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From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 22, 2019, 8:31 p.m.

2018 Predictions: Calibration Results

At the beginning of every year, I make predictions. At the end of every year, I score them. Here are 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. And here are the predictions I made for 2018. Strikethrough’d are false. Intact are true. … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 18, 2019, 6:32 a.m.

Highlights From The Comments On Kuhn

Thanks to everyone who commented on the review of The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions. From David Chapman: It’s important to remember that Kuhn wrote this seven decades ago. It was one of the most influential books of pop philosophy in … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 16, 2019, 5:23 a.m.

Kernel Of Doubt: Testing Math Preference Vs. Corn-Eating Style

In 2010, Ben Tilly of the blog Random Observations wrote Analysis Vs. Algebra Predicts Eating Corn?, which said: I like learning about odd connections between disparate things. This probably is the oddest example that I know. Broadly speaking, mathematicians can … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 15, 2019, 3:10 a.m.

Too Many People Dare Call It Conspiracy

[Content warning: References to anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic canards] I feel deep affection for Gary Allen’s None Dare Call It Conspiracy, a bizarre screed about the Federal Reserve/Communist/Trilateral Commission plot for a one world government. From its ridiculous title to its … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 14, 2019, 2:55 a.m.

SSC Survey Results 2019

Thanks to the 8,171 people who took the 2019 Slate Star Codex survey. Some of the links below will say 13,171 people took the survey, but that’s a bug – sometimes Google just adds 5,000 to things. You can: – … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 13, 2019, 12:40 p.m.

OT119: Openny Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 11, 2019, 2:02 a.m.

Paradigms All The Way Down

Related to: Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions Every good conspiracy theorist needs their own Grand Unified Chart; I’m a particular fan of this one. So far, my own Grand Unified Chart looks like this: All of these are … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 9, 2019, 5:17 a.m.

Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions

When I hear scientists talk about Thomas Kuhn, he sounds very reasonable. Scientists have theories that guide their work. Sometimes they run into things their theories can’t explain. Then some genius develops a new theory, and scientists are guided by … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 6, 2019, 5:30 p.m.

Open Thread 118.5

This would normally be a hidden open thread, but I’m hijacking it for some announcements: 1. This is your ABSOLUTE LAST CHANCE to take the 2019 SSC survey. Don’t wait! Do it! DO IT NOW! 2. There’s still a Bay … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 5, 2019, 4:44 a.m.

Bay Meetup 1/6 Update

Due to rain, we’re switching to holding the meetup indoors at 3045 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, 94705. There will be several floors of space available for overflow, so hopefully it won’t be too crowded. Thanks to Claire, REACH, and Event Horizon … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 4, 2019, 8:13 a.m.

Preregistration Of Investigations For The 2019 SSC Survey

[Unrelated update: It looks like the SSC meetup on Sunday may be rained out. I will post something Friday or Saturday about whether it’s cancelled or whether we can find an alternate indoor venue. Sorry for the inconvenience.] This post … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 3, 2019, 2:32 a.m.

Bay Area SSC Meetup 1/6

Join me at 3:30 PM on Sunday, 1/6 for the traditional once-every-three-months big SSC Bay Area meetup. Meet on the Berkeley campus at the open space beside the intersection of West Circle and Free Speech Bikeway. Special guest Professor Stephen … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Jan. 2, 2019, 3:15 a.m.

What Happened To 90’s Environmentalism?

0. Introduction I grew up in the 90s, which meant watching movies about plucky children fighting Pollution Demons. Sometimes teachers would show them to us in class. None of us found that strange. We knew that when we grew up, … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 31, 2018, 1:42 a.m.

OT118: Threadgorian Calendar

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 31, 2018, 1:42 a.m.

OT118: Threadgorian Calendar

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 27, 2018, 6:48 a.m.

Please Take The 2019 SSC Survey

Please take the 2019 Slate Star Codex Survey. The survey helps me learn more about SSC readers and plan community events. But it also provides me with useful informal research data for questions I’m interested it, which I then turn … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 27, 2018, 6:48 a.m.

Please Take The 2019 SSC Survey

Please take the 2019 Slate Star Codex Survey. The survey helps me learn more about SSC readers and plan community events. But it also provides me with useful informal research data for questions I’m interested it, which I then turn … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 25, 2018, 9:36 p.m.

