I’m not making that argument, but I do think that it’s easy to produce examples. For example, that was the problem with the Tuskegee experiment. The original incarnation was harmless, merely failing to provide expensive treatment that wouldn’t have been provided by default, only a problem in Schrödinger’s ethics. But later the investigators interfered with several other groups (eg, the WWII military) who wanted to provide treatment.
We have a weird situation where the rules for experimentation in academia and medicine are much more restrictive than everywhere else. So restrictive that even a very simple study where you do everything you normally do but also record whether two diagnostics agreed with each other can be bureaucratically impractical to run.
The first sentence is almost true,* but the second sentence if false. The first sentence is the relevant point for this post, so maybe all I have to say is nitpicking, but I’m going to say it. Scott’s experience is not representative. There are many aspects that caused it to be held to a higher standard. Your use of the word “even” implies that it was held to a lower standard, and thus is a representative, even a conservative estimate. While it is true that such a study should be held to a lower standard, it was in fact held to a standard much higher than usual in academia. Or, rather, it was probably not held to a standard, but simply sabotaged. Indeed, partly it was the very nature of the project, attacking existing tools that showed that he was “not a team player” and probably contributed to his treatment.
IRBs have arbitrary power, not high standards. At research universities, research is the principal revenue center and thus IRBs allow research to occur. Since academics do publish human subjects research and we know that IRBs often have lower standards than Scott’s hospital. The hospital was not a research hospital and thus the IRB was a vestigial organ without much pressure to actually function. Moreover, Scott did not have a research grant, so his project was a pure cost center.
*The standards in practice are, on average, very high, but the first sentence is wrong to claim that academia has rules. Sometimes academics are acclaimed for attempting murder. If they actually had rules, low or high, they would require an IRB for joining a gang.
Edit: inserted disclaimer as second sentence.
Edit2: Also, I meant to object to the word “bureaucratically.” To some people this implies consistency, which is exactly what I was trying to rebut in this comment. But to others it means plausible deniability, which is what I am claiming.
Generally, regarding the interpretation of QM, there are two camps: realists who take the wave function as a real physical object (Schrödinger, Bohm, Everett) and people who take the wavefunction as an object of knowledge (Bohr, Einstein, Heisenberg, Fuchs).
Einstein was a realist who was upset that the only interpretation available to him was anti-realist. Saying that he took the wavefunction as object of knowledge is technically true, ie, false.
a Copenhagenish position
Thanks for conceding that the Copenhagen interpretation has meant many things. Do you notice how many people deny that? It worries me.
Wikisource has several 19th century translations of the preface, eg, Spedding 1844.
Here is a guy arguing that programmers should type fast so that they can have long written discussions. Also, comments and documentation. (And blog posts. He is famous for long blog posts. But this one is only 3500 words)
If you have a fixed amount of documentation you have to create, then doubling your typing speed, say from 30 to 60wpm will cut in half the amount of time to write it. No matter how much faster become beyond that, you won’t be able to save the other half of the time. Doubling again to 120 will save only half as much time as the first doubling saved. However, you could spend your typing speed in other ways. You could produce twice as many drafts of the documentation.
What is the problem you are trying to solve and why is this the solution?
It sounds like you are trying to scale up the number of users as fast as possible. Is that the right goal? There are diminishing returns to more users in the presence of a limited set of questions. But scaling the set of questions poses other problems, like adjudicating resolution.
I thought it better to separate these out:
The FBI denied the existence of the Mafia until 1957.
The Masons and the Vatican conspired to take over the Italian media and thence the country kind of like what Silvio Berlusconi did. In fact, in 1982, his name was published as part of this plan.
Of the hundreds or thousands that died in the 1989 Beijing protests, fewer than 10 were in Tiananmen Square.
The NSA spied extensively on nominally allied countries and this was widely known in Europe, at least by 2000.
The CIA intentionally bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999.
Hillary Clinton had serious health issues during her 2016 campaign.
I hope these aren’t too political:
The Bible was not originally written in English, or even in Latin.
The seasons aren’t caused by distance from the sun.
Edmund Burke was a Whig, opposed to the Tories.
Alexander Hamilton was an elitist banker.
