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Rational Feed

12 Post author: deluks917 09 September 2017 07:48PM

=== Updates:

I have been a little more selective about which articles make it onto the feed. I have not been overly selective and all of the obviously general interest rationalsit articles still make it.

Unless people object I am going to try a "weekly feed". The bi-weekly feed is pretty long. I currently post on the SSC reddit and lesswrong. Weekly seems fine for the SSC reddit but lesswrong is a lower activity forum. I will see how it goes. Obviously on a weekly feed there will about half as many recommended articles.

===Highly Recommended Articles:

Object, Subjects and Gender by The Baliocene Apocrypha - "Under modern post-industrial bureaucratized high-tech capitalism, it is less rewarding than ever before to be a subject. Under modern post-industrial bureaucratized high-tech capitalism, it is more rewarding than ever before to be an object. This alone accounts for a lot of the widespread weird stuff going on with gender these days."

Winning Is For Losers by Putanumonit (ribbonfarm) - Zero vs Positive Sum Games. The strong have room to cooperate. Rene Girard's theory of mimetics and competition. College Admissions. Tit for Tat. Spiked dicks in nature. Short and long term strategies in dating. Quirky dating profiles. Honesty on the first date. Beating Moloch with a transhuman God.

Premium Mediocre by Jacob Falkovich - Being 30% wrong is better than being 5% wrong. Consumption: Signaling vs genuine enjoyment. Dating other PM people. Venkat is wrong about impressing parents. He is more wrong, or joking, about cryptocurrencies. Fear of missing out.

Ten New 80000 Hours Articles Aimed At The by 80K Hours (EA forum) - Ten recent articles and descriptions from 80K hours. Over and underpaid jobs relative to their social impact, the most employable skills, learning ML, whether most social programs work and other topics.

Minimizing Motivated Beliefs by Entirely Useless - The tradeoffs between epistemic and instrumental rationality. Yudkowsky's argument such tradeoffs either very stupid or don't exist. Issues with Yudkowsky: Denial that belief is voluntary, thinking that trading away the truth requires being blind to consequences. Horror victims and transcendent meaning. Interesting things are usually false.

===Scott:

How Do We Get Breasts Out Of Bayes Theorem by Scott Alexander - "But evolutionary psychologists make claims like 'Men have been evolutionarily programmed to like women with big breasts, because those are a sign of fertility.' Forget for a second whether this is politically correct, or cross-culturally replicable, or anything like that. From a neurological point of view, how could this possibly work?"

Predictive Processing And Perceptual Control by Scott Alexander - "predictive processing attributes movement to strong predictions about proprioceptive sensations. Because the brain tries to minimize predictive error, it moves the limbs into the positions needed to produce those sensations, fulfilling its own prophecy." Connections with Will Power's 'Behavior: The Control of Perception' which Scott already reviewed.

Book Review: Surfing Uncertainty by Scott Alexander - Scott finds a real theory of how the brain works. "The key insight: the brain is a multi-layer prediction machine. All neural processing consists of two streams: a bottom-up stream of sense data, and a top-down stream of predictions. These streams interface at each level of processing, comparing themselves to each other and adjusting themselves as necessary."

Links: Exsitement by Scott Alexander - Slatestarcodex links post. A Nootropics survey, gene editing, AI, social norms, Increasing profit margins, politics, and other topics.

Highlights From The Comments On My Irb Nightmare by Scott Alexander - Tons of hilarious IB stories. A subreddit comment about getting around irb. Whether the headaches are largely institutional rather than dictated by government fiat. Comments argue in favor of the irb and Scott responds.

My IRB Nightmare by Scott Alexander - Scott tries to run a study to test the Deck Depression Inventory. The institutional review board makes this impossible. They not only make tons of capricious demands they also attempt to undermine the study's scientific validity.

Slippery Slopen Thread by Scott Alexander - Public open thread. The slippery slope to rationalist catgirl. Selected top comments. Update on Trump and crying wolf.

Contra Askell On Moral Offsets by Scott Alexander - Axiology is the study of what’s good. Morality is the study of what the right thing to do is. You can offset axiological effects but you can't offset moral transgressions.

===Rationalist:

MRE Futures To Not Starve by Robin Hanson - Emergency food sources as a way to mitigate catastrophic risk. The Army's 'Meals Ready to Eat'. Food insurance. Incentives for producers to deliver food in emergencies. Incentives for researchers to find new sources. Sharing information.

