TagLast edit: 16 Sep 2020 21:45 UTC by Ruby

Betting is staking money (or some other form of value) on one’s beliefs. It is considered rationally virtuous to bet on one’s beliefs, as the real stakes force one to actually consider precisely what they anticipate will really happen. LessWrong has a culture of betting.

See also: Prediction Markets, Forecasting & Prediction, Forecasts (Specific Predictions)

Why is betting important?

The argument in favor of betting is that one should generally either accept a proposed bet, in order to make money in expectation, or update their beliefs so the bet becomes unprofitable. There are exceptions to this rule, some theoretical, such as the example of Omega and Omicron, and some practical, such as uncertainty about whether the bet will be fulfilled. Offering a bet forces someone to think more carefully and share their beliefs more precisely. Losing a bet, even small, can make it more emotionally visceral in a way that might lead to sharpening belief calibration more. Bets can be made about beliefs that can be immediately verified or about beliefs that will only be verifiable in the future.

In popular culture, this idea is often referred to as “putting one’s money where one’s mouth is”.

A Bet is a Tax on Bullshit mentions that:

In fact, the NYTimes should require that Silver, and other pundits, bet their beliefs. Furthermore, to remove any possibility of manipulation, the NYTimes should escrow a portion of Silver’s salary in a blind trust bet. In other words, the NYTimes should bet a portion of Silver’s salary, at the odds implied by Silver’s model, randomly choosing which side of the bet to take, only revealing to Silver the bet and its outcome after the election is over. A blind trust bet creates incentives for Silver to be disinterested in the outcome but very interested in the accuracy of the forecast.

In What Does the Betting Norm Tax?, Bryan Caplan says that such a norm should also be present among scholars.

Operationalization for Bets

Operationalizing a belief is the practice of transforming a belief into a bet with a clear, unambiguous resolution criteria. Sometimes this can be difficult, but there can be ways around some difficulties as explained in Tricky Bets and Truth-Tracking Fields. The same challenges are present for prediction markets.

Prediction Markets

A prediction market is a way for everyone to participate in betting on a particular question. A positive externality of prediction markets, and to a lesser extent bets, is providing a reliable probability on its questions. It can also act as an insurer. 34 Truthcoin, an idea for a decentralized prediction market, has the slogan “Making cheap talk expensive”.

Long Bets is also a useful platform to make certain bets.

The purpose of Long Bets is to improve long–term thinking. Long Bets is a public arena for enjoyably competitive predictions, of interest to society, with philanthropic money at stake. The Long Now Foundation furnishes the continuity to see even the longest bets through to public resolution. This website provides a forum for discussion about what may be learned from the bets and their eventual outcomes.

However, Long Bets hasn’t good incentives to make long term bets as explained by Jeff Kaufman in Long Bets by Confidence Level.

See also:

External links:

Even Odds

Scott Garrabrant12 Jan 2014 7:24 UTC
67 points
47 comments3 min readLW link

The Kelly Criterion

Zvi15 Oct 2018 21:20 UTC
97 points
24 comments3 min readLW link

Bets, Bonds, and Kindergarteners

jefftk3 Jan 2021 21:20 UTC
404 points
35 comments2 min readLW link1 review

Bet­ting Thread

Amandango20 Oct 2020 2:17 UTC
33 points
2 comments1 min readLW link

[Link] Bet Your Friends to Be More Right

katydee8 Nov 2013 21:12 UTC
11 points
4 comments1 min readLW link

Bet­ting with Manda­tory Post-Mortem

abramdemski24 Jun 2020 20:04 UTC
91 points
14 comments1 min readLW link

The Bayesian Tyrant

abramdemski20 Aug 2020 0:08 UTC
132 points
21 comments6 min readLW link1 review

The Kelly Cri­te­rion in 3D

lsusr20 Feb 2021 8:21 UTC
44 points
17 comments2 min readLW link

A con­crete bet offer to those with short AGI timelines

9 Apr 2022 21:41 UTC
193 points
117 comments5 min readLW link

Of ar­gu­ments and wagers

paulfchristiano10 Jan 2020 22:20 UTC
52 points
6 comments6 min readLW link

A method for fair bar­gain­ing over odds in 2 player bets!

