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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book note: The Up Side of Down

Current reading: The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, by Megan McArdle. Perhaps it will give me some insight into whether or how badly this blog is a failure (because it has generally low traffic and distracts me from other projects) and whether or to what degree positive consequences may result from it nonetheless.

Also, one thing that struck me in Our Final Invention (which I reviewed here) was a quote in it from philosopher Nick Bostrom: "Our approach to existential risks cannot be one of trial-and-error. There is no opportunity to learn from errors. The reactive approach--see what happens, limit damages, and learn from experience--is unworkable." So I'll be reading the McArdle book with some thought as to what are the limits, as well as the power, of trial-and-error empiricism.

UPDATE 1/27: My review.

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