ScottAlexander avatar
resolved Apr 20
Which of these interventions will I rate highest on v2 of Biodeterminist's Guide To Parenting?
Resolved
I am working on an updated version of Biodeterminist's Guide To Parenting, which I will post sometime in the next few months. Below, I've listed some interventions I'm considering. Right now, one of these seems most promising (if that changes, I'll figure something out). Your job is to guess which one that will be. I can't prevent other people from adding new options, but keep in mind I will not be evaluating them and they have no chance of winning.
Supplement with choline
Chosen
24%
ScottAlexander avatarEat plenty of oily fish
23%
ScottAlexander avatarUse an air filter
20%
ScottAlexander avatarNatural vs. Caesarian birth
10%
ScottAlexander avatarActivated alumina water filter
8%
ScottAlexander avatarSupplement with Vitamin D
6%
ScottAlexander avatarAvoid touching receipt paper
3%
ScottAlexander avatarSupplement with nicotinamide mononucleotide (for fathers)
3%
ScottAlexander avatarSupplement lutein and zeaxanthin
1.7%
ScottAlexander avatarUse abdominal decompression device
1.3%

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#NameTotal profit
1
Unknown user avatar
Lazy Student
Ṁ1,573
2
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Courtney Grimm
Ṁ537
3
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Eric Miller
Ṁ516
4
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Alex Power
Ṁ461
5
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Simulan Terra
Ṁ422

💬 Proven correct

AlexPower avatar
Alex Power
bought Ṁ120
I have done no research, but after reading the comments, this seems like the option where I'd like to incentivize more research.

