Rachael (woodpijn) wrote,

A few more Scott Alexander links

A couple more Scott Alexander posts I'm wishing I'd mentioned in my post last week are https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/02/23/in-favor-of-niceness-community-and-civilization/ and https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/03/24/guided-by-the-beauty-of-our-weapons/ , which are excellent arguments for arguing logically and in good faith rather than taking the importance of one's cause as an excuse for fighting dirty. "Logical debate has one advantage over narrative, rhetoric, and violence: it’s an asymmetric weapon. That is, it’s a weapon which is stronger in the hands of the good guys than in the hands of the bad guys. ... Violence is a symmetric weapon; the bad guys’ punches hit just as hard as the good guys’ do."

Also, shout-outs for a couple of his latest posts: https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/covidvitamin-d-much-more-than-you , which is a great example of one of his examinations of the state of research in some area in science or medicine, where he points out some of the logical and statistical errors the researchers make; and https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/book-review-the-cult-of-smart , which is a very interesting essay on intelligence and meritocracy and credentialism and so on (it's ostensibly a book review, but to a large extent he just uses the book as a jumping-off point for his own opinions on the topic, which makes it more interesting IMO than the phrase "book review" suggests). I don't agree with everything he says in this one, but I commend it to @Stark as an example of Scott getting emotional and impassioned about something (in part III).
Tags: scott alexander

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