What can make your relationship survive?

I am trying to understand the results of this paper, which uses machine learning to identify what factors determine whether a relationship between a woman and man survives. The study was done on Germany, but is expected to be applicable to the world at large. The following diagram is a good summary. Let us discussContinue reading “What can make your relationship survive?”

How to gaslight like a guru

True wisdom can only be found if you drop all pre-conceived notions of the world, look within, and engage in years of meditation and introspection. But sometimes it can also be found on Spotify. I recently heard a podcast between Joe Rogan and Sadhguru on The Joe Rogan Experience, and it was as uncomfortable andContinue reading “How to gaslight like a guru”

Zero sum games amongst relatives

It is simultaneously true that everyone in the world is a better person than your relatives, and everybody is somebody’s relative. I used to think that my family was uniquely bad. However, talking to others has convinced me that we are, in fact, much better off. I have a friend who wishes that her relativesContinue reading “Zero sum games amongst relatives”

Biases in machine learning

Today we will be discussing “Capturing failures of large language models via human cognitive biases” by Jones and Steinhardt. The rationality community is organized around trying to compensate for systematic biases in human thought. This movement was arguably started by “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Kahnemann and Tvarksy, and has reached its current state majorlyContinue reading “Biases in machine learning”

No one who controls you can respect you

I will write about a handful of isolated issues before I try and find a common pattern. Elon Musk has been universally vilified (at least on the left) as a tax-evading billionaire who has gotten rich stepping on the backs of working-class Americans. Elon, in perhaps an attempt to prove his naysayers wrong, paid theContinue reading “No one who controls you can respect you”

An idiot’s guide to prediction markets

I have been trying to understand how to form better predictions for a long time. I will use writing this blogpost as an instrument for doing so. I came across an interesting question on manifold.markets, which is a website that gives people play money to predict the outcomes of events unfolding in the world. IContinue reading “An idiot’s guide to prediction markets”

Can we really make YouTube better?

Consider the following abstract from The challenge of understanding what users want by Kleinberg, Mullainathan and Raghavan: The gist is this: when you’re on YouTube, you can do one of two things: You can go down the rabbit hole of watching 57 videos of celebrities farting on camera, which will ultimately cause you to getContinue reading “Can we really make YouTube better?”

The anatomy of a whodunnit

When I would read Miss Marple stories by Agatha Christie, I would almost never be able to guess the killer. I would introduce all sorts of complexities into my guesses: the most suspicious person is obviously not the killer. It is probably the least suspicious, or the most medium-suspicious (median-suspicious?). But regardless of anything thatContinue reading “The anatomy of a whodunnit”

Deconstructing The Office as a joke at the meta level

The Office is my favorite show of all time. Period. I watched it obsessively everyday for about four years, until it was taken away by NBC and plugged into a far inferior viewing experience. Lots of people have written illuminating articles on what makes The Office funny. I’d like to write a much inferior articleContinue reading “Deconstructing The Office as a joke at the meta level”

Where do religious fundamentalists find the motivation

Religious fundamentalists are people who sometimes carry on attacks to spread their version of religion at the cost of others’ lives. Some questions that are often asked of them are: How can you justify killing others in the name of God? Which God asks you to kill innocent people? How can you possibly be representativesContinue reading “Where do religious fundamentalists find the motivation”