Just this guy, you know?
where does this expectation come from?
I hadn’t paid attention to the topic, and did not know it had run last year with that result (or at least hadn’t thought about it enough to update on) so that expectation was my prior.
Now that I’ve caught up on things, I realize I am confused. I suspect it was a fluke or some unanalyzed difference in setup that caused the success last year, but that explanation seems a bit facile, so I’m not sure how to actually update. I’d predict that running it again would result in the button being pressed, but I wouldn’t wager very much (in either direction).
Just a datapoint on variety of invitees: I was included in the 270, and I’ve invested hundreds of hours into LW. while I don’t know you personally outside the site, I hope you consider me a trusted acquaintance, if not a friend. I had no clue this was anything but a funny little game, and my expectation was that there would be dozens of button presses before I even saw the mail.
I had not read nor paid attention to the petrov day posts (including prior years). I had no prior information about the expectations of behavior, the weight put on the outcome, nor the intended lesson/demonstration of … something that’s being interpreted as “coordination” or “trust”.
I wasn’t using the mental model that indicated I was being trusted not to do something—I took it as a game to see who’d get there first, or how many would press the button, not a hope that everyone would solemnly avoid playing (by passively ignoring the mail). I think without a ritual for joining the group (opt-in), it’s hard to judge anyone or learn much about the community from the actions that occurred.
Beware mixing up different kinds and purposes of communication. Your friend’s LOLOLOLOLOL is understating the complexity by a long way.
For two-person conversations, where both (claim to be) seeking truth rather than signaling dominance or quality, and where both are reasonably intelligent and share a lot of cultural background, and where there’s time and willingness to invest in the topic, https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/double-crux is an awesome technique. Very often you won’t resolve the answer, but you’ll identify the un-resolvable differences in model or weight of utility you each have. And you’ll be able to (if you’re lucky) identify portions of the topic where you can actually change your beliefs (and your partner may change some beliefs as well, but it’s important for this not to be a goal or a contest—it doesn’t matter who started out more wrong, if you can jointly be less wrong).
Where these conditions do not hold (more than two people, some participants less committed to truth-seeking, no face-to-face communication to help reinforce the purpose of this part of the relationship, not everyone with similar background models or capability of understanding the same level of discussion, etc.), the mix between truth-seeking and signaling changes, and there is a tipping point at which truth-seeking becomes obscured. Your failure mode list is not sufficient, even if we had working counters to them—there are unique modes for every site, and they blend together in different ways over time. To paraphrase Tolstoy: great communities are all alike, bad communities fail each in it’s own way.
I recommend you also include temporal value in your analysis of success or failure of a site/community/forum. Even if the things you list do succumb to death spirals, they were insanely valuable successes for a number of years, and much of that value remains long after they stop generating very much good new discussion.
Gah, I thought ARR was Annual Run Rate (Burn Rate), not Revenue. I meant to say they’ll use their newfound capital much faster than they increase revenue (which they should! that’s the whole point of seeking funding). And then, for most, the revenue won’t actually increase enough and they go bankrupt.
My main point was that when it turns, it turns completely. Every funding source is projecting the future, not looking at the current situation. A negative direction is zero-value.
Thanks. I am not convinced, but I have a better idea of where our perspectives differ. I have to admit this feels a bit like a relationship shit-test, where an artificial situation is created, and far too much weight is put on the result.
I’d be interested to hear various participants’ and observers’ takes on the actual impact of this event, in terms of what they believe about people’s willingness to support the site or improve the world in non-artificial conditions.
Not sure I follow—chaperones don’t seem complex enough to have intent at all, so by that definition they are non-manipulative in the same sense that rocks are—it’s a concept that doesn’t apply to them, not something they could do and choose not to.
That’s a big contrast with human communication—there is definitely intent behind every communication. For this kind of action, the selective removal of forces seems near-indistinguishable from the selective addition of force in order to enable/influence some change. It feels like there’s a naturalistic fallacy going on—some underlying belief that what happens in a vacuum is better than what happens in a real equilibrium.
