All of PeterMcCluskey's Comments + Replies

Book review: The Explanation of Ideology

He uses it pretty broadly, without a clear definition:

Most of the universalist ideologies agree in their portrayal of the idea of fraternity: from Christianity, which holds that all men are brothers, to the Third International which co-ordinates fraternal relations between parties.

His description of the opposite is maybe clearer: "all the forms of parochialism, all types of ethnocentricity".

Book review: The Explanation of Ideology

I did note that he says:

urbanization erodes community i.e. makes the family more nuclear. But your report seems to indicate either more change than he implied, or that he was wrong about Finland in 1983.

I assume that “universalist” corresponds to “community”?

No, universalism is a separate dimension, probably resulting more from equality than from community.

4Rob Bensinger10dWhat's the definition of universalism? It's mentioned a bunch in the post.
2Kaj_Sotala11dLooking up government statistics [https://www-stat-fi.translate.goog/til/tjt/2016/02/tjt_2016_02_2018-03-23_tau_001_fi.html?_x_tr_sl=fi&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=fi&_x_tr_pto=ajax,nv,elem] for Finnish household size over the years, they give an average size of 2.46 persons for 1981 and 2.41 for 1986, which sounds pretty nuclear already. (There's a steady downwards trend from 3.35 in 1966 to 2.02 in 2016).
Book Review: Order Without Law

He comes across as a low-key anarchist

I did not get that impression from reading the book (a long time ago). Instead, I got the impression that he was a competent scholar who was somewhat reluctantly reporting evidence that didn't support his political views.

Here a clear denial that he's an anarchist.

2philh19dInteresting, thanks! I imagine it's been too long by now, but if by chance you happen to remember where you got the sense of reluctance from, I'd be curious to hear more? (I guess we should note the possibility that he was an anarchist in 1991 but not in 2017, but I have no particular reason to expect that.)
New Dementia Trial Results

It's vaguely paleo-ish. Here's a summary. For more detail, see his book The End of Alzheimer’s Program.

1Randomized, Controlled25dGah. My diet is pretty heavily leans on oats and rice as staples. Boooo.
Intro to Debt Crises

That paraphrase is mostly good. I'm trying to separate monetary phenomena, which are the main problem in recessions, from reckless debt levels, which are the main contributor to government debt crises.

Yes, my explanation is mostly compatible with yours.

I didn't try to explain how a system becomes vulnerable. I think that happens via recency bias causing misjudgments, plus competitive pressures that Romeo mentions.

Intro to Debt Crises

An alternate perspective that I sometimes use is to view the crash as a short squeeze.

Going into debt is equivalent to selling short a currency. It's usually safer than shorting a stock, because currencies are designed so that their value is stable, rather than to usually go up.

Just like someone who owes GameStop shares needs to have the ability to buy back those shares, a player in debt needs the ability to regain dollars.

There are important limits to how many dollars one can safely owe, and it depends a fair amount on how other traders of dollars behave.... (read more)

3Connor_Flexman1moThis is a great frame, thanks. In the ending parenthetical, it sounds like you're saying that I'm overapplying the term "debt crisis" compared to "standard recession" because what-you-would-call-a-standard-recession is caused by a quick decline in inflation, whereas what-you-would-call-a-debt-crisis is merely sparked by or correlated with a quick decline in inflation and is sometimes inflationary. Is that a correct paraphrase? I will think about that claim more, but for now your frame seems very compatible with mine to me. My current reconciliation would say that your frame is more elegant for describing how the liquidity crunch works (just like a short squeeze on cash once people start bidding it up as they trade in debt, with an emphasis on the primacy of other actors' reactions), but that it doesn't really capture how you get to that vulnerable point, which is usually not by huge inflation moves but via the debt/credit cycle and some bad debts that take a bunch of cash out of the economy at once.
Covid 7/1: Don’t Panic

Note that the review of The Premonition is by Alex Tabarrok, not Tyler.

1Zvi1moYep, fixed in original quickly, but hadn't bothered to fix it here yet.
Questions about multivitamins, especially manganese

Too much calcium can be harmful, although that one doesn't have much. Harm from calcium can probably be avoided by getting enough vitamin K2 from fermented foods or a supplement. You're probably not getting K2 from the multivitamin.

Potassium deficiencies are common (but likely less so in vegans). Supplements aren't allowed to have much potassium, but it's easy to get potassium chloride and use that in place of salt.

