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Bi-weekly Rational Feed

19 Post author: deluks917 08 August 2017 01:56PM

===Highly Recommended Articles:

Skills Most Employable by 80,000 Hours - Metrics: Satisfaction, risk of automation, and breadth of applicability. Leadership and social skills will gain the most in value. The least valuable skills involve manual labor. Tech skills may not be the most employable but they are straightforward to improve at. The most valuable skills are the hardest to automate and useful in the most situations. Data showing a large oversupply of some tech skills, though others are in high demand. A chart of which college majors add the most income.

Something Was Wrong by Zvi Moshowitz - Zvi visits a 'stepford pre-school'. He can't shake the feeling that something is wrong. He decides not to send his son to the place where kid's souls go to die.

Ems Evolve by Bayesian Investor - Will the future we dominated by entities that lack properties we consider important (such as 'have fun' or even 'sentient'). Will agents lacking X-value outcompete other agents. What counter-measures could society take and how effective would they be.

Housing Price Bubble Revisited by Tyler Cowen - "Over the entire 20th century real home prices averaged an index value of about 110 (and were quite close to this value over the the entire 1950-1997 period). Over the entire 20th century, housing prices never once roce above 131, the 1989 peak. But beginning around 2000 house prices seemed to reach for an entirely new equilibrium. In fact, even given the financial crisis, prices since 2000 fell below the 20th century peak for only a few months in late 2011. Real prices today are now back to 2004 levels and rising. As I predicted in 2008, prices never returned to their long-run 20th century levels."

Tyler Cowen On Stubborn Attachments by EconTalk - "Cowen argues that economic growth--properly defined--is the moral key to maintaining civilization and promoting human well-being. Along the way, the conversation also deals with inequality, environmental issues, and education"

===Scott:

Contra Grant On Exaggerated Differences by Scott Alexander - "Hyde found moderate or large gender differences in aggressiveness, horniness, language abilities, mechanical abilities, visuospatial skills, mechanical ability, tendermindness, assertiveness, comfort with body, various physical abilities, and computer skills. Perhaps some peeople might think that finding moderate-to-large-differences in mechanical abilities, computer skills, etc supports the idea that gender differences might play a role in gender balance in the tech industry. But because Hyde’s meta-analysis drowns all of this out with stuff about smiling-when-not-observed, Grant is able to make it sound like this proves his point. It’s actually worse than this, because Grant misreports the study findings in various ways."

Links: On The Site Of The Angels by Scott Alexander - Standard SSC links post.

Mildly Condescending Advice by SlateStarScratchpad - Ten mildly condescending but useful pieces of advice Scott recommends.

Communism by SlateStarScratchpad - Scott thinks he would have been a communist in 1910.

What Are The Median Psychiatrists Scores On The by SlateStarScratchpad - Psychiatrists are very mentally well adjusted on average. "I think you get way more illness in the therapists, counselors, etc, especially the ones that are kind of low-status and don’t require a lot of training." Doctor's recovery rates from alcoholism are very good.

Why Not More Excitement About Prediction Aggregation by Scott Alexander - Prediction markets and aggregation methods work. Superforecasters proved some groups can consistently make good predictions. Why isn't there more interest? Wouldn't investors pay for predictions? Do theories about signaling and prestige explain the situation?

Where The Falling Einstein Meets The Rising Mouse by Scott Alexander - Eliezer/Scott's model of intelligence suggests that the gap between 'village idiot' and Einstein is tiny relative to the difference between 'village idiot' and a chimp. This suggests that once AI reaches human levels it will almost immediately pass the best human. This happened in Go. But in other fields progress was gradual throughout the approximately human level skill range. Scott looks at possible explanations.

Stem vs The Humanities by SlateStarScratchpad - A long and intelligent thread about "STEM" vs "The Humanities". What are the natural categories? Should we consider math part of the humanities? Should we groups careful humanities scholars with careful STEM scholars? So-called-autistics. Other topics.

Gender Imbalances Are Mostly Not Due To Offensive Attitudes by Scott Alexander - Men and women massively differ in terms of interest in things vs people. Libertarians are about 5% women. r/MRAand the gamergate subreddit have twice this percentage. Trump voters are close to gender parity and the Catholic Church has more women than men. Why this matters.