Book Reviews: Zoolitude And The Void by Jacob Falkovich - Seven Surrenders the sequel to 'Too like the Lightning' mercilessly cuts the bad parts and focuses on the politics, personalities, and philosophy that made TLTL great. The costs of adding too much magic to a setting, don't make the mundane irrelevant. One Hundred Years of Solitude: Shit just happens. Zoo City: Realistic Magic: "The Zoo part is the magic: some people who commit crimes mysteriously acquire an animal familiar and a low-key magical talent." The Mark and the Void: "Technically, there’s no magic in The Mark and the Void. But there’s investment banking, which takes the role of the mysterious force that decides the fate of individuals and nations but remains beyond the ken of mere mortals."

The World As If by Sarah Perry (ribbonfarm) - "This is an account of how magical thinking made us modern." Magical thinking as a confusing of subjective and objective. Useful fictions. Hypothetical thinking. Pre-modern concrete thinking and categorization schemes relative to modern abstract ones. As if thinking. Logic and magic.

To Save The World Make Sure To Go Beyond Academia by Kaj Sotala - Academic research often fails to achieve real change. Lots of economic research concerns the optimal size of a carbon tax but we currently lack any carbon tax. Academic research on x-risk from nuclear winter doesn't change the motivations of politicians very much.

Introducing Mindlevelup The Book by mindlevelup - MLU compiled and edited their work from 2017 into a 30K word, 150 page book. Most of the material appeared on the blog but some of it is new and the pre-existing posts have been edited for clarity.

Expanding Premium Mediocrity by Zvi Moshowitz - "This is (much of) what I think Rao is trying to say in the second section of his post, the part about Maya but before Molly and Max, translated into DWATV-speak. Proceed if and only if you want that."

Simple Affection And Deep Truth by Particular Virtue - "Simple Affection is treating someone like a child: they will forget about bad things, as long as you give them something good to think about instead. Deep Truth is treating someone like an elephant: they never forget, and they forgive only with deep deliberation."

Are People Innately Good by Sailor Vulcan - SV got into two arguments that went badly. One was on all lives matter. The other occurred when SV tried to defend Glen of Intentional Insights on the SSC discord. Terminal values aren't consistent. SV was abused as a child.

Metapost September 5th by sam[]zdat - Plans for the blog. Next series will be on epistemology and the ''internal' side of nhilism. Revised introduction. Sam will probably write fiction. Site reorganization. History section. Current reading list. Patreon.

Minimizing Motivated Beliefs by Entirely Useless - The tradeoffs between epistemic and instrumental rationality. Yudkowsky's argument such tradeoffs either very stupid or don't exist. Issues with Yudkowsky: Denial that belief is voluntary, thinking that trading away the truth requires being blind to consequences. Horror victims and transcendent meaning. Interesting things are usually false.

Exploring Premium Mediocrity by Zvi Moshowitz - Defining premium mediocre. Easy and hard mode related to Rao's theories of losers, sociopaths and heroes. The Real Thing. A 2x2 ribbonfarm style graph. Restaurants.

Tegmarks Book Of Foom by Robin Hanson - Tegmark's recent book basically described Yudkowsky's intelligence explosion. Tegmark is worried the singularity might be soon and we need to have figured out big philosophical issues by then. Hanson thinks Tegmark overestimates the generality of intelligence. AI weapons and regulations.

The Doomsday Argument In Anthropic Decision Theory by Stuart Armstrong (lesswrong) - "In Anthropic Decision Theory (ADT), behaviors that resemble the Self Sampling Assumption (SSA) derive from average utilitarian preferences. However, SSA implies the doomsday argument. This post shows there is a natural doomsday-like behavior for average utilitarian agents within ADT."

Forager Vs Farmer Elaborated by Robin Hanson - Early humans collapsed Machiavellian dynamics down to a reverse-dominance-hierarchy. Group norm enforcement and its failure modes. Safety leads to collective play and art, threat leads to a return to Machiavellianisn and suspicion. Individuals greatly differ as to what level of threat causes the switch, often for self-serving reasons. Left vs right. "The first and primary political question is how much to try to resolve issues via a big talky collective, or to let smaller groups decide for themselves."

Critiquing Other Peoples Plans Politely by Katja Grace - Three failure modes: The attack, The polite sidestep, The inadvertent personal question. A plan to avoid these issues: debate beliefs, not actions.

Gleanings From Double Crux On The Craft Is Not The Community by Sarah Constantin - Results from Sarah's public double crux. Sarah initially did not think the rationalist intellectual project was worth preserving. She wants to see results, even though she concedes that formal results can be very difficult to get. What is the value of introspection and 'navel grazing'?

Intrinsic Properties And Eliezers Metaethics by Tyrrell_McAllister (lesswrong) - Intuitions of intrinsicness. Is goodness intrinsic? Seeing intrinsicness in simulations. Back to goodness.

