Mailbag IV: A New Hope
Popularism & civil rights, GiveWell for downballot races, and more
I want to start by acknowledging that there have been several queries about the opioid epidemic recently. I keep ducking them because I don’t have any good answers, but I am going to read this Stanford-Lancet report on the subject and try to understand their policy recommendations. Once I do that, I might have something more to say.
For now, though, on to the mailbag!
Aaron: You seem to have adopted some practices (like making and tracking predictions) designed to improve your thinking and analyses. Have they worked? Why or why not (and how do you know)? Are there any practices you’re trying to adopt? Are there any practices you’ve rejected as not worth it?
I think the best impact making quantified predictions has had on me, personally, is that it’s helped me refrain from tossing off wildly overstated predictions.
People who have strongly held prescriptive views about policy (people like me) often yoke those views to forecasts about the future that end up being overstated and unprincipl…