Slatestarcodex Is Back
Last summer, the NY Times threatened to reveal pseudonymous blogger Scott Alexander’s identity.
His response was to blow up any basis for a story:
I deleted my blog of 1,557 posts.
I wanted to protect my privacy, but I ended up with articles about me in New Yorker, Reason, and The Daily Beast. I wanted to protect my anonymity, but I Streisand-Effected myself, and a bunch of trolls went around posting my real name everywhere they could find. I wanted to avoid losing my day job, but ended up quitting so they wouldn’t be affected by the fallout. I lost a five-digit sum in advertising and Patreon fees. I accidentally sent about three hundred emails to each of five thousand people in the process of trying to put my blog back up.
I had, not to mince words about it, a really weird year.
The story of his year is remarkable in many ways. From the outpouring of supporters to behind the scenes intrigue. The reasons behind his response range from practical concerns specific to his work to the philosophical discussion of power and privacy. Something that matters the world to you is vulnerable to being obliterated by some journalist’s “Tuesday”.
Check out the full homecoming post: Still Alive. (Link)
Trevor McKendrick on Slatestarcodex:
If you were a fan of Slate Star Codex you undoubtedly already heard the news, but let me use this moment to sell everyone else on Scott’s writing.
The only person who writes well enough to describe why Scott’s work is so good is Scott but I’ll try my best anyway: his writing makes me feel alive, explains complex topics with rigor yet approachable language, and is regularly laugh-out-loud funny.
It’d be one thing if he were merely rewriting published papers to make them easier to read, or doing groundbreaking research in normal dense language, or only occasionally going deeper on the most important topics of the day.
Somehow he does all of these things, regularly, and better than anyone else I’ve found.
A Twitter thread about Scott’s return that’s worth reading.
One part that describes what makes him so good: “Scott asks big questions across a wide variety of domains and doesn’t rest until he has clear answers. No, he doesn’t rest until he can explain those answers to you lucidly. No, wait, he doesn’t rest until he can do that and also make you laugh out loud.”
Some of his best work you could start with:
I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup – probably the most important piece you can read during our current political times
Beware the Man of One Study – in which Scott describes why I find e.g. nutrition to be a fuzzy science at best
Book Review: Albion’s Seed – Scott’s book reviews are often better than the books themselves. After reading this review you might think about the book every day…
Slatestarcodex has revealed himself to be Bay Area psychiatrist Scott Siskind. He’s not taking new patients but he started a new practice and the website is worth a visit. This post talks about the difference between prescription drugs and supplements and includes a list of his favorite supplements for various conditions. (Lorien Psychiatry)
As the meme goes, men will read Scott’s blog instead of going to therapy.