Andrew Jackson was a Democrat.
Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
The North won the Civil War.
My other comment was about the ambitious side of prediction markets. This will be about the unambitious side, how they don’t have to do much to be better than the status quo.
above technical problems. We are optimistic that these can be overcome.
What problems do you mean, the paragraphs one and three before? That could be clearer. Are you really optimistic, or is this apophasis in which you deniably assert problems? Well, I’m going to talk about them anyway.
additional limitation to prediction markets is that people have to be interested enough to take part in them
Robin Hanson has always said you get what you pay for. If information is valuable to you, pay for it by subsidizing the market. Betting markets aren’t free, but are they cheaper or more accurate than the alternative? Start with things that bettors care about, like politics.
Pope Francis’ next pronouncement
Having a market on his next pronouncement would encourage leaks. I’m not sure whether that would be good or bad. Having a market for the first papal pronouncement of 2021 that closed a year ahead probably wouldn’t produce leaks. Nor would it produce a precise answer, but it would produce some kind of average that might be interesting. For comparison, the Nobels rarely leak, so the markets don’t vary much from year to year. Is it useful to know that Haruki Murakami is usually at the top of the list? Some people are skeptical, though.
When information is not widely distributed or discoverable, prediction markets are not useful. Prediction markets for WMDs
Those are two problems and they apply both to WMDs.
As for discoverability, in 2000 you could have a market over what inspectors would find in a year. You could also have a market over what inspectors would find in a decade. You could imagine a market over what would be the consensus in 2010, but it is more speculative how that would work. In 2002 it would be straightforward to have a conditional market, conditional on invasion. I hope that simply setting up a market would have encouraged precision, such as chemical vs nuclear, stockpiles vs production, and quantity. Such distinctions seem like an easy way to improve the public debate.
As for wide distribution, so what? We want an opinion, even if it is not very certain. In fact, open sources should have been enough to beat the CIA in Iraq. Partly that is because the CIA is incompetent, but partly it is because the CIA is not on our side. I think that open source amateurs have done a pretty good job of predicting the North Korean nuclear missile program. How well did Intrade do in predicting North Korea missile tests in 2006? I don’t know, but they did a lot better than the DOD at postdiction. (In fact, I was somewhat surprised that the administration accepted a lack of WMD in Iraq and did not fabricate them.)
Of course, we don’t have direct access to the territory, only the map. Prediction markets can only be judged by the future map. I am extremely pessimistic about our ability to create a collective map, so I think prediction markets have only a very low bar to clear. From your user name, you sound like a scholastic apologist, whereas I am very cynical about the schools. I don’t dispute that they house expertise, but they abuse that position, by, among many other things simply lying about the consensus in their field. A very simple step forward would be to use surveys to assess consensus. And when fields interact, it is even worse. As I’ve said elsewhere:
1. If you want to make an Appeal to the Authority of the Scientific Consensus, you have to be able to figure out what that consensus is. What does it matter that nutritionists have a good consensus if you don’t know what it is, and instead believe the medical school curriculum? Similarly, your psychology textbook lied to you.
2. It is very common, both in your economics example, and in the Nurture Assumption case, that there is an explicit consensus that method X is better than method Y, but people will just keep using method Y. It seems very fair to me to describe that as an implicit consensus that method Y is good enough. Moreover, it is common that the consensus accepts the aggregate results of the inferior method, just because of the volume of publications; and thus the explicit consensus on the object level is made by methods that violate the explicit consensus of methodology. (Also, most of the replication crisis details were discussed at length by leading psychologist Paul Meehl fifty years ago. Everyone abased themselves in shame and proceeded to change nothing. Is this time different?)
3. You might say that (1) is a special case of (2). Everyone accepts that you should look to experts with good methods, but they don’t actually pay attention to nutritionists. I think that it is fair to call the exclusion of nutritionists “the scientific consensus.”
A lot of information technologies provide value simply by creating conflict. The internet makes it easy to find people who disagree with you, if you want to. Wikipedia provides a focal point for disagreeing parties to fight over, forcing both sides to acknowledge the other’s existence, making it easy for ignorant amateurs to notice the breakdown of consensus. Similarly, prediction markets provide opportunity for disagreement on a more fine-grained level.
