LessWrong , also written as Less Wrong , is a community blog and forum focused on cognitive biases , philosophy , psychology , economics , rationality , and artificial intelligence , among other topics. [1] [2]


LessWrong promotes lifestyle changes to lead to greater rationality and self-improvement. Posts often focus on avoiding biases related to decision-making and the evaluation of evidence. One suggestion is the use of Bayes’ theorem as a decision-making tool. [2] There is also a focus on psychological barriers that makes good decision-making, including fear conditioning [3]and cognitive biases that are studied by psychologist Daniel Kahneman . [4]


LessWrong developed from an earlier group, focused on human rationality, which began in November 2006, with an artificial intelligence theorist Eliezer Yudkowsky and economist Robin Hanson as the main contributors. In February 2009, Yudkowsky’s posts were used by the blogger LessWrong , and Overcoming Bias became Hanson’s personal blog. [5]

Roko’s basilisk

In July 2010, LessWrong Roko contributor posted a thought experiment to the site in which an otherwise benevolent AI system tortures simulations of those who did not work to bring the system into existence. Roko’s basilisk , “based on Roko’s idea that the idea of ​​the idea would give the hypothetical AI system stronger incentives to employ blackmail. Yudkowsky deleted Roko’s posts on the topic, calling it “stupid”. Discussion of Roko’s basilisk was banned on LessWrong for several years [6] [7] before the ban was lifted in October 2015. [8]

Popular culture allusions to Roko’s basilisk include the character Roccoco Basilisk in Grimes ‘ video for ” Flesh Without Blood “, specifically named for Roko’s basilisk; [9] and the plot of Magnus: Fighter Robot # 8 by Fred Van Lente . [10]


The neoreactionary movement takes an interest in LessWrong, [11] [12] attracted by discussions on the site of eugenics and evolutionary psychology . [13] Breitbart comment Milo Yiannopoulos considers that LessWrong “urged its community members to think like machines” and “strippers to rational thought”, and that neoreactionaries “began a gleeful demolition of the age-old biases of western political discourse.” [14] Yudkowsky has strongly repudiated neoreaction. [15] [16]


  1. Jump up^ “Less Wrong FAQ” . LessWrong.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Miller, James (July 28, 2011). “You Can Learn How To Become More Rational” . Business Insider . Retrieved March 25, 2014 .
  3. Jump up^ Burkeman, Oliver (July 8, 2011). “This column will change your life: Can the psychological flinch mechanism be beaten?” . The Guardian . Retrieved March 25, 2014 .
  4. Jump up^ Burkeman, Oliver (March 9, 2012). “This column will change your life: Ask a tricky question? Answer a easier one. . The Guardian . Retrieved March 25, 2014 .
  5. Jump up^ “Where did Less Wrong come from?” (LessWrong FAQ) ” . Retrieved March 25, 2014 .
  6. Jump up^ Love, Dylan (6 August 2014). “WARNING: Just Reading About This Thought Experiment Could Ruin Your Life” . Business Insider . Retrieved 6 December 2014 .
  7. Jump up^ Auerbach, David (17 July 2014). “The Most Terrifying Thought Experiment of All Time” . Slate . Retrieved 18 July 2014 .
  8. Jump up^ RobbBB (5 October 2015). “A few misconceptions surrounding Roko’s basilisk” . LessWrong . Retrieved 10 April 2016 . The Roko’s basilisk ban is not in effect anymore
  9. Jump up^ Benjamin, Jeff (7 December 2015). “Grimes Explains the 4 Characters in Her” Flesh Without Blood “Video: Exclusive” . Fuse . Retrieved 2017-06-09. She’s doomed to be eternally tortured by an artificial intelligence, but she’s also kind of like Marie Antoinette.
  10. Jump up^ Wickline, Dan (2014-11-22). “Turning The Key Gold – Frank Barbiere Talks With Fred Van Lente About Mangus: Robot Fighter” . Bleeding Cool . Retrieved 2017-06-09 .
  11. Jump up^ Finley, Klint (November 22, 2013). “Geeks for Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries” . TechCrunch . Retrieved March 25, 2014 .
  12. Jump up^ Riggio, Adam (23 September 2016). “The Violence of Pure Reason: Neoreaction: A Basilisk” . Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective . 5 (9): 34-41. ISSN  2471-9560 . The embryo of the movement lived in the community of Yudkowsky’s blog LessWrong, a dedicated website to refining human rationality.
  13. Jump up^ Keep, Elmo (22 June 2016). “The Strange and Conflicting World Views of Silicon Valley Billionaire Peter Thiel” . Fusion . Retrieved 2016-10-05 . Thanks to LessWrong’s discussions of eugenics and evolutionary psychology, it has attracted some readers and writers affiliated with the alt-right and neoreaction, which broad cohort of neofascist, white nationalist and misogynist trolls.
  14. Jump up^ Bokhari, Allum and Yiannopoulos, Milo (29 March 2016). “An Establishment Conservative Guide to the Alt-Right” . Breitbart.
  15. Jump up^ Riggio, Adam (23 September 2016). “The Violence of Pure Reason: Neoreaction: A Basilisk” . Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective . 5 (9): 34-41. ISSN  2471-9560 . Land and Yarvin are openly allies with the new reactionary movement, while Yudkowsky counts many reactions among his fanbase while finding their racist politics disgusting.
  16. Jump up^ Eliezer Yudkowsky (8 April 2016). “Untitled” . Optimize Literally Everything (blog) . Retrieved 7 October 2016 .

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