Diaspora roundup thread, 15th June 2016

by philh1 min read15th Jun 201613 comments


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This is a new experimental weekly thread.

Guidelines: Top-level comments here should be links to things written by members of the rationalist community, preferably that would be interesting specifically to this community. Self-promotion is totally fine. Including a very brief summary or excerpt is great, but not required. Generally stick to one link per top-level comment. Recent links are preferred.

Rule: Do not link to anyone who does not want to be linked to. In particular, Scott Alexander has asked people not to link to specific posts on his tumblr. As far as I know he's never rescinded that. Do not link to posts on his tumblr.

13 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 2:49 AM
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Sarah Constantin, Nootropics

There are a lot of drugs and supplements reputed to improve cognitive function. I was sick of relying on hearsay and anecdote, so I did my best attempt at a systematic overview of what works and what doesn’t.

On my Future Strategist podcast I recently interviewed Steve Hsu and Razib Khan about the potential of using embryo selection and gene editing to increase human intelligence. If you like my podcast please consider giving it a positive review on iTunes.

Ben Hoffman, Exploding the sociability binary

A lot of the discussion about introversion and extraversion seems to collapse a whole bunch of things into a single binary. When people point out that they’re not well-described by either term, they tend to come up with patches like “ambivert,” but this is a missed opportunity to develop a more granular understanding of sociability. There are enough tensions in the underlying definitions that I want to blow up those terms and replace them with more precisely defined axes along which people vary:

I'm not clear about the difference to the sub-components of extroversion that is e.g. automatically identified by the PCA analysis behind Big Five.

For example, extraversion is said to include such related qualities as gregariousness, assertiveness, excitement seeking, warmth, activity, and positive emotions. -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits

Meta thread

I think that this is an excellent idea. /r/lesswrong didn't really take off. I suppose there is /r/slatestarcodex, but it is useful to have this as well

Also there was an attempt to do this at /r/RationalistDiaspora/, which seems to have died out.

I'm not sure that "interesting specifically to this community" is quite what I'm trying to point at. Taking some of my posts as examples: I want to discourage linking to things like pi.py which might be of general interest to programmers, but not of interest to this community beyond the fact that many of us are programmers. A scream of swifties is more marginal, because swifties feel kind of ingroupy. The sally-anne fallacy is totally relevant.

I'm not sure how to feel about political links.

FYI, this is the original source of that top line you're quoting: http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=740

(the alt-text might[n't] also be noteworthy to you, which reads "Understanding is for terrorists.")

Re blocking roads: in this example If there are 9000 cars instead of 4000, the new road doesn't make any difference, and if there are more than 9000, the new road helps. With 10000 it brings commutes from 95 minutes to 90. With 20000 it brings them from 145 to 90.

And if there are 3000 cars, the original commute is 60 minutes and it remains 60; fewer than 3000, the new road is helpful.

As I understand it, this is true in general. If you add a road, it might slow things down within a certain level of demand (here, 3000-9000 cars), but outside that it will be either helpful or indifferent. Cite, but it's not open access and I don't remember how I got hold of the full paper.

For those interested in longevity research, on the Intentional Insights videocast, we interviewed the project leader and outreach coordinator for the Major Mouse Testing Project, which focuses on how we can advance the science on longevity.

We also published a blog on strategies to resist impulsive temptations, which I think some here might find interesting.