Against Murderism by Scott Alexander – Three definitions of racism. Why ‘Racism as motivation’ fits best. The futility of blaming the murder rate in the USA on ‘murderism’. Why its often best to focus on motivations other than racism.
The Battle For Psychology by Jacob Falkovich (Put A Number On It!) – An explanation of ‘power’ in statistics and why its always good. Low power means that positive results are mostly due to chance. Extremely bad incentives and research practices in psychology. Studying imaginary effects. Several good images.
Responses To Folk Ontologies by Ferocious Truth – Folk ontology: Concepts and categories held by ordinary people with regard to an idea. Especially pre-scientific or unreflective ones. Responses: Transform/Rescue, Deny or Restrict/Recognize. Rescuing free will and failing to rescue personal identity. Rejecting objective morality. Restricting personal identity and moral language. When to use each approach.
Are Givewells Top Charities The Best Option For Every Donor by The GiveWell Blog – Why GiveWell recommend charities are a good option for most donors. Which donors have better options: Donors with lots of time, high trust in a particular institution or values different from GiveWell’s.
Links by GiveDirectly – Eight Media articles on Cash Transfers, Basic Income and Effective Altruism.
Updating My Risk Estimate of Geomagnetic Big One by Open Philosophy – Risk from magnetic storms caused by the sun. “I have raised my best estimate of the chance of a really big storm, like the storied one of 1859, from 0.33% to 0.70% per decade. And I have expanded my 95% confidence interval for this estimate from 0.0–4.0% to 0.0–11.6% per decade.”
Politics and Economics:
Build Baby Build by Bryan Caplan – Quote from a paper estimating the high costs of housing restrictions. We should blame the government, especially local government. The top alternate theory is wrong. Which regulations are doing the damage? It’s complicated. Functionalists are wrong. State government is our best hope.
Epistemic Spot Check: The Demon Under The Microscope by Aceso Under Glass – Biography of the man who invented sulfa drugs, the early anti-bacteria treatments which were replaced by penicillin. Interesting fact checks of various claims.
Ed Luce by Tyler Cowen – The Retreat of Western Liberalism “What a future liberalism will look like, to what extent current populism is an Anglo-American phenomenon, Modi’s India, whether Kubrick, Hitchcock, and John Lennon are overrated or underrated, and what it is like to be a speechwriter for Larry Summers.”
On Risk, Statistics, And Improving The Public Understanding Of Science by 80,000 Hours – A lifetime of communicating science. Early career advice. Getting people to intuitively understand hazards and their effect on life expectancy.