Wow. I honestly don’t get it—do you have a link to the previous discussion that justified why anyone’s taking it all that seriously?
IMO, this was a completely optional, artificial setup—“just a game”, in Chris’s words. When I got the e-mail, I wondered if it was already down, and was surprised that it wasn’t (though maybe I just didn’t notice—it never seemed down to me, but I go straight to /allPosts without ever looking at the front page).
There was none of the weight of Petrov’s decision, and no tension about picking one or the other—no lasting harm for pressing the button, no violation of norms (or being executed for treason, or losing WWIII) by failing to do so if it were necessary. And no evidence one way or the other what the actual territory is. Really, just a game. And not even a very good one.
The fundamental cooperation to take down the site had ALREADY HAPPENED. When someone wrote the code that would do so if someone pressed the button, that’s FAR FAR stronger than some rando actually pressing the button.
Do you have an operational definition of “manipulation” that can help me understand what you’re asserting here?
The chaperone manipulates the environment to let the protein fold into a lower-energy state than it would without the chaperone. Is this not manipulation of the end-state of the protein? I interpret the cultural norm that one is to be “nonmanipulative” as “please only cause change in ways that we approve of”, not as “have no impact at all”.
I don’t believe there is any communication which doesn’t change the future state of the universe, so I think I’m unclear what “manipulate” means.
I think this over-states the benefit, and misses out on some of the costs/risks. Shit-tests are a classic proxy, and subject to all the caveats of any measurement which is not perfectly correlated with your actual desires. Goodhart is one of them—vaguely self-aware people will recognize and game the test. Another problem is that if the test is different from your normal behavior, you’re likely to see a different response than you would to your normal behavior. The differences will be correlated with just how different the test is from your baseline activities and signals.
Importantly, the testing is itself a signal. You mention this, but don’t mention that it’s anti-correlated with self-respect and competence, things which presumably you value in a partner. Early in a courtship, when you’re tempted to use this kind of test, is exactly when this test will drive away your best prospects. Later, when you know each other better, the test is less harmful, but also less valuable.
There probably are cases where a shit-test is justified—the time savings of fast-failures is worth the false-positives and additional friction that the artificial filter will create. But for many many cases (of romantic and other relationship-based exploration), you’re best off looking for natural experiments than intentionally creating stressful situations.
Awesome! Would it be possible to put an easy link to https://www.markdownguide.org/cheat-sheet/ or some other reminder of syntax somewhere easy-to-find while actually entering/editing comments?
I agree that economic models are not optimal for war
Go a little further, and I’ll absolutely agree. Economic models that only consider accounting entities (currency and reportable valuation) are pretty limited in understanding most human decisions. I think war is just one case of this. You could say the same for, say, having children—it’s a pure expense for the parents, from an economic standpoint. But for many, it’s the primary joy in life and motivation for all the economic activity they partake in.
But the bottom line is that the value of weapons is destruction.
Not at all. The vast majority of weapons and military (or hobby/self-defense) spending are never used to harm an enemy. The value is the perception of strength, and relatedly, the threat of destruction. Actual destruction is minor.
military procurement is viewed in Congress as an economic stimulus
That congress (and voters) are economically naïve is a distinct problem. It probably doesn’t get fixed by additional naivete of forcing negative-value concepts into the wrong framework. If it can be fixed, it’s probably by making the broken windows fallacy ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window) less common among the populace.
Believe the internet. Most really do fail, and return little or nothing to restricted share- or option-holders, who couldn’t sell early as part of other funding deals.
How does all the value just evaporate?
The problem is that the company is trying to grow, and will increase it’s ARR by an order of magnitude in pursuit of that growth. If they don’t actually find a sustainable market, that won’t justify an IPO or forward-looking exit. And then, when the valuation starts to fall, it becomes VERY unattractive to any buyer, who thinks “what am I really getting for this, and why not just wait until it’s zero and pick up the remains from the bankruptcy court”?
