Pascal’s Mugging Pays by Zvi Moshowitz – Whether or not you pay homeless people claiming to be matrix lords changes the probability people claim to be matrix lords. Scope insensitivity and status quo bias as defences against getting dutch booked.
The Complacent Class by Zvi Moshowitz – Cowen intended the complacent class to have a Straussian reading. Its in people’s self interest to exploit (as opposed to explore) far too much from a societal point of view. People are not paying for the upkeep of societal progress. Tyler doesn’t want to say this explicitly so as not to discourage ‘strivers’. Tyler’s strategy is to instead raise the status of strivers in society. A chapter by chapter review. Connections to Eliezer’s Inadequate
Feelings Matter by mindlevelup – “Your feelings matter, and they matter a lot more than I might give them credit for. This is a core CFAR rationality idea—listening to your System 1, reconciling your intellectual and emotional sides, and all that.”
Politics and Economics:
Sam Altman Fears Political Correctness by Marginal Revolution – Sam Altman (CEO Y combinator, chairman of OpenAI) feels more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than San Fransisco. Tyler thinks that China just has a different set of forbidden topics so going their temporally feels freeing.
In The Presence Of Disinformation Collective Epistemology by Jessican Taylor (LW 2.0) – People desire a consensus point of view so that they can punish bad actor. Modestly deferring to the high status creates such an authority. However humanity has not constructed a reliable method of integrating local knowledge. Disinformation and deception is common. Its impossible to really figure out what is going on in Syria. Think for yourself, share your results, seek clear evidence, use local knowledge.
Politics and Economics:
Capturing The Policy Info Process by Robin Hanson – The rents held by doctors, lawyers, financiers, record moguls, and wealthy homeowners. How they got the rents and the best strategy for reducing their stranglehold on the economy.
Meaning Wars by Elo – The false depth of TED. SJW culture: Packaging and sharing outrage and offense. 4chan Culture: creating outrage and sharing it. Fscebook attention wars.
A Glitch In The Theocratic Matrix by Venkatesh Rao (ribbonfarm) – How can a middle aged man who held elected office sincerely think that you have to swear on the bible in the United States? Reasoning from certainty and glitches in the matrix.
Guarding Slack Vs Substance by Ray Arnold (LW 2.0) – “Summary: If you’re trying to preserve your sanity (or your employees’) by scaling back on the number of things you’re trying to do… make sure not to accidentally scale back on things that were important-but-harder-to-see, in favor of things that aren’t as important but more easily evaluated.”
Thoughts About ABA by Ozy – The evidence is not that great. Response to adverse event reports. Normalization. Aversives. Prompt Dpendence. Amount of time spent in therapy. Behaviorism.
Defending The Experts by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “The Death of Expertise. They discuss the ‘Dunning-Kruger Effect’, the growth of knowledge and reliance on authority, when experts fail, the repudiation of expertise in politics, conspiracy thinking, North Korea, Trump.”
Classified Thread: 4 Vinson Classif by Scott Alexander – “Post advertisements, personals, and any interesting success stories from the last thread.”
A Modest Proposal Concerning Clinical Research Samples by Ozy – If there are multiple treatments and none is considered the best perhaps patients should enroll in a randomized study. Participating in research is a social duty, like serving on a jury.
On Thought Leaders by Robin Hanson – “But the pool of people who are inclined to and able to develop each thought X is far larger than pool of people that we consider to be acceptable thought leaders on X. So to get the sort of thought leaders that we want, we tolerate and even encourage qualified leaders to take credit for thoughts developed by others. We let the charismatic people we prefer as leaders pretend to have developed the ideas they talk about.”
Melting Gold Or On Organizational Capacity by Raymond Arnold (LW 2.0) – “If you are not building organizational capacity, you are burning organizational capacity.” Organizations often run on the effort of a single person. But if that person burns our or moves on they cease to function. You have to train people.
Politics and Economics:
The Captured Economy by Zvi Moshowitz – Four issues: Financial regulation, zoning and land use restrictions, patent and copyright law, and occupational licensing. Criticism: too much focus on inequality as opposed to deadweight loss, topX vs bottomX arguments, not addressing the legitimate cases for the policies the book opposed.
Preventing Respiratory Tract Infections by Sarah Constantin – Bottom Line summary of effective interventions. Big results: “Bacterial immuno-stimulants are safe and effective in preventing respiratory infections, cutting the risk of infection by 40-50%. Antiseptic mouthwash and oral care cut the risk of respiratory infection in elderly or ventilator-bound patients by 50-60%, and may also have effects on healthy adults.”
Entitlement Spending by EconTalk – “Cogan traces the evolution of government pensions beginning with Revolutionary War vets to the birth and evolution of the Social Security program. Surprises along the way include President Franklin Roosevelt as fiscal conservative and the hard-to-believe but true fact that there is still one person receiving monthly checks from the Civil War veterans pension program. The conversation concludes with Cogan’s concerns over the growing costs of financing social security payments to baby boomers.”
Paul Krugman by The Ezra Klein Show – “We talk taxes, net neutrality, universal basic incomes, job guarantees, antitrust, automation, productivity growth, health care, climate change, college costs, and more. Krugman explains why more information doesn’t make people better thinkers, the ‘kitchen test’ for assessing how much technological progress a society is really making, and what the role of policy analysis is when the policymakers don’t care about evidence.”