Rational Feed


Classified Ads Thread by Scott Alexander – Open thread where people post ads. People are promoting their websites and some of them are posting actual job ads among other things.


Design A Better Chess by Robin Hanson – Can we design a game that promotes even more useful honesty than chess? A link to Hanson’s review of Gary Kasparov’s book is included.

Why Is Harry Potter So Popular by Ozy (Thing of Things) – Ozy discusses a paper on song popularity in an artificial music market. Social dynamics had a big impact on song ratings. “Normal popularity is easily explicable by quality. Stupid, wild, amazing popularity is due to luck.”

Is Silicon Valley Real by Ben Hoffman (Compass Rose) – The old culture of Silicon Valley is mostly gone, replaced by something overpriced and materialist. Ben check’s the details of Scott Alexander’s list of six noble startups and finds only two in SV proper.


Returns Functions And Funding Gaps by the Center for Effective Altruism (EA forum) – Links to CEA’s explanation of what “returns functions” are and how using them compares to “funding gap” model. They give some arguments why returns functions are a superior model.


How to Think Scientifically About Scientists’ Proposals for Fixing Science by Andrew Gelman – Gelman asks how to scientifically evaluate proposals to fix science. He considers educational, statistical, research practice and institutional reforms. Excerpts from an article Gelman wrote, the full paper is linked.


The Moral Complexity Of Genetics by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam talks with Siddhartha Mukherjee about the human desire to understand and manipulate heredity, the genius of Gregor Mendel, the ethics of altering our genes, the future of genetic medicine, patent issues in genetic research, controversies about race and intelligence, and other topics.”


Author: deluks917

Software Engineer in New York City. Admin of the SlateStarcodex discord. Math PHD drop out.

2 thoughts on “Rational Feed”

  1. Not sure I’d characterize the thing that replaced SV as “materialist” – money is very much not a material good, and there seems to be a shift away from working with the same physical materials, to working with the same parts of social reality.


    1. I honestly had not even considered the meaning of “concerned with physical materials”.

      I probably should have used a different term. I was really using it in the sense of “concerned about money”. This seems like a reasonably common usuage. For example I googled materialist and got this definition. “excessively concerned with material possessions; money-oriented”.

      However even “money oriented” is not quite the right way to describe current silicon valley.


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