Who do you want to be in charge of deciding which lies were ‘plainly a deliberate creation’ and have ‘caused harm’, vs which lies were ‘probably genuinely believed as opposed to deliberate lies’ or ‘did not cause harm because, while lies, they misled people in good directions rather than harmful ones’?
This probably depends heavily on whether people are capturing all the benefit of the good they do.
If Bob inflicts $100 of harm to do $1000 of good, and Bob was rewarded by $1000 for the good he did, taking $100 of that away for the bad seems reasonable. If he was not rewarded for the good he did, punishing him for the bad seems very strange.
Is there some reason to think that the depth of a game by this sort of definition is a good measure to be using in the first place? Presumably the ‘deepest’ game available is ‘test your height and whoever is taller wins’, which with accurate enough measuring instruments has a depth of 7 billion?
This viewpoint on how media has changed over time seems really strange to me. My history would have been almost the reverse—a history of going from everything being expensive (pay per view TV?) and usually low quality as well to almost everything being cheap and many things being literally free, including a lot of high-quality things.
It seems strange to say that you do not consent to people gathering data about you when you are providing it to them yourself.
If you don’t want me to see your baby pictures, the easy approach is for you to not send them to me. Instead, the more common approach seems to be to send me your baby pictures, then claim that you ‘do not consent’ to me looking at them.
If you don’t feel like you ‘get’ reductionism on a gut level, the course that nailed that down for me was called ‘Computation Structures’ - name may vary on your end, but it’s a class about how transistors and logic gates are built up through several layers of abstraction until you have a recognizably programmable computer.
As a side note, if you’re willing to adopt a more pragmatic attitude towards what constitutes a ‘rational’ college class, may I suggest searching for information on which majors are highest-paid? :)
An alternative story:
The report will be ~500 pages long, and shrouded in an impenetrable dialect of bureaucratese. No-one in the world will read it in its entirety. A lot of people will cherry-pick bits that sound like they support their previous conclusion. Some people will declare that it proves the coronavirus was a deliberate Chinese bioweapon released to attack America and we should retaliate by nuking them. Some people will declare that it proves that discussion of the lab leak hypothesis has always been unfounded anti-Asian discriminatory hate speech. No-one will change their mind about anything or do anything different.
In the few cases where the report presents clear statements of fact, it will be pretended that they were already the viewpoint of experts. Any media outlets that made earlier statements incompatible with the report will quietly edit or simply ignore their past statements. Only a handful of people will notice or care about this.
If the person you are dealing with is willing to do the right thing even if it costs them something, a lot of different systems will work.
If you do not trust the person you are dealing with to do the right thing in the absence of incentives, you want a system that will impose incentives that ensure it is in their interest to do the right thing. I’m calling this ‘game-theoretically sound’ to mean ‘the system accomplishes the intended goal even when one or both parties are the kinds of sociopath that prevail in game theory problems’.
This could be formal law (do your end of the contract or the government will punish you).
It could be informal threats (uphold the bargain or me and my mates will clobber you).
In some circumstances it could be reputation (honor your note or no one will deal with you again? refund my purchase or I will review you badly online?).
However, for reputation to actually work as a system that is protected against adversaries/sociopaths (as distinct from working as a system for nice people who are already pretty much trustworthy), you need the damages caused by reputation to exceed the benefits gained by defecting. This is plausibly true for ancient merchants living in small societies, or for companies that have large numbers of customers. I don’t think it’s true for your networks of trust.
That is not necessarily a problem for you! If you’re just dealing with your neighbor, you don’t need your system to be defensible against sociopaths. But if you want to scale up your system, it will become more and more relevant.
Hope this is clearer, apologies for length.
One obvious reason this might not work as well for you as for Islamic merchants is the scale of the threatened sanction.
Even assuming that the merchant would not face legal penalties for reneging on his note, and even assuming a lack of extrajudicial violence against him, he is still potentially subject to extreme levels of social pressure not available to you today. You cannot prevent a grocery store from selling him food, or a job from employing him. Social networks in a smaller society could potentially do that. You can...threaten to say mean things about him on the internet?
I’m glad this approach has worked for you, but I don’t think it’s game-theoretically sound, I think it is relying on good faith.
As an aside, I’m somewhat skeptical of the story of the merchants’ notes being traded so far afield. How do you avoid forgery? If a note is given and never traded, the merchant can remember to who a favor is owed—if you stay in the same area, people can see who is owed and keep him honest. How can a trader in Zanzibar know whether this is a genuine favor note from a trader in Algiers?
Correlation between player payouts? In a zero sum game it is −1, when payouts are perfectly aligned it is +1, if payouts are independent it is 0.
A stupid question: even if there are pressures that keep producers from selling at the true market price, why don’t they produce enough to meet demand at the lower price they do sell at?
A deliberate strategy to build hype by making consoles scarce? Something else?
(Disclosure: am dog owner)
I found this article somewhat baffling.
