Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

Reading Feed (December 2017)


Comic: xkcd | 2018


Blog: Agenty Duck | Instead of making a resolution,


Blog: Overcoming Bias | Automatic Norms — and Overcoming Bias | 10 Implications of Automatic Norms; Overcoming Bias | Automatic Norms in Academia; Overcoming Bias | Automatic Norm Lessons


Blog: Slate Star Codex | A History of the Silmarils in the Fifth Age — If you liked Unsong, and wanted it to have more Silmarillion...


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Favorite jazz from 2017


Blog: Conversations with Tyler | Andy Weir on the Economics of Sci-Fi and Space — Un-excerptable, but excellent


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Why Sex? And why only in Pairs? — "That is a new Economic Journal paper by Motty Perry, Philip J. Reny, and Arthur J. Robson..."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | The rate of return on everything

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Political Incorrect Paper of the Day: Food Deserts — "Why the poor choose to eat differently than the rich is an interesting and important question but one more amenable to answers focusing on culture, education and history than price and income. The idea applies widely."

Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | Virtual Reality Will Make Lives Better ... Mostly

Blog: GiveWell | Update on our work on outreach — "Historically, we’ve focused mostly on research because we felt that the quality of our recommendations was a greater constraint to our impact than our money moved. This has changed. Outreach is now a major organizational priority. The goal of this work is to increase the amount of money we direct to our top-recommended charities."


Blog: Overcoming Bias | Exclusion As A Substitute For Norms, Law, & Governance — "As a result of these trends, many people perceive that we have on net weakened the power of our systems of norms, law, and governance to constrain bad behavior. In response, I think they’ve naturally increased their reliance on exclusion. They look more carefully at who they allow into their schools, firms, apartments, and nations. And they are less willing to give a marginal person the benefit of the doubt."

Blog: Almost No One is Evil. Almost Everything is Broken. | Secular Solstice: Call and Response

Blog: Slate Star Codex | Links 12/17

Blog: National Review | No, HHS Did Not ‘Ban Words’ — h/t Tyler Cowen.

Blog: Things of Interest | Efficiently encoding binary data in Tweets


Blog: Almost No One is Evil. Almost Everything is Broken. | Secular Solstice Eve Speech: Stories

Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | I Vouch For MIRI


Blog: Ansa | Rome revokes Ovid's exile — h/t Tyler Cowen


Blog: Bits and Pieces | "Not discipline" — "An otherwise estimable student who is sent away from the Fellowships office upon disclosing her membership in some women's club might be forgiven for thinking she has been punished. But at Harvard it seems, a word means what the President and the Senior Fellow choose it to mean, neither more nor less. By declaring that ineligibility for honors and distinctions are 'not discipline,' what President Faust and Mr. Lee are saying is that the Statutes are not implicated, the matter is not one for the Faculty to decide, and no Faculty vote is needed to carry out the policy."


Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | Book Review: The Captured Economy — "I recommend this book if and only if you want a book-length case for its thesis. Otherwise, this review is sufficient. The arguments and facts are not new."

Blog: Otium | Preventing Respiratory Tract Infections — "Epistemic Status: pretty confident, typical lit review."


Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | How's Immigration Going? Check the Menus — "The broader lesson is that America isn’t going to become endlessly more diverse, whether in its culinary offerings or otherwise. There are natural limits to these processes, and some are self-reversing as immigrants either assimilate or reach a peak influence on the broader American culture. In dining markets for the last 10 years as a whole, I would say the biggest development has been the spread of high-quality hamburgers and pizzas to all price ranges and dining styles, not the growth of cuisines cooked by recent immigrants."


Blog: Magic Daily | Product Architecture: How a Product is Made


Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | More Dakka

Blog: Tristan.Hume | Designing a Tree Diff Algorithm Using Dynamic Programming and A*


Blog: Compass Rose | Explicit content — "The song The Sound of Silence has been on my mind, and ... what if they actually meant the lyrics? What if in lots of popular songs, people were actually trying to tell people a thing?"

Blog: Magic Daily | From Player to Play Designer

Blog: Compass Rose | Cash transfers are not necessarily wealth transfers