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Comment by blink on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-26T22:13:55.928Z · score: 34 (34 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey. Happy aggregating!

Comment by blink on Survey Results · 2009-05-13T03:05:47.578Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Probability of some Creator God: 4.2, 0, 14.6. Probability of something supernatural existing: 4.1, 0, 12.8.

It looks like some of us have yet to overcome the conjunction fallacy.

Comment by blink on Epistemic vs. Instrumental Rationality: Case of the Leaky Agent · 2009-05-09T20:13:16.485Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In nearly all situations, I suspect, lying to yourself only appears profitable because the situations has been misinterpreted. It would help to have more contextual examples where lying is plausibly profitable.

The realtor example is too ambiguous. At best, lying gives me a greater probability of capturing more of the surplus from trade, but at the risk of no sale at all (e.g. the best offer falls between my real and stated minimum). Moreover, the scenario construes sale as buyer vs. seller, but my best hope to get a high price is with competition among buyers rather than negotiating in a zero-sum game with one buyer. Here, a truthful realtor might help, because buyers would believe him when he says someone else has made a better offer.

Comment by blink on Mechanics without wrenches · 2009-04-16T03:06:12.726Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

[O]ur basic ideology of democracy says that ordinary people can make wise decisions about policy without expert knowledge.

Could this be an opportunity to "pull the rope sideways" (as you say)? Perhaps the assumption is too deeply ingrained, but it seems easier to convince someone to accept that experts might often know best than to challenge a specific policy preference.

Comment by blink on Degrees of Radical Honesty · 2009-04-01T02:49:22.331Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I am having trouble with the Nazi scenario because it seems paradoxical. Hiding is implicitly lying, so the always honest person should not be able to get into this situation in the first place. (The family could make this explicit simply by asking what you would do if the Nazis came.) Turning the family away may lead to horrible deaths as well, so this may not be an improvement. One may simply be the type of person who is too honest to hide a fugitive, no matter the benefit.

Comment by blink on Most Rationalists Are Elsewhere · 2009-03-30T17:22:20.398Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Karma does create an incentive to write more and better comments. Still, the question is what alternative are you foregoing to write the marginal comment at LW? Should the top ten competition skew your investment of time toward LW comments and away from that alternative? Is it rational if it does?

Comment by blink on Most Rationalists Are Elsewhere · 2009-03-30T02:26:25.167Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Robin's point about karma is worth exploring. Yes, votes help to filter comments and the modest score required to post makes sense. But what is the purpose of tracking very large totals? (Eliezer's doesn't even fit inside his little green circle!) This creates a competition and plays to emotional reinforcement mechanisms. It also can be intimidating to see for passers-by or would-be LW contributors.