Follow Up: Predictions as a Substitute For Reviews

In August I wrote about using PredictionBook as a substitute for weekly reviews. Several months later, I am rather predictably not using it, for the same reason weekly reviews stop working: it reminded me of something I endorsed doing but didn’t finish, and that put an ugh field around the whole thing.

Weirdly, I re-picked-up that thing a week ago. This was completely independent: I haven’t looked at PredictionBook since September. I don’t think this has any bearing on the viability of predictions substituting for reviews, it’s just a cute coincidence.

Interview with former cult member Duncan Horst

As my twitter followers already know, I started a deep dive on cults back in September. To the extent I had a goal for this, it was “figure out behaviors that differentially push you away from actual cults, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater”.

I mentioned this to a friend, who suggested I talk to a friend of hers, Duncan. Apparently Duncan gets this request a lot, because his condition for talking to me was that we record the conversation so he can share it with the next person who asks. We had mixed success at this- the audio quality was horrible for the first section of our conversation, and the transcriptionists had limited ability to save it.

But the second half got quite interesting. Some highlights:

  • Duncan got a lot from the cult and would make the same decision again (and then leave again).
  • If power is creepy, only creeps will have power.
  • How society interacts with strong belief.

Part 1 video (low quality) and transcript
Part 2 video (much better quality) and transcript

These calls lasted 2 hours and I still had more I wanted to talk about, so I suspect you do too. Duncan has indicated a strong willingness to answer more questions, as long as they are interesting. So if there’s anything you’re dying to know after listening/reading these, comment here, @ me on Twitter, email me at, etc.

Thanks to Patreon patrons and Duncan for helping to defray the cost of the transcripts.