THE JOYFUL REDUCTION OF UNCERTAINTY

Author Archives: Scott Alexander

Sentimental Cartography

A long time ago, I made a map of the rationalist community. This is in the same geographic-map-of-something-non-geographic tradition as the Greater Ribbonfarm Cultural Region or xkcd’s map of the Internet. There’s even some sort of therapy program that seems … Continue reading

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Open Thread 106.25

This is the twice-weekly hidden open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You can also talk at the SSC subreddit or the SSC Discord server.

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The Whole City Is Center

Related to yesterday’s post on people being too quick to assume value differences: some of the simplest fake value differences are where people make a big deal about routing around a certain word. And some of the most complicated real … Continue reading

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Fundamental Value Differences Are Not That Fundamental

I. Ozy (and others) talk about fundamental value differences as a barrier to cooperation. On their model (as I understand it) there are at least two kinds of disagreement. In the first, people share values but disagree about facts. For … Continue reading

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OT106: Alexios I Commentos

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You … Continue reading

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Did A Melatonin Patent Inspire Current Dose Confusion?

Yesterday I wrote about melatonin, mentioning that most drugstore melatonin supplements were 10x or more the recommended dose. A commenter on Facebook pointed me to an interesting explanation of why. Dr. Richard Wurtman, an MIT scientist who helped discover melatonin’s … Continue reading

Open Thread 105.75

This is the twice-weekly hidden open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You can also talk at the SSC subreddit or the SSC Discord server.

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Melatonin: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

[I am not a sleep specialist. Please consult with one before making any drastic changes or trying to treat anything serious.] Van Geiklswijk et al describe supplemental melatonin as “a chronobiotic drug with hypnotic properties”. Using it as a pure … Continue reading

Open Thread 105.5

This is the twice-weekly hidden open thread. As the off-weekend thread, this is culture-war-free, so please try to avoid overly controversial topics. You can also talk at the SSC subreddit or the SSC Discord server.

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The Craft And The Codex

The rationalist community started with the idea of rationality as a martial art – a set of skills you could train in and get better at. Later the metaphor switched to a craft. Art or craft, parts of it did … Continue reading