Map and Territory

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Who should read it: Anyone who wishes to think better (if we consider rational thinking to be “good” thinking – which I personally do)

What I took from it: Map and Territory is an introduction to rationality, which is almost to say that it is an introduction to human irrationality. Rationality is often conceived of as emotionless thinking, but this is a misperception. Rationality is about understanding what is true and what to do about it. A task that does, in  fact, require an emotional contribution. This book is a collection of short essays that examine how reality never is how it appears, but you can become better at discovering what is true for yourself – with effort and practise. It is the first instalment of a series of books which comprise “Rationality: From AI to Zombies”. Overall I find Yudkowsky’s work to be truly fascinating, his fan-fiction “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality” is also brilliant if you’re looking for a fiction-based read that can still introduce you to complex concepts such as probability theory and Bayesian inferences.

Notable quote: We believe instinctively, but disbelief requires a conscious effort

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