David Mears

Wiki Contributions


The currently top comment on the EA Forum copy of this post says that at least one person who wrote a positive testimonial was asked to leave a comment by Nonlinear (but they didn’t say it had to be positive) https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/32LMQsjEMm6NK2GTH/sharing-information-about-nonlinear?commentId=kqQK2So3L5NJKEcYE

Feature suggestion: Up/downvoting a post shouldn’t be possible within 30 seconds of opening a (not very short) post (to prevent upvoting based on title only), or should be weighted less.

I'd heard of a 'hive mind', but this is ridiculous.

(tone: wordplay, not criticism!)

As a data-point, I'm a rationalist, and a subscriber to the New Humanist, which is published by the Rationalist Association you mention, and is the descendant of the 1971 magazine you mention titled 'The Humanist'.

So I fall into the intersection of LW rationalists and "1950's rationalists".


The New Humanist has been in print for 131 years; starting out life as Watts's Literary Guide, founded by C. A. Watts in November 1885.[4] It later became The Literary Guide and Rationalist Review (1894–1954), Humanist (1956–1971) and the New Humanist in 1972.



The cumulative proportion of individuals who get infected during the course of a disease outbreak can exceed the HIT. This is because the HIT does not represent the point at which the disease stops spreading, but rather the point at which each infected person infects fewer than one additional person on average. When the HIT is reached, the number of additional infections begins to taper off, but it does not immediately drop to zero. The difference between the cumulative proportion of infected individuals and the theoretical HIT is known as the overshoot

If, at the time we reach the Herd Immunity Threshold, many people are infected, an R number of eg 0.5 will cause a large number of others to be infected.

Here are two relevant links.

1) Julia Galef comments on a post by Jeff Kaufman:

Status is key to well-being & isn't zero sum. Modern society's ability to create more sources of status, via allowing diverse subcultures, is like printing free $ w/out inflation. Possibly one of modernity's most overlooked benefits.

Jeff Kaufman:

I and people I'm close to all have our status boosted by membership in these various subgroups, while another random person has, in their perspective, the status of them and their friends boosted by similar means. This is like the paradox of most people thinking they're above-average drivers: if different drivers are going for different things (speed, safety, considerateness, ...) then it's quite possible for most drivers to be above average by their own evaluation of what counts.
In general, feeling higher status is pretty good for you: it makes you healthier, happier, and you live longer. [2] So the ability of subcultures to produce new status opportunities out of nowhere seems really valuable, and something we should try to have more of.

2) Katja Grace writes, relatedly:

It might sound intuitive that more [subcultures] mean more status for all, but in most straightforward models the number of ponds doesn’t change the size of the status pie.

In Hanson and Simler's 'The Elephant in the Brain', they mention Axelrod's (1986) "meta-norm" modelling which shows that cooperation is stable only when non-punishers are punished.