The New York Times published its long-awaited article about the Rationalist movement, about Silicon Valley's neo-reactionary tendencies, and about Slate Star Codex, the blog where it supposedly all came together. The item is a mess, relying on implication and inside baseball. — Read the rest
Scott Siskind was the quasi-anonymous author of Slate Star Codex, a rationalist blog that burned brightly at the place where erudition and reaction meet. He inaugurates his new venue, Astral Codex Ten, with an essay about how his efforts to avoid media exposure only Streisanded him more completely, costing him his job. — Read the rest
On Slate Star Codex, psychiatrist Scott Alexander offers a "book review of "All Therapy Books", which is a jumping-off point for asking how it is that psychotherapy is periodically rocked by new therapies that seem to perform incredibly well, but whose confirmed efficacy shelves off over time.
Bernie Sanders remains one of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential elections, but you'd hardly know it from the media narrative, which consistently downplays, ignores or misstates Sanders' campaign platform and his achievements in favor of establishment candidates and even other trustbusters like Elizabeth Warren.
Did you get dinged in a parking lot? Or did you back into a phone-poll? A little bondo, a little black pinstriping, and voila, you've turned your car's unsightly, damaged door panel into a map of fantastic, Tolkien-adjacent realms.
On Slate Star Codex (previously), Scott Alexander breaks down Invisible Designers: Brain Evolution Through the Lens of Parasite Manipulation, Marco Del Giudice's Quarterly Review of Biology paper that examines the measures that parasites take to influence their hosts' behaviors, and the countermeasures that hosts evolve to combat them.
Ketamine is a sedative first synthesized in 1962; its patents have long elapsed and it costs pennies; it has many uses and is also sold illegally for use as a recreational drug, but in recent years it has been used with remarkable efficacy as a treatment for a variety of disorders, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain (I have lifelong chronic pain and my specialist has prescribed very low doses of it for me at bedtime).
Scott Alexander continues to delight with his works of short, sharp science fiction (previously): this time, it's "Sort by Controversial," a teachnolovecraftian story of training a machine learning system to recognize (and then produce) "controversial" stories by exploiting Reddit's "sort by controversial" feature to obtain training data.
When you look at the Thanksgiving story from Squanto's point of view, it's a pretty depressing science fiction story about minding your business outside your home one day when you're suddenly abducted by aliens with advanced technology, and when you finally make your way back home, years, you discover that nearly everyone on the continent has been wiped out by an alien supervirus.