Metaculus generates lots of valuable metrics besides the “meaningless internet points” about which Zvi and others complained. If Yudkowsky had predicted regularly, he would have been able to know e.g. how well-calibrated he is, how his Brier score evolved over time, how it compares to the community’s, etc.
There is no need to create a Flashcards tag when we already have Spaced repetition.
Though I understood what you meant, perhaps a clearer terminology is all-things-considered beliefs vs. independent impressions.
Keynes’s view of Leninism seems similar to Russell’s, and may have been influenced by it. Here’s a quote from The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism (published in 1920):
Bolshevism is not merely a political doctrine; it is also a religion, with elaborate dogmas and inspired scriptures. When Lenin wishes to prove some proposition, he does so, if possible, by quoting texts from Marx and Engels. A full-fledged Communist is not merely a man who believes that land and capital should be held in common, and their produce distributed as nearly equally as possible. He is a man who entertains a number of elaborate and dogmatic beliefs—such as philosophic materialism, for example—which may be true, but are not, to a scientific temper, capable of being known to be true with any certainty. This habit, of militant certainty about objectively doubtful matters, is one from which, since the Renaissance, the world has been gradually emerging, into that temper of constructive and fruitful scepticism which constitutes the scientific outlook. I believe the scientific outlook to be immeasurably important to the human race. If a more just economic system were only attainable by closing men’s minds against free inquiry, and plunging them back into the intellectual prison of the middle ages, I should consider the price too high.
Thanks for the explanation.
Speaking personally, I would much prefer that contributions judged to make an article net worse be reverted than downvoted, both because this gives the contributor much clearer feedback and because it improves the quality of the article, relative to the opinion of the user deciding whether to downvote or revert. If other users disagree with that assessment, the karma system can perhaps then be used to resolve the disagreement, or to at least contribute to a resolution by conveying a signal whose meaning is now much easier to discern.
Concerning the specific edit: on reflection, I agree with you that the information I included would have been more appropriate in the Overcoming Bias article, and I am inclined to agree with you that it is best omitted from Hanson’s article. Accordingly, I have restored the previous version of the entry, though with the external link fixed.
I’m not sure how to interpret the downvoting of a recent edit I made. I simply clarified a sentence and replaced a dead link with the version archived by the Wayback Machine. Downvoting substantive posts without providing an explanation is often justified given the difficulty associated with pinpointing the nature of a complex disagreement, or because the signal the downvote is meant to convey is relatively clear from the context. But with a simple, atomic edit that seems unambiguously (very mildly) positive, at least from a commonsense perspective, such unexplained downvotes are apt to leave an editor puzzled and unable to draw any valuable lessons, except perhaps that they should simply abstain from contributing in the future.
This week, I’ll spend 40–50 hours in Virtual Reality (Immersed), like I did last week and every (work) week for the last 2½ years. It’s not just fun and games — there are plenty of those, along with exercise, meditation, creativity, socializing, etc. — but for this article, I’m only focusing on (and counting) the work.
Yes, really: 8–10 hours a day strapped in. I’ve encountered a fair amount of skepticism about both the technology and the general premise, many nit-picks about the software, or how it fails to match some preconception about how things “should” work.
I decided to switch to Emacs 1.5 years ago, and I feel it’s the most important computing decision I made since… starting to use a computer? I may write a more detailed post on what things I use Emacs for, but here I just wanted to endorse the above recommendation, including its caveats (“Don’t bother with it though if you don’t have some time to invest in learning it”), and emphasize that Emacs can fulfill many needs besides “code editor” (I am not a programmer myself).
Thanks, but this post is no longer updated and the link is not broken on my website. (If you think that’s confusing, despite the notice at the top, I may consider replacing its contents with just a link, though retaining the content may make it more discoverable.)
