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comment by Desrtopa · 2013-03-01T00:35:26.347Z · score: 18 (20 votes) · LW · GW

This seems rather like the adult version of being that kid who'll eat worms for a nickel.

Yeah, it might seem clever to the kid, worms aren't that gross, but then, what it's really costing you is the social burden of being that kid who eats worms for a nickel.

Don't be that kid.

comment by Wakarimahen · 2013-02-28T23:29:26.387Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Let's just delete this thread and then pretend this never happened...

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2013-03-01T15:51:53.502Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, but here is what probably happens soon:

  • Someone already made a screenshot and will post it on RationalWiki.
  • A week later, a new article on RationalWiki appears, saying "this is how LW users really think". The article karma system is criticized as a futile attempt to censor this important information from the public.
  • A month later, five new articles appear on various websites, linking to the RationalWiki article.
  • On Reddit a discussion starts about whether this is or isn't the real Eliezer's plan to finance MIRI. Eliezer joins to say "no", which convinces half of readers that the true answer is "yes".
comment by shminux · 2013-02-28T22:40:59.151Z · score: 8 (12 votes) · LW · GW

My guess is that by announcing it here you are likely to do more than $150 worth of harm to MIRI.

comment by prase · 2013-02-28T22:32:25.115Z · score: 7 (11 votes) · LW · GW

my friends were ready to raise $100 so I would carry it out

Are you sure you want to call them "friends"? Willingness to pay to lower someone else's status isn't particularly friendly behaviour, even if the person "doesn't care" about status.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-03-01T12:47:16.029Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

a woman who sold her virginity for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then gave most of the money away to charity

I saw that story linked to by a Facebook page, and I was shocked that not a single comment, out of dozens, was positive. I wasn't terribly surprised that there are people who think that refusing to have sex for money is better than saving lives, but I wouldn't have expected them to be more than 98% of the population.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2013-03-01T15:53:58.959Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Possible bias: Maybe people who have their priorities right spend less time on Facebook?

comment by wedrifid · 2013-03-01T19:01:43.590Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Possible bias: Maybe people who have their priorities right spend less time on Facebook?

Quite right. They are all too busy turning tricks for mosquito nets.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-03-02T11:59:00.659Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe, but I wouldn't expect that bias to be that strong.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2013-03-02T18:42:50.245Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

For visibility of an opinion in facebook comments you have to multiply a few numbers:

  • what part of population has this opinion (this is what you want to know);
  • how much time those people spend on Facebook compared with other people (this can be a huge difference; some people spend there 10 hours every day, some maybe 15 minutes in a week);
  • how likely are they to click on a given article;
  • how likely are they to read the comments below the article;
  • how likely are they to write their own comment.

I would guess that people with no life not only spend more time on Facebook, but are also more likely to visit controversial articles (as opposed to people who merely check what their friends are doing), are more likely to read comments, and are more likely to contribute to a stupid discussion. Multiply these numbers, and you will see why most of internet looks like inside an insane asylum.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-03-02T20:46:41.466Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but... IME in those situations (at least when they don't involve sexuality) usually at least some (about 5-10%) of the comments do espouse the meta-contrarian position. The booing of the virginity charity auction girl was unusual for its unanimity even in its own reference class (unless you restrict the reference class to sexuality-related issues only).

> how likely are they to read the comments below the article; Plenty of the people I'm talking about don't exactly sound like they had read the earlier comments before writing their own.
comment by Elithrion · 2013-02-28T23:39:25.317Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Well, humiliating yourself for charity is a time-honored tradition, but I'm not sure the ratio of humiliation to gains is generally worth it (since your future earnings are dependent on your status to a certain extent).

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2013-03-01T01:20:38.051Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I think the best deal on that sort of thing comes from putting someone like a school principal in the dunk tank. That way, there's more status to be temporarily lost.

Granting that pooping your pants isn't a good choice-- anonymous1, I think you've underestimated the cost of stinking for a day-- it still might be worth thinking about stunts that could reasonably be done. Maybe something like shaving half your head.

comment by Kawoomba · 2013-03-01T06:34:49.084Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Want to raise money for MIRI? Poop your pants.

Now what?

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2013-03-01T15:56:25.668Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Sell the poop on ebay, and send the money to MIRI. :D

comment by Kawoomba · 2013-03-01T16:41:40.407Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That does not seem like a credible or serious plan of action ...

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2013-03-03T00:25:51.045Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The author said they wanted to retract this in an Open Thread, so I'm de-publishing it (re-saving it to their Drafts folder). They probably just didn't realize they could do that.

comment by tim · 2013-03-01T04:35:55.416Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The real issue here is that your price is much too low.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-03-01T11:05:56.942Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So is this something like Movember (a bunch of guys who grew moustaches for money so that they could give it against prostate cancer, or something like that)?

comment by [deleted] · 2013-02-28T21:55:50.007Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

There's no way to do this, given the parameters of the situation, that won't generate a health hazard for yourself and those around you.

Consequentialism fail.

comment by prase · 2013-02-28T22:16:52.409Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

The health hazard would probably be worth less (in absolute value) than the discussed reward of $200. The PR hazard, on the other hand, would justify your bottom line.

comment by hankx7787 · 2013-02-28T22:05:32.589Z · score: -1 (15 votes) · LW · GW

This is the official ad campaign for MIRI from now on.