[Remember, I haven’t independently verified each link. On average, commenters will end up spotting evidence that around two or three of the links in each links post are wrong or misleading. I correct these as I see them, and will highlight important corrections later, but I can’t guarantee I will have caught them all by the time you read this.]

1: Rude compounds on Reddit (source, original). Thousands of cocksuckers, shitlords, and libtards, but far fewer cocktards, shitsuckers, and liblords. Also disappointingly few trumpgoblins:

Rude compounds on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/vmw0eu/oc_frequency_of_compound_insults_eg_poophead/

2: DSL effortpost: Is it true that most soldiers don’t (or didn’t used to) really shoot at the enemy? Bean is not impressed with the scholarship behind the claim.

3: Seen on Twitter, taken from General Social Survey: mean IQ by degree by decade. If true, the average college graduate today is close to the same intelligence as the average high school graduate in 1960.



Twitter avatar for @lymanstoneky Lyman Stone 石來民 🦬🦬🦬 @lymanstonekyFrom the perspective of excess mortality, the pandemic in the United States appears to finally truly be over. Image[3:21 PM ∙ Jul 7, 2022


5: This month in nominative determinism: conservative radio commentator Jeremy Boreing.

6:The Economist : COVID Learning Loss Is A Total Disaster. I feel awkward here, because I’d previously predicted that Kids Can Recover From Missing Even A Lot Of School, but I don’t think these are quite as contradictory as they seem at first glance. The article mentions that “Data from a few rich countries suggest that schoolchildren in those places are gradually catching up…by last autumn third-graders in Ohio had made back two-thirds of the learning that was found to have been lost by the start of the 2020-21 school year”, which matches my prediction. The problem is that some middle-income countries without good vaccine access kept schools closed really long, took the excuse to cut funding, let students drift away and not return after reopenings, or that “school buildings have decayed…some were looted or damaged during long closures.”

7: AutoRegex is a GPT-3-based app that converts natural language descriptions into regular expressions, ie “B followed by 2 vowels followed by ld” → “B[aeiou]{2}ld”. I think this is the first AI-based app I might use in real life, good work.

8: After decades of decline, world hunger is rising again, hopefully this is just temporary due to COVID and Ukraine.

9:How likely are results near a significance threshold to reach it with more data? If you get p = 0.08 and then double the amount of data, your experiment will still be above p < 0.05 about 30% of the time.

10: Collapse of a glacier in Kyrgyzstan, best watched with sound on for full dramatic tension. See author’s description and original here.

Twitter avatar for @xruiztruXavi Ruiz @xruiztruImpressive. The collapse of a huge glacier in Kyrgyzstan. The author of the video managed to hide behind a large stone and survived.

[7:47 PM ∙ Jul 10, 2022


11: Stuart Ritchie on the evidence around breastfeeding and intelligence. Lots of studies conflict, we really don’t know.


Twitter avatar for @albrgr Alexander Berger @albrgr

Interesting paper from @ProfNeilT finding that we’ve needed exponential computing power improvements to get linear performance improvements in chess, go, weather prediction, and oil exploration: arxiv.org/pdf/2206.14007… Consistent w/ “ideas getting harder to find” thesis I think?




[9:14 PM ∙ Jul 10, 2022


13: DALL-E generation for “Michaelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Rafael hanging out at the beach, oil on canvas”. Intermediate source here, I don’t know original:

14: I have frequently complained that California governor Gavin Newsom has no characteristics except having good hair and wanting to be President, but I have to admit this is the sort of thing someone with a personality would do: Gavin Newsom Joins Trump’s Social Network Just To Troll Him. The headline seems a bit exaggerated, he is actually joining to “call out Republican lies” to an audience in need of conversion; his first post was about how “eight of the top 10 states with the highest murder rates are red states”. Unfortunately, I hear that all Trump supporters are racist, and I’m not sure that challenging a bunch of racists with “I BET YOU CAN’T THINK OF ANY REASONS WHY SOUTHERN STATES HAVE HIGH MURDER RATES!” will be as devastating as he thinks.

