6th Selected Links

1 min read

Some links for your weekend perusal:

1. I've added a mistakes page to my website, to keep track of factual errors I make during podcast episodes. The purpose is to keep myself accountable and to try to avoid making factual errors at all - or at least making the same error twice. At the moment, only two slip-ups come to mind, though there are surely more. I was inspired by GiveWell (a recent sponsor of the podcast) and 80,000 Hours, who both maintain logs of their own mistakes.

2. 'Approaches to Studying Policy Representation', the David Broockman paper that the brilliant hedge fund manager John Hempton mentioned in our latest conversation. While its title doesn't give much away, the paper is about the illusion of the political centre: pollsters and political scientists classify a "moderate" as someone whose bundle of beliefs is neither typically left-of-centre nor typically right-of-centre. But if you disaggregate those bundles, many moderates turn out to hold individually extreme positions.

3. Steven Pinker's Harvard Rationality course is available online. I watched many of the lectures while researching for the Rational Minds series I ran at the end of 2020. Pinker's Intro to Psychology lecture 1 is now online too. Subsequent lectures from the Intro course will be published in the coming weeks.

4. Nassim Taleb on being rational about rationality.

5. Last weekend, I shared Lucretius' poem about dancing atoms. This week, Horace on dancing and youth. My Year 12 Ancient History teacher gave us this excerpt from The Odes on our last day of school. I can't find a link to the specific excerpt online, so I've copied it below.


Try not to guess what lies in the future, but,
As Fortune deals days, enter them into your
Life's book as windfalls, credit items,
Gratefully. Now that you're young, and peevish

Grey hairs are still far distant, attend to the
Dance-floor, the heart's sweet business; for now is the
Right time for midnight assignations,
Whispers and murmurs in Rome's piazzas

And fields, and soft, low laughter that gives away
The girl who plays love's game in a hiding-place --
Off comes a ring coaxed down an arm or
Pulled from a faintly resisting finger.

- Horace

Have a nice weekend,