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Metaculus generates lots of valuable metrics besides the "meaningless internet points" about which Zvi and others complained. If Yudkowsky had bothered to predict regularly, he would have been able to know e.g. how well-calibrated he is, how his Brier score evolved over time, how it compares to the community's, etc.

There is no need to create a Flashcards tag when we already have Spaced repetition.

Keynes's view of Leninism seems similar to Russell's, and may have been influenced by it. Here's a quote from The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism (published in 1920):

Bolshevism is not merely a political doctrine; it is also a religion, with elaborate dogmas and inspired scriptures. When Lenin wishes to prove some proposition, he does so, if possible, by quoting texts from Marx and Engels. A full-fledged Communist is not merely a man who believes that land and capital should be held in common, and their produce distributed as nearly equally as possible. He is a man who entertains a number of elaborate and dogmatic beliefs—such as philosophic materialism, for example—which may be true, but are not, to a scientific temper, capable of being known to be true with any certainty. This habit, of militant certainty about objectively doubtful matters, is one from which, since the Renaissance, the world has been gradually emerging, into that temper of constructive and fruitful scepticism which constitutes the scientific outlook. I believe the scientific outlook to be immeasurably important to the human race. If a more just economic system were only attainable by closing men’s minds against free inquiry, and plunging them back into the intellectual prison of the middle ages, I should consider the price too high.

Thanks for the explanation.

Speaking personally, I would much prefer that contributions judged to make an article net worse be reverted than downvoted, both because this gives the contributor much clearer feedback and because it improves the quality of the article, relative to the opinion of the user deciding whether to downvote or revert. If other users disagree with that assessment, the karma system can perhaps then be used to resolve the disagreement, or to at least contribute to a resolution by conveying a signal whose meaning is now much easier to discern.

Concerning the specific edit: on reflection, I agree with you that the information I included would have been more appropriate in the Overcoming Bias article, and I am inclined to agree with you that it is best omitted from Hanson's article. Accordingly, I have restored the previous version of the entry, though with the external link fixed.

I'm not sure how to interpret the downvoting of a recent edit I made. I simply clarified a sentence and replaced a dead link with the version archived by the Wayback Machine. Downvoting substantive posts without providing an explanation is often justified given the difficulty associated with pinpointing the nature of a complex disagreement, or because the signal the downvote is meant to convey is relatively clear from the context. But with a simple, atomic edit that seems unambiguously (very mildly) positive, at least from a commonsense perspective, such unexplained downvotes are apt to leave an editor puzzled and unable to draw any valuable lessons, except perhaps that they should simply abstain from contributing in the future.


This week, I’ll spend 40–50 hours in Virtual Reality (Immersed), like I did last week and every (work) week for the last 2½ years. It’s not just fun and games — there are plenty of those, along with exercise, meditation, creativity, socializing, etc. — but for this article, I’m only focusing on (and counting) the work.

Yes, really: 8–10 hours a day strapped in. I’ve encountered a fair amount of skepticism about both the technology and the general premise, many nit-picks about the software, or how it fails to match some preconception about how things “should” work.

I decided to switch to Emacs 1.5 years ago, and I feel it's the most important computing decision I made since... starting to use a computer? I may write a more detailed post on what things I use Emacs for, but here I just wanted to endorse the above recommendation, including its caveats ("Don't bother with it though if you don't have some time to invest in learning it"), and emphasize that Emacs can fulfill many needs besides "code editor" (I am not a programmer myself).

Thanks, but this post is no longer updated and the link is not broken on my website. (If you think that's confusing, despite the notice at the top, I may consider replacing its contents with just a link, though retaining the content may make it more discoverable.)

Thanks for the update!

chaotic History of Economic Analysis

The word 'chaotic' was an adjective I chose to describe the book's content, rather than part of the book's title. :)

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