Links 12/18: Boughs Of Hollink

A Swedish news team went to Gotland to film a segment on the problem of amateur treasure-hunters disturbing archaeological sites. To collect footage, one of them borrowed a metal detector and went around an archaeological site in what they figured … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 25, 2018, 9:36 p.m.

Links 12/18: Boughs Of Hollink

A Swedish news team went to Gotland to film a segment on the problem of amateur treasure-hunters disturbing archaeological sites. To collect footage, one of them borrowed a metal detector and went around an archaeological site in what they figured … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 21, 2018, 2:57 a.m.

Seattle Meetup This Sunday

Why: Because I’m in Seattle this weekend Where: 5238 11th Ave NE, Seattle WA (private residence). If there are too many people we’ll figure something out. When: 4 PM on Sunday 12/23 Who: Anyone who wants. Please feel free to … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 21, 2018, 2:57 a.m.

Seattle Meetup This Sunday

Why: Because I’m in Seattle this weekend Where: 5238 11th Ave NE, Seattle WA (private residence). If there are too many people we’ll figure something out. When: 4 PM on Sunday 12/23 Who: Anyone who wants. Please feel free to … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 20, 2018, 1:32 a.m.

Refactoring: Culture As Branch Of Government

Ribbonfarm likes to talk about refactoring, a conceptual change in how you see the world. I’m not totally sure I understand it, but I think it means things like memetics – where you go from the usual model of people … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 20, 2018, 1:32 a.m.

Refactoring: Culture As Branch Of Government

Ribbonfarm likes to talk about refactoring, a conceptual change in how you see the world. I’m not totally sure I understand it, but I think it means things like memetics – where you go from the usual model of people … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 19, 2018, 2:15 a.m.

Fallacies Of Reversed Moderation

A recent discussion: somebody asked why people in Silicon Valley thought that only high-tech solutions to climate change (like carbon capture or geoengineering) mattered, and why they dismissed more typical solutions like international cooperation and political activism. Another person cited … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 19, 2018, 2:15 a.m.

Fallacies Of Reversed Moderation

A recent discussion: somebody asked why people in Silicon Valley thought that only high-tech solutions to climate change (like carbon capture or geoengineering) mattered, and why they dismissed more typical solutions like international cooperation and political activism. Another person cited … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 17, 2018, 7:05 a.m.

OT117: Ho Ho Hopen Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 17, 2018, 7:05 a.m.

OT117: Ho Ho Hopen Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 13, 2018, 3:49 p.m.

Trump: A Setback For Trumpism

Donald Trump has been a setback for many things. America. The global community. The environment. Civil service. Civil society. Civility. Civilization. The list goes on. One might think he has at least been useful to his own cause. That he … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 13, 2018, 3:49 p.m.

Trump: A Setback For Trumpism

Donald Trump has been called a setback for many things. America. The global community. The environment. Civil service. Civil society. Civility. Civilization. The list goes on. One might think he has at least been useful to his own cause. That … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 11, 2018, 9:58 a.m.

Diametrical Model Of Autism And Schizophrenia

One interesting thing I took from Evolutionary Psychopathology was a better understanding of the diametrical theory of the social brain. There’s been a lot of discussion over whether schizophrenia is somehow the “opposite” of autism. Many of the genes that … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 11, 2018, 9:58 a.m.

Diametrical Model Of Autism And Schizophrenia

One interesting thing I took from Evolutionary Psychopathology was a better understanding of the diametrical theory of the social brain. There’s been a lot of discussion over whether schizophrenia is somehow the “opposite” of autism. Many of the genes that … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 6, 2018, 7:49 a.m.

Del Giudice On The Self-Starvation Cycle

[Content note: eating disorders] Anorexia has a cultural component. I’m usually reluctant to assume anything is cultural – every mediocre social scientist’s first instinct is always to come up with a cultural explanation which is simple, seductive, flattering to all … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 6, 2018, 7:49 a.m.

Giudice On The Self-Starvation Cycle

[Content note: eating disorders] Anorexia has a cultural component. I’m usually reluctant to assume anything is cultural – every mediocre social scientist’s first instinct is always to come up with a cultural explanation which is simple, seductive, flattering to all … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 3, 2018, 10:05 p.m.

