Readings & Past Writings


(selected in terms of frequency and uniqueness )


I follow closely a list of Ratioalism Blogs. I strongly recommend the below readings:

Where are All the Successful Rationalists?
It’s been 13 years since Yudkowsky published the sequences, and 11 years since he wrote “Rationality is Systematized Winning“. So where are all the winners? The people that jump to mind are Nick Bostr
Beware the Casual Polymath
We live in times of great disaggregation, and yet, seem to learn increasingly from generalists. In the past, an expert in one field of Psychology might have been forced to teach a broad survey class.
Extreme Rationality: It’s Not That Great - LessWrong
Related to: Individual Rationality is a Matter of Life and Death, The Benefits of Rationality, Rationality is Systematized Winning But I finally snapped after reading: Mandatory Secret Identities Okay, the title was for shock value. Rationality is pretty great. Just not quite as great as everyone …

Byrne Cobart's description of rationalism:

Rationalism is a complex subculture that is hard to summarize in a few paragraphs. In one sense it's just a collection of sites that link to one another frequently, but in another sense it's a group of people who have to repeatedly insist that they're not a religion or cult despite having sacred texts, myths, unusual diets, distinctive family arrangements, and marriage rituals.1
One thing rationalists explicitly prize is making quantifiable estimates of low probabilities. In fact, one important branch of their community, Effective Altruism is devoted to making charitable donations from a utilitarian perspective. These decisions are highly sensitive to their underlying assumptions; if you change the moral weight ascribed to chicken suffering, you get a very different answer. In philosophical terms, it's an admirable effort to make first principles explicit, but in practical terms it doesn't get rid of the need to have those principles in the first place.
One thing rationalists implicitly prize is rigorous, quantifiable arguments that lead to very counterintuitive beliefs, such as: we probably live in a computer simulation, it would be a good idea to freeze your body or brain when you die, reducing the risk that a poorly-specified artificial intelligence destroys humanity is the single most important problem anyone could work on, or, in early 2020, that the respiratory disease outbreak in Wuhan was a big deal that would kill vast numbers of people if it wasn't stopped, perhaps by disregarding the expert consensus on masks.

And I believe I belong to the following group that Byrne has described:

The influence of people who read rationalist blogs, but don't self-identify as rationalists, is quite wide—the blogs are very widely followed in technology circles, and anecdotally have a large audience in the more quantitative branches of finance. Identifying as a rationalist is a losing move, because non-rationalists will think it's weird (objectively true!) and rationalists will be relatively indifferent to a personal label

From my undergrad days at Oxford

My undergraduate study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics is basically a reading degree. In case you are interested, I am taking these papers:

  • Comparative Government
  • Political Sociology
  • Marx and Marxism
  • Politics in the Middle East
  • Politics in China
  • Microeconomics
  • Quantitative Economics
  • Game Theory

Quoted by FT

My article about Pret's coffee subscription in 2021 was also quoted by the FT