This week’s links (1)

Collections of papers and articles that I’ve spotted this week that seem interesting. Comments on some of them.

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The Soviet Union: From farm to factory. Stalin’s Industrial Revolution

[This post is part of the Soviet Series]

In 1922, the relatively young Soviet Union was a relatively poor country recently afflicted by a civil war and a revolution. After the Second World War, the USSR was a superpower capable of stopping Germany’s Wehrmacht on its tracks[1]. What happened there?

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On punching nazis and beating fascist kids

Brief comments.

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Bitcoin Volatility

A brief analysis of it I did:

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Yearly review: 2016 in

So here we are, one year later after my last yearly review. How has the blog fared since then?

Recall, this was the number of visits once year ago

Captura de pantalla de 2015-12-31 11-29-20

Now this chart looks like this


So once again, the number of visits in 2016 has surpassed the number of visits in all of the previous years combined, just like in 2015. This is *Trump voice* Amazing, I love all of you */Trump voice*

In 2014 I published 38 posts, 61 posts in 2015. This year I managed to publish 58 posts. That amounts to about one post per week more or less.

This year the blog has also risen in status, being linked by Marginal Revolution a couple of times, once by FT Alphaville, and having finally appeared in Slatestarcodex’s blogroll. I don’t think my blog is quite established in the blogosphere yet, but I take this to be a good signal. Amusingly, Jason Potts said that my blog is like SSC, but for econ and tech. I quite like the comparative :p

There are some differences, though. What is to be liked about SSC, above all, is the author – Scott Alexander- and his charitable way of thinking when analysing something. The writing style is something that seems to be divisive. I love to read it, but I’m left with the impression that the truth/words ratio could be higher (That’s the price one pays for literary enjoyability). This same thing happens with the Less Wrong sequences, but those have an even lower TWR ratio, and the writing style is not as good (but still enjoyable!). SSC has themes that I rarely discuss here, like politics, psychiatry, or medicine. I do focus more on economics, especially economic history, and technology. When I do posts that can be interpreted as politics, they will generally be quite meta, not discussing current events. Currents events tend to be boring.  Other topics that I don’t expect to cover are those related to gender or feminism, as I don’t find those topics particularly interesting. Next year there will be probably less econ history, and the year the blog will probably open with some posts summarising the state of the field in Safe AI research, and a FAQ on veganism, and perhaps also a post finally introducing my’ Weltanschauung ‘.

The main drivers of pageviews this year have been the massively successful Soviet Series, being repeatedly linked to in Marginal Revolution and throughout the internet more broadly. I think I can say today that they are the best source of information in the world for the topics each of them cover. Also of high impact was my post studying technological advances, arguing that there is no technological stagnation, and that this is compatible with an stagnation in productivity. And thirdly, the Non-Non-Libertarian FAQ has also drawn quite an amount of readers. I still expect someone will criticise my FAQ at some point in some blog, because surely there will be mistaken things in it, but I’ll wait until then to revisit it.

To finish, I would like to ask you to leave me comments with those topics that you’d like to see me covering next year.

Oh, and one more thing: I now have a Patreon account, if you want to pay for the great public good that is my blog 🙂

Unrelated to the blog, and you’ll rarely see me talking about myself here, this year I finished an MSc in Aerospace Dynamics (my second MSc degree), and I managed to get a job, and hence be able to stay in the UK. I’ve also met many interesting people this year. Coming to the UK, in retrospective, was a better decision than initially expected.

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On the living standards of animals in the United Kingdom

You’d think you know about it, but you don’t, and I didn’t either until recently, so here’s yet another Nintil post that will enlighten you.

This post might be controversial. Comments are welcome in the comments section. If you think there is evidence that I have not considered, or evidence that I haven’t properly weighted, please let me know.

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In defense of Brennanian epistocracy

I write this article in response to this piece written by Claire Lehmann at Quillette magazine.

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