Questions about multivitamins, especially manganese

The iodine comment is confusing, but not clearly wrong. I experienced low thyroid levels that were likely due to excess iodine from kelp powder. But I wouldn't worry about getting too much iodine from a multivitamin.

I'm currently taking chromium supplements, due to a test result showing I had below average levels, plus the advice of someone whose opinion I trust a lot more than I trust Louie's opinion.

The aducanumab approval

Crappy drugs that only slow the decline a bit might need an aducanumab comparison, but why would a drug that reverses the decline need that?

See Cassava's trial results.

See also this clinical trial of Bredesen's approach (press release here).

Taboo "Outside View"

The book Noise by Daniel Kahneman et al sometimes uses the terms statistical thinking and causal thinking as substitutes for outside and inside views.

These terms seem better at reminding me what the categories are meant to be, and why evolution prepared us less for one of them. But they still leave some confusion about how to draw the boundary between the concepts.

The aducanumab approval

Companies already knew beforehand that Alzheimer drugs are a multi-billion dollar market.

But they didn't know how willing the FDA was to approve placebo-like drugs.

Cassava Sciences, whose Alzheimer drug candidate doesn't target beta amyloid, rose in response to that approval. I doubt that many people will be satisfied enough with this drug to deter signups for new trials.

I don't know what the net effect will be on the development of good drugs, and I doubt that anyone else does either.

4ChristianKl1moThe drug isn't just an inert sugar pill. Placebo's don't cause bleeding in more then 10% of the patients. Additionally it does change a metric in the right direction. It's just not a metric that's clinically beneficial. That suggests that other drugs that also target metrics that aren't clinically benefitial might get approved. It results in trials being more work because they now have to make an argument about how their treatment relates to the "state of the art". That might mean having a control group that takes expensive aducanumab.
[Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050

Part of what I'm asking is how long would Taiwan resist assimilation if assimilation is the only way to re-establish trade with the world?

3lsusr2moIndefinitely, I think. Nations don't tend to surrender sovereignty just because they're being blockaded.
[Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050

Why would the Beijing government invade Taiwan? Couldn't it get most of what it wants by taking control of the airspace and shipping lanes around Taiwan?

5lsusr2moThis is a complicated question. It has as much to do with history and nationalism as with realpolitik. China would get much of what it wants by taking control of the airspace and shipping lanes around Taiwan. Control of the airspace and shipping lanes around Taiwan is a lot easier when you have bases on Taiwan. But there's more to it than that. China is a nation-state. Nation-states consider their territory and people to be semi-sacred. When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, Britain didn't defend them because they were important. Britain defended them because they were British. Similarly, China considers Taiwan to be part of China. In a perfect world (for the People's Republic of China), China would assimilate the Taiwanese people into the Chinese nation-state.
Zvi's Law of No Evidence

I disagree. Much of what's going wrong is differing meanings of the word evidence.

Most people are oblivious to the Bayesian meaning of the word evidence. When I hear an ordinary person say "no evidence", I usually interpret it as "no evidence that's admissible in a court", or maybe even "no proof".

MIRI location optimization (and related topics) discussion

Ticks: I've found more ticks on me in the bay area than I did when I lived in Connecticut and Rhode Island. I don't think that's fully explained by behavioral changes.

I have a good deal of control over my exposure to ticks. I haven't put much effort into avoiding them. Well over 90% of the times I've found ticks on me were after going off-trail. Brushing against tall grass seems especially high risk. Wide trails seem to have very low risk. The clearest exception I've seen to this pattern may have involved transmission via a dog.

I started getting more tick ... (read more)

Yeah I think that mosquito map is showing the Zika-carrying species, but there are 40 other species in Washington. Mosquitos in New England (certainly Maine where I grew up) can be pretty brutal, especially when you include the weeks when the black flies and midges are also biting.

Best empirical evidence on better than SP500 investment returns?

The best answers to these questions that I've seen are in the book Expected Returns, which I reviewed here.

I see important benefits, and big risks.

What stops the government from taking more money in ways that it doesn't classify as taxes? E.g. civil forfeiture?

It could increase hostility to new immigrants. That might be solved by taxing people when they immigrate. I'm unsure how to evaluate the effects of those taxes.

the one main reason to expect the government to shrink is that it acts irresponsibly and politicians take out debt with no good plan to pay it back. However, if this happens, shouldn’t we celebrate that the government is shrinking?