Winning Is For Losers by Putanumonit (ribbonfarm) - Zero vs Positive Sum Games. The strong have room to cooperate. Rene Girard's theory of mimetics and competition. College Admissions. Tit for Tat. Spiked dicks in nature. Short and long term strategies in dating. Quirky dating profiles. Honesty on the first date. Beating Moloch with a transhuman God.

Dangers At Dilettante Point by Everything Studies - Its relatively easy to know a little about alot of topics. But its dangerous to find yourself playing the social role of the knowledgeable person too often. The percentage fo people with a given level of knowledge goes to zero quickly.

Entrenchment Happens by Robin Hanson - Many systems degrade, collapse and our replaced. However other systems, even somewhat arbitrary ones, are very stable over time. Many current systems in programming, language and law are likely to remain in the future.

Premium Mediocre by Jacob Falkovich - Being 30% wrong is better than being 5% wrong. Consumption: Signaling vs genuine enjoyment. Dating other PM people. Venkat is wrong about impressing parents. He is more wrong, or joking, about cryptocurrencies. Fear of missing out.

===AI:

Ideological Engineering And Social Control by Geoffrey Miller (EA forum) - China is trying hard to develop advanced AI. A major goal is to use AI to monitor both physical space and social media. Supressing wrong-think doesn't require radically advanced AI.

Incorrigibility In Cirl by The MIRI Blog - Paper. Goal: Incentivize a value learning system to follow shut down instructions. Demonstration that some assumptions are not stable with respect to model mis-specification (ex programmer error). Weaker sets of assumptions: difficulties and simple strategies.

Nothing Wrong With Ai Weapons by kbog (EA forum) - Death by AI is no more intrinsically bad than death by conventional weapons. Some consequenitoualist issues the author addresses: Civilian deaths, AI arms race, vulnerability to hacking.

===EA:

Can Outsourcing Improve Liberias Schools Preliminary RCT Results by Innovations for Poverty - "Last summer, the Liberian government delegated management of 93 public elementary schools to eight different private contractors. After one year, public schools managed by private operators raised student learning by 60 percent compared to standard public schools. But costs were high, performance varied across operators, and contracts authorized the largest operator to push excess pupils and under-performing teachers into other government schools."

Ten New 80000 Hours Articles Aimed At The by 80K Hours (EA forum) - Ten recent articles and descriptions from 80K hours. Over and underpaid jobs relative to their social impact, the most employable skills, learning ML, whether most social programs work and other topics.

Is Ea Growing Some Ea Growth Metrics For 2017 by Peter Hurford (EA forum) - Activity metrics for EA website, donations data, additional Facebook data, commentary that EA seems to be growing but there is substantial uncertainty.

Ea Survey 2017 Series Cause Area Preferences by Tee (EA forum) - Top Cause Area, near-top areas, areas which should not have EA resources, cause area correlated with demographics, donations by cause area.

Looking At How Superforecasting Might Improve AI Predictions by Will Pearson (EA forum) - Good Judgement Project: What they did, results, relevance. Lessons: Focus on concrete issues, focus on AI with no intelligence augmentation, learn a diverse range of subjects, breakdown the open questions, publicly update.

Why Were Allocating Discretionary Funds To The Deworm The World Initiative by The GiveWell Blog - "Why Deworm the World has a pressing funding need. The benefits and risks of granting discretionary funds to Deworm the World today. Why we’re continuing to recommend that donors give 100% of their donation to AMF."

Ea Survey 2017 Series Community Demographics by Katie Gertsch (EA forum) - Some results: Mostly young and male, slight increase in female participation. Highest concentration cities. Atheism/Agnostic rate fell from 87% to 80%. Increase in the proportion of EA who see EA as a duty or opportunity as opposed to an obligation.

Effective Altruism Survey 2017 Distribution And by Ellen McGeoch and Peter Hurford (EA forum) - EA 2017 Study results are in. Details about distribution abd data analysis techniques. Discussion of whether the subpopulation is a representative sample of EA and its subpopulations.

Six Tips Disaster Relief Giving by The GiveWell Blog - Practical advice for effective disaster relief charity. Give Cash, give to proven effective charities and allow charities significant freedom in how they use your donation.

===Politics and Economics:

Harvard Admit Legacy Students by Marginal Revolution - Demand for Ivy league admissions far outstrips supply. The main constraint is that the Ivy League depends on donations. One way to scale up, while maintaining high donation rates, is to increase legacy admissions. Teaching quality is unlikely to suffer, qualified students are easy to find.

