procedural brutalism

Beeple-crap - it's amazing simply how much this guy has produced. It gets better over time.

Very important! A scone is not a biscuit.

Very interesting article on the Vatican, Ratzinger and Francis.

Empathic communication and strategy for Effective Altruism, Part 1. It's an interesting article - describing the use of dark arts - about how emotionally phraming some factual claims (in this case about Effective Altruism) can cause unthinking people to be more receptive. I disagree with the specific details in point 5 a bit - the author advocates effective altruism as a more empathetic version of ordinary altruism. This suggests that empathy as a basis for moral decisions is something to strive for. I strongly disagree with this. One example of the flaws in empathy - empathy has been shown in psychology experiments to be racist (and to favor the attractive, and others). This translates to the real world with many horrible results.

A Utopian Dream Stood Still: Ricardo Bofill's Postmodern Parisian Housing Estate of Noisy-le-Grand. This place looks beautiful, and I would love to see more development of this nature - might even be nice to live in it.

The Sky's Gone Dark - a scary discussion of Kessler's Syndrome, the phenomenon that we have too much space debris in low earth orbit to launch satellites. We should probably consider launching orbital lasers to destroy the debris before it's too late.

Computing and Mathematics

Terry Tao is teaching probability theory. More or less self-recommending.

How do you know if your model is going to work? A nice overview on testing models.

Nock, Hoon, etc. for Non-Vulcans (Why Urbit Matters). After reading this motivation document, take a look at Urbit: an operating function.

Vuvuzela: Scalable Private Messaging Resistant to Traffic Analysis. Discusses using differential privacy to ensure that an adversary cannot determine whether Alice is messaging Bob or not. (Compare to encryption, which only prevents an adversary from identifying the contents of the message.)

The Frequentist Argument against the Significance Test and part 2.

Castra - a much more efficient data storage format than csv. On github. Would love to see how this compares to HDF5.

Do Artificial Reinforcement-Learning Agents Matter Morally? I sure hope not, because I shut them off all the time.

Procedural Brutalism

Economics and Social Sciences

Deadly Caution - apparently the American FDA's conservativism about approving drugs is costing many lives.

Advice to a young social scientist - learn statistics.

The Decline in Labor's Share of U.S. Income is due primarily to a methodology change in measuring labor income. Specifically, until 2001, proprieter income was treated as being 80% labor income, but now it's less than 50%. Also, Pay/Productivity gap graphs are nonsense.

Cognitive Capitalism: The Effect of Cognitive Ability on Wealth, as Mediated Through Scientific Achievement and Economic Freedom. An interesting paper providing correlational evidence that wealth is primarily the result of highly intelligent people combined with economic freedom.

Willful Paranoia: The Classic Excuse. Probably the best commentary I've seen on #istandwithahmed.

Police have the highest rate of domestic violence, the NFL is well below the national average.

Lessons from Gurgaon. This is a great article describing how Gurgaon grew to be one of the largest voluntary (almost entirely privately developed) cities in the world, and in part why Faridabad did not. A very important point in the article is monopolistic vs serial corruption - a monopolistic corrupt overlord has the incentive to choose a Laffer-curve maximizing tax revenue, while multiple corrupt parties will kill the goose laying the golden egg. A great example supporting the neoreactionary case in favor of a single dictator.

Our (US) Bizarre System of Taxing Capital.

What's Libertarian about Betting?

The Myth of Dynastic Wealth: The Rich Get Poorer. A fairly concise and accurate rebuttal to Picketty.


Eugenics Ready. Argues that (non-forcible) eugenics is coming, and there isn't much we can do to stop it. It also discusses the possible social cohesion issues caused by a minority of the population adopting positive eugenics - a self-selecting caste of high quality humans. I'd argue that the real world suggests this isn't such a huge issue; Jews in the US, Parsis and Gujus in India, Chinese in south-east Asia are already such a "caste", and it's hardly disastrous.

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