What is metis?

I’m using metis to refer to the nuanced knowledge that lets us apply learned rules to concrete situations in a flexible and adaptive way. It’s like realizing that if you have two apples and your friend Tina takes four of your apples, you don’t have negative apples. You just have zero apples. Also you have a bad friend.

The concept comes from James C. Scott who says in his book Seeing Like a State, “Although there are rules of thumb that can be and are taught, each fire or accident is unique, and half the battle is knowing which rules of thumb to apply in which order and when to throw the book way and improvise.”

What is this blog?

This blog is a lot of things – I plan on covering a lot of ground. Mainly it’s the first step in my plan for world domination, but beyond suborning any readers who cross my path I also plan to cover:

  • Global poverty reduction
  • Writing and creativity
  • Rationality
  • Effective Altruism
  • Books! Especially fantasy and science fiction (i.e. Tolkien, not Elon Musk)
  • Elon Musk
  • And pretty much anything else I want!

I expect that topics will stray from these things a good bit and that the blog will change over time. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!