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Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Coercion concern:

Shouldn't we think about the counterfactual where the vaccine is not completely safe and healthy? What happens next time, when the thing is even more tribal-affiliated, such that the tribe in power won't be upfront about the downsides of it? I don't want a world where politics & power incentivize what medical procedures I should/shouldn't get. I'd love to keep those spheres as separate as possible.

And that's where I'm confused - because it's conveniently very possible to keep them separate in this case: the vaccine works on individuals. You don't need sweeping mandates for the whole community in order to get it to work. Everyone can just make a medical decision in their own best interests.

If you think not getting the vaccine is healthier, you should be able to live that experiment, as long as its effect on others is negligible. And likewise, in the possible future where I actually think it's healthier to not do X medical procedure, I hope I can run that experiment without incurring the wrath of politics and power.

Covid 3/25: Own Goals

your father already knows you got a C-, told you that you’d better not pretend you got a C-,

Second C- should be C+

Conspicuous saving

few will choose to have their wealth made visible to all, because the only advantage it brings is signalling, a thing they won't admit even to themselves that they care about much

"Accountability" is the word normal people use when referring to pursuing success though conspicuous signaling. People already do opt in to "accountability" for different goals they have. I think the main reason they won't do it with wealth is for privacy.

Product orientation

I assume you've read Zvi's Choices are bad?

I'm like you, with the agonizing cost/benefit spreadsheets, and lately I try to remind myself that "choices are bad", which implies that the act of making a choice at all (and moving on) has an inherent positive bias to it, because it frees you from what could become a miserable sunk-cost feedback loop ("I've spent so much time on this already, so I'd really better make the optimal decision now, but to do that I'll need more time...").

Also, I know offhand what my salary comes down to per hour, so I use that as a rule of thumb when deciding how much time to spend on a decision (given how much value is at stake in the decision).

You can't Only ask questions that will support your beliefs.

Questions can't support beliefs. Answers support beliefs (or don't). What exactly are you asking?

Trapped Priors As A Basic Problem Of Rationality

For those looking for a way to talk about this with outsiders, I'd propose "unconditional beliefs" as a decent synonym that most people will intuitively understand.

"Do you hold X as an unconditional belief?"

Contrarian Writing Advice

How could you not use comment quality as feedback? Often the alternative is no feedback at all

Contrarian Writing Advice

I thought the bit about indirectly screening your commenters was very clever. I haven't written enough to know if it works the way you described, but it sounds very plausible

The Puce Tribe

Is this actually an existing tribe? I feel like the traits in this list have zero correlation.

Covid 2/18: Vaccines Still Work

but it would be a supreme tragedy if we let our way of life permanently end in a new wave of disease paranoia. That outcome seems entirely plausible but also entirely preventable.

I'm glad for the fact that some places (New Zealand, parts of China, some of the Caribbean?) are already living as if "back to normal". I think envy, if nothing else, will drive us to embrace life again.

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