brutal house

Cinta Vidal is really interesting.

Math, Stats, Computer Science

“Why Should I Trust You?” Explaining the Predictions of Any Classifier

Physics, Topology, Logic and Computation: A Rosetta Stone - a great paper on category theory, explaining connections between computation, mathematics and quantum physics.

A Simple Explanation for the Replication Crisis. Great piece by Andrew Gelman.

Debugging machine learning

Scott Alexander on tail risk.

Science is not always self correcting. A great article by Cofnas on scientist's tendency to treat positive claims as normative and then reject positive conclusions for being evil.

Distributional Inequalities for the Binomial Law. The next time you approximate a binomial by a gaussian, pull this paper out. It'll give you some rigorous bounds.

A cool idea: Adiabatic Monte Carlo.

Easy Parsing with Parser Combinators (in Scala).

The Cybernetics Scare and the Origins of the Internet.


Passive Investing Is Worse for Society Than Marxism. An interesting article which makes the argument that while Marxism at least attempts to optimize capital flows, passive investing does not.

American Exceptionalism. Kind of contradicts my personal pessimism about the US.

It's a long way down. Scott Sumner (toward the end of the post) discusses how much worse poverty can be, comparing the US to Mexico, Mexico to China 2011, China 2011 to China 1997, etc.

Do Immigrants Import their Economic Destiny? The ideas contained herein are, for me, the only strong argument against open borders.

The Role of Headhunters in Wage Inequality: It's All About Matching. Paper argues that income inequality is rising because high skilled labor markets were previously inefficient and the rich were underpaid. Now headhunters have helped the markets to clear.

India's role in exporting health care. India's hub&spoke model of health care, where spokes focus on diagnosis/funneling to the hub, apparently saves a lot of costs. Relatedly, my post on medical tourism.

Globalisation ‘not to blame’ for income woes. See also financial times on the topic. Apparently US poor moved up the income distribution, the "trough" near the global middle class due primarily to Japan + Former Soviet Union.


Politics is Upstream of AI. An article which discusses the dangers of politically driven AI development. One important counterpoint to this article is that we don't need to imagine Soviet AI - it actually existed. One of the great results of Soviet AI is the concept of shadow prices; it's a theorem of Pontryagin (I think, might be remembering here) that the Lagrange multiplier of the socialist calculation problem is the market price that would appear assuming customers had the same utility function that socialist planners think they do.

I recently learned about IQ shredders, more and . A truly interesting concept - cities like Singapore, Mumbai and NYC attract the smartest people, reduces their fertility to below replacement levels, and thereby reduces IQ for humans in the future.

The Expressive Meaning of Democracy. Argues that our views on democracy are an artifact of treating social standing as synonymous with voting, and that this social convention should be dropped if it is harmful.

Socially Enforced Thought Boundaries - a nice article criticizing Randall Munroe's xkcd comic which comes out advocating the shunning of people who express skepticism of sacred beliefs.

What if the bottom 50% went Galt?

The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority by Nassim Taleb.

The Social Crucifixion of IOError, part 2 and part 3. It's a good analysis of what I now believe to be a mobbing against Jakob Applebaum, an attack on him by some adversaries within his circles who for some reason have decided they dislike him.

Social Gentrification. Premise: nerd culture has been gentrified. "If it had turned out that nerd went mainstream, and suddenly...I was cool...that would be amazing. But what happened, [is] a bunch of people decided nerd chic is coolthen they said “ew what’s this loser doing here” before kicking me out so they could enjoy themselves." I think that the analogy fails a bit as Erik's comment points out; unlike land, it's always possible to create new subcultures. The folks currently gentrifying "nerd culture" could just create "nerd lite culture" and allow the nerds to keep their subculture.

Iconoclast author gives a speech I hope the concept of cultural appropriation is a passing fad. Writer's conference then disavows her and removes speech from website.

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