I’m not sure what you’re proposing—it seems confusing to me to have “production” of negative value. I generally think of “production” as optional—there’s a lower bound of 0 at which point you prefer not to produce it.
I think there’s an important question of different entities doing the producing and capturing/suffering the value, which gets lost if you treat it as just another element of a linear economic analysis. Warfare is somewhat external to purely economic analysis, as it is generally motivated by non-economic (or partly economic but over different timeframes than are generally analyzed) values.
I recognize that time-value-of-utility is unsolved, and generally ignored for this kind of question. But I’m not sure I follow the reasoning that current-you must value future experiences based on what farther-future-you values.
Specifically, why would you require a very large X? Shouldn’t you value value both possibilities at 0, because you’re dead either way?
There are TONS of moments I forget, but they _do_ leave residue. Either in income, effect on other people, or environmental improvements (the lightbulb I changed continues to work). Not sure if this scenario removes or carries forward unconscious changes in habits or mental pathways, but for real memory loss, victims tend to retain some amount of such changes, even if they don’t consciously remember doing so.
I also value human joy in the abstract. Whether some other person, or some un-remembered version of me experiences it, there is value.
If you give a very very large value, do you also believe that all mortal lives are very-low-value, as they won’t have any memory once they die?
10 days of connected experience vs X days of disconnected experience? Honestly, I can’t compound experiences/values very much in 10 days, so the amnesia doesn’t cost that much—somewhere between 11 and 20 days seems reasonable to me.
I know people with severe memory problems, and they enjoy life a significant fraction (at least 10%, perhaps 80%, some days over 100%) as much as they might if they remembered yesterday.
This question gets much harder for 2, 10, or 50 years. The amount of joy/satisfaction/impact that can be had in those timeframes by building on previous days, is perhaps orders of magnitude higher if an agent has continuity than if not.
Ah, I think I understand better—I was assuming a much stronger statement of what social choice function is rational for everyone to have, rather than just that there exists a (very large) set of social choice functions, and it it rational for an agent to have any of them, even if it massively differs from other agents’ functions.
Thanks for taking the time down this rabbit hole to clarify it for me.
Useful pointers. I do remember those conversations, of course, and I think the objections (and valid uses) remain—one can learn from unlikely or impossible hypotheticals, but it takes extra steps to specify why some parts of it would be applicable to real situations. I also remember the decoupling vs contextualizing discussion, and hadn’t connected it to this topic—I’m going to have to think more before I really understand whether Newcomb-like problems have clear enough paths to applicability that they can be decoupled by default or whether there’s a default context I can just apply to make sense of them.
If you think the identical processes and level of caution should be used for an emergent pandemic as for relatively small-scale long-standing viruses, you’re not doing cost/benefit analysis very well. It’s very hard for me to simultaneously believe that it’s so risky that we should all avoid travel and most leisure activities, AND that the vaccine is so unimportant that we shouldn’t accept more risks than we otherwise would.
I’ll respond to Natalie Dean’s quote, because they’re easy bullet points.
Gives people a false sense of security if efficacy is really low
Perhaps true, but efficacy would have to be ridiculously low for it to be a net loss. Which will show in early trials and uses.
Diverts resources away from other interventions (fixing testing!)
Makes it harder to evaluate better vaccines
Only to the extent that it’s effective and very common. Which is a good outcome in itself.
More than a 6-month delay would? I doubt it.
Erodes trust in the process
That implies that anyone trusts the process now.
An easier illustration is “Monty doesn’t open any doors, he just gives the player to stay with their chosen door, or switch to ALL of the other doors”. This is isomorphic to showing losers for all but one of the other doors.
Like the original, it’s somewhat ambiguous if you don’t specify that Monty will do this regardless of whether the player guessed right the first time.