Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Final Installment Stochastically Best Books Read Country by Marginal Revolution – Tyler’s ‘stochastically best’ recommendations for the best book to read about many countries and regions.

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Rational Feed

Scott:

Cost Disease In Medicine The Practical Perspective by Scott Alexander – Scott discusses the possibility of running ‘Cheap-O Psychology’ and why it probably doesn’t make sense given the current insurance system.

Contra Caplan On Arbitrary Deploring by Scott Alexander – ‘Overreacting’ to certain misbehaviors can be rational if you are trying to preserve a norm that that the behavior is unacceptable.

The Gattaca Trilogy by Scott Alexander – Scotts review of the two (non-existent) sequels to Gattaca.

Rationalist:

Miller 3 Polyamory Mating by Jacob Falkovich – Part three of Jacob’s conversation with Geoffrey. Among the tpics discussed are getting over jealousy, safely trying to convert a mono relationship to poly and which characteristics are required to succeed in polyamory.

Problem Solving With Mazes And Crayon by johnswentworth – Great illustration of algorithmic and problem solving strategies. The author talks about breath and depth first searches, and finding bottlenecks in both mazes and real world problems. CS experience is not needed. [highly recommended]

Future Influence is Hard by Robin Hanson – At most points in history it would have been very hard to influence to far future. If you think its possible to influence the future now you need to argue why now is a very unusual time historically.

AI:

Worrying About The Vase: Whitelisting by TurnTrout – “An impact measure is a means by which change in the world may be evaluated and penalized; an impact measure is not a replacement for a utility function, but rather an additional precaution thus overlaid. I’m fairly confident that whitelisting contributes meaningfully to short- to mid-term AI safety, although I remain skeptical of its robustness to scale. Should several challenges be overcome, whitelisting may indeed be helpful for excluding swathes of unfriendly AIs from the outcome space. Furthermore, the approach allows easy shaping of agent behavior in a wide range of situations.”

First Retro Contest Retrospective by Open Ai – “The first run of our Retro Contest — exploring the development of algorithms that can generalize from previous experience — is now complete. Though many approaches were tried, top results all came from tuning or extending existing algorithms such as PPO and Rainbow. There’s a long way to go: top performance was 4,692 after training while the theoretical max is 10,000. These results provide validation that our Sonic benchmark is a good problem for the community to double down on: the winning solutions are general machine learning approaches rather than competition-specific hacks, suggesting that one can’t cheat through this problem.”

EA:

Effective Altruists Should In General Marry The Ea Sympathetic by Ozy – You are likely to have serious conflicts if you want to donate a large fraction of your income or take a very low paying job and your spouse is not an EA.

Politics and Economics:

Postmodernism Vs The Pomoid Cluster by Everything Studies – What postmodernism means why discussions around postmodernism are unproductive and why the author is still sympathetic to the people who complain about postmodernism.

What New Construction: Where and For Whom by Freddie deBoer – In defense of Nimbyism: Reasons for opposing specific building projects in Brooklyn.

Politics and Economics:

Culture War Roundup by r/ssc – Quality culture war posts from the last two weeks.

Misc:

Tales From Underwater by Meredith L. Patterson (Status 451) – A fairly personal meditation on machine consciousness, paranoia and navigating the inpatient system.

Podcast:

Universal Basic Income by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks with presidential candidate Andrew Yang about universal basic income. They discuss the state of the economy, the rise of automation and AI, the arguments for and against UBI, and other topics.” [Highly Recommended]

Conversation: Elisa New by Marginal Revolution – “The Harvard English professor and host of Poetry in America recently sat down with Tyler to discuss poets, poems, and more, including Walt Whitman’s city walks, Emily Dickinson’s visual art, T.S. Eliot’s privilege, Robert Frost’s radicalism, Willa Cather’s wisdom, poetry’s new platforms, the elasticity of English, the payoffs of Puritanism, and what it was like reading poetry with Shaquille O’Neal.”

Tara Mac Aulay: Operations Mindset by 80,000 Hours – “How broken is the world? How inefficient is a typical organisation? If we look at Tara Mac Aulay’s life, the answer seems to be very.”

Rational Feed

Scott:

Antelopen Thread by Scott Alexander – Biweekly public open thread. Scott adds a new mistake to his mistakes page: He should not have favored a cell death explanation for hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder; an aberrant learning explanation is at least equally likely.

Rationalist:

Be A Dad by Robin Hanson – “A key turning point in my life was when my wife declared that her biological clock said she wanted kids now. I hadn’t been thinking of kids, and the prospect didn’t inspire much passion in me; my life had focused on other things. But I wanted to please my wife, and I didn’t much object, so we had kids. I now see that as one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. I thank my wife for pushing me to it.”

Geoffrey Miller Part 2: Psychology by Jacob Falkovich – Part 2 of Jacob’s interview with Geoffrey Miller. This one covers On research and the state of psychology and academia.

Privacy and Defining Yourself by Lulie – People need privacy to help them control how other judge and define them.

Politics and Economics:

Man Should Allocate Some More Categories by Ozy – Three different ways of conceptualizing gender.

Podcast:

Richard Reinsch On The Enlightenment, Tradition, And Populism by EconTalk – A discussion of the Enlightenment, Tradition and Populism: “Topics discussed include the search for meaning, the stability of liberalism, the rise of populism, and Solzhenitsyn’s indictment of Western values from his Harvard Commencement Address of 1978.”

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

The Body Of Isolation by Aella – “When there is a sense of loneliness, it comes at a necessary cost of or in contrast to the sense of love. Suffering lives in resistance to loneliness. The feeling of loneliness only occurs in the context of belief; in that, true isolation of mind cannot generate loneliness at all.”

Politics and Economics:

Jensen On Intelligence Versus Learning Ability by TracingWoodgrains – A discussion of how learning rates interact with IQ. Which qualities of a subject determine whether retention rates depend on IQ (ex: more complicated subjects). How almost any subject can be taught in in ways which dramatically increase or decrease how g-loaded they are to learn.

Between A Rock And A Red Place by Freddie deBoer – “Power has consequences. Powerlessness is a comfortable place to hide; if you have no ability to effect change in the world, you cannot really fail. Your ideas never make contact with reality and so there is no chance that they will be put to the test. And power, once taken, must be held, so that work leads only to more work. Far easier and safer is to luxuriate in powerlessness. Armed with powerlessness in the material plane, practitioners of this brand of politics concentrate almost all of their energies into the types of interpersonal politics that, for many, characterize left activism.”

Rational Feed

Scott:

Links 6 18 Linkonberry Jam by Scott Alexander – Standard SSC link post.

Rationalist:

Miller Part 1: EA and Rationality by Jacob Falkovich – A transcript of a public conversation, a la conversations with Tyler, between Jacob and Geoffrey Miller. This is part1 of the conversation and covers effective altruism, AI, and rationality. Jacob’s questions engaged with Geoffrey’s work on a fairly deep level.