Rational Feed

Misc:

Epistemic Spot Check A Guide To Better Movement Todd Hargrove by Aceso Under Glass – Flexibility and Chronic Pain. Early section on flexibility fails check badly. Section on psychosomatic pain does much better. Model: Simplicity (Good), Explanation (Fantastic), Explicit Predictions (Good), Useful Predictions (Poor), Acknowledge Limits (Poor), Measurability (Poor).

Rescuing The Extropy Magazine Archives by deku_shrub (lesswrong) – “You’ll find some really interesting very early articles on neural augmentation, transhumanism, libertarianism, AI (featuring Eliezer), radical economics (featuring Robin Hanson of course) and even decentralized payment systems.”

Summary Of Reading April June 2017 by Eli Bendersky – Brief reviews. Various topics: Heavy on Economics. Some politics, literature and other topics.

Podcast:

Landscapes Of Mind by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “why it’s so hard to predict future technology, the nature of intelligence, the ‘singularity’, artificial consciousness.”

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Rational Feed

Rationality:

Onemagisterium Bayes by tristanm (lesswrong) – Toolbox-ism is the dominant mode of thinking today. Downsides of toolbox-ism. Desiderata that imply Bayesianism. Major problems: Assigning priors and encountering new hypothesis. Four minor problems. Why the author is still a strong Bayesianism. Strong Bayesians can still use frequentist tools. AI Risk.

Cfar Week 1 by mindlevelup – What is working at CFAF actually like. Less rationality research than anticipated. Communication costs scale quadratically. Organization efficiency and group rationality.

Call To Action by Elo (BearLamp) – Culmination of a 21 article series on life improvement and getting things done. A review of the series as a whole and thoughts on moving forward.

Misc:

Book Review Barriers by Eukaryote – Even cell culturing is surprisingly hard if you don’t know the details. There is not much institutional knowledge left in the field of bioweapons. Forcing labs underground makes bioterrorism even harder. However synthetic biology might make things much more dangerous.

Rational Feed

Scott:

Why Are Transgender People Immune To Optical Illusions by Scott Alexander – Scott’s community survey showed, with a huge effect size, that transgender individuals are less susceptible to the spinning mask and dancer illusions. Trans suffer from dis-associative disorder at a high rate. Connections between the two phenomena and NDMA. Commentary on the study methodology.

Open Thread 78.75 by Scott Alexander – Bi-weekly public open thread.

AI:

Strategic Implications Of Ai Scenarios by Tobias Baumann (EA forum) – Questions and topics: Advanced AI timelines. Hard or soft takeoff? Goal alignment? Will advanced AI act as a single entity or a distributed system? Implication for estimating the EV of donating to AI-safety.

EA:

How Long Does It Take To Research And Develop A by Peter Hurford (EA forum) – How long it takes to make a vaccine. Literature review. Historical data on how long a large number of vaccines took to develop. Conclusions.

Politics and Economics:

Beware The Moral Spotlight by Robin Hanson – The stated goals of government/business don’t much matter compared to the selective pressures on their leadership, don’t obsess over which sex has the worse deal overall, don’t overate the benefits of democracy and ignore higher impact changes to government.

Podcast:

Blake Mycoskie by Tim Ferriss – Early entrepreneurial ventures. The power of journaling. How “the stool analogy” changed Blake’s life. Lessons from Ben Franklin.

Rational Feed

Scott:

Contra Otium On Individualism by Scott Alexander (Scratchpad) – Eight point summary of Sarah’s defense of individualism. Scott is terrified the market place of ideals doesn’t work and his own values aren’t memetically fit.

Rationalist:

Just Saying What You Mean Is Impossible by Zvi Moshowitz – “Humans are automatically doing lightning fast implicit probabilistic analysis on social information in the background of every moment of their lives.” This implies there is no way to divorce the content of your communication from its myriad probabilistic social implications. Different phrasings will just send different implications.

Intellectuals As Artists by Robin Hanson – Many norms function to show off individual impressiveness: Conversations, modern songs, taking positions on diverse subjects. Much intellectualism is not optimized for status gains not finding truth.

Selfconscious Ideology by casebash (lesswrong) – Lesswrong has a self conscious ideology. Self conscious ideologies have major advantages even if any given self-conscious ideology is flawed.

EA:

Hi Im Luke Muehlhauser Ama About Open by Luke Muelhauser (EA forum) – Animal and computer consciousness. Luke wrote a report for the open philanthropy project on consciousness. Lots of high quality questions have been posted.