15: 1990s stock photos representing The Internet. Here’s one example to whet your palate:

16: Claim:

Twitter avatar for @jbarroJosh Barro @jbarroAbsolute insanity: The Biden Admin won’t accept 1 million doses of Monkeypox vaccine from Denmark because the FDA failed to do a timely inspection of the plant – even though EU authorities did inspect the plant and approved its product for use in the EU. nypost.comBiden admin snafu leaves 1 million monkeypox doses in DenmarkThe US government spent at least $2 billion developing and manufacturing the vaccine for the national stockpile.[10:57 PM ∙ Jul 11, 2022


17:The Origin Of Two-Spirit And The Gay Rights Movement. Long, detailed, fascinating piece on claiming that the “two-spirits” concept of Native American trans people was invented by white enthusiasts trying to give a noble-savage-based credibility to their own LGBT movements. After reading it, I am only partly convinced - obviously “Native Americans” are an incredibly diverse group, and the specific “two-spirit” framing was some random activists trying to lump everything together in a kind of made-up way. On the other hand, some tribes did have some things which looked vaguely like transgender, probably moreso than Europeans of the same era, and any attempt to describe this is naturally going to be an oversimplification. I think of this as just another battle over how to use history in politics: usually these kinds of articles are written by some leftist saying that conservatives claim the Homeric Greeks were masculine (or whatever) but actually it’s much more complicated than that because [list of inevitable ways ancient civilizations are more complicated than any possible summary]. I think there has to be a balance between claims like “the Native Americans were trans / the Homeric Greeks were masculine, just like us, therefore any arguments against transgender/masculinity are an ahistorical flash-in-the-pan” vs. “everything is so complicated and diverse that you may never draw analogies between historical concepts and modern concepts, or feel inspired by ancient civilizations in any way”. Still, this is a good article and I recommend it.

18: The enigmatic Georgia Guidestones monument was destroyed by vandals/terrorists earlier this month. Marginal Revolution compares it to the Taliban destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas. I did get a chance to hear from an anti-Guidestone acquaintance (they prefer not to be linked, sorry) who reminds people that the guidestones’ “commandments” urged readers to institute a one world language, do eugenics, and reduce the world population by >90% through unspecified means. Still, as Voltaire put it, I may disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to erect 19-foot tall 230,000 lb granite slabs in the middle of Georgia that say it.

19: A few months ago, we heard that Elon Musk was donating $6 billion to effective altruism; since then, nobody has seen or heard anything further. Now a Wall Street Journal article tells the full story: Musk planned to do this, but there was a conflict about it in his inner circle, and the people who were against it won. Having an inner circle sounds tiring and morally fraught, and I’m glad I’ll never be rich enough to have to worry about it.

20: CSPI: It’s Time To Review The Institutional Review Board

21: Jacob Steinhardt on one year of AI forecasting: “While forecasters underpredicted progress on capabilities, they overpredicted progress on robustness. So while capabilities are advancing quickly, safety properties may be behind schedule.”


Twitter avatar for @AJiazhang Deep South SR @AJiazhangSo I while back I ran some numbers that I’ve never seen anyone else run. I correlated the TFR of white women in their 20s to trump vote share at the state level and the correlation was .92. That is an astounding number. Image[2:45 AM ∙ Jul 8, 2022


23: Related (h/t Matt Yglesias):

Twitter avatar for @JeremyLNeufeldJeremy Neufeld @JeremyLNeufeldZoning reform is pro-natal policy “We find a significant negative relationship between land use restrictions and fertility rates across all measures and geographies.” Image[7:47 PM ∙ Jun 29, 2022


I guess this means there’s some really strong correlation between zoning reform and Trump voting share somebody should look into.

24: Dynomight on abortion laws around the (developed) world. Almost no other country is as restrictive as US red states or as permissive as US blue states, even when you take “real world” application of the laws into account.

25: Found this chart on Twitter; does anyone want to comment?


