Rational Feed

Rationalist:

City Travel Scaling by Robin Hanson – Review of Geoffrey West’s ‘Scale’. Most visits to a location are from infrequent visitors who live nearby. Fractal piping systems have an overhead that only grows logarithmically with the size of the city. Evolution never found such efficient heating/cooling systems.

Cognitive Empathy And Emotional Labor by Gordon (Map and Territory) – Affective empathy contrasted with Cognitive empathy. Cognitive empathy enables real emotional labor.

Sabbath Hard And Go Home by Ben Hoffman – The Sabbth as easymode leisure. Unplugging while camping or on a meditation retreat feels natural. What is leisure? If you are unable to keep a Sabbath things are not ok, there isn’t enough slack in the system.

Common Sense Eats Common Talk by Stefano Zorzi (ribbonfarm) – Missing the housing bubble. Falling for conformity. Seeing through invisible clothes. Advice: Test macro assumptions, beware of jargon, assume propositions that contradict common sense are wrong. Common talk and common sense and their failings.

EA:

Trial Postponed by GiveDirectly – Give directly Kenya trial postponed due to political events.

AI:

September 2017 Newsletter by The MIRI Blog – New MIRI paper on Incorrigibility and shitting off AI. Best posts from the intelligent agents forum. Links to videos and podcasts. MIRI personel updates and career opportunities in aI safety.

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Rational Feed

Scott:

Links: Hurly Burly by Scott Alexander – SSC links post. Copyright, genetic engineering, Autism, Machine Learning, Putin’s fears of AI risk, the lesswrong relaunch and more

Rationalist:

Why I Quit Social Media by Sarah Constantin – Becoming stronger and less emotional since we live in a finite world with constrained resources. Social media: “It distances you from reality, makes you focus on a shadow-world of opinions about opinions about opinions; it makes you more impulsive and emotionally unstable; it incentivizes derailing conversations to fish for ego-strokes.”

Travel Journal Hawaii by Jacob Falkovich – The Hawaiian language only has 40 syllables. Sales tax. Circadian Rhythm. Colonialism. The Hawaiian caste system. The best meal in the world. Don’t quit your job to sell lemonade. Minimum wage ruined the pineapple industry.

AI:

NBER Conference Artificial Intelligence by Marginal Revolution – Links to the program and videos. Tyler was there to comment on Korinek and Stiglitz.

Politics and Economics:

Milgram Replicates by Bryan Caplan – Milgram’s shock study replicated well in 2009. Since 79% of people who pushed past the subjects first verbal protest went to the end of the range the replication stopped earlier than Milgram.

Rational Feed

EA:

Paypal Giving Fund by Jeff Kaufman – The PayPal giving fund lets you batch donations and PayPal covers the fees if you use it. Jeff thought there must be a catch but it seems legit.

Reasonable Doubt New Look Whether Prison Growth Cuts Crime by Open Philosophy – Part1 of a four part, in depth, series on Criminal Justice reform. The remaining posts are linked below. “I estimate, that at typical policy margins in the United States today, decarceration has zero net impact on crime. That estimate is uncertain, but at least as much evidence suggests that decarceration reduces crime as increases it. The crux of the matter is that tougher sentences hardly deter crime, and that while imprisoning people temporarily stops them from committing crime outside prison walls, it also tends to increase their criminality after release. As a result, “tough-on-crime” initiatives can reduce crime in the short run but cause offsetting harm in the long run. Empirical social science research—or at least non-experimental social science research—should not be taken at face value. Among three dozen studies I reviewed, I obtained or reconstructed the data and code for eight. Replication and reanalysis revealed significant methodological concerns in seven and led to major reinterpretations of four. These studies endured much tougher scrutiny from me than they did from peer reviewers in order to make it into academic journals. Yet given the stakes in lives and dollars, the added scrutiny was worth it. So from the point of view of decision makers who rely on academic research, today’s peer review processes fall well short of the optimal.”

Deterrence De Minimus by Open Philosophy – Part 2.

Incapacitation How Much Does Putting People Inside Prison Cut Crime Outside by Open Philosophy – Part 3.

Aftereffects Us Evidence Says Doing More Time Typically Leads More Crime After by Open Philosophy – Part 4.

Politics and Economics:

Raj Chetty Course Using Big Data Solve Economic Social Problems by Marginal Revolution – Link to an eleven lecture course. “Equality of opportunity, education, health, the environment, and criminal justice. In the context of these topics, the course provides an introduction to basic statistical methods and data analysis techniques, including regression analysis, causal inference, quasi-experimental methods, and machine learning.”

Misc:

Coin Flipping Problem by protokol2020 – Flipping coins until you get a pre-committed sequence. You re-start whenever your flip doesn’t match the sequence. Relationship between the expected number of flips and the length of the sequence.

Podcast:

Reihan Salam by The Ezra Klein Show – Remaking the Republican party, but not the way Donald Trump did it. “The future of the Republican Party, the healthcare debate, and how he would reform our immigration system (and upend the whole way we talk about it). ”

Rational Feed

Scott:

L Dopen Thread by Scott Alexander – Bi-weekly public open thread. Berkeley SSC meetup. New ad for the Greenfield Guild, an online network of software consultants.

