My Faults My Own

…beleaguered by the same

negation and despair,

show an affirming flame.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and erstwhile student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: January 21)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


Blog: (finish later) | 3 Thought Experiments: An Exercise in Ponens and Tollens

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Dear Canada: Don’t Ban Paid Blood Plasma Donation

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Do markets underprovide genetic insurance?

Interview: Conversations with Tyler | Ross Douthat on Narrative and Religion

Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | Rule of Law Can't Ignore Human Costs — Weakly argued, I think, though Tyler does well to raise important points.


Blog: Marginal Revolution | The value of media attention for mass killers — "But nobody wants it! Everybody hates it!" / "Oh. Well, then stop."


Blog: Less Wrong | Announcement: AI alignment prize winners and next round


Blog: Overcoming Bias | Social


The Manxome Foe

At work, for the past week or so, I've been wrestling with a complicated-ish thing, born of a conversation over lunch about something completely different, and taking me deep into some statistics and algebra that I don't really understand (yet). It's awesome.

But (more than once), I've been explaining the thing to someone, and had them offer helpful advice: "Isn't this problem basically [this simpler thing]?" My response has consistently been along the lines of "No, of course not! Can't you see that it's obviously more complicated than that?" I even had a version of this exchange with myself recently, where I thought for a moment that it was actually trivial after all, and then (with some relief) reminded myself that it was, in fact, hard. Whew, what a relief.

...except that, if the point was actually to solve problems in the world, that's entirely the wrong attitude to take.

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