The phrase “Measure of Doubt” has two meanings. For one, it refers to Russell’s exhortation that we should never take any claim as dogma. But that doesn’t mean that we should treat every claim as equally likely. The second meaning of the phrase, then, is about “measuring” how much doubt, or credence, to place in a theory based on the available evidence.
We think that this title captures our shared goal for this blog: Exploring interesting ideas in the natural sciences, the social sciences, current events, and philosophy, and in the process, learning to recognize biases, logical fallacies, and ways in which language gets in the way of thinking and talking clearly about the world.
(Banner image adapted from an 1857 painting by Cristiano Banti titled, “Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition.”)
Julia Galef is the president and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, an organization teaching math- and cognitive science-based techniques for effective decision-making. Julia has written about science and rationality for publications including Science, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Philosopher’s Magazine, 3 Quarks Daily, and Slate. In her spare time, she co-hosts the Rationally Speaking Podcast, and gives talks about rationality at universities, organizations, and conferences. Julia received her B.A. in Statistics from Columbia University in 2005. (Read more about Julia on her personal webpage.)
Jesse Galef has built a nonprofit career specializing in media relations, working for organizations devoted to promoting effective altruism, reducing existential risks, and increasing acceptance of atheists in America. His efforts have generated features in outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The Atlantic.
Since moving to Boston, he has worn many hats for the Centre for Effective Altruism, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and the Future of Life Institute – the group whose research grant program Elon Musk kicked off with a $10 million donation. Before that, he spent six years working for the secular movement, including time at the Secular Student Alliance, the Secular Coalition for America, and a few hectic months as publicity director for the 20,000-person Reason Rally on the National Mall.
Jesse graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 with a major in political science and a minor in computer science.