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Author Archives: Scott Alexander

Know Your Gabapentinoids

The gabapentinoids are a class of drugs vaguely resembling the neurotransmitter GABA. Although they were developed to imitate GABA’s action, later research discovered they acted on a different target, the A2D subunit of calcium channels. Two gabapentinoids are approved by … Continue reading

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Caution On Bias Arguments

“You say it’s important to overcome biases. So isn’t it hypocritical that you’re not trying to overcome whichever bias prevents you from realizing you’re wrong and I’m right?” — everybody Correcting for bias is important. Learning about specific biases, like … Continue reading

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Against Lie Inflation

[Related to: The Whole City Is Center] I. I got into an argument recently with somebody who used the word “lie” to refer to a person honestly reporting their unconsciously biased beliefs – her example was a tech entrepreneur so … Continue reading

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OT132: Open Shed

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, but please try to avoid … Continue reading

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Do People Like Their Mental Health Care?

Along with more specific questions, I asked people who took the SSC survey to rate their experience with the mental health system on a 1 – 10 scale. About 5,000 people answered. On average, they rated their experience with psychotherapy … Continue reading

Survey Results: Sexual Roles

I already started analyzing the SSC survey data on fetishes, but I wanted to move on to look at dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism. Why might this be interesting? For one thing, some people have fetishes for things that seem, … Continue reading

Gay Rites Are Civil Rites

I. I went to Antigua Guatemala in April. Their claim to fame is the world’s biggest Easter celebration. I wasn’t even there for Easter. I was three weeks early. But already the roads were choked with pre-parties, practice parades, and … Continue reading

Style Guide: Not Sounding Like An Evil Robot

The saying goes: “Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance”. This is the same idea as “weirdness points”: you can only bother people a certain amount before they go away. So if you have something … Continue reading

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Some Clarifications On Rationalist Blogging

1. According to the survey, only 13% of SSC commenters identify as rationalists. Almost none of the rationalists I know IRL comment on SSC. Saying “rationalist community” when you mean “SSC comments section” or vice versa will leave everybody pretty … Continue reading

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Editing Unsong

A few years ago, I wrote the online serial novel Unsong. Someday I want to get it published. But I want to fix it up before I try. I know publishers will have their own editors and their own demands. … Continue reading

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