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Can You Short the Apocalypse?
"If you think a nuclear war is likely, and you sell your stocks, what do you buy? It’s pointless to buy other assets like bonds–the bond markets probably won’t exist. You could buy land but who will enforce your property right? Even cash might be useless following a nuclear war. Maybe some gold coins and canned goods would be useful but you may not be around to enjoy them. If the apocalypse really is coming your best bet is to cash out and spend it all now. But really how much fun would that be? Sure, you could have a great week of hookers and coke but I suspect a lot of people might prefer the cheaper option of a walk in the forest. ... You can’t short the apocalypse. As a result, I am not much comforted by the fact that markets appear steady in the face of apocalyptic risk."
Most Scientific Research Data From the 1990s Is Lost Forever
"most raw data from scientific papers published twenty years ago is unobtainable - either because authors have since changed their contact information and can't be reached or because the data was stored using outdated technology, like floppy disks."
Pathological Altruism
"Oakley defines pathological altruism as 'altruism in which attempts to promote the welfare of others instead result in unanticipated harm.' A crucial qualification is that while the altruistic actor fails to anticipate the harm, 'an external observer would conclude [that it] was reasonably foreseeable.' ... An understanding that altruism can produce great evil as well as good is crucial to the defense of human freedom and dignity."