Timeline of the rationality community

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This is a timeline of the rationality community (sometimes also called the "rationalist community").

Big picture

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1998 January 15 Wei Dai announces the creation of the "everything" mailing list, a mailing list for the discussion of modal realism.[1][2]
1996 November 18 Eliezer Yudkowsky writes the first version of "Staring into the Singularity".[3]
2000 February 6 The first email is sent on SL4 ("Shock Level Four"), a mailing list about transhumanism, superintelligent AI, existential risks, and so on.[4][5]
2000 July Machine Intelligence Research Institute is founded as the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.[6]:3
2006 November Robin Hanson starts Overcoming Bias.[7]
2009 February Eliezer Yudkowsky starts LessWrong using as seed material his posts on Overcoming Bias.[8]
2010 July 23 The LessWrong user Roko publishes "Solutions to the Altruist's burden: the Quantum Billionaire Trick". The ideas in this post came to be known as "Roko's basilisk".[9][10]
2012 The Center for Applied Rationality is founded.
2013 February 13 Scott Alexander publishes the first post on his new blog, Slate Star Codex.[11]
2015 August 28 The subreddit r/SneerClub is created as a place to "sneer" at the rationality community. (Connection to RationalWiki?)[12]
2016 Vaniver, Anna Salamon, et al. begin the "LessWrong revival"
2016 May The Open Philanthropy Project awards a grant of $304,000 over two years to CFAR's Summer Program on Applied Rationality and Cognition (SPARC).[13]
2016 July The Open Philanthropy Project awards a grant of $1,035,000 over two years to CFAR.[14]
2016 August The Open Philanthropy Project awards a grant worth $500,000 to Machine Intelligence Research Institute. The grant writeup notes, "Despite our strong reservations about the technical research we reviewed, we felt that awarding $500,000 was appropriate for multiple reasons".[15]
2017 June 18 The "Welcome to Lesswrong 2.0" post is made on the lesserwrong.com domain.[16]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by Issa Rice.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. "Wei_Dai comments on Shock Level 5: Big Worlds and Modal Realism - Less Wrong". LessWrong. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  2. Wei Dai. "Theory of Everything Mailing List". Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  3. "Yudkowsky - Staring into the Singularity 1.2.5". Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  4. "SL4: By Date". Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  5. Eliezer S. Yudkowsky. "SL4 Mailing List". Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  6. "Form 990-EZ 2000" (PDF). Retrieved June 1, 2017. Organization was incorporated in July 2000 and does not have a financial history for years 1996-1999. 
  7. "Overcoming Bias : Bio". Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  8. "FAQ - Lesswrongwiki". LessWrong. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  9. "Roko's basilisk/Original post". RationalWiki. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  10. "Roko's basilisk - Lesswrongwiki". LessWrong. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  11. "You're probably wondering why I've called you here today". Slate Star Codex. September 29, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  12. "moderators - r/SneerClub". Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  13. "Center for Applied Rationality — SPARC". Open Philanthropy Project. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  14. "Center for Applied Rationality — General Support". Open Philanthropy Project. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  15. "Machine Intelligence Research Institute — General Support". Open Philanthropy Project. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  16. Oliver Habryka. "Welcome to Lesswrong 2.0". Retrieved July 6, 2017.