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Author Archives: Scott Alexander

Against Against Billionaire Philanthropy

[Conflict of interest notice: I’ve volunteered for both private and public charities, but more often private. I received a small amount of money for work done for a private charity ten years ago. Some of the private charities have been … Continue reading

OT133: Operon Thread

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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Adversarial Collaboration Contest 2019

[self plagiarism notice: this is mostly copied from last year’s contest announcement] 1. Announcing the second annual Adversarial Collaboration Contest An adversarial collaboration is an effort by two people with opposing opinions on a topic to collaborate on a summary … Continue reading

Book Review: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Ken Kesey, graduating college in Oregon with several wrestling championships and a creative writing degree, made a classic mistake: he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to find himself. He rented a house in Palo Alto (this was the … Continue reading

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