People

I dislike the vast majority of people, but I have a strange obsession with a certain subset of people. When someone seems interesting, I tend to stalk them online, read as much of what they’ve written as possible, write private biographies about them so I don’t forget details, make websites cataloging them, write timelines about them, rank them according to how smart/interesting/intense I think they are (that’s this page), classify them according to certain attributes, and so on. I (very occasionally) get paid for this obsession.

This page lists the people I have found over the years to be especially smart/interesting/intense. When listing people on this page, what I care about most are:

If you happen to find me interesting or in any way trust my judgment, feel free to use this page to identify people you should look into.

Bolding indicates people I particularly recommend.

I don’t endorse everything these people say (in fact, I couldn’t, since these people often disagree with each other).

Top tier

The people in this list are my guesses for the sanest/smartest people ever to exist.

Great tier

Good tier

Interesting tier

The following is a list of people I pay attention to, for one of the following reasons:

I’ll be deliberately vague about the reasons for listing a person below. I have also left out many cookie cutter rationalists and effective altruists (they might be smarter than some of the people in this list, but they are too boring to list and I’m sure you can find them without my help).

Old tier

The following people I find interesting, although because they are so much older than the rest of the people on this page I find it difficult to compare them with the others (i.e. they grew up and lived in such a different world that they have glaring holes in them even though they did really well for their time).

See also