Rune

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How can I find trustworthy dietary advice?
Answer by RuneJan 18, 20212

I get the impression that much of the official advice of the past was actively harmful; the official advice has flip-flopped on many things over the past decades; things which were touted as healthy were later shown to be unhealthy, and vice versa. So presumably some of the current official advice is also actively harmful, and some of it is merely useless. But I don't know which.

This is not, in itself, a reason to stop trusting official advice on nutrition. On the science hierarchy of how certain we are of our understanding, nutrition science is very low and physics is very high. So we can treat all nutrition science recommendations as "we believe this slightly more than we believe the opposite". So it will take a little bit of counter evidence for the field to update its point of view to the opposite. But once that has happened, it will take more counter evidence to flip back. The flip flops will get rarer as evidence accumulates, and at every point in time it could still be that official recommendations are the best that can be made given the data that we currently have. I'm not saying this is the case, but it is consistent with the data of flip flops.

Unfortunately, the official advice lags our current understanding (by decades, maybe). I think that's a much bigger problem than the perceived flip flopping.

I don't have any advice for nutrition, but examine.com is pretty decent for information about supplements and vitamins, and the NIH guide on supplements is even better: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all/

Anti-Aging: State of the Art

Besides donating money to SENS, is there any way for people with money to help speed up this research? Specifically, are there companies that one can invest in to help this research? Say if you're in charge of a lot of investment money (maybe you're a fund manager or ethical investment advisor or something) and want to make investments that make the world a better place. Anti-aging sounds like it would be a great place to invest some of the financial capital available. How would one do that? 

Why do stocks go up?
Answer by RuneJan 17, 20211

I don't know the full answer to why stocks go up, but I have a partial answer based on risk. Imagine there are only 2 products available in the market:

(1) A US government bond that pays $100 in 1 year.

(2) Ownership in a company that will dissolve in 1 year, and at the end either return to the owner $95 or $105 with equal probability. 

Note that both have the same expected return in 1 year, $100. But people will prefer to buy the first product compared to the  second one, since the first one is risk free. Say the current 1-year interest rate for risk free returns is 1%, then people will pay $99 for the first product. But since the second product is less desirable, they might only pay $98 for it. So the second product has greater expected profit, since you paid $98 for $100 of expected returns. If you only invest in products like (2), then in the long run you'll make more money in expectation compared to investing in risk-free assets like (1).

Some reservations about Singer's child-in-the-pond argument

Your last example is actually weaker than it could be. Even though it's completely equivalent, a better way to phrase this is the following:

The train is currently rushing to kill the child, and you're not part of this situation. You, sitting in your car far away, see this happening. You now have the choice to drive up to the tracks and leave your car on the tracks. This will save the child but destroy your car.

Now it's clear that you weren't part of the situation to begin with; you're just a distant observer who may choose to intervene.

Maximizing Your Donations via a Job

"If you invest your money now, you might be able to make something like 10% annually with some risk."

Speaking of this, does anyone know of any LW posts or other articles about how to make the most of idle capital with some risk? Ideally with the risk analyzed by a competent Bayesian.

Philosophy Needs to Trust Your Rationality Even Though It Shouldn't

I once met a philosophy professor who was at the time thinking about the problem "Are electrons real?" I asked her what her findings had shown thus far, and she said she thinks they're not real. I then asked her to give me examples of things that are real. She said she doesn't know any examples of such things.

Neuroscience basics for LessWrongians

LessWrongers maybe? Instead of LessWrongians?

The annoyingness of New Atheists: declaring God Dead makes you a Complete Monster?

I don't mean to nitpick, but "ahteism" looks very weird when spelled that way.

What Does Make a Difference? It’s Really Simple

Seconded. Terrible exposition; it trivializes something that is non-trivial. Also, it would be nice if the writer used paragraphs and did not use CAPS (unless really shouting).

Free copy of Feynman's autobiography for best corny rationalist joke

You're a rationalist if there's a portrait of you in an attic somewhere getting increasingly irrational everyday.

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