(I’m a member of the LW team, but this is an area where we still have a lot of uncertainty, so we don’t necessarily agree internally and our thinking is likely to change.)
There are three proposed changes being bundled together here: (1) The guidance given about how to vote; (2) the granularity of the votes elicited; and (3) how votes are aggregated and presented to readers.
As you correctly observe, votes are serving multiple purposes: it gives information to other readers about what’s worth their time to read, it gives readers information about what other people are reading, and it gives authors feedback about whether they did a good job. Sometimes these come apart; for example, if someone helpfully clears up a confusion that only one person had, then their comment should receive positive feedback, but isn’t worth reading for most people.
These things are, in practice, pretty tightly correlated, especially when judged by voters who are only spending a little bit of time on each vote. And that seems like the root issue: disentangling “how I feel about this post” from “is this post worth reading” requires more time and distance than is currently going into voting. One idea I’m considering, is retrospective voting: periodically show people a list of things they’ve read in the past (say, the past week), and ask people to rate them then. This would be less noisy, because it elicits comparisons rather than ups/downs in isolation, and it might also change people’s votes in a good way by giving them some distance.
Switching from the current up/down/super-up/super-down to 0-100% range voting, seems like the main effect is it’s creating a distinction between implicit and explicit neutral votes. That is, currently if people feel something is meh, they don’t vote, but in the proposed system they would instead give it a middling score. The advantage of this is that you can aggregate scores in a way that measures quality, without being as conflated with attention; right now if a post/comment has been read more times, it gets more votes, and we don’t have a good way of distinguishing this from a post/comment with fewer reads but more votes per reader.
But I’m skeptical of whether people will actually cast explicit neutral votes, in most cases; that would require them to break out of skimming, slow down, and make a lot more explicit decisions than they currently do. A more promising direction might be to collect more granular data on scroll positions and timings, so that we can estimate the number of people who read a comment and skimmed a comment without voting, and use that as an input into scoring.
The third thing is aggregation—how we convert a set of votes into a sort-order to guide readers to the best stuff—which is an aspect of the current system I’m currently least satisfied with. That includes things like karma-weighting of votes, and also the handling of polarizing posts. In the long term, I’m hoping to generate a dataset of pairwise comparisons by trusted users, which we can use as a ground truth to test algorithms against. But polarizing posts will always be difficult to score, because the votes reflect an underlying disagreement between humans and the answer to whether a post should be shown may depend on things the voters haven’t evaluated, like the truth of the post’s claims.
While we have a long-term plan of importing Arbital’s content into LessWrong (after LessWrong acquires some wiki-like features to make it make sense), we have not taken responsibility for the maintenance of Arbital itself.
It’s optimized on a *very* different axis, but there’s the Rationality Cardinality card database.
But I’ve seen patients try to get out of this. They’ll wait until the last possible moment, then send an email saying “I am out of my life-saving medication, you must refill now!” If I send a message saying we should have an appointment on the books before I fill it, they’ll pretend they didn’t see that and just resend “I need my life-saving medication now!”
Insulin is different from the sorts of drugs you prescribe. Most medications, if someone run out, they start suffering health consequences, it’s very unpleasant and it incurs a bit of lasting harm, but they don’t die. Being without access to insulin is about as serious as being without access to water. If you send a message saying there should be an appointment on the books before renewing the prescription, then there’s a real risk that the delay causes them an emergency room visit, or kills them.
(but what would be the effects of making potentially dangerous medications freely available?)
It’s already OTC in Canada, and nothing bad has happened as a result.
What happens if you let patients buy refills without a prescription? Would they consume too much of it?
No. Prescriptions don’t specify precise dosages, because those are adjusted much too frequently for direct doctor involvement.
Would there be any sort of risk of them selling the excess to others?
No. There is no secondary market for insulin, because primary-market insulin is easily available at the price of a plane ticket, and improperly stored insulin is unsafe and indistinguishable. Furthermore, no one is trying to restrict access (other than as a way to extract money).
Is there a medical reason why the doctor might not prescribe more insulin if he examines the patient and finds something new?
No. Type 1 diabetics continue to require insulin 100% of the time, no exceptions.
On that note, I wonder if the doctor is coming from a place of worrying about covering his ass and getting sued if he prescribes more insulin without the exam.
In fact, by refusing to prescribe, this doctor created a considerable risk. If the person in the story hadn’t managed to get a prescription, and had died, a malpractice lawsuit would probably succeed.
Alternative view: Your friend has a deadly disease that requires regular doctor visits and prescriptions. It sucks. It’s not fair, but it requires him to take some level of responsibility for his own care. He seems to have failed to do so by not keeping his appointments and letting his prescriptions run out.
Type 1 diabetic here. Regular doctor visits are actually pretty useless to us, other than refilling the prescriptions. Every six months is customary, but excessive. Every three months is scamming money out of insurers.