I don't know.... (read more)

People Will Listen

How many LWers bought Bitcoin in 2011 and ended up with poor returns due to the demise of Mt. Gox?

I almost ended up losing a little of my money that way, but was stopped when my KYC evidence was rejected for no clear reason. I ended up doing well by buying Ripples a couple of years later, but I don't know whether I would have done that if I had lost money in my first attempt.

3AllAmericanBreakfast4moMore broadly, someone aggregated [https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/bitcoin-theft-in-2020-was-near-zero-down-92-percent-from-2019-2021-01-19] reported BTC theft from 2011-2020. The spreadsheet linked from the article includes a graph where you can see that about 1-5% of BTC was stolen each year from 2011-2014. Since 2015, BTC theft has been lower, around 0.02-0.7% annually. For comparison, 3% of the US money supply is about $150 billion. I'd be curious to know how that compares to other forms of theft. Unfortunately, statistics seem to include crypto theft in larger theft statistics, so it's hard to evaluate whether crypto or dollars is safer from theft. I have to imagine that dollars are generally safer (FDIC something something?).
2habryka4moI have 2-3 friends I know about who lost $5k+ on Mt. Gox going down, and didn't hold crypto anywhere else.
Covid 2/25: Holding Pattern

It's got to be either reporting delays, or people dying months after they contracted the virus. I've changed my mind a bit, and I'm currently guessing it's more the latter.

I compared the ratio of reported deaths over the past week in California (1273) and New York state (406). This clearly has no connection with people who recently tested positive, since New York has been reporting over twice as many new cases as California recently.

It was only before mid-January that California last reported something in excess of twice the new cases that NY reported, an... (read more)

Thirty-three randomly selected bioethics papers

It looks like the average academic bioethicist is ok (with high variance), and is not having much effect outside academia.

Like lawyers, the bioethicists we hear about the most are the ones defending the least ethical clients.

Are the less conspicuous bioethicists doing the equivalent of mundane, mildly beneficial lawyers who write contracts? Or are they mostly engaged in intellectual masturbation?

I'm unclear on why I'd hire a bioethicist unless I was trying to defend behavior that looks unethical. Which suggests that there isn't much demand for bioethicists to do constructive things.

4ChristianKl4moFrom the LessWrong perspective most of the complaints about bioethics seems to be about them standing the the way of research. If you could hire a bioethicist to green-light your vaccine challenge study it seems to me like the bioethicist would do constructive work. The idea is that people hire bioethicists because they are rent seeking and have pushed for certain decisions to require input of bioethicists.
What are the best resources to point people who are skeptical of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 to?

I suggest the RaDVaC article, as evidence of what experts think about vaccine safety when they're focused on protecting themselves.

You might follow that up with this suggestion about why the FDA might mislead us: if people notice that some vaccines are safer than the alternative by really big margins, they'll start asking why we don't just bypass FDA review in some cases. That will bias the FDA to suggest that most vaccines are tough choices, which need the FDA's expertise to evaluate. But given big variations in how harmful diseases are, this will lead th... (read more)

Why Hasn't Effective Altruism Grown Since 2015?

If you act on it by donating, you can be done with it. It’s a conversation-stopper.

In 2014, it felt like donations were a good conversation topic. There were enough new charities to evaluate that it was worthwhile to get other people's opinions. The EA community and the number of new charities were small enough that we could come close to knowing most of the people involved in starting the charities, and expect most EAs to know something about those new charities.

Then the EA movement became much larger than the Dunbar number, it became harder to keep tr... (read more)

Covid 2/25: Holding Pattern

The slow decline in deaths seems like it must be primarily due to delayed reporting.

We know that there were a few big batches of delayed reports, plus day of the week effects. I can't think of a good reason to expect those without also expecting a significant number of small batches.

I expect that hospitalization data is much more reliable evidence about the timing of bad health. It shows the expected sharp drop. It also dropped faster than the death rate after the summer wave, and maybe slightly faster than the death rate after the first wave.

