Twelve Virtues of Rationality

Anthony and Shrikant present on The Twelve Virtues of Rationality: Curiosity, relinquishment, lightness, evenness, argument, empiricism, simplicity, humility, perfectionism, precision, scholarship, and the way of the void. Please read the short essay “Twelve Virtues of Rationality” by c to prepare for the conversation: http://yudkowsky.net/rational/virtues

Here is a brief taste of the Twelve Virtues of Rationality:

1) Curiosity: A burning itch to know is higher than a solemn vow to pursue truth.

2) Relinquishment: “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”

3) Lightness: Surrender to the truth as quickly as you can.

4) Evenness: Beware lest you place huge burdens of proof only on propositions you dislike.

5) Argument: Those who smile wisely and say: “I will not argue” remove themselves from help, and withdraw from the communal effort.

6) Empiricism: The roots of knowledge are in observation and its fruit is prediction.

7) Simplicity: “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

8) Humility: To be humble is to take specific actions in anticipation of your own errors.

9) Perfectionism: If you tolerate the error rather than correcting it, you will not advance to the next level and you will not gain the skill to notice new errors.

10) Precision: The narrowest possible statements slice deepest.

11) Scholarship: Study many sciences and absorb their power as your own.

12) The Way of the Void: Before these eleven virtues is a virtue which is nameless. “The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy.” Every step of your reasoning must cut through to the correct answer in the same movement. All techniques are one technique.

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