WHY DO WE ENGAGE IN SELF-HARM?

The reason is that we do not seek survival, but what feels like survival.

Any action that produces the same neurochemicals that we associate to pro-survival actions produces changes in our brain that make us desire it.

For example,

(thread, 1/N)
2/ For example, sugar gives us energy, and we need energy to survive.

When we eat sugar, our brain feels like we are increasing our chances of survival, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT IS THE CASE.

When we slowly kill ourselves through metabolic diseases, it still feels like survival.
3/ Our ancestors whose genes made them produce behavioral-reinforcing chemicals when they did something that increased their survival also tended to survive more.

Hence those genes spread. We ended up desiring repeating the actions that produced those neurochemicals.
4/ The bad news is that we didn't adapt to our current environment but to our ancestors'.

Hence it's possible that in the modern environment there are actions that give us the feeling of survival without actually increasing our survival, or even decreasing it. Eg, eating donuts.
5/ This phenomenon is hidden by our belief that we seek survival. Wouldn't it be rational to do so?

But that's not how our brain works. Survival is evaluated through many proxies, one being neurochemicals.

Hence, it's more correct to say that
WE SEEK WHAT FEELS LIKE SURVIVAL
6/ This was as simplified I could fit in five tweets.

A more precise and detailed description is contained in one of the chapters of my "The Control Heuristic: Explaining Irrational Behavior", which you can get at gum.co/heuristic
or amzn.to/3gsPk8p

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More from @DellAnnaLuca

2 Dec
ON MANDATORY VACCINATION

I'm against mandatory vaccination for vaccines without long-term studies, but as many countries are talking about mandatory vaccination, a few considerations.

(thread)
1/ There are not enough doses to mandate vaccination for everyone in a country, not in 2021.

Therefore, countries that do decide to mandate vaccination will have to prioritize, and only mandate it for some categories of people.

How to prioritize?
2/ We vaccinate individuals for two reason. To protect them, and to protect their contacts.

As a government, it only makes sense to enforce the latter.
Read 8 tweets
1 Dec
WHO official seems involved in a cover-up of a report of the Italian failures in fighting COVID.

The WHO seems to have preferred saving the reputation of the Italian over circulating information that could have saved lives.

(thread, 1/N)
2/ The investigative journalists of the quoted tweet outlet claim that they have emails showing that Tedros knew about it.
3/ The covered report, between others, claims that deaths were underestimated and that the central command-and-control was slow and led to blind spots.

Nothing new – but the news would the involvement of WHO officials in the cover-up. Image
Read 6 tweets
23 Nov
HOW TO PARETO-PRIORITIZE TWITTER

Probably, 20% of the tweets you read deliver 80% of the value of using Twitter.

You'd be a fool not to prioritize your feed.
Here's how I do it.

(thread, 1/5)
2/ First of all, I set up a Twitter List of the 20 accounts from which I get the most value, and I pin it to my Twitter app.

This is my default feed. Because there are few accounts, I can find the time to read all their tweets even on busy days.

For the rest…
3/ For the rest, I use an app called Mailbrew

I created a digest w/ "news" that gets delivered every morning in my inbox. Because it only shows the top 3 tweets by account, it ensures I only read the best

mailbrew.com/?aff=DellAnnaL… (affiliate, but I use it daily since 2 months)
Read 10 tweets
17 Nov
ON STUDENT DEBT
(thread)

1/ The worst possible outcome is forgiving student debt without changing the structural problems that led to this situation.

This would only make tuitions higher & reduce access to higher education, as described below.



[1/9]
2/ As a general principle, solving the symptom of a problem without solving the underlying causes is a terrible idea. It removes the urgency to solve the problem once and for all, making it grow larger.
3/ One question worth asking is, why is student debt not a problem in Europe?

The naive answer: government subsidies to students.

The real answer: contained costs.

The total operational costs for my ex-university in 2018 were "just" $7.8k / student / year.
Read 11 tweets
16 Nov
MORE PARAMETERS DON’T AWAYS LEAD TO MORE ACCURACY
(thread)

Italy assigned to each region a COVID risk level based on a complex model with 21 parameters.

Many experts claimed that the more parameters, the more precise the model.

Is it true, though?

(1/6)
2/ In most real-world cases, more parameters lead to worse predictions.

See the example below (from my gum.co/heuristic) ImageImageImage
3/ If we order the 21 parameters by descending predictive power, and apply it to the data used to build the model, we discover that:
- The first parameter alone predicts the outcome of many regions.
- The last parameter, at most, helps predicting the outcome of a single region.
Read 6 tweets
12 Nov
THE FUTURE OF NEWSLETTERS
(and announcing my new newsletter 🎉)

Too much noise, too little content we actually use.

Take your favorite newsletter. Can you remember the contents of the edition-before-the-last-one?

Me neither. But I have a solution

(thread, 1/N)
2/ Today, I launch the RoamLetter.

A newsletter whose content directly integrates into your note-taking system.

A newsletter whose editions AUTOMATICALLY link with each other *and with your notes* 👏

A newsletter with built-in spaced repetition.

A timeless newsletter.
3/ If you are a Roam user, you'll enjoy how the topics of one edition of my newsletter automatically link with your body of knowledge, and the other way around.

If you are not a Roam user, no worries. You can still use all the other features of my newsletter (pics below)
Read 13 tweets

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