Researchers Find Bitterness Receptors On Human Heart. This wins my prize for “most unintentionally poetic medical headline”.
At the age of three, Dorothy Eady hit her head and was suddenly jarred back into remembering her past life as an ancient Egyptian priestess. So she did what anyone would do in that situation – grow up, move to Egypt, and use her recovered memories to help her in a career as an Egyptologist.
Several hundred ways to describe results that are almost but not quite significant.
More evidence against dysgenics: childlessness among female PhDs has decreased by 50% since 1990. What are we doing right?
A pet peeve of mine: Stop Using Income As A Guide To Economic Class.
If you’re willing to follow consistency wherever it leads, you can stay way ahead of the curve on moral progress: Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, supported gay rights in 1785.
Tyler Cowen described this as “if Thomas Schelling made an alarm clock”
A new way trolls can produce unexpected patterns in survey data, and why it might produce a fake signal indicating gay parents are bad at raising children. (h/t Wulfrickson)
Not only do Tibetans have a native zombie mythos, but many Tibetan houses have low doorways to prevent zombies (who are less flexible than mortals) from entering. Bonus: the five types of Tibetan zombie, and how to kill them.
Linked mostly for having a great title: Self-Driving Trucks Are Going To Hit Us Like A Human-Driven Truck
Did you know the Salvation Army used to fight an arch-enemy, the Skeleton Army?
How do the arts funding decisions of government bureaucracies compare to the arts funding decisions of Kickstarter?
Chinese online dating scams. Imagine a beautiful woman asks you out on an online dating site. You go to a nice restaurant together, you have a great time, and then you never hear from her again. What happened? The restaurant was paying her to bring you there.
An article gets posted on Reddit about how China was able to cut CO2 emissions extremely rapidly after their deal with President Obama earlier this year. Redditors talk about how authoritarianism is superior to democracy when you really need something done. This kind of opened my eyes a little to how authoritarianism isn’t the domain of any one side of the political spectrum, so much as a fallback position that becomes really tempting once you feel like the system is too weak to serve your interests. Twist: China’s emissions might not really be falling.
Taxi Medallion Prices In Free Fall. I would like to make a comment about “sweet, sweet rent-seeker tears”, but it looks like some decent middle-class individuals invested in these and are now getting burned, so it’s a lot sadder than I would have hoped.
How do commitment contracts and other incentive structures affect people’s success at quitting smoking? Obviously relevant to LW community startup and SSC sidebar advertiser Beeminder, who blog about it here.
One common message in effective altruist circles is that overhead isn’t the most important thing about a charity. On the other hand, when only 3% of a charity’s $197 million budget makes it to cancer patients, consider the possibility that they’re a giant scam.
Genetically engineered yeast makes it possible to create home-brewed morphine. Nothing can possibly go wrong.
No! Bad San Francisco! A housing moratorium is exactly the opposite of the sort of thing that leads to housing costs going down!
Excellent first sentences: “We do not usually identify Palau as part of the Roman Empire…” (h/t Nydwracu)
Final decision on nature vs. nurture: it’s 49% nature, 51% nurture. I guess that means nurture wins by a hair. Good going, guys.
Boring neurological disease: you can no longer process human faces. Interesting neurological disease: you can process human faces, but all of them look like DRAGONS.
Big political science study on how gay canvassers going door-to-door substantially increases long-term support for gay marriage was fake. I don’t particularly care about gay canvassers, but two important takeaways. Number one, sometimes when studies find much larger effects than you would expect from the rest of the literature, there are sinister reasons. Number two, the problems were discovered by a couple of grad students who looked at the paper and found it was suspicious, suggesting that nobody else had done that over the past year, which says something about the uses of the review process.
Nrx watch: Leading neoreactionaries announce the formation of a council to guide the movement, first action of their auspicious reign is to exile Michael Anissimov (really). Good commentary here. As someone who spent his formative years in micronations, where it’s acknowledged that the whole point of having a weird political movement is to run the movement on its own utopian principles and see what happens, I’m disappointed they can’t have a patchwork of different excruciatingly formalized brands/movements with people switching to the most successful – but I guess that’s why nobody asked me. Related: Konkvistador, Athrelon, Nyan and Erik leave MoreRight.
An unexpected fan of 9-11 conspiracy theories: Osama bin Laden. What? How does that even work?
Cryonics works in nematodes. According to the paper, they were frozen for a period about equal to their natural lifespan, then revived with memories intact. See also the study itself and a lively debate on the Hacker News thread including an appearance by Gwern. Also notable for nominative determinism in the form of cryonicist Dr. Vita-More.
Popehat is a popular legal blog on the SSC sidebar. It is run by Ken White, a partner at a successful law firm and minor Internet celebrity. Earlier this week, he blogged about his recent experience as a patient in a psychiatric facility, prompting other people to tell their own similar stories. My reaction is a lot like ClarkHat’s: “I really really hate it when someone opens up and a thousand people say ‘Oh, so brave!’ because it’s usually not remotely brave. That said, this post by Ken is damned brave and I’m even more impressed by him today than I was before.” I see a lot of pretty high-functioning professionals who have to spend a few days or a few weeks in psychiatric hospital, and a lot of them get very stressed out about “How could this be happening to me, well-off successful people aren’t supposed to be mentally ill!” and then they worry that they’re the only one and there’s something wrong with them. I hope Ken’s post helps a couple of those people realize they’re not alone.