Agrippa Kellum11 Jan 2020 1:18 UTC
11 points
9 comments2 min readLW link

Bets and updating

Eigil Rischel7 Oct 2019 23:06 UTC
31 points
3 comments2 min readLW link

Risk aver­sion does not ex­plain peo­ple’s bet­ting behaviours

Stuart_Armstrong20 Aug 2012 12:38 UTC
19 points
36 comments2 min readLW link

Bet or up­date: fix­ing the will-to-wa­ger assumption

cousin_it7 Jun 2017 15:03 UTC
59 points
61 comments1 min readLW link

Buy In­surance—Bet Against Yourself

MBlume26 Nov 2010 4:48 UTC
42 points
69 comments2 min readLW link

The Ineffi­cient Mar­ket Hypothesis

lsusr24 Apr 2020 7:33 UTC
70 points
19 comments2 min readLW link

Look for the Next Tech Gold Rush?

Wei_Dai19 Jul 2014 10:08 UTC
69 points
115 comments1 min readLW link

Kelly bettors

DanielFilan13 Nov 2018 0:40 UTC
23 points
3 comments10 min readLW link

Kelly Bet on Everything

Jacob Falkovich10 Jul 2020 2:48 UTC
99 points
21 comments5 min readLW link2 reviews

Free Money at Pre­dic­tIt?

Zvi26 Sep 2019 16:10 UTC
49 points
17 comments6 min readLW link

Who wants to be a Million­aire?

Bucky1 Feb 2019 14:02 UTC
29 points
1 comment11 min readLW link

The Apoca­lypse Bet

Eliezer Yudkowsky9 Aug 2007 17:23 UTC
47 points
51 comments1 min readLW link

Note­book for gen­er­at­ing fore­cast­ing bets

Amandango26 Sep 2020 20:36 UTC
25 points
0 comments1 min readLW link

Bet On Biden

sapphire17 Oct 2020 22:03 UTC
38 points
89 comments2 min readLW link

Kelly Bet or Up­date?

abramdemski2 Nov 2020 20:26 UTC
49 points
23 comments7 min readLW link

[Question] Is this a good way to bet on short timelines?

Daniel Kokotajlo28 Nov 2020 12:51 UTC
16 points
8 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] How can I bet on short timelines?

Daniel Kokotajlo7 Nov 2020 12:44 UTC
43 points
16 comments2 min readLW link

Calcu­lat­ing Kelly

abramdemski22 Feb 2021 17:32 UTC
34 points
18 comments3 min readLW link

Spec­u­la­tions Con­cern­ing the First Free-ish Pre­dic­tion Market

mike_hawke31 Mar 2021 3:20 UTC
29 points
11 comments2 min readLW link

Pre­dic­tion Mar­kets are for Out­comes Beyond Our Control

lsusr9 Feb 2022 9:54 UTC
51 points
23 comments1 min readLW link

Bet on Rare Un­de­sir­able Out­comes when Seed­ing a Pre­dic­tion Market

lsusr10 Feb 2022 0:20 UTC
33 points
8 comments2 min readLW link

Re­ward Good Bets That Had Bad Outcomes

Neel Nanda22 Feb 2022 0:25 UTC
44 points
11 comments8 min readLW link

How to place a bet on the end of the world

DirectedEvolution20 Apr 2022 18:24 UTC
26 points
12 comments2 min readLW link

The Ca­plan-Yud­kowsky End-of-the-World Bet Scheme Doesn’t Ac­tu­ally Work

lsusr25 Feb 2023 18:57 UTC
3 points
14 comments2 min readLW link

Con­ced­ing a short timelines bet early

Matthew Barnett16 Mar 2023 21:49 UTC
129 points
16 comments1 min readLW link

If a tree falls on Sleep­ing Beauty...

ata12 Nov 2010 1:14 UTC
130 points
28 comments8 min readLW link

Com­pet­i­tive Truth-Seeking

SatvikBeri1 Nov 2017 12:06 UTC
62 points
8 comments1 min readLW link

Zero­ing Out

Zvi5 Nov 2017 16:10 UTC
45 points
8 comments4 min readLW link

Tech­niques for prob­a­bil­ity estimates

Scott Alexander4 Jan 2011 23:38 UTC
98 points
60 comments7 min readLW link

On Robin Han­son’s Board Game

Zvi8 Sep 2018 17:10 UTC
49 points
15 comments17 min readLW link

The Art of the Overbet

Zvi19 Oct 2018 14:00 UTC
55 points
6 comments6 min readLW link

1001 Pre­dic­tionBook Nights

gwern8 Oct 2011 16:04 UTC
72 points
49 comments1 min readLW link

Bet Pay­off 1: OpenPhil/​MIRI Grant Increase

Ben Pace9 Nov 2017 18:31 UTC
15 points
11 comments1 min readLW link

An in­vest­ment anal­ogy for Pas­cal’s Mugging

[deleted]9 Dec 2014 7:50 UTC
9 points
36 comments1 min readLW link

Limits of Cur­rent US Pre­dic­tion Mar­kets (Pre­dic­tIt Case Study)

