Fact posts

TagLast edit: 4 Jul 2023 23:22 UTC by duck_master

A Fact post is a piece of writing that attempts to build an understanding of the world, starting bottom up with empirical facts rather than “opinions”. Under this tag, one can find posts that present lots of basic facts about topics.

Fact posts were introduced in Fact Posts: How and Why by sarahconstantin:

The most useful thinking skill I’ve taught myself, which I think should be more widely practiced, is writing what I call “fact posts.” I write a bunch of these on my blog. (I write fact posts about pregnancy and childbirth here.)

To write a fact post, you start with an empirical question, or a general topic. Something like “How common are hate crimes?” or “Are epidurals really dangerous?” or “What causes manufacturing job loss?”

It’s okay if this is a topic you know very little about. This is an exercise in original seeing and showing your reasoning, not finding the official last word on a topic or doing the best analysis in the world.

Then you open up a Google doc and start taking notes.

You look for quantitative data from conventionally reliable sources. CDC data for incidences of diseases and other health risks in the US; WHO data for global health issues; Bureau of Labor Statistics data for US employment; and so on. Published scientific journal articles, especially from reputable journals and large randomized studies.

You explicitly do not look for opinion, even expert opinion. You avoid news, and you’re wary of think-tank white papers. You’re looking for raw information. You are taking a sola scriptura approach, for better and for worse.

And then you start letting the data show you things.

You see things that are surprising or odd, and you note that.

See also

Fact Posts: How and Why

sarahconstantin2 Dec 2016 18:55 UTC
259 points
34 comments3 min readLW link

Body Align­ment & Balance. Our Midline Anatomy & the Me­dian Plane.

leggi22 Aug 2019 10:24 UTC
15 points
6 comments4 min readLW link

Autism And In­tel­li­gence: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Scott Alexander14 Nov 2019 5:30 UTC
76 points
12 comments7 min readLW link1 review

Teach­ers: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Scott Alexander19 May 2016 6:13 UTC
16 points
3 comments22 min readLW link

Kin­der­garten in NYC: Much More than You Wanted to Know

Laura B9 Dec 2018 15:36 UTC
36 points
1 comment11 min readLW link

Fact post: pro­ject-based learning

dominicq2 Jun 2022 20:18 UTC
11 points
4 comments3 min readLW link

Mon­key­pox Post #2

Zvi28 Jul 2022 13:20 UTC
36 points
3 comments6 min readLW link

What per­cent of peo­ple work in moral mazes?

Raemon1 Jan 2023 4:33 UTC
21 points
9 comments4 min readLW link

Me­la­tonin: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Scott Alexander11 Jul 2018 17:40 UTC
120 points
16 comments15 min readLW link

SSRIs: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Scott Alexander8 Jul 2014 2:06 UTC
28 points
2 comments27 min readLW link

Sarah Con­stantin: Oxy­gen Sup­ple­men­ta­tion 101

habryka20 Mar 2020 1:00 UTC
15 points
4 comments1 min readLW link

Epistemic Spot Checks: The Fall of Rome

Elizabeth16 Oct 2019 18:40 UTC
38 points
2 comments8 min readLW link

The Five Main Mus­cles for a Full Range of Nat­u­ral Move­ment, Dy­namic Align­ment & Balance.

leggi1 Sep 2019 3:22 UTC
15 points
10 comments10 min readLW link

Swiss Poli­ti­cal Sys­tem: More than You ever Wanted to Know (I.)

Martin Sustrik19 Jul 2020 1:11 UTC
171 points
39 comments24 min readLW link2 reviews

SSC—Face Masks: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Yoav Ravid24 Mar 2020 6:59 UTC
15 points
2 comments1 min readLW link

Wheat: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Scott Alexander31 Mar 2014 0:26 UTC
21 points
2 comments17 min readLW link

Monopoly: A Man­i­festo and Fact Post

sarahconstantin31 May 2018 18:40 UTC
33 points
65 comments5 min readLW link

Hate Crimes: A Fact Post

sarahconstantin1 Dec 2016 16:25 UTC
10 points
18 comments1 min readLW link

Mar­ijuana: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Scott Alexander5 Jan 2014 20:41 UTC
31 points
4 comments19 min readLW link

Con­sider pay­ing for liter­a­ture or book re­views us­ing boun­ties and dom­i­nant as­surance contracts

Arjun Panickssery15 Jan 2023 3:56 UTC
57 points
7 comments2 min readLW link

Cor­rect­ing a mis­con­cep­tion: con­scious­ness does not need 90 billion neu­rons, at all

bvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbv31 Mar 2023 16:02 UTC
21 points
19 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] For fun: How long can you hold your breath?

exanova6 Dec 2023 23:36 UTC
1 point
7 comments1 min readLW link

Swiss Poli­ti­cal Sys­tem: More than You ever Wanted to Know (II.)

Martin Sustrik22 Jul 2020 13:50 UTC
90 points
24 comments12 min readLW link

On house­hold dust

Nina Rimsky30 Jun 2023 17:03 UTC
75 points
12 comments5 min readLW link

Paper di­ges­tion: “May We Have Your At­ten­tion Please? Hu­man-Rights NGOs and the Prob­lem of Global Com­mu­ni­ca­tion”

Klara Helene Nielsen20 Jul 2023 17:08 UTC
4 points
1 comment2 min readLW link

Sun­screen: much more than you wanted to know

Pierre Vandenberghe28 Sep 2021 10:42 UTC
29 points
10 comments6 min readLW link

Ac­count­ing For Col­lege Costs

johnswentworth1 Apr 2022 17:28 UTC
358 points
41 comments7 min readLW link

More Hyphenation

Arjun Panickssery7 Feb 2024 19:43 UTC
87 points
19 comments1 min readLW link
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