And let me close with a less hostile, more amusing example of lack of consensus.
There’s a lot I don’t follow here. In particular, you say a bunch of things and it’s not clear if you think that they are the same thing or related or unrelated. Some of that may be the excerpt nature.
What does the “territory” of the title mean? Snappy titles are good, but you should also explain the metaphor. Perhaps you mean the laws of science, rather than the concrete observations or even interventional claims about specific experiments? Robin Hanson’s response is: Just Do It: make decade long bets on vaguely worded claims. He proposes lots of infrastructure to fix these problems and it doesn’t seem very convincing to me, but the proposal seems built incrementally, so it is easy to start small.
What does it matter if prediction markets don’t do X? If people are proposing prediction markets as an additional institution, then it matters what they do, rather than what they don’t do. If they are proposed as a substitute for existing institutions, then it matters if they are as good as the existing ones. But there is a serious instance of status quo bias that people pretend that existing institutions work, whereas they often don’t. Seemingly unambitious that work may well be an improvement over ambitious institutions that don’t. Robin Hanson does propose substituting prizes for research grants, so there he would have to make that argument. But research funding is highly divisible, so it is easy to start small and see what happens.
Do an experiment. Double your egg consumption and check your lipids in 6 months.
There are two issues. One issue is what lipid levels to aim for. The other is what effect eggs will have. You can test the second and you don’t have to worry about individual differences.
The whole point of the book is that the failure mode you envision is going to happen by default. It is not a risk of inverse surveillance because it is already happening.
There is a problem that surveillance increases continuously, not in an abrupt step. At some point we must establish a norm that police turning off their cameras is a crime. The public had no trouble condemning Nixon for his 18 minute gap. But at the moment many police camera systems require positive steps of activation and downloading which have plausible deniability of having just forgot.
every law would be consistently enforced.
It is incredibly common today for massive arguments over video, half the world saying that it obvious yields one conclusion and other half saying it refutes it.
How about the police just ignore the law? It happens all the time today, completely publicly. Total transparency would make it difficult for two officers to get together and conspire. But they probably rarely conspire today. A video of one of them saying “this isn’t a violation” and the other replying “nope” would shed no more light than today.
How did the quality of the rev.com draft compare to the one produced by youtube?
Do you have good sources in some other language? Better to post them than not.
(I am disturbed that all the official-looking links on the French Wikipedia page are broken.)
A community is not relevant to the statement of the problem, but a community is relevant to the collective action problem of adopting a solution (depending on the solution). I agree that the opening sentence about sending “an email to someone in rationality” is unhealthy and condemn it with you.
But, as others said, Jacob is right to talk of “a coordination campaign to move the community” and at some point he has to name the community. (There are additional issues of whether the community exists and whether its existence or name is bad. Those are hobbyhorses.)
Performance IQ as opposed to what? You mean the subtest of WAIS? Probably full WAIS, verbal+performance, is a better predictor than just performance. Probably you could find a set of subtests that would be better than the whole test, but I think performance was just chosen as the complement of verbal. And verbal probably wasn’t designed as a coherent test of verbal skill for normal people, but as intelligence tests that had a prerequisite of verbal skill that might be misleading for the retarded, who are the main subject for IQ tests.
How does this compare to what he was saying in 2004? Has he changed his mind about the brain or about AI? Maybe these things about the brain are foundational and we shouldn’t expect him to change his mind, but surely his beliefs about AI should have changed.
Thanks. I guess I got confused from mainly using greaterwrong, but I did test it before posting.
In the past you (Raemon) have referred to this as the “shortform feed,” but in this post you don’t. Is this intentional? (But then in the comments, you say “feed” again.)
To me “feed” suggests a chronological order. Have you considered making the shortform posts sort by age of comment, just as lists of posts usually do?
Similarly, when LW migrated from OB, adding nesting and voting, it made the OB posts sort their comments in chronological order, to preserve the conversation structure. With the advent of 2.0, these posts have lost their special status and are sorted by votes, making the comment conversation unreadable (example). If you do implement a default sort nudge, you should apply it to these posts, too.
[I guess this comment should have gone here.]