Is It Possible To Have Coherent Principles Around Free Speech Norms by Scott Alexander - The doctrine of the preferred first speaker. Separating having an opinion, signaling a propensity, and committing a speech act. Self selected communities. "Don’t try to destroy people in order to enforce social norms that only exist in your head"

Book Review Raise A Genius by Scott Alexander - Scott quote-mines Polgar's book on raising genius. Many of the quotes are concerned with the importance of instilling a love of learning in children. Polgar gives some detail on how to do this but not as much as Scott hoped. Summary: "Get those four things right – early start, single-subject focus, 1:1 home schooling, and a great parent/teacher – and the rest is just common-sense advice."

Against Signal Boosting As Doxxing by Scott Alexander - Free speech did not come into existence ex nihilo when the First Amendment was ratified. People need to be free from mobs as well as kings.

Open Djed by Scott Alexander - Bi-Weekly public open thread. Meetup Tab. Updates on rationalist houses in Berkeley. Selected comments on Griggs. A comment on Democratic strategy and Georgia.

Why Is Clozapine So Great by Scott Alexander - Clozapine is a very effect anti-psychotic but it has large serious side effects. NDMA agonists and a proposed mechanism for Clozapine. Maybe you could just give patients a normal anti-psychotic plus glycine.

Djoser Joseph Osiris by Scott Alexander - "The other day a few people (including Ben Hoffman of Compass Rose) tried to convince me that Pharaoh Djoser was the inspiration for the god Osiris and the Biblical Joseph. The short summary is that the connection between Djoser and Osiris is probably meaningless, but there’s a very small chance there might be some tiny distant scrap of a connection to Joseph."

Don't Blame Griggs by Scott Alexander - Griggs vs. Duke Power Co is commonly cited as making it prohibitively hard for companies to use intelligence tests in hiring. Scott argues this doesn't explain the rise in credentialism. You can still ask about SAT scores. Fields with easily available test scores (LSAT, MCAT) are still credentialist. Other countries lack equivalents of Griggs vs Duke.

Highlights From The Comment Thread On Meritocracy by Scott Alexander - Real merit vs credentials. Which merits do we reward? Meritocracy causes high ability people to concentrate into one class. Just rid rid of ruler and structural divisions between people. Scott finds the later idea utopian. " The most salient alternative to meritocracy isn’t perfect equality, it’s cronyism."

===Rationalist:

Why So Few Women In Cs: The Google Memo Is Right by Artir (Nintil) - Sampler: Lots of data and graphs covering multiple countries. "Occupational segregation by gender is stronger in egalitarian countries. This is a fatal blow to the sexism theory." In the 1980s demand for the CS major far outstripped capacity. This lead to severe limits on who could major in CS. These limits occurred at the same time female enrollment percentage dropped.

Double Crux Web App by mindlevelup - Double Crux is a rationalist technique for resolving and understanding disagreements. It involves identifying facts/statements, called cruxes, that would cause you to change your mind if you changed your mind about the crux. The author built software to facilitate double crux during the Google CSSI 3 week web dev camp. Links to the site and an explanation of Double Crux.

Compare Institutions To Institutions Not To Perfection by Robin Hanson - Hanson responds to criticisms of prediction markets. Short term accuracy is always easier to incentivize. Its always easier to find surface as opposed to deep connections.

Thank You For Listening by Ben Hoffman (Compass Rose) - Zvi's post above starts with a reference to a previous Ben Quo post. If you have hurt your child via school you aren't the enemy. Society taught you that you were helping. If you are still sending your child to a harmful system you aren't the enemy either, you are doing what you think is best.

Something Was Wrong by Zvi Moshowitz - Zvi visits a 'stepford pre-school'. He can't shake the feeling that something is wrong. He decides not to send his son to the place where kid's souls go to die.

Inscrutable Ideas by Gordon (Map and Territory) - The author describes 'holonic' thinking and why its hard to explain. Postmodernism as a flawed holonic tradition. Buddhism as a better holonic tradition. Fundamental incompatibility with system-relationship epistemology.

Body Pleasure by Sarah Perry (ribbonfarm) - "As non-human intelligences get more sophisticated, it may be the case that human work remains extremely important; however, it may also be that humans are faced with increasing leisure. If that is the case, the critical problem facing humanity will be how to enjoy ourselves. If that seems silly, consider your favorite dystopian images of the future: only humans who understand how to enjoy themselves can demand living conditions in which they are able to do so."

Erisology Of Self And Will The Need And The Reasons by Everything Studies - "Here in part 6 I discuss the reasons why the traditional view persists when prescientific thinking on other topics often doesn’t."

Confidence And Patience Dont Feel Like Anything In Particular by Kaj Sotala - Being confident doesn't feel like anything. 'Feeling confident' is really just the lack of feeling unconfident.

