This is the semimonthly open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. Also:
1. After reading one of my past posts, probably The Right To Waive Your Rights, someone mentioned that they’re no longer willing to see a psychiatrist for their suicidal thoughts because they interpreted me as saying psychiatrists always (usually?) involuntarily commit people with suicidal thoughts. So just to clear this up for anyone else with the same misapprehension: THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAID. I said that it sometimes works that way in hospital emergency rooms, where there are special incentives to be risk-averse and where the patients are usually very ill. This is NOT THE CASE if you just make an appointment in your average outpatient psychiatrist’s office. Most outpatient psychiatrists are comfortable with people who have occasional suicidal thoughts as long as they say they don’t immediately plan to act on them. Please do not let fear of being involuntarily committed prevent you from talking about your problems with an outpatient psychiatrist.
2. Comment of the week is Gwern’s reanaylsis of the cost-benefit ratio of some of the low-specificity suicide biomarkers I talked about last month. But also, Steve Sailer talks about who supported Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.
3. Some corrections from the last links post: the Japanese may not be moving quite as fast to cut down on humanities education as previously reported; Vox may be prematurely hasty in dismissing police shootings/subsequent riots as related to recent urban crime upticks.
4. There’s been some discussion of x-risk charity recently, and a lot of people have mentioned that preventing pandemics is a pretty important underserved area. I agree. Are there any good organizations working on the problem that accept donations?