Fight Me Psychologists: Birth Order Effects Exist And Are Very Strong by Scott Alexander – The consensus in psychology is that birth order effects are weak or non-esistant. However the SSC survey showed that an absurd percentage of survey takers are first children. Scott argues that being a first child is strongly linked to something like ‘intelectual curiosity’.
On A Particularly Difficult Question by samzdat – Musings on Math, Its unreasonable effectiveness in science, epistemology and the importance of mathematics in the history of philosophy.
In Defence Of Meta by Chris_Leong (LW 2.0) – The admins of lesswrong 2.0 don’t allow meta discussion on the frontpage. However now seems like a relatively good time for meta discussion. Many rationalist leaders are active on LW again and its been a long time since Eliezer wrote ‘The Craft and the Community’.
Right to Self Medicate by Rationally Speaking – “The case that patients should have the right to take pharmaceutical drugs without needing to get a prescription from a doctor. Jessica and Julia discuss a series of related questions, such as: Should there be exceptions made for drugs that have negative repercussions on society as a whole? And what is the morally relevant difference between a doctor imposing treatment on someone without consent, and the government withholding treatment from someone without consent?”
Dick Carpenter by EconTalk – “A look at how occupational licensing and other regulations protect existing job holders from competition.”
Demon Threads by Raymond Arnold (LW 2.0) – Wrong On the Internet. Demon seeds post that will reliably grow into a bad discussion. Qualities of demon seeds. Why Demon Threads are Bad. Containment? Tension and Latent Hostility. Social Stakes. Possible Solutions.
Politics and Economics:
Healthcare Prices by Random Critical Analysis – An extremely detailed series of graph’s illustrating the author’s thesis: “Comprehensive measures of mean household disposable income and consumption are superior predictors of current health expenditures (HCE); that US households are unusually affluent; and that this adequately explains US health spending cross-sectionally and its change domestically and relative to the rest of the OECD starting from at least the 70s. Changes in household income levels are the root cause of almost all spending increase. I have also shown that healthcare prices are not likely to be the proximate cause of high US spending”
My Little Pony by The Baliocene Apocrypha – The MLP fandoms goals and why it got ravaged by bad PR. “All of them were suffering from the ravages of modern First World masculinity and its problems, either in a low-status “tfw no gf” way or in a higher-status “my relationships aren’t healthy and it’s painful” way. And they were, basically, trying to do exactly what the social justice movement told them they should be doing. They were trying to build a new aesthetic, a new ideal, a new way of living for themselves, based around cooperation and compassion rather than competition and dominance.”
Two Year Review by mindlevelup – The actual core message of CFAR. The three most useful insights from MLU’s instrumental rationality series. What rationality techniques does MLU actually use. Less meta-level. Deeper Beliefs and Feelings, How to Get Other People to Actually Do Stuff, Models and Prediction Markets, Group Rationality and Scaling.
Rationality Abridged by Quaerendo (LW 2.0) – “I present to you: Rationality Abridged — a 120-page nearly 50,000-word summary of “Rationality: From AI to Zombies”. Yes, it’s almost a short book. But it is also true that it’s less than 1/10th the length of the original.”
Kaczynski’s Collapse Theory by Robin Hanson – Kaczynski’s Argument: The Fermi Paradox implies advanced civilizations completely destroy themselves. Hence its better to collapse early, even via nuclear war, so that some humans survive. The fundamental problem is that competitive processes only work long term if the scale of transport is much less than the scale of the entire system.
2017 Predictions Calibration Results by Scott Alexander – Scott scores his predictions from last year. Overall reasonably well calibrated but Scott was too optomistic about his personal life.
Ssc Survey Results 2018 by Scott Alexander – Scott released the survey results and data. Unlike previous years he did not do any analysis yet.
Insights From The Strategy Of Conflict by DanielFilan (LW 2.0) – Schelling points in Bargaining, Threats, Promises and why its hard to get a reputation for carrying out threats, Mutally Assured Destruction vs Gunslinger dynamic.
Papers For 2017 by Kaj Sotala – Three Papers and published by Kaj along with their abstracts: How Feasible is the Rapid Development of Artificial Superintelligence?, Disjunctive Scenarios of Catastrophic AI Risk, Superintelligence as a Cause or Cure for Risks of Astronomical Suffering.
Superhuman Meta Process by Squirrel In Hell – Meta process is life. Aim for full adequacy. Values flow outward. Update mental software.
Consider Altcoins by Grey Enlightenment – DAG (directed acyclic graph) is an alternative to blockchain-based currencies. Full details of a diversified alt-coin investing strategy.
Why Bitcoin Is Stupid by Mr. Money Mustache – “And yet imagine everybody started bidding up Cancer-Pills, to the point that they cost $17,000 each and fluctuate widely in price, seemingly for no reason. Because of this, newspapers start reporting on prices daily, triggering so many tales of instant riches that you notice even your barber and your massage therapist are offering tips on how to invest in this new ‘asset class’.”
Object Level Weight Loss Tips by Elo – Make a list of healthy foods that you eat. Remove unhealthy things. Eat healthy as a baseline. Don’t try to avoid wasting food. Eat less carbs, and more protein, oil and low calorie vegetables.
Politics and Economics:
Aeon Piece by samzdat – Sam posted a much shorter version of the modernity, power and nhilism sequence on Aeon.
The Intellectual Dark Web by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks with Eric Weinstein and Ben Shapiro about the breakdown of shared values, the problem with identity politics, religion, free will, the primacy of reason, and many other topics.”
Criticism Of The Five Factor Big Five Model Of Personality by Grey Enlightenment – Description of the five factors. Problems: You can easily choose your results. Personality changes dramatically over time. No factors for ethics, virtue and morality.
Inventions Revisited by Katja Grace – More answers for why inventions took so long. Categories: Inventing is harder than it looks, People fifty thousand years ago were not really behaviorally modern, Prerequisites, Nobody can do all that much, People were really busy, Communication and records, Social costs, Population, Order of inventions, Value.
Politics and Economics:
Summary Of Reading October December 2017 by Eli Bendersky – A list of short book reviews. Most books are on politics but some are on other topics such as nutrition.
Soonish by EconTalk – “Soonish–a look at cutting-edge and not-quite cutting edge technologies. The Weinersmiths speculate about everything from asteroid mining to robotic house construction to the nasal cycle and how the human body and medicine might be transformed in the future. ”