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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Aug 31, 2018

Commenters on yesterday’s post brought up an important point: sometimes bureaucracies aren’t just inefficient information gathering and processing mechanisms. Sometimes they’re the active ingredient in a plan.

Imagine there’s a new $10,000 medication. Insurance companies are legally required to give it to people...

Aug 31, 2018

A surprisingly common part of my life: a patient asks me for a doctor’s note for back pain or something. Usually it’s a situation like their work chair hurts their back, and their work won’t let them bring in their own chair unless they have a doctor’s note saying they have back pain, and they have no doctor...

Aug 29, 2018

Say a prayer for John McCain
Who passes from his earthly pain
His eyes are shut upon his brow
He warmongers to angels now

Beyond the sky, where sorrows cease
He rails against the Prince of Peace.
The Holy Spirit, full of love
McCain denounces as “a dove”

All of the weak and the cowardly policies
Heaven pursues that...

Aug 24, 2018

[Content note: reading this post might cause feelings of suffocation or provoke panic attacks in susceptible individuals. Epistemic status is very speculative.]

Last month I moved into a small cottage behind a big group house. The cottage is lovely. The big group house is also lovely, but the people in it started...

Aug 22, 2018

Effective altruism (“EA”) is a movement dedicated to redirecting charity-related resources to the most important and successful charities. In practice this involves a lot of research into how important various problems are, and how well various charities work. Some of this research is done by well-funded...