In order beli... (read more)

2PeterMcCluskey4moIt's got to be either reporting delays, or people dying months after they contracted the virus. I've changed my mind a bit, and I'm currently guessing it's more the latter. I compared the ratio of reported deaths over the past week in California (1273) and New York state (406). This clearly has no connection with people who recently tested positive, since New York has been reporting over twice as many new cases as California recently. It was only before mid-January that California last reported something in excess of twice the new cases that NY reported, and only around Christmas or earlier that California reported 3 times as many new cases a NY. So unless there's something quite misleading about the ratio of California to NY numbers, recent deaths are dominated by people who contracted the virus around Christmas / New Years.
2Zvi5moI can test that hypothesis a bit more robustly but I think this requires the delays be longer than they previously were.
Book review: The Geography of Thought

When talking at a high level, the author refers to cultures that were heavily influenced by China, versus European cultures. But many specific research results or anecdotes are only available for one Eastern and one Western nation. For those, he mostly refers to the specific nations, and leaves it to the reader to make inferences about how well those apply to similar nations.

Covid 2/18: Vaccines Still Work

Yes, Scott's first 25% appears to be only about preventing infection.

Covid 2/18: Vaccines Still Work

These two numbers being identical thus suggests Scott doesn’t see it that way, and in particular that he’s thinking that if it doesn’t work in a hospital (or doesn’t work in a hospital for any given reasonable dosing method) it also doesn’t work as a supplement.

I don't imagine Scott thinks that. I assume the most important difference is between vitamin D working to prevent infections, versus vitamin D preventing serious harm given infection.

Could the difference between the Spain and Brazil studies be due to bigger vitamin D deficiencies in Spain?

2Zvi5moThat's not how I interpret it, because to me if Vitamin D works pre-hospitalization it could work on either mechanism - preventing infection or reducing severity. So that's another way it could be 'too late,' if it acts on an earlier stage. Are you thinking Scott is saying more like 45% to work if taken early because it's 25% to prevent infection and also 25% to reduce severity?
Book review: The Geography of Thought

That might have some interesting implications for where mind uploading will initially become popular.

How would free prediction markets have altered the pandemic?

Here are some pairs of contracts that would have been informative last spring:

  • Vaccinations in 2020 if human challenge trials are started by June 1.

  • Vaccinations in 2020 if human challenge trials are not started by June 1.

  • COVID deaths in 2020 if rapid at-home tests are approved by July 1.

  • COVID deaths in 2020 if rapid at-home tests are not approved by July 1.

  • COVID deaths in 2020 if most states keep schools closed all year.

  • COVID deaths in 2020 if most states reopen schools in September.

  • Vaccinations in winter 2021 if vaccine manufacturers a

... (read more)
2ChristianKl6moI don't think it would take that long. If a prediction market says X is correct and a decision makers decides for Y they have afterwards a lot less excuses for making the wrong decision. It's easy for political opponents to write articles saying that the person was stupid for making the decision as the prediction market said something else. Articles that are easily written without doing any hard research. Blame minimization is very important for individual decision makers so it will affect decision making even when it won't always get people to follow the predicion market.
1aaronb506moThank you! Should have known someone would have beat me to it.
ESRogs's Shortform

I'm unsure why you'd expect anything to be better than pure plays such as shorting bond or Eurodollar futures.

I expect the effects on value minus growth to be rather small.

If you're betting that rising rates will be due to increased inflation, more than rising real rates, then it's worth looking at companies that have borrowed at low long-term rates. Maybe shipping companies (dry bulk?), homebuilders, airplane leasing companies?

Maybe ask him when was the right time for doctors to start having an opinion about whether smoking is unhealthy?

Benefits of "micro-tracking" for personal health measurements?

For food, I've found macro-tracking to be sustainable for 5+ years, whereas I would not be willing to sustain micro-tracking for more than a few weeks.

Anti-Aging: State of the Art

Baze has technology for cheaper and more convenient blood tests. So far they're only using it to sell vitamins. I presume regulatory obstacles are delaying more valuable uses.

1JackH7moJust looked it up - looks promising. Thanks for sharing.
Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

I've put together some guesses about what's important for US competence as a nation, loosely based on ideas from WEIRDest People and Where is my Flying Car?.

Human societies likely default to small groups that fragment (due to disagreements) if they grow much above 20 people.

Over the past 10 millennia or so, it has become common to use extended ties of kinship to scale up to the Dunbar number, and sometimes well beyond that.

Western civilization scaled up to unprecedented levels of trust and cooperation via a set of fairly new cultural features: moral univer... (read more)

Why the outside view suggests that longevity escape velocity is a long time away and cryonics is a much more feasible option for those alive today: signal-boosting a comment by Calm-Meet9916 on Reddit

I agree that Aubrey is too optimistic, but there's been a bit more progress than you indicate.

