Subjective Probability

BLUF: I found an essay by Nick Bostrom that perfectly coincides with my ideals towards Bayesian probability and how I aspire to consciously hold degrees-of-belief and continually update on evidence. For me, belief is not an all-or-nothing thingβ€”believe or disbelieve, accept or reject. Instead, I have degrees of belief, a subjective probability distribution over different… Continue reading Subjective Probability

Remember Neuroplasticity and Do Not Enjoy That Which Is Not Productive

And remember that you can learn to enjoy many productive actions. Our attachments to activities grow as we do them. We browse Instagram once, we do it a second time, and if we aren't careful, we find ourselves burning over an hour a week on an activity that offers almost no long-term benefit to ourselves… Continue reading Remember Neuroplasticity and Do Not Enjoy That Which Is Not Productive

The DoD can Further Optimize its Retirement System

BLUF: The DoD could probably save money, increase servicemember compensation, and better optimize talent management if it further increased TSP contributions while reducing 20-year retirement pensions. Introduction to the Military Retirement: For decades, the DoD had a retirement system where after 20 years of active-duty service (and upon leaving the service) a servicemember (SM) was entitled… Continue reading The DoD can Further Optimize its Retirement System

Our Obligation to Add Beings to the World

Bryan Caplan brings up some solid points in his post, "Where are the Pro-Life Utilitarians?"Β  I still am inclined to feel that abortions are ethically permissible the majority of the time, but I obviously need to formalize my intuitions, look more closely at this, and possibly change my position if the cost-benefit analysis is clear… Continue reading Our Obligation to Add Beings to the World

Risk-Tolerance is Not a Thing

Traditional finance literature says that individuals may choose theirΒ risk-tolerance in order to adequately model their financial preferences. A person who chooses a high-risk financial option is willing to deal with greater variability; a person who chooses a low-risk option prefers outcomes with low-variability. Underlying these notions is the idea that risk-tolerance is a stand-alone, unique,… Continue reading Risk-Tolerance is Not a Thing

Necessary EA Institutions Part 1: Daily Impact Journaling

Here, I present the case that one aspiring to do as much good as possible with their lives should experiment with keeping a daily log of their impact. Journaling about impact forces one to reflect on what is, by definition, the most important thing in life. This helps hold one accountable for how they spend… Continue reading Necessary EA Institutions Part 1: Daily Impact Journaling

Welfare Stems from Fundamental Physics

It's pretty clear that our subjective experiences stem from activities going on in the brain.Β  You can even test this out by physically altering the brain in various ways, and its owner will report different subjective experiences. Consider, for instance, a concussion: damage to the brain can lead to memory loss, vision impairment, pain, and… Continue reading Welfare Stems from Fundamental Physics

A Singleton Government is not as Dangerous as Omnicidal Agents

Back in November of 2018, I had a brief discussion with the economist (polymath, really) Robin Hanson on Twitter and I'm pretty sure I inspired him to write this blog post.Β  We were discussing essentially whether a strong, central government or free individual agents are going to pose a greater threat to future society.Β  He… Continue reading A Singleton Government is not as Dangerous as Omnicidal Agents

Our Responsibility to Reduce Personal Risk

Insofar as the {expected value of the world with us alive} minus {the expected value of the world with us dead} is positive, we have an obligation to remain alive.Β  Therefore, it is unethical to bear personal risks of death when the expected benefits of doing so do not outweigh the expected marginal benefit of… Continue reading Our Responsibility to Reduce Personal Risk

Rationality+Science+Economics Link List

Center for Applied Rationality - reading list recommended by CFAR. Overcoming BiasΒ -A blog primarily written by famous economist Robin Hanson.Β  This guy invented prediction markets, and he has a lot of interesting things to say. Alexander Kruel's Link ListΒ -Alex posts about 10 links a day on a wide variety of scientific topics.Β  I don't know… Continue reading Rationality+Science+Economics Link List

EA Link List

EA HandbookΒ Β -A solid, moderate-depth introduction to the ideas surrounding effective altruism. Global Priorities Institute Research AgendaΒ -A detailed, formal account of progress that has been made in the field of cause prioritization. nickbostrom.com- Nick is a brilliant Oxford Philosopher with dozens of fascinating essays on important topics.Β  To my knowledge, he basically started the new field… Continue reading EA Link List

College Courses Should be Student-Refined

Most teachers in our society are very well-versed in their areas of focus and have long forgotten what it's like to learn the material for the first time.Β  Even when they are careful, they often introduce lexicon before they explain it, focus inordinately long on easier topics, and inadvertently breeze over more difficult topics.Β  This… Continue reading College Courses Should be Student-Refined

On Leadership Qualities [short essay]

I just found this 2500 character-limit essay I wrote when applying to West Point.  To be honest, I am pretty satisfied with it: From my short time in the Army, I have concluded the most important qualities for becoming a successful USMA cadet and Army officer are humility, balance, vision, grit, and extreme ownership. Humility… Continue reading On Leadership Qualities [short essay]