Politics and Economics:

Without Belief In A God But Never Without Belief In A Devil by Lou (sam[]zdat) – The nature of mass movements. The beats and the John Birchers. The taxonomy of the frustrated. Horseshoe theory. The frustrated cannot derive satisfaction from action, something else has to fill the void Poverty, work and meaning. Mass movements need to sow resentment. Hatred is the strongest unifier. Modernity inevitably causes justified resentment. Tocqueville, Polyanai, Hoffer and Scott’s theories. Helpful and unhelpful responses.

Reply To Yudkowsky by Bryan Caplan – Caplan quotes and replies to many sections Yudkowsky’s response. Points: Yudkowsky’s theory is a special case of Caplan’s. The left has myriad complaints about markets. Empirically the market actually has consistently provided large benefits in many countries and times.

Podcast:

Ben Sasse by Tyler Cowen – “Kansas vs. Nebraska, famous Nebraskans, Chaucer and Luther, unicameral legislatures, the decline of small towns, Ben’s prize-winning Yale Ph.d thesis on the origins of conservatism, what he learned as a university president, Stephen Curry, Chevy Chase, Margaret Chase Smith”

Rational Feed

Scott:

Conversation Deliberately Skirts The Border Of Incomprehensibility by Scott Alexander – Communication is often designed to be confusing so as to preserve plausible deniability.

Rationalist:

In Defense Of Individualist Culture by Sarah Constantin (Otium) – A description of individualist culture. Criticisms of individualist culture: Lacking sympathy, few good defaults. Defenses: Its very hard to change people (psychology research review). A defense of naive personal identity. Traditional culture is fragile. Building a community project is hard in the modern world, prepare for the failure modes. Modernity has big upsides, some people will make better choices than the traditional rules allow.

Politics and Economics:

Yudkowsky On My Simpistic Theory of Left and Right by Bryan Caplan – Yudkowsky claims the left holds the market to the same standards as human beings. The market as a ritual holding back a dangerous Alien God. Caplan doesn’t respond he just quotes Yudkowsky.

Genetic Behaviorism Supports The Influence Of Chance On Life Outcomes by Freddie deBoer – Much of the variance in many traits is non-shared-environment. Much non-shared-environment can be thought of as luck. In addition no one chooses or deserves their genes.

Podcast:

Danah Boyd on why Fake News is so Easy to Believe by The Ezra Klein Show – Fake news, digital white flight, how an anthropologist studies social media, machine learning algorithms reflect our prejudices rather than fixing them, what Netflix initially got wrong about their recommendations engine, the value of pretending your audience is only six people, the early utopian visions of the internet.

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Forget The Maine by Robin Hanson – Monuments are not optimized for reminding people to do better. Instead they largely serve as vehicles for simplistic ideology.

AI:

Looking Into Ai Risk by Jeff Kaufman – Jeff is trying to decide if AI risk is a serious concern and whether he should consider working in the field. Jeff’s AI-risk reading list. A large comment section with interesting arguments.

Self-modification As A Game Theory Problem by (lesswrong) – “If I’m right, then any good theory for cooperation between AIs will also double as a theory of stable self-modification for a single AI, and vice versa.” An article with mathematical details is linked.

Tool Use Intelligence Conversation by The Foundational Research Institute – A dialogue. Comparisons between humans and chimps/lions. The value of intelligence depends on the available tools. Defining intelligence. An addendum on “general intelligence” and factors that make intelligence useful.

EA:

Projects People And Processes by Open Philosophy – Three approaches used by donors and decision makers: Choose from projects presented by experts, defer near-fully to trusted individuals and establishing systematic criteria. Pros and cons of each. Open Phil’s current approach.

Hidden Cost Digital Convenience by Innovations for Poverty – Moving from in person to digital micro-finance can harm saving rates in developing countries. Reduction in group cohesion and visible transaction fees. Linked paper with details.

Politics and Economics:

On The Effects Of Inequality On Economic Growth by Artir (Nintil) – Most of the article tries to explain and analyze the economic consensus on whether inequality harms growth. A very large number of papers are cited and discussed. A conclusion that the effect is at most small.

Misc:

Physics Problem 2 by protokol2020 – Can tidal forces rotate a metal wheel?

Podcast:

Jason Weeden On Do People Vote Based On Self Interest by Rational Speaking – Do people vote based on personality, their upbringing, blind loyalty or do they follow their self interest? What does self-interest even mean?

Robin Feldman by EconTalk – Ways pharmaceutical companies fight generics.

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

The Ladder Of Interventions by mindlevelup – “This is a hierarchy of techniques to use for in-the-moment situations where you need to “convince” yourself to do something.” The author uses these methods in practice.

Misc:

Poems by Scott Alexander (Scratchpad) – Violets aren’t blue.

Podcast:

Reid Hoffman 2 by Tim Ferriss – The 10 Commandments of Startup Success according to the extremely successful investor Reid Hoffman.