Zachary Jacobi

I'm a Waterloo (Ontario) based Software Developer who is intensely interested in political economy, self-improvement, and systems that allow people to find and fulfill their values.

Social anxiety means I will probably be fairly slow to respond to any comments on things I write. Sorry!

Enthusiastic About: Lois McMaster Bujold, Complice & Beeminder, Python, css-grid, Joseph Heath, Hannah Arendt, Condorcet-approved voting methods, and study halls.

Skeptical of: social media, intense cynicism, "just" following orders, Internet Explorer, and simple explanations of complex problems.


My Predictions for 2018 (& a Template for Yours)

Anything from outside whichever country you live in that has good global reach. The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, BBC, and Reuters are all good options.

I've found that the important thing is to check the news often. You can use one source for this, because the goal is just to find out what interesting things are going on. Then when there's a story you care about, you can get it deliberately from multiple angles.

Here are some good pairs of news sources:

Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera (Middle East)

Al Jazeera and Jerusalem Post (Middle East)

Jerusalem Post and Haaretz (Israel)

Briebart and Vox (America)

The Daily Mail and The Guardian (The UK)

Fars and literally anything western (Iran/Middle East)

Russia Today and literally anything western (Russia)

It's also really worth it to try and find a few local news sources (within the country of origin) for any story that really catches your interest. Especially reading a wide range of opinion pieces will give you a sense of what people think (although note the selection effect that will occur if you're reading English language news from a country that isn't English speaking; there will probably be some important difference between the people who speak English and the non-English speaking majoirty)

My Predictions for 2018 (& a Template for Yours)

If I remember correctly it went from 7 to 3 when I edited the first time. But if that represents the difference between one and zero upvotes, then maybe it was just coincidence?

My Predictions for 2018 (& a Template for Yours)

Fixed the image (kind of; there's a broken image icon stuck at the top that doesn't show up in the editor). The strikethrough shows up in the editor but not here. I've opened a bug for it.

Earlier, it seemed that the karma for this post reset when I edited it. But that didn't happen when I edited it this time. Could someone in the know chime in if karma is reset by edits, or if I was just confused by e.g. people removing upvotes?

12/31/17 Update: Frontpage Redesign

It appears that there's a bug on the daily page. It looks like you're determining which day a post falls on by UTC (or some other timezone that is ahead of me), but then not showing days in the future based on the users timezone (or some other criterion). As I write this, there are two posts that briefly flicker when I load daily under the heading Tuesday, January 2nd 2018, then disappear once page load is completed.

Improvement Without Superstition

This formulation reminds me somewhat of the Bayesian approach to the likelihood of research being true from Ionnidis 2005 (Why Most Published Research Findings Are False).

Improvement Without Superstition

(Also, I'd like to thank Tessa Alexanian for providing comments on an earlier version of this post. Her advice is the reason this is at all coherent)