This is the bi-weekly visible open thread. There are hidden threads every few days here. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. Also:
1. The Report Comment button is back. Thanks to 75thTrombone for fixing things up.
2. New advertisement on the sidebar, for the Secular Solstice celebration. I’ll be at the one in New York City, so if you’re coming too I’ll see you there.
3. Thanks to everyone who emailed me with your thoughts on Trump. I got hundreds of emails and can’t reply to all of them, especially the ones trying to engage me in debate. I’m sorry, I just can’t debate a hundred people at once.
4. Thanks to everyone who disagreed with my predictions and offered to bet on them. I’ve accepted a few offers already, but I won’t be accepting any more until I can get a Bets/Predictions post up where I record all of them so I can keep track.
5. A few people emailed me to say that they have friends or family members who attempted suicide for Trump-related reasons. I’m really sorry about that and I hope they’re okay. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, consider checking out the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, which also has a special webpage on election-related suicidality. Please note that in a few rare cases, if you’re really serious about commiting suicide immediately and won’t back down, calling a hotline can end with them picking you up for psychiatric hospitalization.
6. If you’re looking for a more productive way to deal with the election results, some friends have pointed out some good opportunities for activism:
— The National Popular Vote is a really cool and game-theoretically interesting way to get rid of the Electoral College without a Constitutional amendment. It’s pretty close to being passed and the site gives you some ways to help push it forward.
— Trump has posted an online survey asking which of his plans he should prioritize during his first 100 days in office. You might not find anything super-great on there, but some of them are definitely worse than others, and it might be that by telling him to prioritize the less bad ones you can do a lot of good. Disclaimer: I have no idea if Trump plans to take the survey results seriously.
— Apparently the new administration didn’t realize that all of Obama’s staffers are leaving, and now they have a few thousand executive branch jobs to fill. Because of their commitment to avoid lobbyists they can’t use the preferred method of just giving all the positions to lobbyists, and they’ve been reduced to the indignity of having to accept applications from real citizens. Bloomberg notes that There’s No Shame In Joining The Trump Administration if your goal is harm reduction, and if you agree you can apply here. If you have some kind of useful political/administrative experience, this might be an unusually easy route to getting a position of power where you can do useful things like lobby for foreign aid and alleviate the effects of various Trump policies. Curious what the EA peoples’ opinion on this is.
— Here is a very complete spreadsheet about how best to contact your representatives and senators.
7. If you want to change (or add a link to) your username on this blog, you can do it at https://slatestarcodex.com/wp-admin/profile.php
8. My Amazon affiliate link no longer works. Please don’t buy things through it and expect me to get any money.
9. In an effort to keep my Trump-related traffic spike around for more useful things, I’ve added a “Subscribe via email” button to the side of the blog. If you really want to get emails every time SSC updates, now you can.