Grading my 2021 predictions

In December 2020, I made 100 probabilistic predictions for 2021. As promised, I’ve come back to evaluate them on two criteria: calibration and personal optimism/pessimism. I also challenged readers to compete with me. More on this later, but first, here are my predictions, color-coded black if they happened and red if they didn't. I. US … Continue reading Grading my 2021 predictions


Lexeme jest: Eleven excellent genres

Constrained writing is fun; moreover, sometimes it's seriously impressive. This post is a tour of some of my favorite examples of constrained writing and wordplay. Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames Listen to this recitation of the French poem Un petit d'un petit, by Luis d'Antin van Rooten. Sound familiar? Indeed, this poem is a homophonic … Continue reading Lexeme jest: Eleven excellent genres

Can group identity be a force for good?

Many in the rationalist sphere look down on tribalism and group identity. Paul Graham writes that identity interferes with people's ability to have a productive discussion. Julia Galef seconds this view (though with exceptions), devoting a chapter of Scout Mindset to the ways that identity interferes with clear thinking. Eliezer Yudkowsky makes a similar point … Continue reading Can group identity be a force for good?

Social behavior curves, equilibria, and radicalism

I. Here are some hypotheticals to consider, with a common theme. Note that in each case I'm asking what you would do, rather than what you should do. In the fall, COVID cases drop to 10% of their current level. You're back to working/studying in person. You're vaccinated, as is everyone else. Mask-wearing isn't required, … Continue reading Social behavior curves, equilibria, and radicalism