At essentially no point does the article consider what the dog’s next-best alternative is, or suggest one. The two most likely answers are ‘nonexistence’ (for dogs you get from a breeder) or ‘prison’ (for dogs you get from a shelter). I’m open to the possibility that some dogs (abused ones, possibly also tiny breeds with genetic breathing problems) have lives worse than nonexistence. I don’t think you can credibly claim most do, and I don’t think you can credibly claim that any meaningful proportion of owned dogs have worse lives than they would in shelters.
The article seems to assume that dogs have a full set of human drives, and are disappointed not to be given the opportunity to write Doggie Shakespeare or something. I envision the author watching some videos of lions and then saying ‘they have no lives beyond waking, eating, and sleeping. Clearly their life is a misery.’
The article does an impressive dive into Bulverist psychoanalysis of ‘here’s why dog owners are evil perverts for having a dog’:
‘What does it say about a human who enjoys this emotional transaction? It says that on some level they like the idea of having dominance over another being. And, they want that dominance to be a feature of their daily life.’
On reflection I think the most accurate summary of this article is ‘willful outrage-bait’.
Fair enough (and apologies for the rudeness). I do think I’d draw a pretty sharp distinction between ‘ads dropped in public spaces where you cannot avoid seeing them’ vs. ‘ads on webpages that you watch in lieu of paying for things’ - the latter seems much easier to avoid and much less likely to be harmful.
(And as I understand things OP seems to be mostly working on the latter?)
So, this viewpoint is very harsh and I don’t know how fully I endorse it, but my gut reaction is something like this:
If you can’t benefit from positive-sum informative advertising because you are incapable of watching a 15-second ad without succumbing to mind control, this is a problem with you rather than a problem with ads. The correct response is for you to avoid ads personally (and in fact many websites that use internet advertisements give you the option to pay instead, e.g. Youtube Premium), just as a child who cannot prepare food without cutting themselves should not be given a set of steak knives. It sounds like you are doing that already, so good for you!
The correct response is not for you to try to prevent a positive-sum thing from existing for others, just as the correct response to a child getting their hands on a steak knife and cutting themselves should not be to try to ban steak knives for everyone else.
Attempts to restrict advertisements on those grounds seem isomorphic to e.g. New York Mayor Bloomberg’s infamous attempted ban on large sodas. The justification there appeared to be ‘I am incapable of existing in a world with large sodas without drinking too much soda and getting fat, therefore other people should be banned from positive-sum trade to protect me from my weakness without me needing to exert any effort.’ The argument against soda seems to me a substantially stronger argument than the equivalent argument against ads: first, I think the harms of obesity are substantially larger than the harms of advertisements; and second, I think it is easier to personally avoid exposure to internet advertisements than it is to personally avoid exposure to large sodas.
While I think that ads can be (and, at least in my personal case, are) positive-sum, I don’t think this article expresses the reason why. I would phrase it as follows:
There are many things I would buy if I knew of their existence. Certain kinds of music, games, etc.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of their existence. In a world with billions of people, figuring out what products I might want takes time and effort.
You could let anyone who wanted to tell me ‘you should buy my product’. Unfortunately, lots of people will waste lots of my time.
Instead, we set up an ecosystem where:
A website (let’s say Youtube) shows me content I want to see.
Rather than charging me $20/month or whatever, they make me watch brief ads.
Companies that think they have a product I want to buy pay Youtube to advertise on it.
If the companies are right:
I buy the product.
I am very happy! I got to see content I wanted to see anyway, without having to pay for it, and I also got alerted to the existence of a product I’m interested in! Yay!
Youtube is happy. They got paid for providing content to me (albeit indirectly) and I’m happy and likely to keep coming back.
The company is happy. They paid a bit for advertising, successfully reached the target market for their product, and made more money.
This is a large win-win where a lot of value/money/information/amusement is effectively materialized from thin air with no costs.
If the companies are wrong:
I don’t buy the product.
I am mildly happy. I got to see content I wanted to see, without having to pay for it, but I had to watch a silly ad for an economically illiterate insurance agency. Meh.
Youtube is mildly happy. They got paid for providing content to me (albeit indirectly) but I’m less happy and might look for other websites (EDIT: and the company is less happy and might do the same).
The company is unhappy. They paid a bit for advertising, failed to reach the target market, and wasted it.
This isn’t an amazing win-win like the scenario before. Nevertheless, the only person who’s really unhappy with this is the company...who is effectively paying for their poorly targeted ads.
This...seems...obviously good to me? A couple representative things I’ve run into from ads:
The band Mono Inc. took out a Youtube ad that was just the music video for one of their songs. I liked it, and have bought several of their songs as a direct result.
The game Hades got advertised to me back while it was in early access. I bought it very early, and liked it a lot.
