Slate Star Codex

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NYT Is Threatening My Safety By Revealing My Real Name, So I Am Deleting The Blog

So, I kind of deleted the blog. Sorry. Here’s my explanation. Last week I talked to a New York Times technology reporter who was planning to write a story on Slate Star Codex. He told me it would be a mostly positive piece about how we were an interesting gathering place for people in tech, and how we were ahead of the curve on some aspects of the...

Slightly Skew Systems Of Government

[Related To: Legal Systems Very Different From Ours Because I Just Made Them Up, List Of Fictional Drugs Banned By The FDA] I. Clamzoria is an acausal democracy. The problem with democracy is that elections happen before the winning candidate takes office. If somebody’s never been President, how are you supposed to judge how good a President they’d...

Open Thread 156.25 + Signal Boost For Steve Hsu

Normally this would be a hidden thread, but I wanted to signal boost this request for help by Professor Steve Hsu, vice president of research at Michigan State University. Hsu is a friend of the blog and was a guest speaker at one of our recent online meetups – some of you might also have gotten a chance to meet him at a Berkeley meetup last year. He...

The Vision Of Vilazodone And Vortioxetine

I. One of psychiatry’s many embarrassments is how many of our drugs get discovered by accident. They come from random plants or shiny rocks or stuff Alexander Shulgin invented to get high. But every so often, somebody tries to do things the proper way. Go over decades of research into what makes psychiatric drugs work and how they could work better....

Open Thread 156

This is the biweek-ly visible open thread (there are also hidden open threads twice a week you can reach through the Open Thread tab on the top of the page). Post about anything you want, but please try to avoid hot-button political and social topics. You can also talk at the SSC subreddit – and also check out the SSC Podcast. Also: 1. Comment of...

Wordy Wernicke’s

There are two major brain areas involved in language. To oversimplify, Wernicke’s area in the superior temporal gyrus handles meaning; Broca’s area in the inferior frontal gyrus handles structure and flow. If a stroke or other brain injury damages Broca’s area but leaves Wernicke’s area intact, you get language which is meaningful, but not very structured...

The Obligatory GPT-3 Post

I. I would be failing my brand if I didn’t write something about GPT-3, but I’m not an expert and discussion is still in its early stages. Consider this a summary of some of the interesting questions I’ve heard posed elsewhere, especially comments by gwern and nostalgebraist. Both of them are smart people who I broadly trust on AI issues, and both...

Take The New Nootropics Survey

A few years ago I surveyed nootropics users about their experiences with different substances and posted the results here. Since then lots of new nootropics have come out, so I’m doing it again. If you have nootropics experience, please take The 2020 SSC Nootropics Survey. Expected completion time is ~15 minutes. Thanks!

Problems With Paywalls

I. I hate paywalls on articles. Absolutely hate them. A standard pro-business argument: businesses can either make your life better (by providing deals you like) or keep your life the same (by providing deals you don’t like, which you don’t take). They can’t really make your life worse. There are some exceptions, like if they outcompete and destroy...

Book Review: Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind

I. Julian Jaynes’ The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind is a brilliant book, with only two minor flaws. First, that it purports to explains the origin of consciousness. And second, that it posits a breakdown of the bicameral mind. I think it’s possible to route around these flaws while keeping the thesis otherwise intact....

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