"Talks a good game about freedom when out of power, but once he’s in – bam! Everyone's enslaved in the human-flourishing mines."

Author Archives: Scott Alexander

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 | 468 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 , | 136 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 | 495 Comments

Open Thread 86.5

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 | 280 Comments

SSC Meetup: Bay Area 10/14

WHEN: 3 PM on Saturday, October 14 HOW: We haven’t done well with cafes or other more traditional meetup spaces in the past, so we’ll probably just meet outside and sit on the grass. Bring blankets / refreshments iff you … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 33 Comments

Open Thread 86.25

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 | 715 Comments

SSC Journal Club: Serotonin Receptors

Pop science likes to dub dopamine “the reward chemical” and serotonin “the happiness chemical”. God only knows what norepinephrine is, but I’m sure it’s cutesy. In real life, all of this is much more complicated. Dopamine might be “the surprisal … Continue reading

In Favor Of Futurism Being About The Future

From Boston Review: Know Thy Futurist. It’s an attempt to classify and analyze various types of futurism, in much the same way that a Jack Chick tract could be described as “an attempt to classify and analyze various types of … Continue reading

OT86: Utopen 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. There’s a public beta of Less Wrong 2.0 up … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 871 Comments

SSC Survey Results On Trust

Last post talked about individual differences in whether people found others basically friendly or hostile. The SSC survey included a sort of related question: “Are people basically trustworthy?” The exact phrasing asked respondents to rate other people from 1 (“basically … Continue reading