Marginalia

If it doesn’t fit anywhere else, it’s here.

Dungeons, Dragons, and Scouts

The Scout Mindset. I eagerly awaited The Scout Mindset by Julia Galef, a superb interviewer and a throughgoing disciple of the path of rationality. Galef is interested in being right, finding the truth, and all the ways in which we mislead ourselves. I was expecting,...

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Thumbs up from the US Air Force, and other news

Cautionary Tales - why organisations squander good ideas... I've been so pleased at all the kind comments from around the world about the new season of Cautionary Tales. If you haven't sampled it, please do so. I love working on the scripts and the narration, but I'm...

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What data can’t do, and maths without numbers

The New Yorker reviews "The Data Detective" - a wonderful essay from Hannah Fry titled What Data Can't Do. Go for the anecdote about Tony Blair, stay for the phrase "insidious Kahnemanian swap". Book of the week: Math without Numbers by Milo Beckman. I picked this up...

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Invisible gorillas and indiscriminate doubt

What Conspiracy Theorists Don't Believe. I was delighted to be commissioned by The Atlantic to write about why indiscriminate doubt is at least as damaging as indiscriminate belief - and in particular, that a fruitful way to think about conspiracy theorists is not by...

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