Discussion article for the meetup : Berkeley meetup: Cannabis, Decision-Making, And A Chance To Change Your Mind
The discussion topic for this Wednesday is a new article in PNAS that's been in the news. It's called "Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife":
If you were a perfect Bayesian reasoner, your beliefs about marijuana would have changed, if only very slightly, after reading the previous paragraph. And, upon reading the article, your beliefs would change again, in some direction. We humans don't do this perfectly, and we have to take care.
It's no secret that many LessWrongers use marijuana recreationally. Until now, we have known it as a relatively harmless psychoactive substance. Now is your chance to practice individual and group truth-seeking by tackling a new piece of evidence. It might also be a chance to rethink your drug use choices. You don't know in advance how your beliefs and decisions will change (otherwise you may as well change them now). But, as Jeffreyssai might say, if you know in advance that your beliefs and decisions won't change, no matter what the evidence is, then we might as well not bother learning.
Doors open at 7pm and discussion officially starts at 7:30pm. I'd like the discussion to begin with a discussion of values â answers to questions of the form "Would I smoke weed if I knew it would permanently decrease my IQ by 8 points?" Then we can talk about the evidence that the article provides, subject to the interests of the participants.
One more thing: Please do not claim to use or buy marijuana on the internet or identify people who do. This is a public medium and doing stuff with marijuana is a violation of federal law.
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