Book Review: Evolutionary Psychopathology

I. Evolutionary psychology is famous for having lots of stories that make sense but are hard to test. Psychiatry is famous for having mountains of experimental data but no idea what’s going on. Maybe if you added them together, they … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Dec. 2, 2018, 11:07 p.m.

OT116: Opensées Thread

1. I screwed up the WordPress that runs this blog pretty badly. The main effect on your side is that the mailing list disappeared and so no one’s getting email notifications. Don’t bother signing up again as I’m trying to … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 29, 2018, 1:17 a.m.

Book Review: The Mind Illuminated

I. The Mind Illuminated is a guide to Buddhist meditation by Culadasa, aka John Yates, a Buddhist meditation teacher who is also a neuroscience PhD. At this point I would be more impressed to meet a Buddhist meditation teacher who … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 27, 2018, 3:25 a.m.

Is Science Slowing Down?

[This post was up a few weeks ago before getting taken down for complicated reasons. They have been sorted out and I’m trying again.] Is scientific progress slowing down? I recently got a chance to attend a conference on this … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 22, 2018, 4:24 a.m.

Impending Survey Discussion Thread

Sorry, decreased blogging this week because of Thanksgiving. But I am going to post a new SSC survey in a few weeks. Feel free to use this thread to tell me what you want – from questions you want to … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 20, 2018, 5:59 p.m.

Links 11/18: MayflowURL

In 532, the Byzantines and Persians signed what they called The Perpetual Peace, so named because it was expected to last forever. It lasted eight years. After the ensuing war, the Byzantines and Persians, now less optimistic, named their new … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 18, 2018, 11:14 p.m.

OT115: Oberon Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 16, 2018, 8:05 a.m.

The Economic Perspective On Moral Standards

I. “There is no ethical consumption under late capitalism”. I hear this from a bunch of people. Sometimes it is taken to its conclusion; no currently living person is morally acceptable. People who aren’t activists reorienting their entire lives around … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 14, 2018, 7:12 a.m.

Preschool: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

I. A lot of people pushed back against my post on preschool, so it looks like we need to discuss this in more depth. A quick refresher: good randomized controlled trials have shown that preschools do not improve test scores … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 9, 2018, 7:02 a.m.

Ketamine: An Update

In 2016, I wrote Ketamine Research In A New Light, which discussed the emerging consensus that, contra existing theory, ketamine’s rapid-acting antidepressant effects had nothing to do with NMDA at all. I discussed some experiments which suggested they might actually … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 8, 2018, 6:58 a.m.

SSRIs: An Update

Four years ago I examined the claim that SSRIs are little better than placebo. Since then, some of my thinking on this question has changed. First, we got Cipriani et al’s meta-analysis of anti-depressants. It avoids some of the pitfalls … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 7, 2018, 8 a.m.

Marijuana: An Update

[Originally to be titled “Marijuana: I Was Wrong”, but looking back I was suitably careful about everything, and my reward is not having to say that.] Five years ago, I reviewed the potential costs and benefits of marijuana legalization and … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 6, 2018, 9:02 a.m.

Preschool: I Was Wrong

Kelsey Piper has written an article for Vox: Early Childhood Education Yields Big Benefits – Just Not The Ones You Think. I had previously followed various studies that showed that preschool does not increase academic skill, academic achievement, or IQ, … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 5, 2018, 7:07 a.m.

My California Ballot

These are my preliminary choices for California elected positions and ballot initiatives. Some of them are based on Ozy’s recommendations and the Berkeley EA and rationalist community’s recommendations. I agree with the latter’s note that because California ballot propositions are … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 4, 2018, 11:24 p.m.

OT114: Penelopen Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Nov. 2, 2018, 4:44 a.m.

Working With Google Trends

[Epistemic status: low. You tell me if you think this works.] Commenter no_bear_so_low has been doing some great work with Google Trends recently – see for example his Internet searches increasingly favour the left over the right wing of politics … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 31, 2018, 5:39 a.m.

Sort By Controversial

[Epistemic status: fiction] Thanks for letting me put my story on your blog. Mainstream media is crap and no one would have believed me anyway. This starts in September 2017. I was working for a small online ad startup. You … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 25, 2018, 6:46 a.m.

