What we're about

Applied rationality is a movement that uses cognitive science to improve human thinking.

Most humans have cognitive biases that prevent us from making the best decisions and accomplishing our goals. Just hearing about these biases might not fix them.

Our goal is to actually change our habits of mind, so that our thinking is more rational and optimal. We think it's best to do this together! We're here to build a community of effective, rational, awesome people.

For more resources, check out the Center for Applied Rationality: http://rationality.org

Upcoming events (5+)

Rationality Reading Group (Casual spot)

The Rayback Collective

Hey everyone! I just found out that somebody volunteered us to host the annual Slate Star Codex meetup, so Monday's meeting will be a little different than usual. Basically, it will probably be louder, and bigger than usual, but I wrote an FAQ below so all you Boulder Rationality people know what to expect. If you were brought to this page from Slate Star Codex, welcome! We are a group of mostly non-rationalsts who meet bimonthly. We've been reading the LessWrong sequences and sometimes even talking about them. SSC meetups are not the usual wheelhouse of this meetup group, but I met some you at last year's SSC meetup and I look forward to seeing you all at this event! It's sure to be a good time. What does this mean? Slate Star Codex is a blog written by Scott Alexander, a major figure in the Rationality movement/community. The blog tends to feature psychiatry topics, book reviews, and cultural issues. It's quite good and I think most attendees would like it, if they aren't readers already. Once a year, the author encourages readers to meet up in person. I went to one of these last year and it was fun; I think regular meetup attendees will probably have a good time with the SSC crowd. What to expect: We will probably have more new faces and a larger group than usual. Expect discussion to be even less reading-focused than usual. Given Rayback's tendency to be crowded, this may mean we have to split into multiple groups, and/or stand around outside. Last year's had about 15 people, but I don't expect quite that many on Monday given that our location is public and louder than last year's. If you've been lurking on the meetup page without attending for a while, this meeting will be a particularly good time to show up. Though it will not be a particularly great example of what things are usually like. I will come with a list of topics prepared in case anyone wants a more guided sort of discussion. How to prepare: Bring shoes you wouldn't mind standing for an hour or two in, just in case. If you're unfamiliar with the blog, it would be good to read a few posts so you have something to talk about. Scott has lists of what he considers to be his best or most popular posts; I recommend you pick a few that sound interesting to you, but mind that the posts tend to be quite long. https://slatestarcodex.com/about/ https://slatestarcodex.com/top-posts/ I particularly like "Universal Love, Said the Cactus Person" and "Meditations on Moloch" (but note that the latter is 10,000 words!)

Rationality Reading Group

The Rayback Collective

Let’s meet and talk about Rationality topics! We get together on the first and third Monday of each month to chat about rationality. It's a fun time with lots of laughter, practical tips for achieving your goals and thinking without bias, and plenty of good-natured philosophical argument. We'll start with a brief "What is Rationality" primer for anyone who needs it, and then discuss the reading. Generally, the reading each session will consist of a few short essays available online, and will take you 30min-2hrs depending on your reading speed. We ask that people do (or at least start or skim) the readings for each meeting, since the readings are a good focal point for discussion, and we can get deeper into the ideas if everybody has the same context. However, if you're interested and you haven't read, come anyway! We would much rather have you attend without having read, than stay home because you didn't do it. We're currently working our way through "Rationality: AI to Zombies" by Eliezer Yudkowsky, which is available as a pay-what-you-want eBook and also online. Also bringing in other sources now and then. This is the planned schedule for the next few meetups: Aug 5th: We will be trying something different today, reading a blog post from SlateStarCodex about college admissions that was suggested by a group menber. The post is more concrete than our usual reading, and can be found here: https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/04/15/increasingly-competitive-college-admissions-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/ Aug 18th: 186: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Engines of Cognition through 189: Dissolving the Question (Link to 186: https://www.readthesequences.com/The-Second-Law-Of-Thermodynamics-And-Engines-Of-Cognition )

Rationality Reading Group (Casual spot)

The Rayback Collective

Let’s meet and talk about Rationality topics! We get together on the first and third Monday of each month to chat about rationality. It's a fun time with lots of laughter, practical tips for achieving your goals and thinking without bias, and plenty of good-natured philosophical argument. We can run with a brief "What is Rationality" primer for anyone who needs it, and then discuss the reading. Generally, the reading each session will consist of a few short essays available online, and will take you 30min-2hrs depending on your reading speed. We ask that people do (or at least start or skim) the readings for each meeting, since the readings are a good focal point for discussion, and we can get deeper into the ideas if everybody has the same context. However, if you're interested and you haven't read, come anyway! We would much rather have you attend without having read, than stay home because you didn't do it. We're currently working our way through "Rationality: AI to Zombies" by Eliezer Yudkowsky. The next few meetings will me about words, names, categories, and how to be better at thinking about them! This is the planned schedule for the next few meetups: April 15:[masked], "The Parable of the Dagger" through "Disguised Queries" (153, the Parable of the Dagger, is optional because it's confusing.) https://www.readthesequences.com/The-Parable-Of-Hemlock May 6:[masked], "Neural Categories" through "Taboo Your Words" https://www.readthesequences.com/Neural-Categories May 20:[masked], "Replace the Symbol with the Substance" through "Where to Draw the Boundary?" https://www.readthesequences.com/Replace-The-Symbol-With-The-Substance June 3:[masked], "Entropy, and Short Codes" through "37 Ways Words can be Wrong" https://www.readthesequences.com/Entropy-And-Short-Codes

Rationality Reading Group

The Rayback Collective

Let’s meet and talk about Rationality topics! We get together on the first and third Monday of each month to chat about rationality. It's a fun time with lots of laughter, practical tips for achieving your goals and thinking without bias, and plenty of good-natured philosophical argument. We'll start with a brief "What is Rationality" primer for anyone who needs it, and then discuss the reading. Generally, the reading each session will consist of a few short essays available online, and will take you 30min-2hrs depending on your reading speed. We ask that people do (or at least start or skim) the readings for each meeting, since the readings are a good focal point for discussion, and we can get deeper into the ideas if everybody has the same context. However, if you're interested and you haven't read, come anyway! We would much rather have you attend without having read, than stay home because you didn't do it. We're currently working our way through "Rationality: AI to Zombies" by Eliezer Yudkowsky, which is available as a pay-what-you-want eBook and also online. Also bringing in other sources now and then. This is the planned schedule for the next few meetups: Aug 5th: We will be trying something different today, reading a blog post from SlateStarCodex about college admissions that was suggested by a group menber. The post is more concrete than our usual reading, and can be found here: https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/04/15/increasingly-competitive-college-admissions-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/ Aug 18th: 186: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Engines of Cognition through 189: Dissolving the Question (Link to 186: https://www.readthesequences.com/The-Second-Law-Of-Thermodynamics-And-Engines-Of-Cognition )

Past events (51)

Rationality Reading Group (Casual spot)

The Rayback Collective

Photos (4)