Object, Subjects and Gender by The Baliocene Apocrypha - "Under modern post-industrial bureaucratized high-tech capitalism, it is less rewarding than ever before to be a subject. Under modern post-industrial bureaucratized high-tech capitalism, it is more rewarding than ever before to be an object. This alone accounts for a lot of the widespread weird stuff going on with gender these days."

Links 11 by Artir - Psychology, Politics, Economics, Philosophy, Other. Several links related to the Google memo.

Unpopular Ideas About Crime And Punishment by Julia Galef - Thirteen opinions on prison abolition, the death penalty, corporal punishment, rehabilitation, redistribution and more.

Intangible Investment and Monopoly Profits by Marginal Revolution - "Intangible capital used to be below 30 percent of the S&P 500 in the 70s, now it is about 84 percent. " Seven implications about profit, monopoly, spillover, etc.

What You Cant Say To A Sympathetic Ear by Katja Grace - Sharing socially unacceptable views with your friends is putting them in a bad situation, regardless of whether they agree with those ideas. If they don't punish you society will hold them complicit. Socially condemning views is worse than commonly thought "To successfully condemn a view socially is to lock that view in place with a coordination problem."

A I Bias Doesnt Mean What Journalists Want You To Think It Means by Chris Stucchio And Lisa Mahapatra (Jacobite) - What is data science and AI? What is bias? How do we identify bias? The fallout of the author's algorithm. Predicting Creditworthiness. Understanding Language. Predicting Criminal Behavior. Journalists and Wishful Thinking.

Four Decades of the Middle East by Bryan Caplan - "Almost all of the Middle East's disasters over the past four decades can be credibly traced back to a single highly specific major event: the Iranian Revolution. Let me chronicle the tragic trail of dominoes."

The Thresher by sam[]zdat - "Still, if what makes 'modernity' modernity is partially in technology, then the Uruk Machine will be updated and whirring at unfathomable speeds, the thresher to Gilgamesh’s sacred club."

The Uruk Machine by sam[]zdat - Sam's fundamental framework: Seeing like a State, The Great Transformation, The True Believer, The Culture of Narcissism.

===Misc:

Into The Gray Zone by Bayesian Investor - Book Review. A modest fraction of people diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state have locked in syndrome. People misjudge when they would want to die. Alzheimer's.

===Podcast:

What You Need To Know About Climate Change by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "How the climate is changing and how we know that human behavior is the primary cause. They discuss why small changes in temperature matter so much, the threats of sea-level rise and desertification, the best and worst case scenarios, the Paris Climate Agreement, the politics surrounding climate science."

Dan Rather by The Ezra Klein Show - "Rather and I discuss the Trump presidency and what it means for the Republican Party's future, our fractured media landscape, and Rather's own evolving career in media."

Caplan Family by Bryan Caplan - "For the last two years, I homeschooled my elder sons, Aidan and Tristan, rather than send them to traditional middle school. Now they've been returned to traditional high school. We decided to mark our last day with a father-son/teacher-student podcast on how we homeschooled, why we homeschooled, and what we achieved in homeschool."

Rob Reich On Foundations by EconTalk - "The power and effectiveness of foundations--large collections of wealth typically created and funded by a wealthy donor. Is such a plutocratic institution consistent with democracy? Reich discusses the history of foundations in the United States and the costs and benefits of foundation expenditures in the present."

Jesse Singal On The Problems With Implicit Bias Tests by Rational Speaking - "The IAT has been massively overhyped, and that in fact there's little evidence that it's measuring real-life bias. Jesse and Julia discuss how to interpret the IAT, why it became so popular, and why it's still likely that implicit bias is real, even if the IAT isn't capturing it."

Emotionally Charged Discussion by The Bayesian Conspiracy - Conversations where one party thinks the other sides position is stupid/evil/etc. Debate vs truth seeking. Julia Galef's lists of unpopular ideas. Agenty Duck's thoughts on introspection. Double Crux.

The Future Of Intelligence by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "Max Tegmark. His new book Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. They talk about the nature of intelligence, the risks of superhuman AI, a nonbiological definition of life, the substrate independence of minds, the relevance and irrelevance of consciousness for the future of AI, near-term breakthroughs in AI."

Benedict Evans by EconTalk - "Two important trends for the future of personal travel--the increasing number of electric cars and a world of autonomous vehicles. Evans talks about how these two trends are likely to continue and the implications for the economy, urban design, and how we live."

The Life Of A Quant Trader by 80,000 Hours - What do quant traders do. Compensation. Is quant trading harmful? Who is a good fit and how to break into quant trading. Work environment and motivation. Variety of available positions.

Comments (1)

Comment author: lifelonglearner 09 September 2017 11:19:50PM 1 point [-]

Thanks very much for compiling, as usual!