I’d heard unemployment was unusually low because lots of people stopped looking for jobs after they got stimulus checks, but the low employment-to-population ratio suggests that’s not true. And why would net worth for the bottom 50% double in four years - surely you can’t do this just with stimulus checks, right? And why is the budget deficit lower?

26:Criticism of some recent Nutt/Carhart-Harris papers on psychedelics for depression

27: People are trying to do the “we have DESTROYED the chemical imbalance theory of depression” thing again. Several people have asked for my opinion, see these posts I wrote in 2015 (1, 2) for details, I think they mostly hold up well. The one update I’m making is that the tryptophan depletion literature genuinely looks shakier than I thought.

28: Nate Soares of MIRI discusses the AI alignment landscape and why he’s skeptical of most existing projects.

29: Quote Investigator: who invented the idea of optimists seeing a glass as half-full?

30: British MP Penny Mordaunt has dropped out of the race to become Prime Minister, but I enjoyed reading about her career - particularly the incident where she gave a Parliamentary speech on animal welfare and factory farms for chickens, and then later admitted that someone had dared her to use the word “cock” a certain number of times in Parliament.

31: Apparently this is a real shirt you can get, I saw someone wearing it:

32: After some past studies (eg here) showed benefit of cash transfers (think UBI, but much smaller and shorter term), a newer study of $500 to $2000 given to poor families one time only fails to show any benefit to bank account balances, self-rated financial well-being, or self-rated happiness four months later; in fact, the effects trended negative, although that might be an artifact. The researchers conjecture that the money wasn’t enough and just stressed recipients out trying to figure out how to spend it, which made them feel worse. I think you can tell a story where the previous experiments that gave people long-term regular payments were good because they felt stable, and this one was bad because because it was a one-time shock - but for what it’s worth, the researchers had asked experts to predict the results of this experiment, and they had all guessed that it would go well.

33: I used to hope that freedom and tolerance would win in the end because everyone would realize that they were weird and unpopular in some way, and so tolerating weird unpopular people was in everybody’s common interest (cf. “They came for the Communists, but I did not complain…). Since then the world has taken every opportunity to disabuse me of the notion that this could ever possibly work, but I guess it’s still possible to disappoint me. The latest example is /r/forcedbreeding, a fetish subreddit about men enslaving, raping, and forceably impregnating women, which shut down recently to protest Reddit for not censoring pro-Russian subreddits enough. Apparently they’re back up now, but their top stickied post is still a demand that Reddit ban anti-COVID-vaccine subreddits. Another metaphor for life?

34: A few years ago I reviewed Joe Heinrich’s Secret Of Our Success , and included a passage about divination. Hunter-gatherers (it claimed) benefited from divination methods as a randomization device, to ensure they didn’t keep overhunting the same area, or move in predictable patterns that game animals could learn. At the time this blew my mind, but here are some other anthropologists saying it’s “wrong on many essential counts” (h/t Cameron Harwick)

35: Adrian D’Souza on Sri Lanka’s economic crisis. I’d heard a lot about the role of their decision to switch to all-organic farming, but it seems more like a typical case of “leader who wants to say in power borrows lots of money, spends it on popular projects, then can’t pay it back”; the organic farming was partly a fig leaf to cover up being too poor to afford fertilizer.

36: Somebody wished on a monkey’s paw for a room-temperature superconductor, so here is a substance which superconducts at room temperature . . . and a pressure of 267 gigapascals, about the same as at the center of the earth.

37: I like making fun of fact-checkers just like everyone else, but this is some genuinely impressive journalism: how do you go from a single picture of an unusually obese Russian soldier (which doesn’t show up in reverse image search) to figuring out exactly who he is and why it was taken?

38: Did you know: the Bohemian lifestyle is a reference to Gypsies (aka Romani), “who were believed to have to come France from Bohemia”.


Twitter avatar for @FLKDayton Far Left Kyle @FLKDaytonThis was made using the DALLE-2 neural network to extend Michaelangelo’s creation of Adam.

[3:52 PM ∙ Jul 2, 2022