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The Craft and the Community


… “The Craft and the Community” discusses rationality groups and group rationality, raising the questions:

  • Can rationality be learned and taught?
  • If so, how much improvement is possible?
  • How can we be confident we’re seeing a real effect in a rationality intervention, and picking out the right cause?
  • What community norms would make this process of bettering ourselves easier?
  • Can we effectively collaborate on large-scale problems without sacrificing our freedom of thought and conduct?

Above all: What’s missing? What should be in the next generation of rationality primers—the ones that replace this text, improve on its style, test its prescriptions, supplement its content, and branch out in altogether new directions?


  1. Raising the Sanity Waterline
  2. A Sense That More Is Possible
  3. Epistemic Viciousness
  4. Schools Proliferating Without Evidence
  5. Three Levels of Rationality Verification
  6. Why Our Kind Can’t Cooperate
  7. Tolerate Tolerance
  8. Your Price for Joining
  9. Can Humanism Match Religion’s Output?
  10. Church vs. Taskforce
  11. Rationality: Common Interest of Many Causes
  12. Helpless Individuals
  13. Money: The Unit of Caring
  14. Purchase Fuzzies and Utilons Separately
  15. Bystander Apathy
  16. Collective Apathy and the Internet
  17. Incremental Progress and the Valley
  18. Bayesians vs. Barbarians
  19. Beware of Other-Optimizing
  20. Practical Advice Backed by Deep Theories
  21. The Sin of Underconfidence
  22. Go Forth and Create the Art!