Effective Altruism

A critique of Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence on the EA forum. (I don’t 100% agree with it but I think it’s worth reading.)

What do Africans think about advertisements raising money for global poverty charities?

Radical transparency makes it harder to be honest with yourself.

QALYs might underweight the importance of eradicating diseases.

Social Justice

““I don’t want to” wasn’t a reason not to have sex, because everyone wants to have sex under the proper conditions. I could say no if I wasn’t ready, but there would come a day when the stars would align and all my necessary conditions would be met and I would be ready. I was terrified of that inevitable star alignment, because I knew that when it happened I would have to have sex.”

Really moving essay about suicidality and the experience of being on the psych ward.

Yet even as Sullivan decries political tribalism, here is his theory of it: A decline in people practicing his form of Christian faith has led to a rise in “political cultists” who find their ultimate meaning in politics, who will stop at nothing to achieve their political goals, and who cannot be reasoned or compromised with.”

Maryland’s state song is a pro-Confederate anthem.

Civilizational Inadequacy

Being frequently woken up in the hospital provides little benefit and makes people sicker.

The children reared on some version of Dickens will go on to be Scrooges, not because they are stupid but because they can’t help it—that’s what the world is set up to make of them.

Sarah Constantin has some thoughts on playing politics.


The cookbook The Joy of Cooking was one of the first organizations to uncover that disgraced scientist Brian Wansink was cooking his data.

Best bad restaurant reviews of 2018.

Hot take: pizza is not a meal.

Just Plain Neat

World’s oldest woman turns out to be a woman who pretended to be her deceased mother to avoid inheritance taxes.

There’s apparently some person named Ninja who has tens of millions of fans and is a multimillionaire and spends ten hours a day streaming something called Fortnite? I’m not entirely sure what Fortnite is honestly and yet people are making millions of dollars playing it. Is this what being old feels like? (His longest vacation from Fortnite-playing was apparently six days for his honeymoon.)

Economist David Friedman’s favorite jokes that teach economics.

Yuletide, the huge small-fandoms fic exchange, has dropped! I haven’t read everything so I can’t do a full set of recommendations, but I particularly enjoyed this Gore Vidal/William F Buckley fic (warning: nsfw) which is exactly as wonderful as it sounds.