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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Nov 23, 2022

I wrote an article on whether wine is fake. It's not here, it's at, the new rationalist / effective altruist magazine. Congratulations to my friend Clara for making it happen. Stories include:

  • Modeling The End Of Monkeypox: I’m especially excited about this one. The top forecaster (of 7,000) in the 2021 Good Judgment competition explains his predictions for monkeypox. If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a column by some overconfident pundit, this is maybe the most opposite-of-that thing ever published.

  • Book Review - What We Owe The Future: You’ve read mine, this is Kelsey Piper’s. Kelsey is always great, and this is a good window into the battle over the word “long-termism”.

  • Making Sense Of Moral Change: Interview with historian Christopher Brown on the end of the slave trade. “There is a false dichotomy between sincere activism and self-interested activism. Abolitionists were quite sincerely horrified by slavery and motivated to end it, but their fight for abolition was not entirely altruistic.”

  • How To Prevent The Next Pandemic: MIT professor Kevin Esvelt talks about applying the security mindset to bioterrorism. “At least 38,000 people can assemble an influenza virus from scratch. If people identify a new [pandemic] virus . . . then you just gave 30,000 people access to an agent that is of nuclear-equivalent lethality.”

  • Rebuilding After The Replication Crisis: This is Stuart Ritchie, hopefully you all know him by now. “Fundamentally, how much more can we trust a study published in 2022 compared to one from 2012?”

  • Why Isn’t The Whole World Rich? Professor Dietrich Vollrath’s introduction to growth economics. What caused the South Korean miracle, and why can’t other countries copy it?

  • Is Wine Fake? By me! How come some people say blinded experts can tell the country, subregion, and year of any wine just by tasting it, but other people say blinded experts get fooled by white wines dyed red?

  • China’s Silicon Future: Why does China have so much trouble building advanced microchips? How will the CHIPS act affect its broader economic rise? By Karson Elmgren.