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Author Archives: Scott Alexander

Predictions For 2020

At the beginning of every year, I make predictions. At the end of every year, I score them. So here are a hundred more for 2020. Rules: all predictions are about what will be true on January 1, 2021. Some … Continue reading

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Give Yourself Gout For Fame And Profit

I. Actually, no. You should not do this. Most of you were probably already not doing this, and I support your decision. But if you want a 2000 word essay on some reasons to consider this, and then some other … Continue reading

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Employer Provided Health Insurance Delenda Est

My last post didn’t really go into why I dislike the way we do health insurance so much. Of course, there are the usual criticisms based on compassion and efficiency. Compassion because poor people can’t get access to life-saving medical … Continue reading

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The Amish Health Care System

I. Amish people spend only a fifth as much as you do on health care, and their health is fine. What can we learn from them? A reminder: the Amish are a German religious sect who immigrated to colonial America. … Continue reading

Open Thread 152

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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Depression: The Olfactory Perspective

Depressed people have worse sense of smell, and people with worse sense of smell are more likely to get depressed. Kohli 2016 tries to figure out what’s going on. They review six studies testing how well depressed people can smell … Continue reading

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A Failure, But Not Of Prediction

I. Vox asks What Went Wrong With The Media’s Coronavirus Coverage? They conclude that the media needs to be better at “not just saying what we do know, but what we don’t know”. This raises some important questions. Like: how … Continue reading

Coronalinks 4/10: Second Derivative

The second derivative is the rate of growth of the rate of growth. Over the past few weeks, the second derivative of total coronavirus cases switched from positive (typical of exponential growth) to zero or negative (typical of linear or … Continue reading

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2019 Predictions: Calibration Results

At the beginning of every year, I make predictions. At the end of every year, I score them (this year I’m very late). Here are 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. And here are the predictions I made for 2019. … Continue reading

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Never Tell Me The Odds (Ratio)

[Epistemic status: low confidence, someone tell me if the math is off. Title was stolen from an old Less Wrong post that seems to have disappeared – let me know if it’s yours and I’ll give you credit] I almost … Continue reading

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