Rationalist:

The Best Self Help Should Be Self Defeating by mindlevelup – “Self-help is supposed to get people to stop needing it. But typical incentives in any medium mean that it’s possible to get people hooked on your content instead. A musing on how the setup for writing self-help differs from typical content.”

Why I Am Not A Quaker Even Though It Often Seems As Though I Should Be by Ben Hoffman – Quakers have consistently gotten to the right answers faster than most people, or the author. Reasons to respect the society of friends. Arbitrage strategies to beat the quakers. An incomplete survey of alternatives.

Impression Track Records by Katja Grace – Three reasons its better to keep impression track records and belief track records separate.

Politics and Economics:

Deontologist Envy by Ozy – The behavior of your group is highly unlikely to effect the behavior of your political opponents. Many people respond to proposed tactics by asking “What if everyone did that”. Ozy claims these responses show an implicit Kantian or deontological point of view.

Speech On Campus Reply To Brad Delong by Noah Smith – The safeguard put in place to exclude the small minority of genuinely toxic people will be overused. Comparison to the war on terror. Brad’s exclusions criteria are incredibly vague. The speech restriction apparatus is patchwork and inconsistent. Cultural Revolution.

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Out To Get You by Zvi Moshowitz – “Some things are fundamentally Out to Get You. They seek resources at your expense. Fees are hidden. Extra options are foisted upon you.” You have four responses: Get Gone, Get Out (give up), Get Compact (limit what it wants) or Get Ready for Battle.

Nobody Does The Thing That They Are Supposedly Doing by Kaj Sotala – “In general, neither organizations nor individual people do the thing that their supposed role says they should do.” Evolutionary incentives. Psychology of motivation. Very large number of links.

Politics and Economics:

Peak Fossil Fuel by Bayesian Investor – Electric cars will have a 99% market share by 2035. “Electric robocars run by Uber-like companies will be cheap enough that you’ll have trouble giving away a car bought today. Uber’s prices will be less than your obsolete car’s costs of fuel, maintenance, and insurance.”

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

In Defense Of Unreliability by Ozy – Zvi claims that when he makes plan with friends in the bay he never assumes the plan will actually occur. Ozy depends on unreliable transport. Getting places 10-15 early is also costly. Flaking and agoraphobia.

Politics and Economics:

What We Didn’t Get by Noah Smith – We are currently living in a world envisioned by the cyberpunk writers. the early industrial sci-fi writers also predicted many inventions. Why didn’t mid 1900s sci-fi come true? We ran out of theoretical physics and we ran out of energy. Energy density of fuel sources. Some existing or plausible technology is just too dangerous. Discussion of whether strong AI, personal upload, nanotech and/or the singularity will come true.

Rational Feed

Scott:

Meditative States As Mental Feedback Loops by Scott Alexander – the main reason we don’t see emotional positive feedback loops is that people get distracted. If you do not get distracted you can experience a bliss feedback look.

Rationalist:

Humans Cells In Multicellular Future Minds by Robin Hanson – In general humans replace specific systems with more general adaptive systems. Seeing like a State. Most biological and cultural systems are not general. Multi-cellular organisms re tremendously inefficient. The power of entrenched systems. Human brains are extremely general. Human brains may win for a long time vs other forms of intelligence.

Why Attitudes Matter by Ozy – Focusing on attitudes can be bad for some people. Two arguments: “First, for any remotely complicated situation, it would be impossible to completely list out all the things which are okay or not okay. Second, an attitude emphasis prevents rules-lawyering.”

Strategic Goal Pursuit And Daily Schedules by Rossin (lesswrong) – The author benefitted from Anna Salamon’s goal-pursuing heuristics and daily schedules.

EA:

Ea Survey 2017 Series Qualitative Comments Summary by tee (EA forum) – Are you an EA, how welcoming is EA, local EA meetup attendance, concerns with not being ‘EA enough’, improving the survey.

Against EA PR by Ozy – The EA community is the only large entity trying to produce accurate and publicly available assessments of charities. Hence the EA community should not trade away any honesty. EAs should simply say which causes and organizations are most effective, they should not worry about PR concerns.

What Do DALYs Capture by Danae Arroyos (EA forum) – How Disability Adjusted life years computed. DALYs misrepresent mental health. DALY’s Miss Indirect Effects. Other issues.

Politics and Economics:

The Margin Of Stupid by Noah Smith – Can we trust studies showing that millennials are as racist as their parents, except for the ones in college who are extreme leftists?

Unpopular Ideas About Children by Julia Galef – Julia’s thoughts on why she is collecting these lists. Parenting styles, pro and anti-natalism, sexuality, punishment, etc. Happiness studies. Some other studies finding extreme results.

Misc:

Seek Not To Be Entertained by Mr. Money Mustache – Don’t be normal, normal people need constant entertainment. You can get enjoyment and satisfaction from making things. Advice for people less abnormal than MMM. What you enjoy doesn’t matter, what matters is what is good for you.

Podcast:

Into The Dark Land by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Siddhartha Mukherjee about his Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.”