How Many Neurons Are There by Eukaryote – “We estimate that there are between about 10^24 neurons on earth, with about an order of magnitude uncertainty. Most of these are from insects, with significant contributions from nematodes and fish. For insects, we multiplied the apparent number of insects on earth by the number of neurons in a small insect, the fruit fly. Most other classes of animal contribute 10^22 neurons at most, and so are unlikely to change the final analysis.”
Consider Applying For A Phd Program Now by 80,000 Hours – An increasing number of the paths we recommend, especially in research and policy, are much easier to pursue with a PhD. We recommend a number of programs. Readers are under-confident. 80K is skeptical of untrained people trying to solve hard problems. Its easier to apply to a phd right out of school. 80K hours reservations about PHD programs.
Entitlement Covert Contracts Social Libertarianism And Related Concepts by Ozy – “Under social libertarianism, people have sets of needs and boundaries, and the goal of social interaction is to find someone who can fulfill your needs and whose needs you can fulfill, without violating either side’s boundaries. The only misdeed is to deliberately violate another person’s stated boundaries.” The good impulses behind social libertarianism. The problem is that people can be assholes. The reasonable default, but unspoken, rules. Covert Contracts.
Ea Survey 2017 Series How Do People Get Into Ea by tee (EA forum) – The number of people joining the EA community continues to increase year-on-year. The top five sources of introduction and how they have changed over time.
Alice Little by Tim Ferriss – Technical sex tips. How Alice puts people at ease, including adult virgins. BDSM and power play. Threesome do’s and don’ts, plus the ‘Big KO’ finishing move. Her music playlist for getting people into the erotic zone. Misconceptions about sex workers and the realities. Why ‘The Girlfriend Experience (GFE)’ is her most popular offering. How she works with couples who want to explore new boundaries
Status Regulation And Anxious Underconfidence by Eliezer Yudkowsky (LW 2.0) – “And I’ll now try to describe the kinds of feelings that I think modesty’s appeal rests on. Because I’ve come to appreciate increasingly that human beings are really genuinely different from one another, you shouldn’t be surprised if it seems to you like this is not how you work. I claim nonetheless that many people do work like this.”
Against Shooting Yourself In The Foot by Eliezer Yudkowsky (LW 2.0) – Coda. Eliezer meditates on whether his arguments might do harm to people who were already pre-disposed to overconfidence. Eliezer’s advice.
Hero Licensing by Eliezer Yudkowsky (LW 2.0) – A dialogue on inadequacy, exploitability and modesty. “(The year is 2010. eliezer-2010 is sitting in a nonexistent park in Redwood City, California, working on his laptop. A person walks up to him.)”
Review of Inadequate Equilibria by Scott Aaronson – “To summarize, he argues that contrarianism usually won’t work if your goal is to outcompete many other actors in a free market for a scarce resource that they all want too, like money or status or fame. In those situations, you really should ask yourself why, if your idea is so wonderful, it’s not already being implemented. On the other hand, contrarianism can make sense when the “authoritative institutions” of a given field have screwed-up incentives that prevent them from adopting sensible policies—when even many of the actual experts might know that you’re right, but something prevents them from acting on their knowledge.”
Creating Welfare Biology A Research Proposal by Ozy – It would be useful to have an academic field that studied the biology of animal suffering. How can you start an academic field? What historic case should we look it.
Dollars For Brains by Jacob Falkovich – Jacob’s picks for the top10 best comments of the last year of putanumonit. Jacob is now accepting donations.
The Darwin Game by Zvi Moshowitz – In college Zvi entered a computer tournament based on a modified prisoner’s dilemma. Each round the algorithms that did well became an increasing fraction of the pool.
Politics and Economics:
The Decline Of New Atheism by Grey Enlightenment – New Atheism as a response to Bush, NA didn’t fail its just getting more critique, Jordan Petersen, philosophy is linked to religion and is becoming more popular, “the minimalist, austere Protestant aesthetic appeals to intellectual-atheist types.” New Atheists were overconfident and condescending to well informed believers.
Conversation: Sujatha Gidla by Marginal Revolution – “The nature and persistence of caste, gender issues in India, her time as a revolutionary, New York City lifestyle and neighborhoods and dining, religion, living in America versus living in India, Bob Dylan and Dalit music, American identity politics, the nature of Marxism, Halldor Laxness, and why she left her job at the Bank of New York to become a New York City subway conductor”
The Lessons Of Death by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “death and dying—and about how the awareness of death can improve our lives in each moment.”
Book Review Legal Systems Very Different From Ours by Scott Alexander – Anarchist Iceland, Somali Judges, Gypsies, the Amish. Heavy emphasis on economics. Reasons why Scott is skeptical.
Against Modest Epistemology by Eliezer Yudkowsky (LW 2.0) – Aumann’s agreement theorem, Why Eliezer hesitates to disagree with Anna Saloman, No Epistemology will prevent idiots from being idiots. What would convince Eliezer to adopt a modest epistemology. Rule M for modesty.
Towards An Axiological Approach To Ai Alignment by gordan (Map and Territory) – Generalizing from Ai-Alignment to thinking about how to align humans. Aligning general feedback processes. Returning to the specific case of ai-alignment.
Self Improvement Races by The Foundational Research Institute – “It should be strictly easier to find self-improvements that “probably” work than it is to identify self-improvements that are guaranteed to work. The former is a superset of the latter. So, AIs which are willing to take risks while self-improving can improve faster.”
Care-taking is the Future by The Ezra Klein Show – “The future of work, we’re told, is a future where humans cease to be necessary. Ai-jen Poo wants to refocus that conversation. When we think about the future of work, she says, we need to think about care workers.”
Why People Think Some Things Cant Be Measured by Rationally Speaking – “Doug Hubbard, author of ‘How to Measure Anything’, about why people so often believe things are impossible to quantify like ‘innovation’ or ‘quality of life.'”
Anthony Gill On Tipping by EconTalk – “Why tipping persists and what it achieves despite there being no formal way of enforcing this norm.”
Animal Equality Exposing Cruelty by 80,000 Hours – “Going undercover to expose animal cruelty, get rabbit cages banned and reduce meat consumption.”
Blind Empiricism by Eliezer Yudkowsky (LW 2.0) – Many rationalists take ‘outside view thinking’ and ‘be a fox not a hedgehog’ way too far. Eliezer walks through three real life examples in detail. If you lack certain skills, like ‘saying oops I was wrong’, this defensive epistemology can make sense. On the other hand this defensive stance can lead you into confused thinking, for example thinking that having a model at all means you won’t update if you get contradictory evidence.
Male Dairy Calves Male Chicks And Relative Suffering From Animal Foods by Eukaryote – The mainstream EA advice is that eating beef and dairy is much less harmful than eating eggs and chicken. Including ‘incidental animals’ like male chicks or male calves born to dairy cows doesn’t change the qualitative results.
Politics and Economics:
Radical Book Club What Righties Can Do by davidzhines (Status 451) – “That’s what movements are about: gaining power. Movements don’t just happen. And they’re not the product of orders from on high, or rent-a-protestors paid out of somebody’s checkbook. They’re the product of a lot of people doing a lot of hard work over a very long time.”
Villain Markets by Robin Hanson – A prediction market where people bet on whether corruption (or other forms of villainy) are present.