This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.


  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
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  • Please post only under one of the already created subthreads, and never directly under the parent media thread.
  • Use the "Other Media" thread if you believe the piece of media you want to discuss doesn't fit under any of the established categories.
  • Use the "Meta" thread if you want to discuss about the monthly media thread itself (e.g. to propose adding/removing/splitting/merging subthreads, or to discuss the type of content properly belonging to each subthread) or for any other question or issue you may have about the thread or the rules.
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Short Online Texts Thread

Everything is heritable:







the Plausibility of Dragons

Rationalist fiction in the sense of having a lot of respect for deduction from evidence. Also a pleasant enough story.

Extreme Self-Tracking

Man has himself MRIed twice a week for a year and a half, plus tracking a lot about his life. The data mining is still going on, but at least it's been shown that (probably) people's connectomes change pretty rapidly.

I'm also posting this to the open thread because I'm not sure where it's more likely to be seen.

Online Videos Thread

Fanfiction Thread

Nonfiction Books Thread

I wrote a review of Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. It's also of an essay about the nature of the halo effect on how ideas are perceived.

This interlude is included despite the fact that Hanson’s proposed scenario is in contradiction to the main thrust of Bostrom’s argument, namely, that the real threat is rapidly self-improving A.I.

I can't say I agree with your reasoning behind why Hanson's ideas are in the book. I think the book's content is written with accuracy in mind first and foremost, and I think Hanson's ideas are there because Bostrom thinks they're genuinely a plausible direction the future could go, especially in the circumstances where recursive self improving AI of the kinds traditionally envisioned turns out to be unlikely or difficult or impossible for whatever reasons. I don't think those ideas are there in an effort to mine the Halo effect.

And really, the book's main thrust is in the title. Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Even if these outcomes are not necessarily mutually exclusive (inc. the possibility of singletons forming out of initially multi-polar outcomes as discussed in p.176 onwards), talking about potential pathways is very obviously relevant, I would have thought.

I think that we are both right.

Hypothetically, if there were some famous university professor who had written at length about the possibility of, I dunno, simulated superintelligent ant hives, then I think that Bostrom might have felt compelled to include a discussion of the "superintelligent ant hive hypothesis" in his book. He's striving for completeness, at least in terms of his coverage of high-level aspects of the A.I. Risk landscape. It would also be a huge slight to the theory's originator if he left out any reference to the "superintelligent ant hive hypothesis". And finally, Bostrom probably doesn't want to place himself in the position of arbiter of which ideas get to be taken seriously, when lots of people probably think of lots of parts of A.I. Risk as loony already.

So, I don't think Bostrom was sitting in his office plotting how to make his book a weaponized credulity meme. But I also felt, from my own perspective, that the inclusion of the Hanson stuff was just a bit forced.

Yeah, I pretty much agree, but the important point to make is that any superintelligent ant hive hypotheses would have to be at least as plausible and relevant to the topic of the book as Hanson's ems to make it in. Note Bostrom dismisses brain-computer interfaces as a superintelligence pathway fairly quickly.


M. Atwater, The avalanche hunters. Philadelphia, Macrea Smith Co., 1968. (Russian translation: М. Отуотер, Охотники за лавинами. Изд. 2-е. - М., "Мир". - 1980). A wonderful memoir, reminds a bit (in spirit, not style) Kipling's The Head of the District and The Bridge-Builders. Contains examples of real-life problems - risking many lives to save one - with a consequentialist moral.

Fiction Books Thread

Lem is truly one of the most underrated SF authors.


I have read half of Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series. The protagonist reminds me of myself as a child/young adult, and I really admire the depth of Pratchett's female characters. He actually writes femininity the way I experience it: not an obstacle to doing anything, but present and possibly important. Sometimes.


The Department of Useless Things by Yuri Dombrovski (a novel in two parts). Alma-Ata, just before WWII... I'd say it combines a detective story (a bit), a love story (a smaller bit), and a story. Also, try his Three novellas about Shakespeare.

TV and Movies (Animation) Thread

TV and Movies (Live Action) Thread

Music Thread


Here nice loner song, feels like the audio version of Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

Black skin head primal pump up music

I still get through the day really positive, empathetic, gentle rap

Nostic the poet




Podcasts Thread


Talking Machines

Human conversations about machine learning on a beautifully designed ultra-minimalist website

Do you think it could raise statistical literacy and interest?

Some nice quotes:

K-nearest neighbor shouldn't outperform any other method unless you have duplicates in your data

-Claudia Perlich

If you find some data in your basement (as a marketing company) and analyse that it's not necessarily going to be actionable. It's better to ask: What are the actions you think you could be doing better if you had some piece of information, then we look for that information

-Claudia Perlich

Where else are you going to here that kind of stuff?!

Take head graduate students trying to decide what kind of research question to choose. Naive, descriptive analytics can be really dumb!

(Kaggle competitions lead to) overfitting to the noise

Take head prospective Kaggle competition hosters. You're engineering publication bias!

Unsexy guy gets coaching from very conventionally sexy guy on how to make a good video for OKCupid. It works.

Other Media Thread

Meta Thread