It’s often said that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. On this view, there’s a “bad valley” - a level of knowledge that’s actually harmful. That’s because small amounts of knowledge are supposed to lead to big increases in overconfidence.
Stefan SchubertCounter-intuitive claims about "bad valleys" are common:
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"
"The least competent are most confident"
"The politically closest hate each other most"
Outside view suggests they're wrong, so we should be sceptical.
“You are not a fraud,” our columnist writes in the latest installment of Your Unicorn Career
Stefan SchubertThere is something intellectually dishonest in much of the discourse about impostor syndrome.
It advises how to banish impostor syndrome while tacitly assuming that none of the advisees are in fact impostors.
But sadly is unlikely to be the case.
Lookism can be defined as discrimination (see Discrimination) against people considered physically unattractive according to widespread psychobiological and/or social standards. The term, literally, ...
After having to pause the project for a while, we have recently resumed work on
the idea of a long-term investment fund at Founders Pledge. The next step is a
research project on the impact of ‘investing to give later’ as a philanthropic
Stefan Schubert.@SjirHoeijmakers of @FoundersPledge making the case for investing to give later.
He covers seven factors affecting the value of this strategy, including, e.g. financial returns, value drift, changing opportunities, and compounding returns on giving now.
Scott Alexander (whose blog, sadly, is still down) has written about the conflict theory and the mistake theory of politics. Conflict theory says that the core problem of politics is flawed goals. Some people are pursuing their self-interest, rather...
Stefan Schubert21/ One view is that political errors are due to bad values (~conflict theory)
Another that it's ignorance (mistake theory)
But I think many errors are due to us focusing on what's salient, though our values and knowledge say other issues are more key
Stefan SchubertWe've come to pay more attention to spatially distant events.
Partly thanks to TV and the Internet.
We can observe, e.g. distant catastrophes.
But we don't have similar tools to bridge temporal distance.
That leads us to neglect the distant future.
Globalization is highlighting existing cultural differences between nations, but what is the future of these differences? We attempt to answer this question by ...
Stefan Schubert@BenWinegard Values also shift in a rational and liberal direction, according to World Values Survey.
"The world’s cultures shifted in the direction of Northwestern European culture, characterized by secularism and self-expression, or permissiveness and tolerance."
Often if you turn down a skilled job, the role simply won't be filled at all because there's no suitable substitute available. For this and other reasons we don't place as much weight as we used to on the idea of 'replaceability'. When we started...
Stefan SchubertHeavy tails trump replaceability.
Heavy tails = the best opportunities have much greater impact than the alternatives; often >10x
The chance your work would be replaced is rarely >90%.
Replaceability has a narrower span, so is often trumped.
Arguments can be divided into two parts: the main point, and “scaffolding” that you need to get that point across. The scaffolding is whatever background information is needed to explain the argument. It also typically includes many of your choices...
Stefan SchubertArguments contain two parts: the main point, and “scaffolding” - background information, examples, word choices.
Many criticisms focus on the scaffolding, which distracts from your main points.
To prevent that, take care when you create the scaffolding.
When people say that “a charitable interpretation of the speaker’s statement is X ”, it’s often not really plausible that the speaker meant X . They might have made an off the cuff remark, whereas their interlocutor makes a much more refined...
Stefan SchubertWhen people say “a charitable interpretation of what they said is X”, it’s often not plausible they meant X
So X isn't an interpretation - it doesn't just lay out what they meant - but an explication: a more precise and fruitful version of what they said
To start, health care professionals and academics are being invited to make predictions about COVID-19.
Stefan SchubertFacebook is testing a new forecasting app.
"To start, [Facebook is] inviting professionals in the health, research and academic communities in the US and Canada to make predictions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact."
Many debates don’t get started for real. The participants don’t engage with the other side’s arguments. Or some of them don’t. You see this maybe in particular in hot-button political topics. But also in, e.g. the discussion on AI risk , which many...
Stefan SchubertSwedish media is better in some ways, but on the other hand, they, bizarrely, publish lists on "who earns the most in your municipality".
People are very sensitive to when the government harms people's privacy.
Should be more alert to when media does it