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Author Archives: Scott Alexander

Open Thread 141

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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Autism And Intelligence: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

[Thanks to Marco DG for proofreading and offering suggestions] I. Several studies have shown a genetic link between autism and intelligence; genes that contribute to autism risk also contribute to high IQ. But studies show autistic people generally have lower … Continue reading

Book Review: The Body Keeps The Score

I. The Body Keeps The Score is a book about post-traumatic stress disorder. The author, Bessel van der Kolk, helped discover the condition and lobby for its inclusion in the DSM, and the brief forays into that history are the … Continue reading

Building Intuitions On Non-Empirical Arguments In Science

I. Aeon: Post-Empirical Science Is An Oxymoron And It is Dangerous: There is no agreed criterion to distinguish science from pseudoscience, or just plain ordinary bullshit, opening the door to all manner of metaphysics masquerading as science. This is ‘post-empirical’ … Continue reading

Samsara

I. The man standing outside my front door was carrying a clipboard and wearing a golden robe. “Not interested,” I said, preparing to slam the door in his face. “Please,” said the acolyte. Before I could say no he’d jammed … Continue reading

Open Thread 140

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 609 Comments

New Atheism: The Godlessness That Failed

Thucydides predicted that future generations would underestimate the power of Sparta. It built no great temples, left no magnificent ruins. Absent any tangible signs of the sway it once held, memories of its past importance would sound like ridiculous exaggerations. … Continue reading

Financial Incentives Are Weaker Than Social Incentives But Very Important Anyway

NYT: Economic Incentives Don’t Always Do What We Want Them To (h/t MR). For the first time in history, the title actually understates the article, which argues that incentives can be surprisingly useless: Economists have somehow managed to hide in … Continue reading

Highlights From The Comments On PNSE

(original post) Alex M writes: I think one of the main problems with the current state of rationalism (and many other fake “sciences” such as economics or sociology) is fuzzy thinking and lack of falsifiable empirical testing. So somebody claims … Continue reading

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Indian Economic Reform: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

From a recent Charter Cities Institute report: From India’s independence from the British Raj in 1947 to the early 1990s, the country’s economic policy was largely socialist. In the 1980s some early steps were taken to open the Indian economy … Continue reading