These books have been vital for shaping my mental models in ways that have helped me to build systems such as sled.
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This book is pretty extreme, and you’re likely to disagree with some of the specifics of human developmental psychology that it goes into. But there are a ton of random interesting thoughts scattered throughout the book. In particular, this book introduced me to e-prime, which has helped me to significantly remove ambiguity from technical discussions and notes that I take for myself. Generally, by being precise (especially by avoiding the verb to-be) and providing accurate context, we can improve the quality of our understanding and communication. It’s the strangest book on this list.
This is the first book from Rationality: From AI to Zombies, an incredibly comprehensive text that discusses how to make better decisions despite our own significant biases and the information we have access to. It covers “the nature of rationality, belief, and explanation”.
This is the second book from Rationality: From AI to Zombies. It “covers the ultra-high-level penultimate technique of rationality: triumphing over confirmation bias and motivated cognition.”
This book covers the most important skill for engineering: communicating with other humans. This book discusses a particularly powerful technique for saying things in ways that reduce the cost for the other side to hear them. Along with e-prime from Prometheus Rising, this book has radically changed how I interact with humans while having discussions that have the chance to become heated.