I moved this post to drafts :) 


Social behavior curves, equilibria, and radicalism

A lot depends on the details, but the practical upshot for me is that it is helpful to remember that the right thing in one placetime is not always the right thing everywhere or forever.


However in real life there is substantial variation in cultures and preferences and logistical challenges and coordinating details and so on.

Martin Sustrik's "Anti-Social Punishment" post is great real-life example of this

Social behavior curves, equilibria, and radicalism


This model makes explicit something I’ve had intuitions about for a while (though I wasn’t able to crystallise them nearly as perspicaciously or usefully as UnexpectedValues). Beyond the examples given in the post, I'm reminded of Zvi’s discussion of control systems in his covid series, and also am curious about how this model might apply to valuing cryptocurrencies, which I think display some of the same dynamics.

The post is also very well-written. It has the wonderful flavour of a friend explaining something to you by a whiteboard, building up a compelling story almost from first principles with clear diagrams. I find this really triggers my curiosity -- I want to go out and survey housemates to pin down the social behavior curves around me; go up to the whiteboard and sketch some new graphs and figure out what they imply, and so forth. 

jacobjacob's Shortform Feed

Have you been meaning to buy the LessWrong Books, but not been able to due to financial reasons?

Then I might have a solution for you. 

Whenever we do a user interview with someone, they get a book set for free. Now one of our user interviewees asked that instead their set be given to someone who otherwise couldn't afford it. 

So, well, we've got one free set up for grabs!

If you're interested, just send me a private message and briefly describe why getting the book was financially prohibitive to you, and I might be able to send a set your way. 

Book Review: The Secret Of Our Success

Strange indeed... but, here is a working version: 

Monastery and Throne

I had nudging cached in my memory as, more or less, a UX movement.

Want to increase charity donation at your company? Make it opt-out, rather than opt-in. Want to increase completion rates of your survey? Make it shorter. 

And so forth. 

So I was surprised by Jacob Falkovich claiming that nudgerism caused the elaborate psychological theorising used to inform covid policy. Many such policies mostly seemed to be about oddly specific, second-order claims. Like, in the case of expected resistance to challenge trials, or vaccine hesitancy. Those arguments venture more heavily into psychoanalysing people; rather than appealing to simple behavioural economics and basic UX. 

(My cached memory of the nudge movement might be too narrow, though)

Monastery and Throne

Habryka, is the reasoning that politicians have a real incentive to accurately predict public response -- because it entirely determines whether they remain in power -- whereas behavioral scientists have a much weaker incentive, compared to the dominant incentive of publishing significant results? 

Holy Grails of Chemistry

I haven't looked at the links, but making problem lists like this seems really cool. I'm glad they tried it, and then followed up. 

I'm curious whether you know anything about why they tried it?

Hamming's original lecture talks about how most scientists he had lunch with sort of flinched away from their field's Hamming problems. He asked why they weren't working on them. It's implied that the conversation usually didn't go down very well, and the next day he had to eat lunch with someone else. 

Why were things different for the Accounts of Chemical Research people? Unusual amounts of curiosity, courage, accident, or something else?


There is an argument that the use of willpower is undesirable.

Would be good to add a source.

Brains and backprop: a key timeline crux

I'm currently on vacation, but I'd be interested in setting up a call once I'm back in 2 weeks! :) I'll send you my calendly in PM

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