Forum:Has anyone read the Sequences? Thoughts?

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Hi RationalWikians,

I'm Robot Archivist and I'm new here. As someone who majored in cognitive science in university, I have a firm grasp on heuristics, logical fallacies, biases, philosophy of the mind and, of course, computational artificial intelligence. However, in terms of online discussions on the topic outside of my academia, I tend to be lacking. So, having graduated, I've been trying to expand my cognitive science skills to other communities, specifically Less Wrong and reading Rational Wiki. Most recently I joined with MIRI as a proof reader on Eliezer Yudkowsky's Sequences- a book which I guess are the collected blog posts on Less Wrong.

However, as an outsider and someone who frequently visits both RW and LW, I'm also aware of the social contention (be it one sided or dual-edged, though, I have no idea) between the two groups. So my question is this: given that the Sequences is like the Holy Corpus for Less Wrong, I would like to know from someone here who read it, what their thoughts on this unpublished text is. Is there anything you can suggest I remain critical about (e.g. that artificial stupidity is more advanced than intelligence).— Unsigned, by: Robot Archivist / talk / contribs

I have not, and I'm wondering about it too. I don't think there's that much contempt for them here. I've always been of the opinion that the good at LW does outweigh the bad, though I'll admit that I've only occasionally browsed the site and am far from immersed in its culture. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 11:54, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I've read them all the way through two or three times - once on the site, twice in ebook form (hey, I was bored).
You really need to read them on the site if you're going to - as well as the two LotR lengths of text, there's about the same again in entirely apposite comments.
The content is a mix of (a) the obvious (b) the insightful (less than the author thinks) (c) the informative and correct (d) the completely batshit, which slides by on (c). The Quantum Physics sequence is where a lot of the woo sneaks in, and contains basic errors (see LessWrong).
RW doesn't really give a hoot about LW in particular. LW just worries about RW because we're the only place that pays it even that much attention.
Good and Real by Gary Drescher is a respectable (though not very famous) work of philosophy that pretty much concurs with the Sequences in the areas it covers (the two were written contemporaneously, EY is a fan of Drescher, and Drescher has posted to LW a bit).
- David Gerard (talk) 13:30, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but "have you read the sequences?" sounds exactly like what someone pitching Scientology on a streetcorner would ask you. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:15, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
That's why the phrase is pretty much dead on LW - except "You should read the Sequences" was LW for "fuck you" - David Gerard (talk) 08:34, 14 January 2014 (UTC)