Alzheimer's appears to be curable (although not easily treatable), at least if it's treated early.

There's been progress in understanding what lifestyle mistakes are the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. 20-30 years ago most people thought it was mainly saturated fat, now there's more awareness of diabetes-related factors.

3ChristianKl7moWhile I do think that alternative treatments are sometimes the best option, I don't think it's worthwhile to use them as the measuring stick for the progress of medicine.
2Synaptic7moSadly, Bederson’s evidence is mostly anecdotal and therefore not very trustworthy.
Open & Welcome Thread - December 2020

The GreaterWrong.com interface offers a theme with light text on a dark background.

My Model of the New COVID Strain and US Response

Something is odd about how people are analyzing vaccine effects.

My guess is that the US is doing a tolerable enough job of vaccinating the vulnerable first that the IFR will start dropping by around 50% per month, for new infections, starting in a week or so (until we get to limits due to people refusing to be vaccinated?). So even if we get another wave with infection rates 2 or 3 times the recent levels, it seems unlikely to keep the death and hospitalization rates from declining.

It will also become gradually easier to keep r low due to the increasing number of people who are immune.

What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain?

You can short VIX futures.

Shorting VXX is a bit like shorting VIX, often better.

What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain?

I do trade oil and VIX futures. This is competent advice, close to what I would have written if I'd found the time. I don't expect much reaction to this news, but if I did, I'd short March oil futures, maybe hedging by buying September oil futures.

7CarlShulman7moLittle reaction to the new strain news, or little reaction to new strains outpacing vaccines and getting a large chunk of the population over the next several months?
8eillasti7moYou are right. Hedging with a long term future makes it a very targeted bet on "the real economy, especially travel halts in X months" and this is exactly what you can expect from COVID gone bad. You can see if this is priced in by comparing spring and autumn futures prices: March vs September or I would rather say May vs December. I took a look and the market is in backwardation (longer term is cheaper than short term)! The markets expect everything to be fine, it doesn't look like COVID disaster is priced in. I would say that it looks like a pretty good trade. Sell May, buy Dec, hold till May expiry (or till the shock is priced in) and then close both.
What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain?

What would need to happen for this -not- to lead to a crash?

Many investors remembering that selling in mid-March was a bad idea, and that the economy recovers from pandemics faster than most commentators expected.

What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain?

VXX is not a good way to compare volatility across years. VIX and similar measures are showing fairly high volatility, but no signs of new panic recently.

How Hard Would It Be To Make A COVID Vaccine For Oneself?

The RADVAC website has more information, possibly enough to tell experts how to do the same for other viruses.

4johnswentworth7moWell now I'm kicking myself, because I saw the tech review article back in July but assumed this would require a lab. But looking at the RADVAC docs, this is dead simple. Looks like I can do it myself, no problem, it's mostly just a matter of ordering the peptides and taking the time to read through everything.
Gauging the conscious experience of LessWrong

My sound imagination seems a lot more like real sound than my visual imagination seems like seeing.

I suspect I do a lot more visual thinking than verbal thinking, but the verbal thinking is mostly at a conscious level, and the visual thinking is mostly subconscious.

We desperately need to talk more about human challenge trials.

I'll guess that there's no literature on the subject.

FDA rules require a lot more work per patient for trials. I'm guessing something like $10k per patient, so you're likely proposing more than a trillion dollars in spending. And that assumes there are no problems with hiring and training enough people to run the trials.

2AllAmericanBreakfast7moGiven that the US government typically values the life of an individual at around $10 million [https://www.npr.org/2020/04/23/843310123/how-government-agencies-determine-the-dollar-value-of-human-life] , you only need to save 100,000 US lives to make that worthwhile. We've lost triple that number in this pandemic. Certainly it would be logistically complex, but we have to compare the logistical complexity of running that kind of trial with the current complexities we face.
We desperately need to talk more about human challenge trials.

Let me suggest that human challenge trials are a bad idea in a pandemic such as this, because they're too slow.

We can see, from RADVAC use that competent experts who were focused on minimizing their personal risk, that at least some untested vaccines look safer than a lack of vaccines.