Nominating Oneself For The Short End Of A Tradeoff

I’ve gotten a chance to discuss The Whole City Is Center with a few people now. They remain skeptical of the idea that anyone could “deserve” to have bad things happen to them, based on their personality traits or misdeeds. … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 23, 2018, 6:46 a.m.

Cognitive Enhancers: Mechanisms And Tradeoffs

[Epistemic status: so, so, so speculative. I do not necessarily endorse taking any of the substances mentioned in this post.] There’s been recent interest in “smart drugs” said to enhance learning and memory. For example, from the Washington Post: When … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 22, 2018, 12:04 a.m.

OT113: Opentekonter Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Starting today, the visible Open Thread is culture-war-free. Please try … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 19, 2018, 10:13 a.m.

Classified Thread 6

This is the…monthly? bimonthly? occasional?…classified thread. Post advertisements, personals, and any interesting success stories from the last thread.

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 16, 2018, 7:29 a.m.

The Chamber of Guf

[I briefly had a different piece up tonight discussing a conference, but the organizers asked me to hold off on writing about it until they’ve put up their own synopsis. It will be back up eventually; please accept this post … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 16, 2018, 4:29 a.m.

Is Science Slowing Down?

[I wrote this after attending a conference six months ago. At the time I was confused about whether and when I was allowed to publish it. I am still confused, but less optimistic about that confusion getting resolved, so I … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 12, 2018, 2 a.m.

Anxiety Sampler Kits

The best thing about personalized medicine is that it’s obviously right. The worst thing is we mostly have no idea how to do it. We know that different people respond to different treatments. But outside a few special cases like … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 9, 2018, 4:24 a.m.

Links 10/18: +1 Insiteful

Mark Hofmann, master forger, built a comfy career for himself forging documents that discredited Mormonism and selling them to Mormon officials who wanted to cover them up – for example, a letter in which Joseph Smith confessed that instead of … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 8, 2018, 8:19 a.m.

Kavanuagh: A Probability Poll

There’s some literature suggesting that people are more careful when they think in probabilities. If you ask them for a definite answer, they might give it and sound very confident, but if you encourage them to think probabilistically they might … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 8, 2018, 8:19 a.m.

Kavanaugh: A Probability Poll

There’s some literature suggesting that people are more careful when they think in probabilities. If you ask them for a definite answer, they might give it and sound very confident, but if you encourage them to think probabilistically they might … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 7, 2018, 8:08 p.m.

OT112: Opentagon Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 5, 2018, 7:08 a.m.

Nighttime Ventilation Survey Results

Thanks to the 129 people who tried altering their nighttime carbon dioxide levels after my post on this, and who reported back to me. There was no difference between people who pre-registered for the study and people who didn’t, on … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 4, 2018, 8:31 a.m.

Next Door In Nodrumia

[Content note: attempt to consider real people’s real problems using angel-on-pinhead impractical reasoning and ideas] I. Imagine the state of nature, except for some reason there are cities. Some people in these cities play the drums all night and keep … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 3, 2018, 2:21 a.m.

Highlights From The Comments On NIMBYs

Quixote writes: It’s odd to me how bad San Francisco is, when other large cities like New York or Paris are basically utopias. But just a few comments down, Lasagna says: I despise (I’m choosing that word carefully) [New York … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Oct. 2, 2018, 5:02 a.m.

Steelmanning The NIMBYs

[Epistemic status: very unsure. I sympathize with many YIMBY ideas and might support them on net; this post is me exaggerating the NIMBY parts of my brain to a degree I’m not sure I honestly support. This focuses on San … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 30, 2018, 8:51 p.m.

Open Thread 111.5: Announcements And Surveys

This would normally be a Hidden Open Thread, but it’s visible so I can make more announcements: 1. Adversarial collaborators should email me (at scott[at]shireroth[dot]org) their payment details (Bitcoin, Paypal, or preferred charity) by next Sunday. If I don’t have … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 27, 2018, 7:35 a.m.

Adversarial Collaboration Contest Results

Thanks to everyone who participated or voted in the adversarial collaboration contest. The winners are: Grand Prize ($1000): Does The Education System Adequately Serve Advanced Students? Editor’s Choice ($500): Should Transgender Children Transition? Honorable Mentions ($250): Should Childhood Vaccination Be … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 25, 2018, 8 p.m.

