Reading for May 31st - Should we live forever

I honestly didn’t find most texts wholeheartedly agreeing with me overly interesting, so here is one that does not. Because the text is admittedly rather long (20 pages), just try to read as much as you can (if we can, e.g., discuss the first ten pages more intensively, that’s also entirely fine).

Not part of the official reading, but I stumbled on this article on transhumanism, which might just make for an interesting read as well.


I found some articles / blog posts around rationality super interesting and thought it would be fun to read / discuss them with others. Rationality is concerned with developing accurate beliefs and making good decisions, so, for example, about being aware of your cognitive biases or how and when to change your mind. But we’ll be a bit broader, reading anything interesting and not super commonly discussed, for example, whether science is slowing down.

For whom

Anyone who wants to come! You can absolutely also just show up to a single session, there is no commitment.


Wednesday 18:15 - 20:00 on Wednesday


In the LFW building, which is right across the street from the ETH main building / Hauptgebäude, in room C 11

Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

Past reading

Reading for May 10th and May 17th

We’re going to be discussing The Parable of Talents by Scott Alexander. Please just really try to read that post.

For some context (and especially critiques of the studies cited by Scott), I think this article might be really interesting as well :)

Reading for April 26th - Game theory, Signaling and Schelling points

We’ll be discussing some articles from the game theory sequence. Please try to read the following articles:

Reading for April 19th - Biology, the Criminal Justice System, and (Oh, Why Not?) Free Will

We’re simply reading chapter sixteen of the book Behave by the awesome Stanford Professor Robert Sapolsky. Please try to read the entire chapter, even if it’s 34 pages long; no other reading is assigned :) Though please feel free to come even if you can’t fit that into your schedule, I’m sure the discussion will be most interesting either way ;)

If you want to support the author, I can also very much recommend the hardback of the book!

Lecture recordings by Sapolsky (!) covering large parts of the books content can also be found here.

April 5th - Immoral mazes

We’ll be discussing Immoral mazes (how do situations where it systematically is in people’s best interest to act immorally arrise and work). Please try to read as much of this article as you can / want. If you are really motivated, here is a summary and link collection to further reading, but the discussion will probably mostly revolve around the first article.

March 15th 2023 - Embryonal selection

Please try to read the following articles:

Supplementary reading if you find the time:

March 8th 2023 - Cognitive biases and thinking better on purpose

Please try to read the following articles:

Supplementary reading if you find the time:

March 1st - Is science slowing down

If you can, please try to read this article ahead of time, so we can discuss it. TLDR: It very much seems like science is slowing down, at the very least in terms of how many resources we have to pour in to get new results. For example, we now need 18 times more researches to sustain semiconductor efficiency growth (i.e. halving transistor prices every two years) as in the 70s.