💸 Best bet

A trader bought Ṁ200 Supplement...th choline from 15% to 25%
Eric Miller made Ṁ716!
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Lorenzo avatar
Lorenzo
bought Ṁ20
Buying a random one near the bottom since apparently the market is wrong
LazyStudent avatar
Lazy Student
sold Ṁ0
Just spent most of the rest of my fake money betting against air filters. (Quite annoying that I have to do it by buying all the other options, by the way; there should be a shortcut provided for this.) Scott specifically said he's relying on the literature, and the literature for air filters looks mediocre at best. By the way, as for fish oil tablets, they don't exactly "fail". Here is a meta-analysis of 21 randomized controlled trials (in contrast, there's only 1 RCT for air filters, which was negative): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/14767058.2015.1072163?casa_token=tU7CG0KB-ZkAAAAA:6i56IfMrHRlIAsPwp_DOI68OYTALM03qlvW4_qh-80KuomiHxTAwhb83HHZi-CMNoPNEXi_vwTqT "Twenty-one studies comprising 10 802 pregnant women were included. Dietary fish oil was associated with a 5.8-day increase in gestational age of the newborn, a 22% reduced risk for early preterm delivery (risk ratio [RR] = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.64–0.95, p = 0.01) and a 10% reduction in preterm delivery (RR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.81–1.00, p = 0.05). Fish oil supplementation was associated with higher infantile birth weight (51.23 g), birth length (0.28 cm) and head circumference (0.09 cm), and a 23% lower risk of low birth weight. " Now, these p-values aren't that great and I didn't read the underlying studies; I also don't see a funnel graph checking for publication bias. Perhaps there are also competing meta-analyses, I didn't check that carefully. But this is not exactly failing, not obviously anyway.
Accountdeletionrequested avatar
this, unlike some other, seems to have clear and obvious path to significant effects
AlexPower avatar
Alex Power
bought Ṁ80
Somebody at the ACX comments section said they liked this one.
AlexPower avatar
Alex Power
bought Ṁ1
I'm fairly confident this isn't going to be the top pick, but I'm not sure how to short just this one answer. So, a spite dollar.
AlexPower avatar
Alex Power
bought Ṁ120
I have done no research, but after reading the comments, this seems like the option where I'd like to incentivize more research.
AlexHolcombe avatar
Alex Holcombe
bought Ṁ800
The evidence is pretty overwhelming that air pollution is bad for human health (although I don’t know about IQ, unless you count lead, but my understanding is that air filters don’t help with lead much), and air filters remove a lot of pollution. Simple. Most of the other interventions are dietary supplements, which in aggregate have a terrible track record (that doesn’t exclude the possibility that there’s *some* dietary supplement that will help a lot, but the prior is low). Oily fish has the mercury problem (although maybe Scott will get out of that by saying it is possible to avoid fish with non-trivial amounts of mercury), and the failure of fish oil tablets favors a confounding explanation of the observational data. Receipt paper and water filters are probably a good idea based on the same principle as air filters. I suspect the effect sizes would be smaller for receipts and water filters, but I don’t know much about them so I didn’t bet on them partly due to ignorance.
ian avatar
Ian Philips
bought Ṁ50
Let food be thy medicine!
AlexPower avatar
Alex Power
bought Ṁ25
This feels the most plausible of "the field" to me.
LazyStudent avatar
Lazy Student
bought Ṁ1
(Buying 1 so I can comment). I don't understand why people keep buying this option (it's currently at nearly 50%). Is it that the market knows a lot more than me, or a lot less? To clarify: to my knowledge, there was only ever a single randomized controlled trial of air purifiers during pregnancy. It took place in Ulaanbaatar, a heavily polluted city. It was not blinded. It also failed to find any significant results on its primary outcome (birthweight), and a secondary analysis when the kids were 4 years old concluded "We found no benefit of reducing indoor particulate air pollution during pregnancy on parent-reported behaviors in children." Sure, some secondary outcomes were just barely significant at p=0.05, but if that's Scott's threshold for a super-effective intervention, his top recommendation would be vitamin D (it's not going to be vitamin D). I'm new to manifold. I don't know how much to trust the market in this situation; maybe you all have some inside info into Scott's likely choices, or maybe people are blindly going "air purifier good". My guess is this the latter, so I think I will just keep using all my fake manifold money to bet against air purification here. I suppose if it does end up being air purification, I will be extremely impressed with manifold's markets. If it ends up being oily fish (the obvious baseline guess, but one that's been bet down to 33% at the time of this comment) I will be unimpressed; if it ends up being choline (for which I'm almost the only one buying right now, and which would be at like 3% without my intervention), I will be extremely unimpressed.
LazyStudent avatar
Lazy Student
bought Ṁ60
Actually, searching on Google scholar, it looks like my review (from 2018) is way out of date and a lot more research has come out. I didn't look into it yet but it seems promising so far.
NicolasFeltman avatar
Nicolas Feltman
bought Ṁ50
Always bet on air quality.
LazyStudent avatar
Lazy Student
bought Ṁ30
I don't think this is a good recommendation, but it's not terrible either (cost of doing it is small). I'm buying a bit because Scott funded that one "endocrine disruptor logo" grant, which makes me think he takes BPA risk more seriously than I do.
LazyStudent avatar
Lazy Student
bought Ṁ60
Check out my choline in pregnancy literature review here: https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/96vs5d/choline_supplementation_during_pregnancy/ Bottom line: it increases IQ in rats, but the data in humans is not very convincing at the moment. The since there is little risk, I would still advocate for supplementing with choline, but I don't know if Scott will put it first on his list.
LazyStudent avatar
Lazy Student
bought Ṁ100
This one is by far the most mainstream on the list, and was mentioned in Scott's original biodeterminist's guide back on Livejournal.
Accountdeletionrequested avatar
as far as I know that is one of possible helpful, cheap and not harmful ones overall I am really dubious is such market going to be in any way helpful for anything
Accountdeletionrequested avatar
one of few that I know that has chance to make sense, but may not really apply in USA
agabara avatar
agabara
bought Ṁ15
I think this is the only one that is mentioned positively in Expecting Better.
agabara avatar
agabara
sold Ṁ14
I originally bought this because of https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29220711/ and https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31743803/ but think it is overpriced now.
SG avatar
S G
bought Ṁ20
Here for the Bircher-Rationalist synthesis.
Austin avatar
Austin
bought Ṁ15
I know nothing about this field, but Ruth Grace (someone I trust a lot wrt evidence-based parenting) mentioned water filtering & VitD supplementation here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/xocdNsa8At3bmQKm3/how-be-productive-before-your-baby-turns-one?commentId=34kfrN2BwmmZnPXMq