If you're here looking for my older writings, here's an overview of what I consider the best posts on this blog. They are ordered chronologically within categories. If you're only going to read one, go with either From Personal to Prison Gangs or The Broken Chain Problem.
Posts on How the World Works
- Theory of Extreme Wealth: High-wealth occupations mainly solve coordination problems.
- Rich People Pay Consumption Tax: Running a business gives a person de-facto tax options which cannot be changed by any reasonable tax code.
- Coordination Economy: The main economic bottlenecks across most industries most of the time are coordination problems.
- College Costs, part I and part II: I follow the money to find the root cause of college cost growth, and find a cambrian explosion in course topics driving small class sizes.
- From Personal to Prison Gangs: Increased regulation, litigation, licensing, credentialism, stereotyping and tribal identity are all driven by community growth.
- Post-Scarcity: "Post-scarcity" worlds, as we usually think of them, will still have scarcity in the form of signalling goods, and developed countries are already most of the way to such a world.
- Computational Limits of Empire: Pre-modern empires tend to max out around 60M people. The US hit 60M around 1890 - right when IBM was created to handle the census.
Political or Semipolitical Posts
- The Problem with Atheism and The Value of Religion, By an Atheist: Atheists need to accept that religion does offer real value, God or no, and change messaging to say "look, you can still get this value even without God existing per se".
- How to Implement a National Popular Vote: Could probably be done by half a dozen people working full-time for a year.
- Summers' Hypothesis: Summers' hypothesis seeks to explain the STEM gender gap by the difference in IQ variance across genders. I got so tired of seeing people incorrectly "refute" this by looking at means (not variances) that I decided to run some numbers myself.
- The Immigrant Superbug: A parable of science and politics.
- Prerequisites for UBI: Universal basic income would be great in a sufficiently post-scarcity economy, but what exactly does "sufficiently post-scarcity" mean? This post answers.
- Kosher Hot Dogs: Religious restrictions can create real market value.
- What Signalling Feels Like: Guess post, title says it all.
- The Broken Chain Problem: Unifying principle behind four parables.
- Be More Evil: In the movies, Good is Dumb. So when real-world people try to act good, they mostly end up acting dumb.
- The Scientific Bottleneck: The main bottleneck to progress across multiple scientific fields is a lack of mathematical theory for adaptive systems.
- What's the Point of Capital Markets?: Under what circumstances does trading in capital markets generate positive-sum gains, versus zero-sum gambles?