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We have some evidence that masks work

Thanks very much for your work in this area, and for being so willing to engage in this discussion. I'm personally disappointed that the original post got so much engagement and yet this excellent reply and follow up has not.

Maps of Maps, and Empty Expectations

Thanks Nora. Your first example especially resonated for the kind of work I do where we try and understand what the client wants and needs - often with limited background info and when the client often struggles to articulate their wants and needs.

The National Dashboard and Human Progress

You may find the organisation/network Social Progress Imperative interesting. This network is well established and has done a lot of thinking on similar issues.

The Power of Annealing

Great post. A naive thought is that this could be a useful analogy for understanding how complex systems are resistant to outside intervention, and why reform can seem so much harder than wholesale reinvention/disruption/destruction.

Covid Covid Covid Covid Covid 10/29: All We Ever Talk About

This cost of rules and restrictions seems highly underestimated. Rules and regulations crowd out a lot of private action. When we ask whether rules or private choices are most responsible for keeping us apart, don’t neglect the full extent to which rules crowd out that private action. Even without that, this new study finds private action is mostly responsible. 

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 

I thought this juxtaposition was interesting. 

The Australian state of Victoria has recently emerged from an 111-day lockdown. On every one of those days, the state leader ("Premier") has fronted the media in a Cuomo-like press conference

I think Zvi's skepticism about the proper role of government and the moral right of coercion has hardened into cynicism about leadership and state capacity being fundamentally insufficient to the task.

Sunday Meetup: Workshop on Online Surveys with Spencer Greenberg

Hi Raemon, is there a link to register for this meetup?

is scope insensitivity really a brain error?

This article (open access) provides a useful summary of scope insensitivity as a phenomenon that is well researched and seems robust:

I would caveat that the primary data reported has almost no evidentiary value because of the smalls ample size (n = 41).

I feel that you have a separate issue beyond the existence of scope insensitivity as a phenomenon, and that is that Yudkowsky committed a value judgement when he labelled the phenomenon a production of systematic error. The article linked above describes how scope insensitivity differs from an unbiased utilitarian perspective on aid and concern (it is this latter approach that Yudkowsky would presumably consider correct):

In the specific case of valuations underlying public policy decisions, one would expect that each individual life at risk should be given the same consideration and value, which is a moral principle to which most individuals in western countries would probably agree to. Nonetheless, intuitive tradeoffs and the limits of moral intuitions underlying scope insensitivity in lifesaving contexts can often lead to non-normative and irrational valuations (Reyna & Casillas, 2009).

On Chesterton's Fence

I appreciate this post, and I think this is an insightful take on these much-discussed books and widely used phrase.

One ongoing (endless) tension in sustainability transitions - ie the study and acceleration of societal changes towards better social, environmental, and economic systems - is the idea of improving our knowledge of "what works" through rigorous and centralised testing and evaluation vs. approaches that emphasise local knowledge, practices and structures.

If youre interested, some of the terms that have been devised to try and grapple with this are "transdisciplinary"; "place-based approaches"; and "community based participatory research".

Is there any way to have posts like these hidden from the lesswrong RSS feed?

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