Regarding the price of medicine in Canada: I believe the fixed low prices in Canada are being subsidized by your friend and all Americans.
It’s cheap literally everywhere except the United States. It’s not a matter of subsidized capital costs, because those were all paid off more than a decade ago, and prices were cheaper then.
Measurement every 3 months in patients with type 1 diabetes determines whether glycemic targets have been reached and maintained.
Measuring HbA1c can be done cheaply with an over-the-counter test kit. It does not require a doctor visit. Also, testing HbA1c that frequently isn’t important and isn’t done by most diabetics.
This question seems like the tip of an iceberg of complexity. The workers’ age, physical health and motivation probably matter. The contents of their non-work lives probably matter. In the case of programming, slightly degraded performance might mean enough bugs to be net negative, or it might just mean doing the same thing slightly slower. Caffeine-use patterns probably matter; use of other stimulants probably matters, too. In my own life, I’ve seen my personal productivity range from 80 hours/week to 0 hours/week over multi-month spans.
But note that RescueTime’s data only covers time spent on a computer, which is only a subset of productive work time; there are also meetings, work on paper, and things like that.
Could you give a reference for the Hierarchy Game? A quick google search did not turn up anything that sounded like game theory.
I think that was coined specifically for this post, and doesn’t (yet?) have a corresponding formalism. I would be interested in seeing an attempt to formalize this, but there’s enough subtlety that I’d worry about confusion arising from mismatches between the idea and the formalism.
On a separate note, this post is IMO really toeing the line in terms of what’s too political for LW.
The way we currently handle this is with the Frontpage vs Personal Blog distinction; things that meet our frontpage guidelines, we promote to frontpage, everything else we leave on Personal Blog. We chose to front-page this, but I agree that it’s borderline.
The “left wing” is the natural complement to this strategy: a political “big tent” made up of all the noncentral groups.
As before, both sides are winning this civil war, at the expense of the people least interested in expropriation.
While this appears to be true of conventional politics, it’s worth noting that a very similar structure appears in less-expropriative contexts. For example, some technology markets naturally organize into a market leader vs. an alliance of everyone else; eg Microsoft (right) vs open source (left), or Apple (right) vs Android (left). In these contexts, overt force is replaced with soft power, and there is enough value created for everything to be positive-sum. Notice that people refer to an “Apple tax”, and at the height of Microsoft’s power referred to a “Microsoft tax”.
It seems that we want is usually going to be a counterfactual prediction: what would happen if the AI gave no output, or gave some boring default prediction. This is computationally simpler, but philosophically triciker. It also requires that we be the sort of agents who won’t act too strangely if we find ourselves in the counterfactual world instead of the real one.
Since this (now ten years old) post was written, psychology underwent a replication crisis, and priming has become something of a poster child for “things that sounded cool but failed to replicate”.
Semi-relatedly, we on the Less Wrong team have been playing with a recommendation engine which suggests old posts, and it recommended this to me. Since this post didn’t age well, I’m setting the “exclude from recommendations” flag on it.
A quick reductio for the “three times” framing is to notice that if, having already decided to buy a phone, you were to convert $250 from your bank account into phone-purchasing credit, then the prices change to $500 and $0, and the question changes to whether the more expensive phone is infinity times better. That version of the question makes no sense, so dividing the two prices by each other don’t make sense either.
It’s not too hard to see why people would benefit from joining a majority expropriating from a blameworthy individual. But why would they join a majority transferring resources to a praiseworthy one? So, being singled out is much more bad than good here.
This makes intuitive sense, but it doesn’t seem to be borne out by modern experience; when coalitions attack blameworthy individuals these days, they don’t usually get any resources out of it, the resources just end up destroyed or taken by a government that wasn’t part of the coalition.
As a working software engineer with experience working at a variety of scales and levels of technical debt, this mostly feels wrong to me.
One of the biggest factors in the software world is a slowly rising tide of infrastructure, which makes things cheaper to build today than they would have been to build a decade ago. Projects tend to be tied to the languages and libraries that were common at the time of their creation, which means that even if those libraries are stable and haven’t created a maintenance burden, they’re still disadvantaged relative to new projects which get the benefit of more modern tools.
Combined with frequent demand shocks, you get something that doesn’t look much like an equilibrium.
The maintainability of software also tends to be, in large part, about talent recruiting. Decade-old popular video games frequently have their maintenance handled by volunteers; a firm which wants an engineer to maintain its decade-old accounting software will have to pay a premium to get one of average quality, and probably can’t get an engineer of top quality at any price.
Note: Due to a bug, if you were subscribed to email notifications for curated posts, the curation email for this post came from Alignment Forum instead of LessWrong. If you’re viewing this post on AF, to see the comments, view it on LessWrong instead. (This is a LessWrong post, not an AF post, but the two sites share a database and have one-directional auto-crossposting from AF to LW.)
It was a dumb typo in my part. Edited.
Geez. Is that all you have to say for yourself!?