Open Thread 176
This is the weekly visible open thread. Odd-numbered open threads will be no-politics, even-numbered threads will be politics-allowed. This one is even-numbered, so go wild - or post about whatever else you want. Also:
1: I've heard from five people who, despite sending me entries (and in some cases having me get back to them saying I'd gotten them), somehow didn't get entered into the Book Review Contest. The people I know about are the ones who wrote reviews of The Beginning Of Infinity, Gulag+Kapital+Totalitarianism, Plagues And Peoples, Essay On Man, and Origin Of The Human Mind. If you entered but didn't end up either as a finalist or in the Runners-Up Packet, you're also in that category and should send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP so I can fix it. Send it from a different address than you used originally, in case the problem was that your emails end up in my spam filter. My plan is to speed-judge all of them, then pick one extra finalist which I'll present to you next Thursday, then start voting next Friday.
2: I asked you all to vote on entries from the Runners-Up Packet to promote to finalists. There were three clear winners - the two reviews I posted last week, and a review contrasting Peter Zeihan's Disunited Nations with Bruno Macaes' Dawn of Eurasia. I've already posted a Zeihan review, and I worry readers are getting tired of these reviews and don't have the patience for a semi-duplicate, so I'm awarding the new Zeihan review...some prize to be determined later, like "People's Choice" or something, that doesn't involve me making it a finalist. Don't worry, there will be money involved. If you want to read it, you can find it here as "Disunited Nations (2020) vs. Dawn of Eurasia (2017)"
3: Remember, ACX in-person Bay Area meetup today, Sunday 6/13, at 2 PM at 3806 Williams Rd, San Jose, CA 95117 (a private residence, vaccinated people only). You are welcome even if you’re a new reader, even if you’re not in “typical” ACX demographics, even if this is your first meetup, and even if you’re boring and bad at socializing. Come celebrate that we’re allowed to gather again and that our community has made it through mostly intact.
4: Comments of the week were on Drug Users Use A Lot Of Drugs, where many people pointed out that cocaine works this way too. Coca tea is an over-the-counter stimulant in Peru, which Zach describes as "so smooth, so much less 'buzzy' than with caffeine, that it seems criminal it's not legal in the US", and Harry Deuchar calculates that the average coca tea drinker in Peru might get about 4 mg of cocaine, whereas the average addict gets about 900 mg a day. This helps put a lot of things in perspective for me, like how Coca-Cola used to have cocaine in it - probably this was completely reasonable and a fine choice! (this last sentence is so not medical advice)
5: My father, a professor of medicine working at a VA hospital, is trying to do a study and looking for a biostatistician. He can't pay you unless he gets a grant, which he probably won't, but you could get your name on a potentially pretty interesting paper. Interested candidates should know how to mine data from Vinci/Dart, and preferably have some existing relationship with the VA that can save them a painful and potentially impossible onboarding process. If interested, email me at email@example.com and I'll give him your name.