Use this thread to post things that are awesome, but not awesome enough to be full posts. Consider giving your comment a brief title to improve readability.

(Here's the last Open Thread, for reference.)




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Suggested project for someone curious:

There are EA profiles of interesting influential (or influentially uninfluential) social movements - the Fabians, the neoliberals, the General Semanticists. But no one has written about the biggest: the scientific revolution in Britain as intentional intervention, a neoliberal style coterie.

A small number of the most powerful people in Britain - the Lord Chancellor, the king's physicians, the chaplain of the Elector Palatine / bishop of Chester, London's greatest architect, and so on - apparently pushed a massive philosophical change, founded some of the key institutions for the next 4 centuries, and thereby contributed to most of our subsequent achievements.


  • Elizabethan technology and institutions before Bacon. Scholasticism and mathematical magic
  • The protagonists: "The Invisible College"
  • The impact of Gresham College and the Royal Society (sceptical empiricism revived! Peer review! Data sharing! efficient causation! elevating random uncredentialed commoners like Hooke)
  • Pre-emptive conflict management (Bacon's and Boyle's manifestos and Utopias are all deeply Christian)
  • The long gestation: it took 100 years for it to bear any fruit (e.g. Boyle's law, the shocking triumph of Newton); it took 200 years before it really transformed society. This is not that surprising measured in person-years of work, but otherwise why did it take so long?
  • Counterfactual: was Bacon overdetermined by economic or intellectual trends? If it was inevitable, how much did they speed it up?
  • Somewhat tongue in cheek cost:benefit estimate.

This was a nice introduction to the age.

Thanks for posting these open threads John, I think that they were very valuable in the past. But now that we have shortform, I'm less sure we need these Open Thread posts.

That occurred to me, but I've noticed myself feeling more willing to post in an Open Thread than post as shortform. LW also has shortform, but despite that, their monthly Open Threads are seeing a lot of activity:

ok then, nevermind :)

EA Mental health using SlateStarCodex data.

Running some analysis on the SlateStarCodex Survey results of this year. EAs are less mentally ill than non-EAs, who are less mentally ill than respondents who identify as "sort of" EA. From this we should conclude that all three groups are all basically the same, because the difference is not significant at all.

Link to original comment & code, which I think nobody saw: Here.

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