aphyer14 Jul 2020 7:24 UTC
188 points
49 comments7 min readLW link

Pre­dic­—Track your calibration

Eliezer Yudkowsky14 Oct 2009 0:08 UTC
41 points
53 comments1 min readLW link

Buy Now Or For­ever Hold Your Peace

Eliezer Yudkowsky4 Feb 2008 21:42 UTC
35 points
58 comments1 min readLW link

Mitt Rom­ney’s $10,000 bet

MileyCyrus12 Dec 2011 2:14 UTC
50 points
26 comments1 min readLW link

Meetup Notes: Ole Peters on ergodicity

Orborde3 Nov 2019 23:31 UTC
32 points
13 comments4 min readLW link

A Story of Kings and Spies

Joshua_Blaine11 Jun 2014 23:54 UTC
37 points
33 comments6 min readLW link

Pre­dic­tIt: Pres­i­den­tial Mar­ket is In­creas­ingly Wrong

Zvi18 Oct 2020 22:40 UTC
37 points
28 comments4 min readLW link

My Bet Log

philh19 Mar 2020 21:10 UTC
16 points
3 comments2 min readLW link

On­go­ing free money at PredictIt

knite11 Nov 2020 4:06 UTC
12 points
22 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] Recom­men­da­tion for a good in­ter­na­tional event bet­ting site like pre­dic­

df fd7 Dec 2020 9:09 UTC
6 points
2 comments1 min readLW link

[link] Bet­ting on bad futures

fortyeridania22 Sep 2012 15:50 UTC
27 points
20 comments1 min readLW link

Kelly isn’t (just) about log­a­r­ith­mic utility

SimonM23 Feb 2021 12:12 UTC
34 points
41 comments4 min readLW link

Kelly *is* (just) about log­a­r­ith­mic utility

abramdemski1 Mar 2021 20:02 UTC
89 points
21 comments12 min readLW link1 review

A non-log­a­r­ith­mic ar­gu­ment for Kelly

Bunthut4 Mar 2021 16:21 UTC
23 points
10 comments2 min readLW link

Kelly Bet­ting Discussion

Raemon12 Mar 2021 0:10 UTC
20 points
1 comment1 min readLW link

The EMH is False—Spe­cific Strong Evidence

sapphire18 Mar 2021 18:38 UTC
60 points
83 comments6 min readLW link

Vio­lat­ing the EMH—Pre­dic­tion Markets

sapphire28 Mar 2021 4:05 UTC
40 points
9 comments4 min readLW link

A (some­what beta) site for em­bed­ding bet­ting odds in your writing

Optimization Process2 Jul 2021 1:10 UTC
51 points
7 comments1 min readLW link

How the Equiv­a­lent Bet Test Ac­tu­ally Works

Erich_Grunewald18 Dec 2021 11:17 UTC
4 points
1 comment4 min readLW link

[Question] How to Le­gally Con­duct “Ra­tion­al­ist Bets” in Cal­ifor­nia?

Davis_Kingsley9 Feb 2022 8:16 UTC
9 points
8 comments1 min readLW link

IMO challenge bet with Eliezer

paulfchristiano26 Feb 2022 4:50 UTC
163 points
25 comments3 min readLW link

Ex­pected Value vs. Ex­pected Growth

tom-pollak5 Jun 2022 18:48 UTC
3 points
1 comment2 min readLW link

Oper­a­tional­iz­ing two tasks in Gary Mar­cus’s AGI challenge

Bill Benzon9 Jun 2022 18:31 UTC
12 points
3 comments8 min readLW link

Wanna bet?

ThomasJ9 Oct 2022 21:26 UTC
4 points
2 comments2 min readLW link

Austin LW meetup notes: The FTX Affair

jchan22 Nov 2022 14:01 UTC
20 points
3 comments16 min readLW link

Ra­tion­al­ism and so­cial rationalism

philosophybear10 Mar 2023 23:20 UTC
17 points
5 comments10 min readLW link
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