The Tails Coming Apart As Metaphor For Life

[Epistemic status: Pretty good, but I make no claim this is original] A neglected gem from Less Wrong: Why The Tails Come Apart, by commenter Thrasymachus. It explains why even when two variables are strongly correlated, the most extreme value … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 24, 2018, 12:41 a.m.

OT111: Ophion Thread

(source) This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 21, 2018, 6:20 a.m.

Treating The Prodrome

A prodrome is an early stage of a condition that might have different symptoms than the full-blown version. In psychiatry, the prodrome of schizophrenia is the few-months-to-few-years period when a person is just starting to develop schizophrenia and is acting … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 19, 2018, 8:20 a.m.

Book Review: The Black Swan

I. Writing a review of The Black Swan is a nerve-wracking experience. First, because it forces me to reveal I am about ten years behind the times in my reading habits. But second, because its author Nassim Nicholas Taleb is … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 14, 2018, 4:14 a.m.

The Omnigenic Model As Metaphor For Life

The collective intellect is change-blind. Knowledge gained seems so natural that we forget what it was like not to have it. Piaget says children gain long-term memory at age 4 and don’t learn abstract thought until ten; do you remember … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 12, 2018, 9:34 a.m.

In The Balance

When you first take the Artifact, you will see a vision of ALPHANION, Demon-Sultan of the Domain of Order, who appears as a grid of spheres connected by luminous lines. Alphanion will urge you to use the Artifact to enforce … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 10, 2018, 9:28 a.m.

OT110: Opendragon Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 8, 2018, 8:18 a.m.

[ACC Entry] Should Transgender Children Transition?

[Content note: suicide, depression, transphobia, self-harm] Transgender childhood transition is a hotly debated topic, with extensive media coverage devoted to it in recent years. (pro: BBC, The Lancet and The New York Times ; contra: The Cut, New Statesman and … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 7, 2018, 1:55 a.m.

[ACC Entry] Should Childhood Vaccination Be Mandatory?

This is an entry to the Adversarial Collaboration Contest by Mark Davis and Mark Webb, who sent the following introduction along with their entry: Mark Davis is a naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic medicine is a century-old profession in the United States, … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 6, 2018, 2:12 a.m.

[ACC Entry] Are Islam And Liberal Democracy Compatible?

. [This is an entry to the Adversarial Collaboration Contest, by John Buridan and Christian Flanery.] Matter: To what extent does liberalism and democracy obtain in Islamic countries. Whether Islam consistently poses political opposition to liberalism and democracy. Two simple … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 5, 2018, 7:35 a.m.

[ACC Entry] Does The Education System Adequately Serve Advanced Students?

[This is an entry to the Adversarial Collaboration Contest by TracingWoodgrains and Michael Pershan (a k-12 math teacher), on advanced students in the education system] “What do America’s brightest students hear? Every year, across the nation, students who should be … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 4, 2018, 5:33 a.m.

Reminder: Bay Area SSC Meetup 9/8

Meetup at 3:00 PM on Saturday, 9/8, at the Berkeley campus. Meet at the open space beside the intersection of West Circle and Free Speech Bikeway.

From Slate Star Codex on Sept. 3, 2018, 8:51 p.m.

This Week: Adversarial Collaboration Entries

This week I’ll be presenting entries from the adversarial collaboration contest. Remember, an adversarial collaboration is where two people with opposite views on a controversial issue work together to present a unified summary of the evidence and its implications. In … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 31, 2018, 5:18 a.m.

Bureaucracy As Active Ingredient

Commenters on yesterday’s post brought up an important point: sometimes bureaucracies aren’t just inefficient information gathering and processing mechanisms. Sometimes they’re the active ingredient in a plan. Imagine there’s a new $10,000 medication. Insurance companies are legally required to give … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 30, 2018, 6:11 a.m.

Bulls**t Jobs (Part 1 of ∞)

A surprisingly common part of my life: a patient asks me for a doctor’s note for back pain or something. Usually it’s a situation like their work chair hurts their back, and their work won’t let them bring in their … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 29, 2018, 2:18 a.m.

Links 8/18: URLin Wall

DMT users are building a “psychedelic temple” on a site in upstate New York that “aligns with the solar plexus of a projected goddess”, and it looks exactly like you would expect. A new AI will draw a picture based … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 28, 2018, 5:59 a.m.