Foom Justifies Ai Risk Efforts Now by Robin Hanson - Organizations and corporations are already much smarter and more powerful than individuals, yet they remain mostly under control. Despite setbacks (Wars, revolutions, famines) the organization ecosystem is mostly functional. The only reason to be preemptively worried about AI is if AI takeoff will be very fast.

Skills Most Employable by 80,000 Hours - Metrics: Satisfaction, risk of automation, and breadth of applicability. Leadership and social skills will gain the most in value. The least valuable skills involve manual labor. Tech skills may not be the most employable but they are straightforward to improve at. The most valuable skills are the hardest to automate and useful in the most situations. Data showing a large oversupply of some tech skills, though others are in high demand. A chart of which college majors add the most income.

A Tactics by protokol2020 - Why its very hard to argue against the scientific consensus on fields such as Relativity or Quantum Mechanics. The Earth's temperature was hotter when it rotated fast, despite a fainter sun. Many physicists failed to grasp this fact. What does that imply?

Hedonic Model by Jeff Kaufman - "Happiness is having how things are going be closer to how you think things could be going." Some interesting implications including that both inequality and social mobility are bad.

Link Blog: Broadcom Broadpwn Gender Signal by Name and Nature - Links: History of Atheism. Evolution of Trust. Graphics depicting the Fast Fourier Transform. Remotely Compromising Android and iOS via a Bug in Broadcom’s Wi-Fi Chipsets.

Lying On The Ground by mindlevelup - "A rambling look at how rewards, distractions, and attention interact. Starts with the idea of lying on the ground as an interesting break-time activity and goes from there to talk about Saturation and Feeling, two concepts that I’ve been thinking about lately."

Ems Evolve by Bayesian Investor - Will the future we dominated by entities that lack properties we consider important (such as 'have fun' or even 'sentient'). Will agents lacking X-value outcompete other agents. What counter-measures could society take and how effective would they be.

Models Of Human Relationships Tools To Understand People by Elo (BearLamp) - Brief Model descriptions: Crucial Conversations. 4 Difficult Conversations, 4 Behaviors that kill relationships, How to Win Friends and Influence People (Detailed review), Non-Judgmental conversations, Emotional Intelligence. Circling, The Game (PUA), Apologies, Emotional Labor and others.

Inefficiencies In The Social Value Market by Julia Galef - Add liquidity where needed. Solve coordination problems. Pool risks. Provide resource allocation information. Make biases work for you. Remove rent-seeking. Reduce transaction costs.

Erisology Of Self And Will Campbellian Thinking In The Wild by Everything Studies - "In this section I’ll show some examples of casual conversation revealing Campbellian ideas. Comment threads attached to online newspaper articles are excellent sources of such casual conversation. Written down in a neat and accessible form, their existence makes it practical to do this kind of research for the first time."

The Future: Near Zero Growth Rates by The Foundational Research Institute - Moore's law cannot possibly go one for more than ~400 years, we will hit physical limits to computation. At 2.3% growth in energy use we would need to coat the Earth in Solar panels to get enough solar energy in only 400 years. If we captured all the energy from the sun we would run out in 1350 years. The universe can only support so much economic activity. We will in a very unusual part of humanity's timeline in terms of growth rates.

How I Found Fixed The Root Problem Behind My Depression And Anxiety After 20 Years by Kaj Sotala- Finding the root cause: self-concept. How to cultivate lovable self-concepts (ex: bravery). Consider memories where you lived up to the concept of being brave. Also consider cases where you failed. Integrating the positives and negatives into a healthy whole. Positive benefits the author experienced: professional success, emotional landscape improvement, negative emotions disappeared. Expected relationship changes. Lots of personal history details throughout.

Taking Integrity Literally by Ben Hoffman (Compass Rose) - Defending Kant. Fight the murderer or shut the door but don't become the sort of person who considers lying. Honesty is optimal in healthy environments. Thoughts on unhealthy environments. How Ben started to become honest about how late he would be. Not lying to yourself or others.

People Dont Have Beliefs Anymore Than They Have by Bound_up (lesswrong) - Actions are not deduced form goals. Beliefs are not deduced from models of the world. Maybe nerds have real beliefs but most people do not. Less nerdy people will probably interpret in your stated beliefs as social moves and will respond in turn.

Complexity Is Bad by Zvi Moshowitz - People can only think about ~3 things and store ~7 pieces of information in working memory. People will simplify in unexpected ways or fail to engage. Some concepts that help you manage complexity (ex: Resonance, Chunking). A link to the MtG head of R&D's podcast about why complexity is a cost.

