Prospiracy Theories by Scott Alexander – Scott created some hilarious image promoting mainstream theories in the style of conspiracy memes.
February Newsletter by Gwern – Monthly gwern newsletter on AI, genetics and other topics.
Personalized Medicine For Real by Sarah Constantin – What are the types of personalized medicine and which types does a startup have the best chance of being good at?
Exponential Secretary by Jacob Falkovich – Jacob compiled spreadsheet scores for the first 20 women he dated in New York. He found that an exponential model fit the data reasonably well. He then explains how to maximize your expected value if you are sampling from an exponential distribution and need to decide when to stop sampling given that you can only sample at most N more times.
Approval Directed Agency And The Decision Theory Of Newcomb Like Problems by The Foundational Research Institute – ‘In this paper, we study what decision theory an approval-directed agent, i.e., an agent whose goal it is to maximize the score it receives from an overseer, implements. If we assume that the overseer rewards the agent based on the expected value of some von Neumann–Morgenstern utility function, then such an approval-directed agent is guided by two decision theories: the one used by the agent to decide which action to choose in order to maximize the reward and the one used by the overseer to compute the expected utility of a chosen action. We show which of these two decision theories describes the agent’s behavior in which situations.’
Politics and Economics:
Consider Reparations by Robin Hanson – Robin argues that reparations might be a good way to put our past national grievances behind us.
Response To Weyl by Robin Hanson – Hanson claims that Glenn Weyl, author of radical markets, misrepresented multiple vews that he holds during an 80K Hours podcast.
On The Seattle Minimum Wage by EconTalk – ‘Vigdor along with others from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance have tried to measure the change in employment, hours worked, and wages for low-skilled workers in Seattle. He summarizes those results here arguing that while some workers earned higher wages, some or all of the gains were offset by reductions in hours worked and a reduction in the rate of job creation especially for low-skilled workers.’
Is Elsevier Helping by Rationally Speaking – ‘In the wake of the University of California’s decision to end their contract with Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher, a lot of people have been talking about the effect that publishers like Elsevier have on the progress of science. William Gunn, director of scholarly communications for Elsevier, and Alex Holcombe, cognitive scientist and open science advocate, discuss their differing perspectives on the question. The discussion includes: What are scientists’ main complaints about Elsevier? What value does Elsevier add? Is the academic publishing market a functioning one? Can Elsevier be a force for innovation?’
The Problem Of Addiction by Waking Up with Sam Harris – ‘Sam Harris speaks with Sally Satel about addiction. They discuss whether addiction should be considered a disease, the opiate epidemic in the U.S., the unique danger of fentanyl, the politicization of medicine, PTSD, and other topics.’