Adderall Risks Much More Than You Wanted To Know by Scott Alexander – Ability to focus is distributed on a bell curve, much like intelligence. Everyone benefits from Adderall some amount. Overall Adderall is relatively safe.
A Breakthrough In Moral Psychology by Artir – A brief history of the field of moral psychology. Do we have evidence that a fully rational person would be utilitarian? By polling philosophers and doing extensive statistics a paper derives a two factor model of utilitarianism: Impartial Benevolence and Instrumental Harm.
Writing Down Conversations by Raymond Arnold (LW 2.0) – “When you have insightful conversation, write it down and share it so people can build on it (instead of just sharing in person). Most of humanity’s power comes from being able to build complex thoughts out of other thoughts and transmit them across the world.”
Why Did Everything Take So Long by Katja Grace – Why did it take so long to invent rope or the wheel? Possibilities: Inventions are usually more ingenious than they seem, Knowing what you are looking for is everything, Having concepts in general is a big deal, Everything is mysteriously super hard.
Instead Of Making Resolution by Agenty Duck – Instead of making a new years resolution try some things on the following lists: Meditate On, Make a List of, Write a Sentence or Three Describing, Design.
A List Of Questions And Exercises For Reviewing Your Year by Krishaan Khubchand (LW 2.0) – Questions for the new year: Looking at the stuff that has shapes you over the last year. Learning from the good times and the bad times. Comparing Reality to Intentions.
Politics and Economics:
Ten Implications Of Automatic Norms by Robin Hanson – Ten implications of the fact that most norm judgements are made automatically not deliberately. The system is sensitive to framing effects and worked better in the ancestral environment. People both feel there are lots of defectors as well as many busybodies.
Popular MR Posts 2017 by Marginal Revolution – Most popular MR posts of 2017. Top was Switzerland is Prepared for Civilizational Collapse followed by Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize. Several other posts follow on economics as well as a discussion of the existence of God.
Applying Averages by Anonymous Mugwump – #ApplyingAverages Long Live Cohen’s D: “I would ask people to apply, consistently, the need to for controls, the need to appreciate overlapping bell curves, the need to assess trade-offs, the need to avoid reinforcing a norm contrary to a fundamental Western norm: individualism.”