Elegy For John McCain

Say a prayer for John McCain Who passes from his earthly pain His eyes are shut upon his brow He warmongers to angels now Beyond the sky, where sorrows cease He rails against the Prince of Peace. The Holy Spirit, … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 26, 2018, 10:37 p.m.

OT109: Opulent Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 23, 2018, 8:20 a.m.

Carbon Dioxide: An Open Door Policy

[Content note: reading this post might cause feelings of suffocation or provoke panic attacks in susceptible individuals. Epistemic status is very speculative.] Last month I moved into a small cottage behind a big group house. The cottage is lovely. The … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 21, 2018, 7:50 a.m.

Practically-A-Book Review: EA Hotel

Effective altruism (“EA”) is a movement dedicated to redirecting charitable spending to the most important and successful charities. In practice this involves a lot of research into how important various problems are, and how well various charities work. Some of … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 17, 2018, 5:06 a.m.

The Parentheses Riddle

Because I hate you, I included this question on the SSC survey: It’s a weird trick question, but the second answer is right. Imagine converting “(” to A and “)” to B. Then the first answer is ABAB, and the … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 16, 2018, 7:17 a.m.

SSC Survey: Scattered Negative Results

Traffic to this blog is declining. I need to act decisively to draw people back. Write something so interesting it can’t help but go viral. I’m going to write about…negative results from the perception questions on last year’s survey. The … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 14, 2018, 8:48 a.m.

SSC Survey Results: ADHD And Rejection Sensitivity

Introduction ADHD is typically considered a disorder of attention and focus. There are various other traits everyone knows are linked – officially, hyperactivity and “behavior problems”; unofficially, anger and thrill-seeking – but most people consider these to be some sort … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 12, 2018, 8:37 p.m.

OT108: Opangolin Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 9, 2018, 8:31 a.m.

SSC Meetups 2018: Times And Places

Thanks to everyone who offered to host a meetup. We’re scheduled for meetups in 77 cities (and one ship!) in 23 countries, soundly beating last year’s list. Full list of cities, times, and places is below. Most people who are … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 7, 2018, 6:05 a.m.

Before You Get Too Excited About That Trigger Warning Study…

STUDY: Trigger Warnings Are Harmful To College Students says the Daily Wire, describing a study whose participants’ average age was 37 and which did not measure harm. You can find the study involved here. A group of Harvard scientists asked … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on Aug. 2, 2018, 7:22 a.m.

Cancer Progress: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Official statistics say we are winning the War on Cancer. Cancer incidence rates, mortality rates, and five-year-survival rates have generally been moving in the right direction over the past few decades. More skeptical people offer an alternate narrative. Cancer incidence … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on July 31, 2018, 3:20 a.m.

Links 7/18: URL Mountains

British soldier James Brooke was wounded in the Anglo-Burmese War and the military wouldn’t let him continue serving with his injury. He decided to go adventuring, got a ship, one thing led to another, and he ended up as king … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on July 29, 2018, 10:52 p.m.

OT107: Kaleidoscopen Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on July 27, 2018, 6:46 a.m.

Meetups Everywhere 2018

Last year we had organized meetups in sixty different cities around the world. A couple of the meetup groups stuck around or reported permanent spikes in membership, which sounds like a success, so let’s do it again. I’ll repeat the … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on July 26, 2018, 7:30 a.m.

Verses Composed Upon Reading A Review From TripAdvisor

Source is this page The Tourist Board of Xanadu Did recently impose a fee On those who traveled far from home To visit Kubla’s pleasure dome Of $20, 9 – 3 So twice five miles of fertile ground With fence … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on July 24, 2018, 8:26 a.m.

Value Differences As Differently Crystallized Metaphysical Heuristics

[Previously in sequence: Fundamental Value Differences Are Not That Fundamental, The Whole City Is Center. This post might not make a lot of sense if you haven’t read those first.] I. Thanks to everyone who commented on last week’s posts. … Continue reading

From Slate Star Codex on July 23, 2018, 7:53 a.m.

Open Thread 106.5

This would normally be one of the hidden open threads, but I’m posting it visibly so we can sort out issues around the adversarial collaboration contest. As the off-weekend thread, it’s still culture-war-free, so please try to avoid overly controversial … Continue reading