We had a conversation for paid subscribers on January 3. Zvi agreed to have it recorded. The link is below.
We covered where he went to high school and college, his participation in the rationalist community, how he uses Twitter, how he came to be a go-to analyst of COVID, why he found advanced economics courses boring but he finds some economist bloggers interesting, and how he determines what sources to trust. It turns out that in a previous life he was a professional sports bettor and also a securities trader, so I was quite curious about that.
During the question period, one participant asked him about the problem that his knowledge is not “legible” to many people. This is a really fundamental issue. Dr. Fauci has “legible” expertise (his credentials), but he is actually not very reliable by my standards. Zvi is more reliable, but you have to be able to follow his thought process and appreciate it in order to know that.
Zvi suggested that perhaps we need a set of people who specialize in giving credentials to people with domain expertise like himself. I would say that our traditional institutions, like universities and government bureaucracies, were supposed to do that, but they have degenerated. A lot of what I am trying to do with this newsletter is think about alternatives.
I came away with a book to read: Moral Mazes.