Paul Crowley's Shortform

by Paul Crowley28th May 20208 comments
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For the foreseeable future, it seems that anything I might try to say to my UK friends about anything to do with LW-style thinking is going to be met with "but Dominic Cummings". Three separate instances of this in just the last few days.

Can you give some examples of "LW-style thinking" that they now associate with Cummings?

On Twitter I linked to this saying

Basic skills of decision making under uncertainty have been sorely lacking in this crisis. Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute is building up its Epidemic Forecasting project, and needs a project manager.

Response:

I'm honestly struggling with a polite response to this. Here in the UK, Dominic Cummings has tried a Less Wrong approach to policy making, and our death rate is terrible. This idea that a solution will somehow spring from left-field maverick thinking is actually lethal.

Did Dominic Cummings in fact try a "Less Wrong approach" to policy making? If so, how did it fail, and how can we learn from it? (if not, ignore this)

Seems like a good discussion could be had about long-term predictions and how much evidence there is to be had in short-term political fluctuations. The Cummings silliness vs unprecedented immigration restrictions - which is likely to have impact 5 years from now?

You mean the swine are judging ideas by how they work in practice?