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Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014

This post is shameless bragging:

I donated two days of pay to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. As always, this is incredibly easy to do. If you would like to do so, here is a link:


One Sided Policy Debate - The Science of Literature

things that people don't want to read

vampire romance novels

People do want to read vampire romance novels.

Games for Rationalists

From the constant rumors of nonexistent Pokemon, I learned how to distrust the epistemological practices of my peers.

Mistakes repository

Every time you go the doctor, you put yourself at risk of iatrogenic complications. Following the rule:

Every time you have a medical problem (this is a vague term), see a medical professional.

Is not very pragmatic.

Mistakes repository

If you do not mind, could you tell us what your initial symptoms were and what condition was causing them?

Should We Tell People That Giving Makes Them Happier?

I sometimes have feelings of separation from my fellow man. Philanthropic activity tends to alleviate this. Likewise, it tends to buffer my emotions from feelings of personal inadequacy. Of course, these correlations are not sufficient to establish causation.

Also, I do get warm, fuzzy feelings. However, I do not hold these positive feelings to be as important as the suppression of negative feelings.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98

"Remind me to buy you a copy of the Muggle novel Atlas Shrugged," the sourceless voice said. "I'm starting to understand what sort of person can benefit from reading it."

Although the Weasley twins are extremely willing to repay perceived debts, it would seem to me that this inclination is more likely, given their usual inclination towards public action, to be of positive utility in the long-run.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98

It seems pretty clear from chapter 61 that MOR!ArthurWeasley knows precious little about the muggle world.

When it comes to wizards who lack recent Muggle ancestry, Arthur may well be the most knowledgeable expert regarding these matters. Considering the racism of even well-meaning wizards, this likely gives Arthur a certain degree of clout in certain circles.

New Monthly Thread: Bragging

I donated to the Against Malaria Foundation, which is GiveWell's top charity.

Here is a link for those who wish to do likewise:


Open thread, August 12-18, 2013

After more work than I would honestly prefer to put into such an effort, I eventually found this post:


As a curiosity, this post cannot be found from my user-page, nor can it be found via Wei Dai's app. Fascinating.

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