If we can’t lie to others, we will lie to ourselves

Many apparent cognitive biases can be explained by a strong desire to look good and a limited ability to lie; in general, our conscious beliefs don’t seem to be exclusively or even mostly optimized to track reality. If we take this view seriously, I think it has significant implications for how we ought to reason and behave. (See … More If we can’t lie to others, we will lie to ourselves

Less costly signaling

As far as I can tell: The largest component of a Rolex’s price is its elaborate time-keeping mechanism, which may cost around $1000. This mechanism has no effect on the aesthetics of the watch (since you can’t see it). This mechanism is not a useful way to tell time. A quartz watch will keep time more accurately with less trouble. … More Less costly signaling

On Trump

(Warnings: this is a serious post about a serious topic on which I am underinformed. It was written largely in response to a sea of scared and angry rhetoric—not the best conditions for rational discourse. It is in the same spirit as my previous posts, rather than an attempt to be maximally useful. Also I just saw … More On Trump