Open threads at the Open Thread tab every Sunday and Wednesday

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Magic Markers

[Thanks to some people on Rationalist Tumblr, especially prophecyformula, for help and suggestions.] There’s an old philosophers’ saying – trust those who seek the truth, distrust those who say they’ve found it. The psychiatry version of this goes “Trust those … Continue reading

Links 8/15: Linkering Doubts

Okay guys, there’s an island in San Francisco Bay on sale for five million dollars. That’s, like, less than a lot of houses in San Francisco. Surely some of you can get together and figure out something awesome to do … Continue reading

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Mysticism and Pattern-Matching

[Epistemic status: Total conjecture.] One of the things that got me interested in psychiatry was the sheer weirdness of the human brain’s failure modes. We all hear that the brain is like a computer, but when a computer breaks, the … Continue reading

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Probabilities Without Models

[Epistemic status: Not original to me. Also, I might be getting it wrong.] A lot of responses to my Friday post on overconfidence centered around this idea that we shouldn’t, we can’t, use probability at all in the absence of … Continue reading

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On Overconfidence

[Epistemic status: This is basic stuff to anyone who has read the Sequences, but since many readers here haven’t I hope it is not too annoying to regurgitate it. Also, ironically, I’m not actually that sure of my thesis, which … Continue reading

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OT26: Au Bon Thread

This is the semimonthly open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever.

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The Goddess of Everything Else

[Related to: Specific vs. General Foragers vs. Farmers and War In Heaven, but especially The Gift We Give To Tomorrow] They say only Good can create, whereas Evil is sterile. Think Tolkien, where Morgoth can’t make things himself, so perverts … Continue reading

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Links 8/15: Linkety-Split

Guys, I think Thomas Schelling might be alive and working in a Kentucky police department: Police offer anonymous form for drug dealers to snitch on their competitors. Journalists admitting they’re wrong is always to be celebrated, so here’s Chris Cilizza: … Continue reading

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My Id On Defensiveness

I. I’ll admit it – I’ve been unusually defensive lately. Defensive about Hallquist’s critique of rationalism, defensive about Matthews’ critique of effective altruism, and if you think that’s bad you should see my Tumblr. Brienne noticed this and asked me … Continue reading

Figure/Ground Illusions

There’s a social justice concept called “distress of the privileged”. It means that if some privileged group is used to having things 100% their own way, and then some reform means that they only get things 99% their own way, … Continue reading