Rationality Cardinality

The Optimal Party Game

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Humans are not automatically strategic unless they have ____.
Why will a randomly chosen eight-year-old fail a calculus test? Because most possible answers are wrong, and there is no force to guide him to the correct answers. Why do most of us, most of the time, choose to "pursue our goals" through routes that are far less effective than the routes we could find if we tried? ... The main problem is that most courses of action are extremely ineffective.
— Anna Salamon
Rationality Cardinality
A Maker's Schedule
"The manager's schedule is for bosses. It's embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. ... But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started."
— Paul Graham
Rationality Cardinality
Predicting things that might go wrong, and preparing for them in advance.
Rationality Cardinality
Misaligned Incentives
Payment based on perceived performance. Hiring based on appearance of merit. Factory output measured in number of units. Subtle differences pry incentive schemes apart, and corrupt.
Rationality Cardinality
The Way of the Void
"The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means. ... It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him."
—Miyamoto Musashi
The Book of Five Rings

"Every step of your reasoning must cut through to the correct answer in the same movement. More than anything, you must think of carrying your map through to reflecting the territory. If you fail to achieve a correct answer, it is futile to protest that you acted with propriety."
—Eliezer Yudkowsky
Twelve Virtues of Rationality
Rationality Cardinality

Rationality Cardinality is a party game for sneakily exposing yourself and your friends to useful concepts, in the most amusing possible way. The rules are similar to those of Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity: In each round, one player reads a Question card, and each other player selects an Answer card to match it. Unlike those games, however, the cards are designed to simultaneously make you laugh, and teach you something.

If you really want to learn about heuristics and biases, logical fallacies, and how to reason well, and you want to learn as quickly as possible, then you should go read books. Or blog posts. Definitely don't spend that time hanging out with your friends enjoying life. But if you're going to be enjoying life anyways, you can simultaneously learn things, and enjoy harder, if you have a deck of Rationality Cardinality around.

Mainstream philosophy has settled the question of ____ once and for all.
Rationality Cardinality
A Human-Sized Skinner Box
A box in which animals take part in psychology experi­ments doing things like pressing buttons for food or Internet points.
Rationality Cardinality
The Repugnant Conclusion
For any population of people with a very high quality of life, it is possible to imagine a much larger population of people, each with lives barely worth living, which additive utilitarianism would say is better.
Rationality Cardinality
1. A person's level of power and achievement. 2. Other people's perception of (1). 3. A person's beliefs about (1) and (2) with respect to themself. 4. The evidence about (1), (2), and (3) a person emits through body language, speech patterns, and other subtle channels.
Rationality Cardinality
Phineas Gage's Free Will
A moral man, Phineas Gage / Tamping powder down holes for his wage / Blew his special-made probe / Through his left frontal lobe / Now he drinks, swears, and flies in a rage.
— Author unknown
Rationality Cardinality

What do we mean by "rationality"? Rationality Cardinality builds on the Less Wrong definition, which defines rationality as having two branches: epistemic rationality means strategies for figuring out what's true, and instrumental rationality means strategies for achieving our goals.

Why am I confused?
Rationality Cardinality
Making up reasons why some­thing was obvious or foreseeable in retrospect. (A portmanteau of cause and confabulate)
Rationality Cardinality
An academic journal of nothing but type 1 errors
A type 1 error is a false-positive; ie, a study concluded there was an effect, but really there wasn't.
Rationality Cardinality
Semantic Stopsigns
A statement which doesn't answer a question, but does make some people stop thinking about it.
Rationality Cardinality
Spending hours arguing with an obvious crackpot
My argument was so convincing, it cured his schizophrenia and made him a productive member of society.
Rationality Cardinality

High-Brow Humor

You may have heard of a game with similar rules, called Cards Against Humanity, which is made by different people and bears no relation to Rationality Cardinality. While it is theoretically possible to treat Cards Against Humanity as an expansion to Rationality Cardinality and mix its cards into your game, this is not recommended because Cards Against Humanity's cards have different backs, and are for horrible people. Rationality Cardinality is much classier:

The set of all possible fetishes
By the axiom of regularity in Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, this set cannot contain itself. Unless you accept Aczel's anti-foundation axiom, you dirty set theorist, you.
Rationality Cardinality
Elevator gate
The manual folding doors you sometimes see on old-fashioned elevator cars, such as those in the building that hosted the 2011 World Atheist Convention.*
Rationality Cardinality
The Growth Mindset
This is not a dick joke. It's about believing in skills as things to improve, rather than fixed talents, and focusing on improving them.
Rationality Cardinality

Less Than Maximally Obscure

One danger with a game like this was making it inaccessible. Many of the cards build jokes on concepts from fairly advanced and obscure fields. That's why the cards have clear and accurate explanations.

How very strange people des­cribe people of more typical psychological make-up, usually as an insult: "Yo mama's so neurotypical, she watches sit­coms!"
Rationality Cardinality
Inferential Distance
The amount of context and prerequisites that need to be explained before an idea can be understood.
Rationality Cardinality
String Theory
The study of character set encodings and transform­ations, and the combination and decay products of Unicode characters.*
Rationality Cardinality

Raise the Sanity Waterline

We all wish our friends would be more rational, especially when they disagree with us. But actually helping them can be difficult, especially when already in an argument. Rationality Cardinality will help you teach your friends how to think more clearly, by introducing them to concepts in a fun and memorable way.

Typical StrategySuggested Strategy
The slippery slope fallacy water park
If you go down the water slide, it's a short walk to the roller coaster, and before you know it, blood sports! Where will it end?
Rationality Cardinality

Five Hundred Cards

The cardinality of the set of Rationality Cardinality cards is finite, but Rationality Cardinality is massive, with 100 question cards and 400 answer cards. While dense in jokes, this is a thorough treatment of important fields, concepts, and jargon, and a few passes through the deck and the enclosed bibliography will have you well prepared to participate in top-tier intellectual discussion.

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Copyright 2021 James Babcock. This is a work of satire. Rationality Cardinality bears no relation to Cards Against Humanity.