Refactoring: Culture As Branch Of Government by Scott Alexander – ‘Imagine that civics textbook writers taught high school students that the US government had four branches: executive, legislative, judicial, and cultural. I think about this because I have a bias to ignore anything that isn’t nailed down and explicit. Culture isn’t nailed down. But if it were in the Constitution in nice calligraphy right beside the Presidency and the Supreme Court, why, then it would be as explicit as it gets.’
Its All Data by Robin Hanson – All datasets are biased. Twitter polls are just another source of data. People criticizing Robin for running twitter polls should reproduce the experiments with a different population.
The Pavlov Strategy by Sarah Constantin – The pavlov strategy in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma is the following: ‘Pavlov starts off cooperating. If the other player cooperates with Pavlov, Pavlov keeps doing whatever it’s doing, even if it was a mistake; if the other player defects, Pavlov switches its behavior, even if it was a mistake.’ This strategy can outperform tit-for-tat and is better at self cooperating in the presence of randomness.
Porn by The Baliocene Apocrypha – Why do men, who on average have average dicks, want to watch pornstars with big dicks? The fantasy is that the world runs on simple rules. Even if guys are not on top of the simple hierarchy they can still fantasize. This dynamic applies to many domains.
The Drive Interview by Waking Up with Sam Harris – ‘Sam Harris speaks with Peter Attia about meditation and the nature of mind. They discuss types of meditation, the difference between pain and suffering, the difference between joy and wellbeing, the half-life of negative emotions, thinking and dreaming, the power of culture, the power of language, letting go of anger, MDMA, loving one’s enemies, moral luck, the ethics of lying, and other topics.’
Best Buys In International Development by 80,000 Hours – Education interventions are usually very ineffective. But the best interventions are very cost effective. One such intervention is to group children by ability not age. Another effective intervention is to provide information about the benefits of education.