monsters

Awesome monsters

A Jedi's Path to Jihad

A blacksmith debunks 9/11 conspiracy theories

Why the US Government must lose Cryptowars 2.0

The Problem of Induction - an important problem in the philosophy of science, namely on how we justify inductive reasoning. See also Scott Alexander on the topic.

Computer science and Statistics

Probabilistic Integration - a really nice paper describing a new way of doing numerical integration. In fact, the whole site www.probabilistic-numerics.org is very interesting.

Registered Reports at the Royal Society - submit a paper based on methodology, it's accepted on that basis, and then published whether the result is true or false. Woot!

OpenAI should hold off on choosing tactics and Should AI be Open. The more Hansonian view of OpenAI is that it is little more than PR for Musk/Altman/etc - a way of signaling their virtue and forward thinkingness to the world. Of course if it were just PR, I wouldn't expect involvement by Peter Thiel or some of the others. So I don't know what to make of it.

An old discussion of Bayesian Numerical Analysis.

Multidimensional variation for quasi-Monte Carlo, a nice paper that I'm working through to understand variation and quasi-monte carlo techniques. So far I've been having great success using QMC to speed up some very slow integrals I deal with.

Economics and Social Science

Smith meet Jones - a nice article about how improving quality of institutions could even benefit frontier (leading) economies like the US, both in terms of level and growth rate.

Your Landlord is a Drag on Growth.

The Surprising Truth About Stereotypes and a somewhat more academic discussion. The academic discussion is quite interesting - for example, ethnic and gender stereotypes are vastly more accurate than social psychology hypothesis (see table 10.4, page 222).

Gender Differences in Subjective Well Being - purports to show that an increased number of women in the workforce reduces women's happiness relative to men. Obvious caveats about happiness research apply.

On Concentrated Poverty and it's Effects on Educational Outcomes - an interesting blog post which analyzes some California data to determine how much of racial achievement gaps is explained by poverty. Answer: not a lot.

Regulatory Problems in Cancer Research

Scott Alexander's analysis of Garret Jones' Hive Mind. Notably, Alexander finds a few interesting flaws in the theory and asks some important questions - e.g., what if high IQ colonial overlords rule a low IQ nation? Also linked by Alexander is quite interesting, the Smart Fraction theory and part 2.

Robin Hanson discusses a talk by Schelling, which remarks on the fact that most of the infrastructure that will be underwater due to climate change has not yet been built. He proposes taxing coastal development in order to prevent such infrastructure from being built and encourage people to move inland.

Why education does not fix poverty

Culture

The Hugging Will Continue until Morale Improves. In which Jeff Atwood suggests you should (and he will) adopt a useless code of conduct in order to emotionally manipulate women into feeling safe. Actually solving their problem is useless because "quickest way to turn a child's frustration into a screaming, explosive tantrum is to try to fix their problem". Relatedly: "even if these so called “statistics” beared any resemblance to reality, it would be still be wholly inappropriate to even speak of such things ". At least a few folks see the crazy.

Popehat calls out bullshit on the gun "debate". Choice quote:

Me: I don't want to take away dog owners' rights. But we need to do something about Rottweilers. You: So what do you propose? Me: I just think that there should be some sort of training or restrictions on owning an attack dog. You: Wait. What's an "attack dog?" Me: You know what I mean. Like military dogs. You: Huh? Rottweilers aren't military dogs. In fact "military dogs" isn't a thing. You mean like German Shepherds? Me: Don't be ridiculous. Nobody's trying to take away your German Shepherds. But civilians shouldn't own fighting dogs. You: I have no idea what dogs you're talking about now. Me: You're being both picky and obtuse. You know I mean hounds. You: What the fuck.


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