Ratinality Feed

Scott:

Treat The Prodrome by Scott Alexander – A theory of how schizophrenia develops. Initially you have occasional disturbances were tings seem way to significant. At first these are easy to consciously explain away. But eventually your ‘predictive processing’ tries to make sense of why random things seem so significant. If you are not treated early eventually your higher level beliefs are affected and you start to believe in crazy conspiracies.

Rationalist:

How Much Does Nutrition Matter by Bayesian Investor – A long literature review that concludes: “Bad diets are likely causing health problems that are comparable to, or maybe worse than, smoking. Shifting people away from bad diets seems roughly as hard as convincing people not to smoke – bad diets are usually more convenient and/or tastier.”

Realism About Rationality by ricraz – Thoughts on optimism about how much you can usefully simplify reality.

EA:

Ea Survey 2018: Series Community Demographics by laurenwhetstone – Graphs of effective altruist community demographics.

AI:

Alignment Newsletter 24 by rohinmshah – Weekly AI and Alignment newsletter. Reviews include: Adversarial examples, training a single AI agent to play all 57 atari games.

Politics and Economics:

CW Roundup by r/SSC – Weekly Culture War Quality Contributions

Misc:

Book Review: Why We Sleep by ricraz – What sleep is, how REM works, how sleep evolved, how to sleep better.

Using The Trauma Narrative by Aella – Aella’s experience of severe childhood abuse and trauma. And the aftermath of her trauma.

Advertisements

Wordpress

Scott:

The Black Swan by Scott Alexander – Key concepts from the Black Swan and why it remains popular.

Rationalist:

EDT vs CDT by Paul Christiano – “Causal decision theory (CDT) evaluates expected utilities under causal interventions, while evidential decision theory (EDT) evaluates conditional expected utilities. Humans tend to have strong intuitions in favor of CDT, but I’ll argue that CDT is only reasonable insofar as it is an approximation to EDT that degrades more gracefully given certain kinds of reasoning errors.”

EA:

Is It Better To Be A Wild Rat Or A Factory Farmed by Joey – “We looked at a lot of different systems to compare welfare and ended up combining a few common ones into a weighted animal welfare index (or welfare points for short). We think this system captures a broad range of ethical considerations and should be applicable across a wide range of both farm and wild animals in a way that allows us to compare interventions.”

Politics and Economics:

Allow Covert Eye Rolls by Robin Hanson – Authority figures who refuse to allow ‘eye rolling’ or try to police their subordinate’s attitudes too strongly provoke resentment and appear weak. The modern social justice movement is extremely intolerant of even indirect ‘eye rolls’. This is clear from their focus on ‘dog whistles’.

History Philanthropy Case Study Campaign Marriage Equality by Open Philanthropy – Literature Review of the campaign for marriage equality in the USA. Discussions of which lessons can be can be applied to other initiatives.

Getting To A Fifty Fifty Split Of Parenting Duties by Ozy – Making 50/50 parenting work. How to choose a partner who authentically wants to parent equally, a warning many relationships degrade after having children and advice to give the right amount of criticism.

The More The Merrier by Everything Studies – Abstract visual graphs depicting how various ideologies relate to truth.

Misc:

Literature Review MDMA by Aceso Under Glass – “MDMA (popularly known as Ecstasy) is a chemical with powerful neurological effects. Some of these are positive- the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has shown very promising preliminary results using MDMA-assisted therapy to cure treatment-resistant PTSD. It is also, according to reports, quite fun. But there is also concern that MDMA can cause serious brain damage. I set out to find if that was true, in the hope that it wasn’t, because it sounds awesome. Unfortunately the evidence is very strongly on the side of ‘dangerous’. Retrospective studies of long term users show cognitive deficits not found in other drug users, while animal studies show brain damage and inconsistent cognitive deficits.”

Psychedelic Intensity Scale by Aella – Descriptions of six levels of psychedelic intensity.

On Proofs Of The Existence Of God by Ben Hoffman – Why did so many philosophical systems try to prove the existence of God: “I think that most such proofs still fail, in part because the people engaging in them are somewhat confused about what they’re doing, but they fail a bit more sympathetically than I used to think; they’re not explanations for why everyone should buy into their system, they’re explanations for why their system can’t help but talk about God, despite the obvious problems this presents.”

Link Post For August by Ozy – Link Post: Effective Altruism, Parenting, Civil Liberties, Misc.

Podcast:

The Edge Of Humanity by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about his new book ’21 Lessons for the 21st Century.’ They discuss the importance of meditation for his intellectual life, the primacy of stories, the need to revise our fundamental assumptions about human civilization, the threats to liberal democracy, a world without work, universal basic income, the virtues of nationalism, the implications of AI and automation, and other topics.”

