Why I may not donate to MIRI/CFAR in the future

I spent much of the last two days writing a follow-up to my previous post on the LessWrong community’s crackpot problem. But then I looked over what I’d written and thought better of a lot of it. I stand by what I wrote in my original post, and as a member of the effective altruism [Read More...]

My blogging on LessWrong (will be updated)

Here is a complete list of my posts on LessWrong, both “Main” and “Discussion,” starting with the most recent. The list of just “Main” posts, by upvotes, is as follows (upvotes in parentheses, * indicates a promoted post): [Read more...]

The Diet Fix

I recently read the book The Diet Fix, and it’s main points seem worth briefly summarizing. Basically, as I myself have written about, just about any reasonable-sounding diet you try will likely enable you to lose weight in the short run, but very few people manage to keep weight off in the long run. The [Read More...]

The LessWrong/MIRI community’s problem with experts and crackpots

Luke Muehlhauser, executive director of MIRI, has a short but very important post up on the importance of expertise vs. intelligence and rationality: I think most people don’t respect individual differences in intelligence and rationality enough. But some people in my local community tend to exhibit the opposite failure mode. They put too much weight [Read More...]

Richard Carrier on Jesus and the Rank-Raglan hero-type

There’s one point in my comments on Richard Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus that’s worth expanding on—I’d initially meant to say more about it, but I was up late enough writing the post as it was. In my previous post, I mentioned that: Carrier, in trying to determine the prior probability that Jesus was [Read More...]

Adventures in clickbait: Vice.com claims eight different cities are all the worst place ever

Awhile ago, I read a crappy article on Vice.com about why San Francisco was supposedly the worst place ever. That is literally what they said. I’m not linking, but the headline was “Reasons Why San Francisco Is The Worst Place Ever.” I found on Facebook through one of my techie friends, which was odd because [Read More...]

Richard Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus: first impressions and initial thoughts

My copy of Richard Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus arrived from Amazon on Monday, and I haven’t had time to read it all, but I want to jot down some first impressions and initial thoughts now, partly because I’m not sure when I’ll find the time to do a proper review. First of all, [Read More...]

“Rape jokes are never okay, but jokes about AIDS are hilarious!”—a stupid reaction to Cards Against Humanity that needs to stop

Trigger warnings for everything. The bulk of this post is adapted from something I posted to Fetlife awhile back. I decided to post it here after seeing a story about the games creators apologizing for an allegedly transphobic card and removing it from the game. The original impetus for the post though, wasn’t an online [Read More...]

Who has the potential to do high-impact philosophy?

I recently wrote about deciding between philosophy and programming as career options, then gave a talk that, among other things, emphasized the importance of doing what you’re good at. A natural follow-up question here is, how do you tell if you’re good at philosophy? And more specifically, how do you do tell if you have [Read More...]