We are more risk-averse for other people

From Pavel D. Atanasov: Are we more inclined to take risks for ourselves rather than on someone else’s behalf? The current study reviews and summarizes 28 effects from 18 studies (n=4,784). Across all studies, choices for others were significantly more risk-averse than choices for self (d=0.15, p=0.012). Two objective features of the choices moderated these […]

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The Omission-Commission Error is Deadly

Britain will start a human challenge trial in January. The Sun: Imperial College said its joint human challenge study involves volunteers aged 18 to 30, with the project starting in January – and results expected in May. Initially, 90 volunteers will be given a dose of an experimental nasal vaccine. They’ll then be deliberately infected […]

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Neil Tambe on Courage Studies (from my email)

Most importantly, happy holidays to you and your family. Thank you (and Alex) for another year of MR and CWT. I wanted to suggest that you involve the theme of courage into your various projects. For the purpose of this message, my working definition of courage is the capability to do the right or needed […]

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My Conversation with John O. Brennan

Here is the audio, video, and transcript — we are both Irish-Americans who were born in Hudson County, New Jersey, and who spent most of our lives working in northern Virginia, the CIA in his case.  Here is part of the CWT summary: John joined Tyler to discuss what working in intelligence taught him about […]

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John O. Brennan on UFOs

I thought I would give this segment its own post, again here is the audio, video, and transcript of my Conversation with John O. Brennan, head of the CIA for four years under President Obama: BRENNAN: I’ve seen some of those videos from Navy pilots, and I must tell you that they are quite eyebrow-raising […]

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The ideological shift of the libertarian movement on pandemics

In the midst of his libertarian phase, Milton Friedman wrote: As already noted, significant neighborhood effects justify substantial public health activities: maintaining the purity of water, assuring proper sewage disposal, controlling contagious diseases. Yet today many libertarians shy away from the actual execution of this for Covid-19. Here is a 2014 Reason magazine symposium on Ebola, […]

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From my email, on bioethicists

Hi Tyler. I had a brief career as an ethicist. I realized quickly that the incentives are all wrong if what we want is people who will think hard about humanity’s pressing ethical dilemmas and who will suggest intuitively appealing solutions. Since almost all ethicists are academics, they have to publish, and in order to […]

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The rude people who comment on Derek Lowe’s blog

Gotta love the logic of bioethicists… >> Hey guys, can we maybe run a vaccine challenge trial to help accelerate research? We’ve got 30k volunteers signed up already Aw jeez, that would be horrible! Humans are unable to consent to taking a deadly risk! (though lets ignore doctors volunteering to work despite PPE shortages or […]

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David Millstone interviews me

David is co-CEO of Standard Industries, the world’s largest roofing company, and also a major presence in chimney supply, among its other activities.  He asked me many good questions, I asked him about how roofs would develop and whether there was a great stagnation in chimneys.  I also asked him his views about the analytic-synthetic […]

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What is the meta-rational thing to do here?

…the LessWrong community…just released our first book set “A Map that Reflects the Territory: Essays from the LessWrong Community“. It’s a collection of essays from 2018 by Scott Alexander, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and over twenty other writers on LessWrong. It’s a 5-book set, and we actually used quadratic voting to determine what went into the books and what […]

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