THE JOYFUL REDUCTION OF UNCERTAINTY

Monthly Archives: October 2017

Links 10/17: Martin LuthURL

Ulpian’s life table is the closest thing we have to actuarial data from ancient Rome. Key quote: “Although Keith Hopkins called the table not ‘demographically possible’, it corresponds well to other observed populations with abnormally high mortality rates (such as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 428 Comments

Open Thread 87.5

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 378 Comments

Against Rat Park

I. Rat Park is a famous study in which lab rats were kept in a really nice habitat that satisfied their every need. Contrary to the usual results with lab animals, scientists couldn’t get these happier rats addicted to drugs. … Continue reading

Open Thread 87.25

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 447 Comments

How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?

The Baffler publishes a long article against “idiot” New Atheists. It’s interesting only in the context of so many similar articles, and an inability to imagine the opposite opinion showing up in an equally fashionable publication. New Atheism has lost … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1,044 Comments

Kolmogorov Complicity And The Parable Of Lightning

A good scientist, in other words, does not merely ignore conventional wisdom, but makes a special effort to break it. Scientists go looking for trouble. — Paul Graham, What You Can’t Say I. Staying on the subject of Dark Age … Continue reading

OT87: Ulpian 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. The New York Solstice celebration will be on December … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 856 Comments

Open Thread 86.75

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 927 Comments

Highlights From The Comments On Dark Ages

Thanks to everyone who made interesting comments on yesterday’s post about Dark Ages. Several people challenged the matching of the economic/population decline to the “fall of Rome”. For example, from David Friedman: On the graph you are citing, 36 million … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 164 Comments

Were There Dark Ages?

[Warning: non-historian arguing about history, which is always dangerous and sometimes awful. I will say in my defense that I’m drawing off the work of plenty of good historians like Bryan Ward-Perkins and Angus Maddison whom I interpret as agreeing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 541 Comments