So the only ethical strategy was to approve emergency use of at least some vaccines back around February. Possibly there were some vaccines were too novel for this to be safe. Do any of the people who are saying untested vaccines are risky quantify the risks that they believe... (read more)

1brianwang7127moSo I think that you're right to point out the bias that many experts have in overprioritizing wanting to avoid harm from a vaccine at the cost of ongoing deaths from the pandemic. That's likely a very strong consideration playing into their judgments here, and one that should be fought against. That being said, I think another concern that is underappreciated in these debates is lack of efficacy, rather than lack of safety. What if—and this is probably more likely—a vaccine doesn't result in any harm, but also just doesn't do anything to prevent disease? How much time have you spent getting pharma to invest time and resources into developing a manufacturing process for a particular vaccine, and getting the vaccine distributed to people, only to find out it doesn't work? How many people will have lost trust in the vaccine development process such that they won't take a subsequent vaccine, even if it works much better? Do you really have the option to "start over"? Maybe moreso now than ever the answer is "yes" given the relative agility with which you can move from design to manufacturing process with mRNA vaccines, but with anything cell culture-based you've probably lost months, at which point you might be in a worse situation than if you'd started with trials. This scenario doesn't have to play out with literally zero efficacy, the same considerations apply if you have, say, 30% efficacy. You could blow your shot at developing a 90% efficacy vaccine b/c you've spent down all your resources on the 30% efficacy one. The implicit theory behind this concern is that you have a limited bank of public trust + resources to work with, such that if you spend it all on the first try and it doesn't work out, then there's no going back. So best to make sure your one try definitely goes well, e.g. by setting up trials first. I think it's unclear exactly to what extent this theory holds up, but I think it warrants serious consideration. Too often I think these debates stop at
2AllAmericanBreakfast7moHi Peter! That line of argument should be an important part of this discussion as well. For an individual person, it's unquestionably better to give them an untested vaccine and no disease (as in administering an untested vaccine in the context of a conventional trial), rather than an untested vaccine and a disease (as in a human challenge trial). The tradeoffs between conventional trials, HCTs, and untested emergency voluntary mass vaccination campaigns, are less clear at a population level, which is why I think it needs more study and debate. I focused this post around HCTs because they seem more conventional than emergency untested vaccination campaigns. It seemed to me that anyone hesitant about changing the status quo would be more likely to support HCTs than a mass untested vaccination campaign. Now, I'm not so sure. The ethical qualm with HCTs is rooted in a medical ethic that prioritizes the wellbeing of the individual. Imagine we face a another pandemic. We know the disease is deadly and that we have no treatment for it. We have reason to think the vaccine is relatively safe and at least somewhat helpful. Under those conditions, it seems like the best way to prioritize the wellbeing of individual patients is to allow them to take an untested vaccine. So the key unquestioned assumption is not the ethics of HCTs. That at least has been examined, if insufficiently. It's not even the ethics of administering an under- or untested medical treatment, which we already do all the time. Instead, it's the ethics of requiring that phase III trials have the minimum power/study size to gather adequate safety and efficacy data. Why can't we instead say that in emergency circumstances, it's unethical to limit the study size? Instead, when a disease becomes a deadly pandemic to the extent that we're considering lockdowns, the entire population should have the opportunity to voluntarily participate in a vaccine trial. We already allow Phase I and Phase II to be combi
Which sources do you trust the most on nutrition advice for exercise?

If you're willing to put a good deal of effort into this, I suggest Staffan Lindeberg's book. There's a good deal that can be inferred from his evidence from very different cultures with different disease rates.

Beyond that, I like Chris Masterjohn, Dale Bredesen, Stephan Guyenet, and Chris Kresser.

Why quantitative methods are heartwarming

Yes and no.

Most social changes have too many effects to be pure wins, so a widespread shift to quantification will likely cause some harm in addition to benefits.

The WEIRDest People in the World has some hints about the trade-offs. E.g. in many cultures, people don't buy from the merchant who offers them the best deal. They buy from the merchant to whom they're most closely connected (as in kin). A switch to more competitive markets makes trade more efficient, at the cost of weakening some social bonds.

The Institutional Revolution: Measurement and the Econ... (read more)

Anti-EMH Evidence (and a plea for help)

My impression is that market efficiency varies a lot from year to year.

Recessions tend to be associated with less efficient markets. I presume that's because it takes a lot more capital to correct mispricing when the overall market makes large moves.

If a phenomenon only exists one year per decade, then it's less valuable to have enough liquid capital to exploit it, fewer people have the patience needed to remain alert enough to notice it, etc.

2020 has had mispricings that seem more unusual than once per decade phenomena.

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