AspiringRationalist

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"You and Your Research" – Hamming Watch/Discuss Party

Is the idea to watch it when the event starts or to watch it beforehand?

Politics is way too meta

But elections determine who appoints the judges and bureaucrats who make most policy. And some areas of policy, e.g. tax policy, are mostly decided by elected officials, not appointed judges or bureaucrats.

Science in a High-Dimensional World

A remarkable empirical finding across many scientific fields, at many different scales and levels of abstraction, is that a small set of control variables usually suffices.

I'm skeptical that this is true for most things we care about. It's true in the scientific fields where we have the most accurate models, such as physics, but that's likely because there are so few relevant variables in those fields.

Most new drugs that go into clinical trials fail. Essentially, a pharmaceutical company identifies a variable that appears to be the mediator of a medical outcome, they create a drug that tweaks that variable, and then it turns out not to produce the outcome that they thought it would. There are too many other relevant variables that are poorly understood.

The other thing that makes me skeptical is the effectiveness of machine learning models that use a large number of inputs. It's possible that there's a simple underlying structure to what they're predicting that we just haven't figured out yet, but based on what exists now, it sure looks like there are a large number of relevant variables.

Covid 3/4: Declare Victory and Leave Home

Near the end of the linked malaria article, it says:

Bucala and Geall have placed their vaccine in the hands of the Oxford University institution that facilitated the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. It is one of the only places in the world that is doing phase 1 studies in malaria, meaning researchers infect human volunteers with the disease after immunizing them.

So it sounds like maybe they are in act doing human challenge trials.

Useless knowledge; why people resist education improvement

Do you have a link to a higher resolution copy of that poster? The text is too blurry for me to read.

RadVac Commercial Antibody Test Results

Strong upvote even though this is kind of a meh update, because I want to encourage actually gathering the data and reporting on it.

Curing Sleep: My Experiences Doing Cowboy Science

Some people are willing to pay a premium for the ability to buy something legally.

Curing Sleep: My Experiences Doing Cowboy Science

I'm confused why your lab didn't know about sleep as memory post-processing. My high school psych class in 2005 taught that.

Morality as "Coordination", vs "Do-Gooding"

Consider a case where someone dies in an industrial accident , although all rules were followed: if you think the plant manager should be exonerated because he folowed the rules, you are siding with deontology, whereas if you think he should be punished because a death occurred under his supervision, you are siding with consequentialism.

That's not how consequentialism works. The consequentialist answer would be to punish the plant manager if and only if doing so would cause the world to become a better place.

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