This is loosely a follow-up of sorts to Have Mercy, although it lacks the beautiful serendipity of that essay’s title. (I promsise I did not name the character Mercy to enable the clever subsequent deployment.) Its Wall of Disclaimers continues to apply. If you are generally interested in followups to Have Mercy, consider Ozy’s Have Lyle.
I. I Support Intervening To Increase The Frequency Of Reversal Tests
There’s a template for thought experiments that I’ve always really liked called the “reversal test“. In brief: Suppose you object to a proposed intervention to make some some thing more or less. The thing (and accordingly the means by which it might be increased or lessened) could be whatever. Total world population of mosquitoes. Frosting/cake ratio. Fraction of movies with female protagonists. Because of status quo bias, you might be objecting to the intervention on this quantity because…
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