Samstack is a newsletter focusing on social science insights, the future, effective altruism, and examinations of human behavior across diverse contexts, including economy, AI, global cultures, and societal norms. It critiques and analyzes unusual practices, public perceptions, and controversial topics aiming to shed light on why people act as they do.

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The hottest Substack posts of Samstack

And their main takeaways
1768 implied HN points β€’ 29 Nov 23
  1. Effective Altruists do some weird things, like considering options like eliminating predators or flipping a coin with huge consequences.
  2. Effective Altruism is about using evidence to do the most good possible, even if some of the ideas seem strange or unconventional.
  3. Being weird is an integral part of doing good - the unconventional practices of Effective Altruists contribute to their impact.
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1114 implied HN points β€’ 25 Oct 23
  1. There are various drugs like Naltrexone and Antabuse aimed at helping with alcoholism, but their effectiveness is limited and some findings are questionable.
  2. Most alcoholics who successfully stop drinking do so without any formal treatment, suggesting treatment efficacy may not be as high as expected.
  3. Alcoholics Anonymous, CBT, and other therapies may help, but their impact on recovery is small and success rates are fairly significant even without treatment.
807 implied HN points β€’ 14 Nov 23
  1. Support for right-wing parties may increase after right-wing terrorist attacks, contrary to previous evidence on political violence.
  2. Discrimination against women for jobs historically held by men has been non-existent since 2009, but there may still be bias in favor of female applicants.
  3. Meta-analyses, like the one discussed, offer valuable insights when designed carefully and with expert input to avoid bias.
1422 implied HN points β€’ 13 Sep 23
  1. Experts may not be as reliable as we think, with evidence showing they often fare poorly compared to ordinary individuals in making predictions.
  2. There's a growing concern about fraud and publication bias in scientific journals, undermining the credibility of experts' work.
  3. While skepticism towards expertise is warranted, there are strategies for the average person to evaluate research validity and experts can still provide valuable insights.
999 implied HN points β€’ 15 Apr 23
  1. It's important for more people to understand AI risks for safety regulations and investment in alignment work.
  2. Consider the balance between AI getting out of control versus malicious actors having access to superintelligent AI.
  3. Think about the potential impacts of advanced AI on various aspects of human life in the future.
884 implied HN points β€’ 27 Apr 23
  1. Emergent Ventures grant program supports talented individuals with various projects, not just projects to improve society.
  2. To apply, have a low-cost, high-potential idea, be a talented young writer or communicator, and be ambitious.
  3. Grant amounts vary based on project, usually ranging from $5k to $20k; application process involves filling a one-page form with a 1500-word proposal.