In Search Of Missing Us Suicides by Scott Alexander – “Among US states, there’s a clear relationship between gun ownership rates and suicide rates, but not between gun ownership rates and homicide rates. You might conclude guns increase suicides but not homicides. Then you might predict that the gun-loving US would be an international outlier in suicides but not homicides. In fact, it’s the opposite. Why?”
Highlights From The Comments On Basic Jobs by Scott Alexander – Lots of currated comments about ‘Guaranteed Basic Jobs’ vs Universal Basic Income. Scott responds to several of them.
Monopoly: A Manifesto And Fact Post by Sarah Constantin – Tons of graphs showing how bad the great stagnation has been. GDP growth measured in commodities has been anemic, more industry concentration and barriers to entry, very low productivity growth. Some thoughts on why solving the problem of increasing monopoly is hard.
Dear Graduating Sixth Graders by Duncan Sabien – Duncan’s speech at a sixth grade graduation. A major focus is that in the path 12-13 year olds were often already working and would be preparing for marriage. People that age have not gotten less capable, just less driven and motivated.
A Concrete Model For Running An Ea Group by Tobias Pulver – “The main goal of this approach to running an EA local group is to identify, attract, and develop top talent–and help them have more impact.” Detailed advice for the three stages of achieving this goal: Finding people, Getting interested people involved, Career planning and integrating with the community.
Why EAs In Particular Are Good People To Start by Joey – EAs will often be better at: Cause and intervention selection, Value alignment, Networks and resources, Measurement and evaluation, Dedication and focus, Personal ability. EAs will often be worse at: Experience working and managing broadly, Experience in the field, Connections within field, Related degree, Personal attachment to the cause.
Politics and Economics:
by r/ssc – Weekly high quality culture war posts.
Silence Around Test Scores Serves the Privileged by Daniel Friedman – In defense of talking about your SAT and IQ score. “Surely it’s no coincidence that the only admissions criteria it’s taboo to discuss is the one that money can’t buy. Surely it’s no coincidence that the means by which undesirable minorities squeezed their way into elite spaces has become something that we’re supposed to treat as shameful. Surely it’s no coincidence that the one thing that reveals the mediocrity of the children of the rich and powerful has become taboo to talk about.”
One Parameter Equation Can Exactly Fit Scatter Plot by Marginal Revolution – You can fit any scatter plot arbitrarily well with a single parameter. This is achieved by exploiting chaotic dynamics. Tyler Interprets this as a serious critique of naive Occam’s Razor. Quick read.
Understanding How To Implement A Character Based RNN Language Model by Eli Bendersky – “In a single gist, Andrej Karpathy did something truly impressive. In a little over 100 lines of Python – without relying on any heavy-weight machine learning frameworks – he presents a fairly complete implementation of training a character-based recurrent neural network (RNN) language model; this includes the full backpropagation learning with Adagrad optimization. I love such minimal examples because they allow me to understand some topic in full depth, connecting the math to the code and having a complete picture of how everything works. In this post I want to present a companion explanation to Karpathy’s gist, showing the diagrams and math that hide in its Python code.”
Aaron Hamlin: Voting Reform by 80,000 Hours – Approval voting is a system where you can vote for as many people as you want and the person with the most votes win. This guarantees the winner is acceptable to at least half the electorate (assuming such a candidate runs). The system is loved by voting experts.
Anders Sandberg: Extending Life by 80,000 Hours – Topics: Will potentially immortal dictators increase the odds of dystopia, Cryonics, will slowed aging lead to stagnation, how to extend your life if you are in your 70s, can we cut our need to sleep, solar flares, will lifelike robots make us more inclined to dehumanise one another?