Paul Bloom On Cruelty by EconTalk – “Paul Bloom talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about cruelty–what motivates cruelty, the cruelty of small acts that accumulate into something monstrous, and the question of whether the abuse of a robot is a form of cruelty.”

The Problem Of False Biased by Rationally Speaking – “Aviv Ovadya, an expert on misinformation, talks with Julia about the multiple phenomena that get lumped together as “fake news.” For example, articles that are straightforwardly false, misleading, or artificially created (think “Deepfakes,” videos that make a politician appear to say something he didn’t say). Which of those problems are more dangerous for our civilization? Are any of them tractable? And what might a solution look like?”

Rational Feed

Scott:

The Omnigenic Model As Metaphor For Life by Scott Alexander – Early genetics paradigms focused on finding small sets of genes that determined traits. This paradigm actually works for understanding many genetic diseases, but it fails for traits like intelligence which are determined by tens of thousands of genes. However genetics is starting to have success handling the full complexity instead of trying to find simple theories. Perhaps other fields, such as psychology, can move toward a ‘polygenic’ model.

Misc:

Emergent Ventures by Marginal Revolution – Tyler Cowen is overseeing a series of grants to support moonshot projects. He will be personally reviewing the applications and will personally assist people who succeed. Proposals are limited to 1500 words.

Rational Feed

Scott:

Opendragon Thread by Scott Alexander – Standard SSC public open thread. Comments of the week are on Hitler’s rise and why the best defense against the far right is a vigorous moderate rightwing party. Vote for your favorite adversarial collaboration posts.

Rationalist:

Links by Artir – Links: Tech, Bio, Philosophy, Psychology, Misc. Some discussion on the political views of historical philosophers.

News Accuracy Bonds by Robin Hanson – Using prediction markets to determine trustworthy journalism.

AI:

The Perverse Paradise of HRAD by Nostalgebraist – “MIRI’s ‘Highly Reliable Agent Design’ (HRAD) research program is founded in the idea that we need to state impractical (or non-practical) ideals about reasoning first, so we know what real AI programs should be aiming for, before we go on to judge those real programs. This sounds reasonable on the face of it, but has led this research into a cul-de-sac: it now consists mostly of technical work on the problems with its own chosen ideals, problems which largely arise from the very idealizations that separate the ideals from practical programs.”

Politics and Economics:

The Doomsday Machine by Eukaryote – Review of Ellsberg’s book on how close we got to nuclear apocalypse. In particular the USA was planning on total war with Russia and the branches of the military all wanted to participate. The concept of nuclear winter was not understood and military officials were hard to dissuade: “He’s most famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers, government documents on the Vietnam War that contributed to Nixon’s resignation. This book came out of a second set of documents he photocopied and intended to release after his trial for the Pentagon Papers, but lost in an act of nature.”

Misc:

Book Reviews For August by Ozy – Book Reviews: BDSM, Catholic Theology, Nuclear War, the CDC, Autism research.

Podcast:

the Great White Divide by The Ezra Klein Show – Interview with David French of the National Review: “Conservative white Americans look at urban multicultural liberalism and notice an important fact,” he wrote. “Its white elite remains, and continues to enjoy staggering amounts of power and privilege. So when that same white elite applauds the decline of ‘white America,’ what conservatives often hear isn’t a cheer for racial justice but another salvo in our ongoing cultural grudge match, with the victors seeking to elevate black and brown voices while remaining on top themselves.”

Safe Space by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks with Jonathan Haidt about his new book ‘The Coddling of the American Mind.’ They discuss the hostility to free speech that has grown more common among young adults, recent moral panics on campus, the role of intentions in ethical life, the economy of prestige in ‘call out ‘culture, how we should define bigotry, systemic racism, the paradox of progress, and other topics.”

On Solzhenitsyn, The Soviet Union And In The First Circle by EconTalk – “Russian Literature Professor Kevin McKenna of the University of Vermont talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the life and times of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This is the opening episode of the EconTalk Book Club for Solzhenitsyn’s masterpiece In the First Circle: The First Uncensored Edition. A subsequent episode to air in the next few weeks discusses the book itself.”

Rational Feed

Politics and Economics:

Sexism Inflation by Robin Hanson – The definition of sexism has become more and more expansive. At this point its considered sexist merely to predict current discrepancies between the sexes will persist into the future, even if you avoid endorsing this discrepancies or attributing them to biology.

Policy Potpourri by Paul Christiano – Miscellaneous ideas about politics: optimal taxation schemes, the ideal amount of redistribution, means of redistributions, public goods, externalities, etc