Open Thread

This is the place to discuss related topics that have not appeared in recent posts. And of course crazy sounding claims that are especially appreciated on this particular day of the year.

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  • zarzuelazen

    Signals from aliens detected

    “BURSTS of radio waves flashing across the sky seem to follow a mathematical pattern. If the pattern is real, either some strange celestial physics is going on, or the bursts are artificial, produced by human – or alien – technology.”

    “The delay between the arrival of the first and last waves of each burst is always close to a multiple of 187.5. No known natural process can explain this”

    “If the pattern is real,” says Learned, “it is very, very hard to explain.”

    Source: New Scientist

  • SanguineEmpiricist
  • Guy Srinivasan

    Anyone have links to papers or code of economic simulations where lots of agents with various and specifiable preferences, loss aversion, time discounting, uncertainty, productivity of different goods, consumption needs of various goods, etc make trades with each other of various goods with specified storage loss, transaction costs, etc?

  • Alyssa Rosenberg explains the Rolling Stone’s debunked frat-rape story this way: “The impulse to magnify the voices of people who report being victims of violence is a powerful one.” ( )

    Such a proclivity would inflate the power of people reporting victimization. But do humans really have this proclivity; if so, why (in evo psych terms)?


    Robin, what do you think caused hunter-gatherers to become farmers? We know farmer quality of life only surpassed forager quality of life in the 20th century, and it seems reasonable that the first few generations of farmers still had the option of becoming foragers again. So why did the transition stick? Was it a religious matter (early sites like Gobekli Tepe were easier to construct by people who lived more sedentary), was it a necessity from a security standpoint (sedentary societies could field more warriors, so even if only one tribe decided to go sedentary all the others had to follow, similar to nations with nuclear weapons or businesses with lower prices or lower ethical standards)? Or something completely different?

    • IMASBA

      Moreover, we know the transition also happened, independently, in the Americas.

    • In a Malthusian world, quality of life is less important than quantity of life, as far as long-term selection effects go.

      • IMASBA

        I’m not quite following you…

  • sflicht