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 can also talk at the SSC subreddit or the SSC Discord server. Also:
1. There will be an South Bay SSC meetup on Saturday May 12 at 2 PM. Location is 3806 Williams Rd, San Jose, CA (a private home). David Friedman will definitely be there, and I will try to be there.
2. Two new sidebar ads. Mixtiles is a tech startup “revolutionizing how people put photos on walls”; they’re looking for a remote senior data analyst. Bubble is a tech startup working on a drag-and-drop framework that helps people create software without programming skills; they’re looking for NYC-based software engineers.
3. And one old sidebar ad renewed and switched to an affiliate system: Triplebyte is a company that helps programmers find jobs. You sign up, take some coding assessments, and if you pass they do everything from sending your name out to appropriate companies, to fast-tracking you to the final interview stage, to representing you in salary negotiations, to even paying for your flights and hotels while you interview. It is free for you; if you get hired; your company pays them for finding you. FAQ here. Aside from the fact that I am getting paid to shill them, I really do think they’re great; they represent exactly the kind of resume-blind, credential-blind, demographics-blind hiring I think everyone should be aiming for, and they’re helpful for the sort of low-executive-function people who couldn’t handle a job search well on their own.
4. Comment of the week is AlexScrivener on early arguments against socialism. I said on the Fabian post that it was really hard to argue against socialism in the 1800s; Alex proves me (somewhat) wrong by collecting quotes from a whole lot of people who tried.
5. If you’re involved in effective altruism, consider taking the 2018 Effective Altruism Survey (estimated time cost: 10 – 20 minutes). If you’re interested, after you’re done you can find the results from 2017 survey here (see links to related posts at the bottom).
6. The adversarial collaboration contest is coming together. Two people have offered to increase the prize money, so assuming everyone comes through (no guarantee), we’re now looking at a first prize of $2000, a second prize of $500, and a third prize of $250. These are estimates and may change with circumstances. Please see description and rules here. I notice there are some potentially really interesting collaborators who don’t officially have partners yet, like Salim Furth on urban economics, Freddie deBoer on communism, and plenty of other people; if you’re interested, get in touch with those people or discuss it here. The teams I currently have registered are:
1. MP and TW on ability grouping and other educational issues
2. M and M on mandatory childhood vaccination
3. C and Z on Ray Blanchard’s transgender taxonomy
4. JV and CC on sexism in STEM
5. M and AR on puberty blockers for transgender children
6. C and N on the effects of low-skill immigration
7. DS+SE and JL on AI timelines
8. JB and CF on Islam and democracy
9. JRM and TB on heroin legalization
10. F and D on the impact of tokens and ICOs
11. TW and PJIQ on central planning causing dictatorship
12. A and M on the psychological effects of pornography
13. S and S on gun control
14. T and A on social media and political polarization
15. D and E on Caplan’s signaling theory of education
Registration continues to be open right up until the end of the contest, so if you find something you and a friend want to work on, please email me at scott[at]shireroth[dot]org and register. Please also feel free to advertise this among your non-SSC reading friends or elsewhere in the Internet (in a tasteful way).
Right now I am setting the due date for people to have emailed me their results as July 15th. I’m expecting to use the two other people who have donated money to the prize fund as co-judges (if they accept), and we’ll figure out exactly how that works later.