Post Guide

My posts assume a fairly wide range of levels of background knowledge. For that reason, I’ve labeled posts by the estimated amount of background knowledge you’ll need to be able to make it through the post (+ means little to no background knowledge assumed, +++ means lots).

My posts also tend to vary in length a fair amount, so I’ve also included length information for each post.


Somehow ended up here and not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions:

Matter and interactions in quantum mechanics
Pascal’s mugging
Hyperreal decision theory
Dialogue on Newcomb’s problem
Cults, tribes, states, and markets
Two-envelopes paradox
Societal failure modes
A failure of Bayesian reasoning
Infinite ethics
Bayesian experimental design
A simple explanation of Bell’s inequality
Bayesian Occam’s razor
Simpson’s paradox

All posts


Concepts we keep and concepts we toss out (+) (short)
100 prisoners problem (+) (moderate)
Explanation is asymmetric (+) (moderate)
What is integrated information? (+) (long)
History is Lamarckian (+) (short)
Short and sweet proof of the f(xy) = f(x) + f(y) logarithmic property (++) (short)
Overemphasizing disagreement (+) (short)
How to sort a list of numbers (+) (short)
Defining racism (+) (short)
The Scourge of Our Time (+) (short)
The problem with philosophy (+) (short)
Argument screens off identity (+) (short)
Facts about guns (+) (short)
All about IQ (+) (long)
Where I am with utilitarianism (+) (short)
Racism and identity (+) (moderate)
Value beyond ethics (+) (super short)
Two-factor markets for sex (+) (short)
Those who have forgotten words (+) (super short)
Journey into abstraction (++) (moderate)
Is [insert here] a religion? (+) (short)
Gregory Watson (and how to change the world) (+) (super short)
Race, ethnicity, and labels (+) (long)
Comprehensibility of the complex (+) (moderate)
Sam Harris and the is-ought distinction (+) (short)
The spiritual and the scientific (+) (moderate)


Some simple probability puzzles (long)
Seeing, Doing, Imagining (+) (super short)
Query sensitivity of evidential updates (++) (moderate)
Summarizing conscious experience (++) (short)
Simple induction (++) (short)
The value of the personal (+) (short)
Confirmation bias, or different priors? (+) (moderate)
Objective Bayesianism and choices of concepts (+) (short)
Regularization as approximately Bayesian inference (++) (short)
Why minimizing sum of squares is equivalent to frequentist inference (++) (short)
Priors in the supernatural (+) (short)
Patterns of inductive inference (+) (short)
If all truths are knowable, then all truths are known (+) (short)
Variational Bayesian inference (++) (short)
Galileo and the Schelling point improbability principle (+) (long)
Why “number of parameters” isn’t good enough (+) (short)
Bayesian Occam’s Razor (++) (moderate)
A model selection puzzle: Why is BIC ≠ AIC? (++) (super short)
Bayes and overfitting (+) (super short)
The basics of information divergence (+) (super short)
More model selection visualizations (+) (short)
On complexity and information geometry (+++) (short)
A note of ambiguity regarding model selection (+) (short)
Akaike, epicycles, and falsifiability (++) (short)
Gibbs’ inequality (+) (super short)
Some simple visual comparisons of model selection techniques (++) (short)
Bayes and beyond (++) (long)
What is bias? (+) (short)
Bayesian experimental design (++) (short)
Why relative entropy (++) (short)
A survey of entropy and entropy variants (++) (moderate)
Entropy is expected surprise (++) (short)
Inference as a balance of accommodation, prediction, and simplicity (+) (moderate)
Why systematize epistemology? (+) (short)
A failure of Bayesian reasoning (++) (short)
Bayesianism as natural selection of ideas (++) (short)
Against falsifiability (+) (short)
Why you should be a Bayesian (+) (short)
Nature’s Urn and Ignoring the Super Persuader (+) (long)
More on random sampling from Nature’s Urn (+) (short)
Noisy Evidence (++) (short)
Anthropic argument for common priors (+) (super short)
Entropy vs relative entropy (+++) (short)
Fun with Akaike (+++) (moderate)
Consistency and priors  (++) (short)
Dutch book arguments (+) (short)
Cox’s theorem (+++) (moderate)
Maximum Entropy and Bayes (+++) (moderate)
Principle of Maximum Entropy (++) (short)

Decision Theory

The Monty Hall non-paradox (+) (moderate)
Taxonomy of infinity catastrophes for expected utility theory (+) (moderate)
Pascal’s mugging (+) (short)
Timeless decision theory and homogeneity (+) (short)
Timeless ethics and Kant (+) (long)
Dialogue on Newcomb’s problem (++) (long)
Hyperreal decision theory (++) (moderate)
Paradoxes of infinite decision theory (+) (moderate)
Infinite ethics (+) (short)
Free will and decision theory (++) (moderate)
Free will and decision theory (Part 2) (+) (short)
Two envelopes paradox (++) (moderate)
Advanced two-envelopes paradox (++) (short)

Quantum Computing

  1. Quantum Computing in a Nutshell (+) (short)
  2. More on quantum gates (short) (++)
  3. Deutch-Josza Algorithm (short) (++)
  4. Grover’s algorithm (short) (+++)
  5. Building the quantum oracle (super short) (+++)


Matter and interactions in quantum mechanics (++) (long)
Deriving the Schrodinger equation (++) (short)
Wave function entropy (+++) (short)
A simple explanation of Bell’s inequality (+) (moderate)
Statistical mechanics is wonderful (++) (long)
Is quantum mechanics simpler than classical physics? (++) (moderate)
Solution: How change arises in QM (++) (short)


On existence (+) (short)
Against moral realism (+) (short)
Utter confusion about consciousness (+) (moderate)
Getting evidence for a theory of consciousness (+) (moderate)
Constructing the world (+) (short)
Moving Naturalism Forward: Eliminating the macroscopic (+) (short)
Consciousness (+) (moderate)
Metaphysics and fuzziness: Why tables don’t exist and nobody’s tall (+) (short)


The North Korea problem isn’t solved (+) (short)
A shameful history (+) (moderate)
“Beating the drum for justice” (+) (long)
Against the status quo (+) (short)
Some social justice factoids (+) (moderate)
Cults, tribes, states, and markets (+) (moderate)
Inequality and free markets (+) (super long)
One-sentence sketches of 40 papers on inequality (+) (moderate)
TIMN view of social evolution (+) (long)
Low-hanging policy fruit (+) (moderate)
Societal Failure Modes (+) (super long)
Opt-out organ donation (+) (short)


1. Preliminaries (+) (moderate)
2. Causal arrows (++) (short)
3. Causal intervention (++) (short)
4. Correlation and causation (++) (short)
5. Screening off and explaining away (++) (short)
6. Simpson’s paradox (+++) (moderate)
7. Iterated Simpson’s paradox (++) (short)
8. Causal decision theory (++) (short)