and a thorough review of the book.

LessWrong: Refining the Art of Human Rationality Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
    by Robert B. Cialdini
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    More info coming soon.

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
    by Philip E. Tetlock & Dan Gardner
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    More info coming soon.

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth
    by Robin Hanson
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    More info coming soon.