The word Schalmei can mean some different things:
The kind of brass instrument you refer to is also called Martinstrompete, see https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martinstrompete and https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folgetonhorn#Martin-Horn/Martinshorn (In German, “Martinshorn” is also the word for the sound-making thing in fire engines, and yes that is technically related.)
Just a suggestion from someone who is only indirectly affected.
It would be helpful to add the city name in the title, because then I can better filter relevant posts in the RSS reader. (Also, I don’t know what CPH means, and I would suggest not to let tinyurl first direct to facebook and link back to lesswrong from there, why not directly let tinyurl link to lesswrong...)
I think that this is the best Putanumonit post I read.
A related question came to my mind, but for the moment I will just add it to this thread and see whether people find it. So:
What is the best steelmanned case for eating animals you know, in particular the best ethical argument?
Is there exactly one RSS feed of lesswrong.com, i.e. https://www.lesswrong.com/feed.xml ? As I know too little about the technical side, is it easily possible for you to add different RSS feeds?
But if shortform posts appear in the All Posts page, then what’s the difference between them and regular posts? And I mean formal difference, not just difference of intention.
Very helpful comment. But why the uniform prior, and not the bias that has the highest likelihood given the data? theta = 4⁄5 would give you a Bayes factor of 47, right?
“Why the name? It is a bit odd . . .”
I always thought it’s a reference to the Asimov essay which the linked essay “The Fallacy of Gray” only indirectly refers to, however, or rather, a commenter referred to it.
While I don’t find completeness so problematic, I got quite confused by Eliezer’s post. Firstly, it would make much more sense to first explain what “utility” is, in the sense that it is used here. Secondly, the justification of transitivity is common, but using a word like “dominated strategy” there does not make much sense, because you can only evaluate strategies if you know the utility functions (and it also mixes up words). Thirdly, it’s necessary to discuss all axioms and their implications. For example, in standard preferences theory under certainty, it’s possible to have preferences that are complete and transitive but you cannot get a utility function from. Fourthly, I am still confused whether this talk about expected utility is only normative or also a positive description of humans, or kinda both.
“2) Funding by NSF and similar public money grant program.”
Based on both what I heard and what I experienced, it’s private foundations that would have the lower standards, because they are agenda-driven and the people who work there have the mission to find scientists doing research on whatever the topic-of-the-year is.
Here is a summary of John Ioannidis on the topic, kind of defending the usage of p: http://conversableeconomist.blogspot.com/
Note that “supply and demand” for economists means that the demand curve is derived from consumer optimization (price = marginal utility), that the supply curve is derived from firms’ profit maximization (price = marginal cost), both assuming price-taking behavior, that it implicitly assumes that trade actually takes place where the curves intersect (my impression is that a large literature on adjustment processes has basically disappeared because the assumption that we only care about equilibria in this sense became the norm).
People who hear that this is simple may confuse it with the claims that consumers demand less when the price is lower and that firms offer less when the price is higher (and that trade actually takes place where the curves intersect), which are claims that can be backed by different underlying models. You can derive a demand curve either by assuming that everybody buys more when the price increases (the standard reasoning), or that everybody buys exactly one unit if the price is below her individual willingness to pay.
It seems that a model which assumes that firms are price-takers in this sense and supply at marginal cost is not simpler than a model which assumes that firms always have a mark-up of 20% on their marginal cost. Sure, the mark-up demands an explanation, but this way you don’t need the profit-maximization arguments (which makes the model simpler).
Finally, often we are not sure whether a simpler or a certain more complex model actually applies well to any given situation. So we have to worry that people argue in favor of simpler models mainly to justify their preferred policies—because the policy-implications of certain simpler models are well-known.
So now it seems that there is a debate about the pros and cons of blackmail, and it is based on anecdotal evidence and vague impressions.
How do you know that?
I have not really followed the debates. So: How do you know it is “rarely enforced”, in particular compared to other crimes?
I am relatively new to the (large number of) utility / preference discussions on Lesswrong. Can you please tell me what a reasonable and relatively short introductions to the foundations would be?
My problem is that the discussion or research project seems to be detached from the economics literature. I also do not see any discussion of “contribution to the literature” in your post, so it is hard for me to see the starting point.
Just to give a little background to see where I am starting. The following is my understanding of welfare evaluations in economics. I hope I do not misuse your post too much, because my comment may have little concrete relation to what you write.
In theoretical Microeconomics, there are basically four approaches:
1. Understanding utility as preferences. This is completely ordinal, and it’s unclear how utility between people should be compared. From a welfare-maximization perspective, this is very problematic, as shown by Arrow’s impossibility theorem.
2. von-Neumann-Morgenstern expected utility. Here, utility functions are cardinal, but expected utility is ordinal and again it’s not clear how utility could be compared. So I guess that the impossibility theorem still applies.
3. Welfare economics. Here we just ignore the problem by adding up market surplus, implicitly or explicitly assuming that all utility functions are quasi-linear, and linear in income. And additionally, we implicitly assume almost always that it is not a problem that people are not compensated compared to a pre-policy state of the world, as long as the winners could compensate the losers (Kaldor-Hicks criterion). This is a value assumption, though I have read economists that have claimed that the opposite would be a value assumption. Welfare economics includes an expected-value version, which is no problem because everything is cardinal.
4. Prospect theory and similar approaches that include reference points (of a person’s consumption, income, whatever). While there is a lot of evidence that this is more successful at explaing behavior, I am not sure whether there is any accepted welfare theory based on that. I guess the problem is that if reference points and social preferences enter the utility function, strange implications may arise. If there are rich and poor people, then redistribution has to take into account their reference points, which would limit redistribution, which seems unfair. Additionally, if I can somehow convince myself that I deserve more money, and a benevolent utilitarian planner would be omniscient and thus see my conviction, then he should give me more money.
Reading Kahneman’s research summarized in Thinking, Fast and Slow also leads to weird conclusions, because when people evaluate their life, their evaluations are weird. Kahneman writes, for example, that people evaluate the pain suffered in some span of time by the pain at the end and the highest value of pain. Which makes people choose “60 seconds of strong pain plus 30 seconds of moderate pain” over “60 seconds of strong pain”.
Then there are many welfare discussions that use macroeconomic models, i.e., assuming a cardinal utility function of a representative agent (usually expected utilitarian discounted utility, sometimes max-min / Rawlsian). I think there is no real theoretical foundation.
Finally, there are empirical redistibution preferences that show that people have a preference for given money to people who “deserve” it by some measure. This could be understood as similar to welfare evaluations based on prospect theory, but it additionally tells us where the reference points would come from.
Hm… I will get a little more concrete.
I would recommend reading the career guide https://80000hours.org/career-guide/ because it is a good document for anyone thinking about what to do with his life, but I would definitely recommend reading other things on the same topic as well.
Moreover, I would recommend reading: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/TNHQLZK5pHbxdnz4e/references-and-resources-for-lesswrong if the question is more about what to read next.
Maybe you should try https://80000hours.org/