When I’m upset about advertising, it’s usually because it’s not targeted enough. For example, Buffalo Wild Wings has started showing me lots of ads for their new delivery service...which does not deliver to my zipcode. This seems like a foolish waste of effort that could be avoided if only advertisers took my zipcode into account. I assume this is the result of some sort of silly privacy law that forbids them from using that information in a moral panic over Big Data?
I acknowledge that my experience with ads may not be the typical one. Nevertheless, I think that:
Ads can be, and frequently are, heavily positive-sum.
In some cases, people may harm themselves with ads by being foolish around them.
I still don’t want positive-sum advertising banned or heavily restricted because some people are foolish about it.
While I agree with the general point, I think this part:
(The TSA spends 5.3 billion on airline security annually. It’s difficult to put a price on 9/11, but quick googling says that total insurance payouts were $40 billion. So very roughly, the utilitarian question is whether the TSA stops a 9/11-scale attack every 8 years.)
is rather poorly phrased in a way that detracts from the overall message. I don’t think this accurately captures either the costs of the TSA (many of which come in the form of lost time waiting in security or of poorly-defined costs to privacy) or the costs of 9/11 (even if we accept that the insurance payouts adequately capture the cost of lives lost, injuries, disruption, etc. there are lots of extra...let’s call them ‘geopolitical costs’).
Looks like you’ve put in more work than I did below and come up with very similar answers, the one diff I see is that you tried
foam swords as a speculative guess that water elementals are non-linear and explain the extra sinkings/a way to reduce non-sinking-related damage
whereas I just went for
a third cannon for a bit of marginal equity against Nessie
Looking at the 99% and 98% damaged ships:
We see 46 99%-damaged ships that were attacked: 31 by demon whales, 6 by Nessie, 1 by crabmonsters, 8 by merpeople.
We see 44 98%-damaged ships that were attacked: 22 by demon whales, 6 by Nessie, 6 by crabmonsters, 10 by merpeople.
These look fairly similar, and suggest that those are the threats that are likely to be most dangerous (until of course some more serious threat is reliably unsurvivable so we don’t find out about it, or some threat deals non-linear damage...but let’s ignore that for now. I was assured in Linear Algebra class that the real world never works like that.)
Oars, Cannons and Armed Carpenters (in descending order) counter the most common threats.
Tribute to the merpeople reduces the chance that they attack, though it increases the chance that something else does.
Rifles and Foam Cutlasses counter attacks that don’t seem to be serious enough to matter anyway.
Shark repellent is actively harmful, since it prevents sharks from attacking (no shark attack has ever done more than 9% damage (EDIT: wrong, I sorted these as strings because I am a dullard, but they still never seem to do near-lethal damage), which makes sense because...well...how are sharks going to get into your boat?) and makes something more dangerous attack instead.
Adding up Armed Carpenters (20) + Tribute to Merpeople (45) + 20 Oars (20) + 3 Cannons (30) makes 115gp, which we can’t quite afford. My best guesses:
If trying purely to survive, buy Tribute to Merpeople + 20 Oars + 3 Cannons for 95gp.
If trying to survive while also impressing the Admiralty with your budget-consciousness (and your refusal to pay Danegeld to those damned merfolk!), buy Armed Carpenters + 20 Oars + 3 Cannons for 70gp.
An alternative approach that feels less gameable:Every time a plea bargain is reached, there is a small chance (1 in 1000?) that we randomly select the case for review. The defendant is imprisoned as per the terms of the plea bargain, but then we also bring the case to trial (federally funding a defense).If the review trial finds the defendant guilty of the charges they pled to, we say ‘okay, seems like the plea bargain was fair, the defendant would have been found guilty anyway’.
If the review trial finds the defendant innocent, we release them and publicize this fact. If multiple reviews under the same prosecutor exonerate the defendant, it starts to look like that prosecutor is threatening charges to coerce defendants into unfavorable plea bargains.
A 1 in 1000 chance means that the cost of this should not grow too excessive compared to existing costs of the legal system, but also means that a prosecutor who is habitually coercing defendants into taking unfavorable plea deals is very likely to get caught.
Without commenting on the rest of your point, this part:
If my quality is, say, a 7⁄10, my level of success should be somewhere in that ballpark. Maybe the market would be inefficient and I’d only reach a 5⁄10 or a 4⁄10. Or maybe I’d be lucky and reach an 8⁄10 or 9⁄10.
is something I don’t think you should necessarily have expected from a market to begin with. Assuming that your startup was in a scalable field (e.g. a software company as opposed to a restaurant) with an efficient market, what you expect to happen is that quality 7⁄10 should lead to success 0⁄10 - there is no reason that anyone would buy from you when they could instead buy from a 10⁄10.
In reality there are lots of reasons this isn’t quite the case. Maybe your product is 7⁄10 overall but genuinely the best in the world for certain specific users/use cases. (C++ and Python both continue to exist). Maybe the market just isn’t very efficient and some people end up buying inferior products. (PHP also continues to exist). But on the whole expecting a 7⁄10 product to experience a 7⁄10 success is not actually what you should expect to see.