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Encouraging epistemic modesty, scout mindset and generating new ideas, should be considered among the most effective things people can do for world peace.

This post left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wanted to briefly touch on why:

1. You say that the right time to act is now, but this is extremely ambiguous.

What should people do now? Maybe you're referring to some of the actions mentioned later in the post like "consciously deciding if this is worth your time" and "doing research".

This reminds me of a scene from Friends where one of the characters says that he has a plan. And his plan is that someone should come up with a new plan.

And there seems to be an inconsistency in your approach. You say there is a "slow increase in calls for research, increase in funds and increased public attention." Instead, we should... call for more research??

2. You say that the right method is research, but your support for this is not strong.

You say you looked for different theories of war on the 80,000 hours website. I think this pays too much deference to the 80k team. They're smart, but not all-knowing. There are other people with views on war. I searched Google Books for "theories of war" and got 4.9 million results. If someone writes up the 5 millionth book on war, is that a tractable way of reducing war?

More generally, the existence of research and the existence of easily comprehensible and actionable plans are two different things. 

And are different theories of war even the right topic of research to focus on in the first place? There are other things that it could be helpful to understand (e.g. effective activism tactics, moral circle expansion, technical capabilities of weapons systems, the history of military/political leaders).

And is research the right course of action? How about political lobbying? How about relief for refugees? How about grassroots activism?

It seems like the sum of your reasoning on this is that the scope of nuclear war is really large. So figuring out how to stop nuclear war would be really good. So we should figure out how to stop nuclear war. Much of the rest of your post felt like applause lights.

ESH - A guide to forming habits you'll keep

This is a great post! One thing I'd suggest is adding a little more to your "how we produced these results" section. For example, it's standard for meta-analyses to include the search terms used to select papers. It'd be helpful to have that included here (or in a supplemental document) as well.

Free money from New York gambling websites

Just curious, how was the expected value calculated? Wouldn’t this depend on the bets you make?

Stress - effective ways to reduce it

I only poked around the studies you listed a little, but there were a few things I noticed that made me more skeptical of the evidence:

  • I was initially surprised the SKY intervention made the list of primary recommendations. One of the studies comes from The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine  and the other is based off of a sample of 21 veterans with PTSD. Surely there are cheap interventions with better evidence bases?
  • It seems like you're comparing apples and oranges for many of these interventions. Some interventions measure cortisol levels, some use self-reports, some use blood pressure. A 20% reduction in one will not translate to a 20% reduction in another. And presumably, what matters for the sake of this post is a reduction in stress, something that's not measured directly by many of these studies.
  • It seems like you're simply taking a raw average  of all the studies within an intervention category to come up with an overall effect size. But this is invalid because some studies are higher quality and more informative than others (because of sample size, study design, etc.).
[Creative Writing Contest] All the People You Could Come to Love

This was wonderful! I felt my eyes water a bit as Ethan was walking away. Thank you for writing this.

[Creative Writing Contest] Average Joe

Thank you for writing this! I hadn't read anything before about Salk, and this was a very well written brief bio. I especially liked that you kept his name hidden until the middle of the story. Up until then, I thought this was entirely fictional. The idea that a REAL person could save thousands of lives is  inspiring and the feeling comes through in your writing

Philosophy Web - Project Proposal

This may be of interest. Several of the links on this website have the user test the consistency of their philosophical beliefs.

(Video) You (Probably) Shouldn't Go To College

You three days ago:

Do you NEED an art degree to become a successful artist?

You yesterday:

Did you have to [go to Julliard] in order to become a successful musician?

I think it's fair for me to characterize your argument as:

You don't have to go to college to be  successful.

I agree that this discussion is unlikely to lead to anything productive. I encourage you to concede that going to college is actually a benefit for most people.

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