Write Down Your Process by Zvi Moshowitz - Writing down your thought process helps you improve. Magic R&D's openness. Zvi's success as a MtG player and writer.

===AI:

July 2017 Newsletter by The MIRI Blog - News and Links: Open AI, Deepmind, AI Impacts, EA global, 80K hours, etc

Yudkowsky And Miri by Jeff Kaufman - Elizier once wrote an extremely embarrassing article called 'So you want to be a Seed AI Programmer'. A ML researcher showed it to Jeff Kaufman and said it implied Elizier was a crank. Elizier wrote it in 2003, when he was 24. What does this imply about MIRI?

===EA:

Medical Research Cancer Is Hugely Overfunded by Sanjay (EA forum) - Chart of disease burden vs research share. Six reasons you might disagree with the conclusion including cause tractability and methodology.

Blood Donation Generally Not That Effective On by Grue_Slinky (EA forum) - Having a supply of blood is very important. However the marginal value of blood donation is too low to recommend it as an efficient intervention.

How We Banned Fur In Berkeley by jayquigly (EA forum) - Fur sales banned. Main strategies: cultivating relationships with sympathetic council members, utilizing a proven template for the bill. Background. Strategy Details. Advice

Links: Our Main Goal is to Learn by GiveDirectly - Eight media links on Give Directly, Basic Income, Cash Transfers and Development Aid.

Funding Constraints For Ea Orgs by Jeff Kaufman - Value of direct work vs donation. Jeff argues EA organizations could make use of more resources. For example EA-Global could hire non-EA professional conference organizers.

===Politics and Economics:

Rise And Fall Of Rawlsianism by Artir (Nintil) - "I will introduce street Rawlsianism, a simplified version of Rawls’s Theory of Justice to get an idea of what this is all about. Then, I will explain how that came to be, including some extra details about Rawls’s justification for his theory. This story itself, the development of Rawls’s own philosophical views, is a good enough criticism of his original theory, but I will add at the end what I think are the strongest critiques I know."

Hazlett's Political Spectrum by Robin Hanson - "Not only would everything have been much better without FCC regulation, it actually was much better before the FCC! Herbert Hoover, who was head of the US Commerce Department at the time, broke the spectrum in order to then “save” it, a move that probably helped him rise to the presidency."

Another Point Of View by Simon Penner (Status 451) - The author was raised working class in semi-rural Canada and moved to Silicon valley. He experienced a ton of culture shock and significant cultural discrimination. This causes him to have less sympathy for people who quit software because of relatively minor pressure saying they don't fit in. The author overcame this stuff and so should other people.

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria Is Bad Science by Ozy (Thing of Things) - Ozy cites two commonly misinterpreted but good studies about suicide rates among transgender individuals. Ozy then discusses a very shoddy study about people rapidly becoming trans after meeting trans friends. However the study got its information by asking the parents of trans teens and young adults. Ozy explains how and why young adults hide much of their feelings from their parents, especially if they are neurodiverse.

Housing Price Bubble Revisited by Tyler Cowen - "Over the entire 20th century real home prices averaged an index value of about 110 (and were quite close to this value over the the entire 1950-1997 period). Over the entire 20th century, housing prices never once roce above 131, the 1989 peak. But beginning around 2000 house prices seemed to reach for an entirely new equilibrium. In fact, even given the financial crisis, prices since 2000 fell below the 20th century peak for only a few months in late 2011. Real prices today are now back to 2004 levels and rising. As I predicted in 2008, prices never returned to their long-run 20th century levels."

Reinventing The Wheel Of Fortune by sam[]zdat - Two definitions of democracy. A key idea: "Lasch is an external commentary using this rough model. At some point, the combined apparatus of American culture (the state, capital, media, political agitation) tried to make things “better”. To better its citizens required new social controls (paternalism). The taylorism employed makes things more focused on image, and this results in a more warlike society. Happened with “authenticity” last time and also [everything below]. To deal with this invasion, society turns to narcissistic defenses. Narcissism is self-centered, but it’s an expression of dependence on others, and specifically on the others’ validation of the narcissist’s image."

===Misc:

Prime Towers Problem by protokol2020 - Prime height towers. From which tower is the most tower tops visible.

The Unyoga Manifesto by SquirrelInHell - Yoga has a sort of 'competitive' ethos baked in. There is alot of pressure to do the postures 'correctly'. Instead you should listen to your body and follow the natural incentive gradients that lead to maintaining one's body well. Four practical pieces of advice.