Thanks for the update!
chaotic History of Economic Analysis
The word ‘chaotic’ was an adjective I chose to describe the book’s content, rather than part of the book’s title. :)
Related to the ReplicationMarkets example: on Metaculus, there is an entire category of self-resolving questions, where resolution is at least in part determined by how users predict the question will resolve. We have seen at least one instance of manipulation of such questions. And there is even a kind of meta-self-resolving question, asking users to predict what the sentiment of Metaculus users will be with regard to self-resolving questions.
The probability I would assign to #8 intuitively is about 0,41. Math based on my other three predictions yields (doing the calculation now) 0.476. I am going to predict the math output rather than my intuition.
I think the correct response to this realization is not to revise your final answer so as to make it consistent with the first three. It is to revise all four answers so that they are maximally intuitive, subject to the constraint that they be jointly consistent. Which answer comes last is just an artifact of the order of presentation, so it isn’t a rational basis for privileging some answers over others.
The contracts are denominated in USD, and they pay in that currency. But you trade on margin, and the collateral can be in any currency (crypto or fiat). In your example, you get back the BTC plus 15% of what that BTC was worth in USD when you made the trade.
Incidentally, TRUMPFEB is now trading at 0.16 (i.e. implied 16% chance that Trump is president next February). This looks insane to me (and I have bet accordingly). I’d be curious if you or others have further thoughts on what might be going on.
I’m not sure I understand your argument, given that FTX allows traders to keep balances in both USD and BTC, but in any case historically FTX prices have been in line with Betfair/PredictIt prices, so I doubt this consideration is relevant.
I’m too lazy to look it up, but I did research this a couple of weeks ago and found that 538 had indeed outperformed the markets both in 2008 and 2016 (I wasn’t able to find data for 2012). This is not very informative, though, since it’s just a couple of cases. Much better is to look at the state-level predictions and use brier scores as a measure of forecasting performance.
man do I wish that there was just one large market with minimal fees
Such a market exists, though unfortunately it is restricted to countries where most LW users are not citizens of.
Only the first article in the comment is by Silver, on whose expertise the original poster is basing his recommendation. That article doesn’t discuss mail-in ballots or voter suppression, and in fact his main point is that the time remaining until election day (almost three months when the article was written) combined with uncertainties due to Covid-19 meant that the race was still open back then. Those considerations have much more limited force at present, when only 16 days remain, and Biden’s lead has widened considerably.
If you’ve been at all listening to Silver recently, you’ll know that he thinks his model probably underestimates Biden’s chances. This shouldn’t be surprising, since as Silver acknowledges, in this new version of the model he has made a special effort to build conservative assumptions into it.
In any case, I would encourage people hesitant to bet for Biden to resist the temptation of “throwing in a bunch of considerations” for why the models may be wrong, and instead try to calculate what the correct forecast should be in light of those considerations. For example, if you think mail-in ballots will be a big factor, try to estimate the magnitude of this effect.
Following my own advice, I just built a simple Guesstimate model of the impact of mail voting on the popular vote. I created the model very quickly, so if anyone spots any errors, please mention them below. And if you think some of the parameters should be different, simply copy the model and adjust those parameters to your satisfaction. Note that the effect of “rejected” in-person ballots is not modeled. This effect favors Biden, since a greater proportion of Trump votes will be in person, and hence susceptible to being “rejected” (i.e., not cast due to failure to bring an ID, long lines, inability to find a polling station, etc).
The upshot of the model is that mail voting shrinks the expect popular vote gap between Biden and Trump by about 2%. If we assume that the electoral college gives Trump a ~2% popular vote advantage, the model implies a drop in Biden’s chances of winning the election from 87% to about 79%. [I modified the model and improved some of the estimates, and now the effect is less than 1%.]
(Disclosure: I have bet a total of USD 12k on Biden, mostly back when his odds where roughly equal with Trump’s.)
The book is dedicated “for Peter, who convinced me”. Maybe that mysterious Peter is the ultimate cause of Christian’s interest in Al alignment and his decision to write a book about it?
Greg Lewis discusses this at length here.