In Praise of Robin Hanson
I don’t read Overcoming Bias often, and when I do, I don’t usually like it. Robin Hanson has a lot of bad ideas. But he has some good ones also, and most importantly, the ideas he has are ideas which only he could have thought of. He takes a lot of risks, and occasionally hits on something mind blowingly insightful.
Of all the economists I know, he is by far the most detached when writing about humanity. If an alien were to arrive on Earth and knew nothing about humans, Robin Hanson would be the best human alive to be their tour guide. Every aspiring social scientist should read at least 3 or 4 of his blog posts, simply to have idea of what to aspire to. Being able to estimate “WWRHS?” is a very useful skill. It’s completely refreshing to read someone who cares so much about societal norms which he himself is seemingly totally unbound by.