Status Regulation and Anxious Underconfidence

Previous: Against Modest Epistemology   I’ve now given my critique of modesty as a set of explicit doctrines. I’ve tried to give the background theory, which I believe is nothing more than conventional cynical economics, that explains why so many aspects of the world are not optimized to the limits... Read More

Against Modest Epistemology

Previous: Blind Empiricism   Modest epistemology doesn’t need to reflect a skepticism about causal models as such. It can manifest instead as a wariness about putting weight down on  one’s own causal models, as opposed to others'. In 1976, Robert Aumann demonstrated that two ideal Bayesian reasoners with the same priors... Read More

Blind Empiricism

Previous: Living in an Inadequate World   The thesis that needs to be contrasted with modesty is not the assertion that everyone can beat their civilization all the time. It’s not that we should be the sort of person who sees the world as mad and pursues the strategy of... Read More

Living in an Inadequate World

Previous: Moloch's Toolbox ( pt. 1 , pt. 2 )   Be warned: Trying to put together a background model like the one I sketched in the previous chapter is a pretty perilous undertaking, especially if you don’t have a professional economist checking your work at every stage. Suppose I... Read More

Moloch's Toolbox (2/2)

Previous: Moloch's Toolbox (1/2)   vii. Sticky traditions in belief-dependent Nash equilibria without common knowledge Cecie:  I could talk next about a tax system that makes it cheaper for corporations to pay for care instead of patients, and how that sets up a host of “decisionmaker is not the beneficiary”... Read More

Moloch's Toolbox (1/2)

Previous: An Equilibrium of No Free Energy   There’s a toolbox of reusable concepts for analyzing systems I would call “inadequate”—the causes of civilizational failure, some of which correspond to local opportunities to do better yourself. I shall, somewhat arbitrarily, sort these concepts into three larger categories:  Decisionmakers who are... Read More

An Equilibrium of No Free Energy

Previous :   Inadequacy and Modesty   I am now going to introduce some concepts that lack established names in the economics literature—though I don’t believe that any of the basic ideas are new to economics. First, I want to distinguish between the standard economic concept of efficiency (as in... Read More

Inadequacy and Modesty

I'm posting my short new book here for discussion: Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck . First chapter below, with the rest to follow over the coming days.   This is a book about two incompatible views on the age-old question: “When should I think that I may... Read More