"Talks a good game about freedom when out of power, but once he’s in – bam! Everyone's enslaved in the human-flourishing mines."

Author Archives: Scott Alexander

Predictive Processing And Perceptual Control

Yesterday’s review of Surfing Uncertainty mentioned how predictive processing attributes movement to strong predictions about proprioceptive sensations. Because the brain tries to minimize predictive error, it moves the limbs into the positions needed to produce those sensations, fulfilling its own … Continue reading

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Open Thread 83.75

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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Book Review: Surfing Uncertainty

[Related to: It’s Bayes All The Way Up, Why Are Transgender People Immune To Optical Illusions?, Can We Link Perception And Cognition?] I. Sometimes I have the fantasy of being able to glut myself on Knowledge. I imagine meeting a … Continue reading

Open Thread 83.5

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

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Highlights From The Comments On My IRB Nightmare

Many people took My IRB Nightmare as an opportunity to share their own IRB stories. From an emergency medicine doctor, via my inbox: Thanks for the great post about IRBs. I lived the same absurd nightmare in 2015-2016, as an … Continue reading

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Links 8/17: Exsitement

Hackers encode malware that infects DNA sequencing software in a strand of DNA. Make sure to run your family members through an antivirus program before ordering genetic testing. Every time I feel like I’ve accepted how surprising optical illusions can … Continue reading

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Open Thread 83.25

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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My IRB Nightmare

[Epistemic status: Pieced together from memory years after the event. I may have mis-remembered some things or gotten them in the wrong order. Aside from that – and the obvious jokes – this is all true. I’m being deliberately vague … Continue reading

Contra Askell On Moral Offsets

I. Philosopher Amanda Askell questions the practice of moral offsetting. Offsetting is where you compensate for a bad thing by doing a good thing, then consider yourself even. For example, an environmentalist takes a carbon-belching plane flight, then pays to … Continue reading

OT83: Slippery Slopen Thread

This is the bi-weekly visible open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. You can also talk at the SSC subreddit or the SSC Discord server. Also: 1. Comments of the week are Douglas Knight on how … Continue reading

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