Clojure The Perfect Language To Expand Your Brain by Eli Bendersky - Clojure will almost certainly change how you think about programming. Clojure is a fully modern and useable Lisp. The designers of Clojure are extremely pragmatic, building upon decades of industry experience. Sequences and laziness for powerful in-language data processing. Right approach to OOP. Built-in support for concurrency and parallelism.

A Physics Problem Once Again by protokol2020 - Discussion of n-dimensional mating. Approximate the sum of all gravitational forces between pairs of atoms inside the earth.

Meta Contrarian Typography by Tom Bartleby - The author is a self-described meta-contrarian. Supporting two spaces after a period. The three reasons for single spaces and why they don't hold up. Double spaces makes writing easier to skim, periods are over-worked in English.

I Cant Be Your Hero Im Too Busy Being Super by Jim Stone (ribbonfarm) - "But people don’t generally take on the burdens of inauthenticity without good reason. Often it’s because they want to occupy social roles that allow them to get their physical and psychological needs met, and other people won’t let them play those roles unless they are the right kind of person. Sometimes people put on masks simply to secure the role of “community member” or “citizen” or “human being”."

===Podcast:

Physical Training Dating Strategies And Stories From The Early Days by Tim Feriss - Tim answers viewer questions. Physical training, interview prep, the art of networking, education reform, dream guests on the show.

Living With Violence by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "Gavin de Becker about the primacy of human intuition in the prediction and prevention of violence."

Amanda Askell On Pascals Wager And Other Low Risks Wi by Rational Speaking - Pascal's Wager: It's rational to believe in God, because if you're wrong it's no big deal, but if you're right then the payoff is huge. Amanda Askell argues that it's much trickier to rebut Pascal's Wager than most people think. Handling low probability but very high impact possibilities: should you round them down to zero? Does it matter how measurable the risk is? And should you take into account the chance you're being scammed?"

Tyler Cowen On Stubborn Attachments by EconTalk - "Cowen argues that economic growth--properly defined--is the moral key to maintaining civilization and promoting human well-being. Along the way, the conversation also deals with inequality, environmental issues, and education"

40 Making Humans Legible by The Bayesian Conspiracy - Seeing like a State. Scott and Sam[]zdat's posts. Green Revolution. Age of Em. Chemtrails and invasive species. Friendship is Optimal.

Dave Rubin by Tyler Cowen - "Comedy and political correctness, which jokes should not be told, the economics of comedy, comedy in Israel and Saudi Arabia, comedy on campus, George Carlin, and the most underrated Star Wars installment"

Yascha Mounk by The Ezra Klein Show - Trump's illiberalism is catalyzed by his failures. Recently Trump has been more illiberal. Support for Trump remains at around 40 percent. What does this imply about the risk of an illiberal Trump successor with more political competence.

Alex Guarnasche by EconTalk - Food network star. "What it's like to run a restaurant, the challenges of a career in cooking, her favorite dishes, her least favorite dishes, and what she cooked to beat Bobby Flay."

On Becoming A Better Person by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "David Brooks. His book The Road to Character, the importance of words like “sin” and "virtue," self-esteem vs. self-overcoming, the significance of keeping promises, honesty, President Trump."

Julia Galef On How To Argue Better And Change Your Mind More by The Ezra Klein Show - Thinking more clearly and arguing better, Ezra's concerns that the traditional paths toward a better discourse. Signaling is turtles all the way down, motivated reasoning, probabilistic debating, which identities help us find truth, making online arguments less terrible. Julia heavily emphasizes the importance of good epistemic communities. Being too charitable can produce wrong predictions. Seeing like a State.

Comments (4)

Comment author: shev 08 August 2017 07:04:01PM 9 points [-]

Just want to echo: thanks for doing this. This is awesome.

Comment author: ChristianKl 08 August 2017 04:40:27PM 5 points [-]

Meta Contrarian Typography by Tom Bartleby - The author is a self-described meta-contrarian. Supporting two spaces after a period. The three reasons for single spaces and why they don't hold up. Double spaces makes writing easier to skim, periods are over-worked in English.

Did someone try to run an A/B test to see whether one version makes reading easier? It seems to me like a question that should be able to be answered with data.

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 09 August 2017 03:44:54PM 3 points [-]
Comment author: lifelonglearner 08 August 2017 02:49:20PM 3 points [-]

The two Zvi posts on Mark Rosewater, design, and complexity / writing things down were great.

Thanks for continuing to compile all this!