Posts

Comments

Comment by lucretius on Remembering the passing of Kathy Forth. · 2018-04-16T07:40:59.474Z · score: 37 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Please message me if you would like to be added to the private EA self-help group on Facebook, which provides a space for folks in the the EA community to get support and discuss sensitive issues.

Comment by lucretius on LessWrong IQ Survey · 2017-10-29T13:35:39.900Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with your overall point, though it's worth pointing out that the best (i.e. most g-loaded) IQ tests, such as Raven's Progressive Matrices and WAIS, have higher g loadings than the SAT.

Comment by lucretius on Inadequacy and Modesty · 2017-10-29T13:24:48.560Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

What are the grounds for relying on individual judgment to promote posts to Featured? Isn't it more reasonable to rely on community opinion, as expressed in the epistocratic karma system?

(I'm aware that this is a tangent, but the point seemed germane given that the reasoning behind this decision may itself reflect the "fundamental epistemological disagreements" which you refer to.)

Comment by lucretius on Inadequacy and Modesty · 2017-10-29T12:46:38.719Z · score: 15 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I think the reasonable reaction upon reading the statement that the Bank of Japan's macroeconomic policy is deranged, made by someone who lacks formal credentials in the area and who appears to have a less-than-stellar track-record of defying expert consensus, is indeed to be skeptical. By contrast, that position becomes much more reasonable if one learns that Nobel laureates, prestigious economists and smart econbloggers agree with it.

So the claim "I believe you are wrong because the Bank of Japan are experts" seems to be a caricature of modest epistemology, based on an equivocation between

  1. "In the absence of other information, I would rather trust the Bank of Japan than Eliezer Yudkowsky here" and
  2. "It's reasonable to side with Nobel laureates, prestigious economists and smart econbloggers if they disagree with the Bank of Japan."
Comment by lucretius on Inadequacy and Modesty · 2017-10-29T09:51:33.572Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW
Eliezer was not, in fact, deferring to Nobel laureates who were critical of Japan's monetary policy, or even aware that such laureates existed at the time. He was specifically deferring to econ bloggers who he happened to follow.

I completely agree—this is what I was claiming in my previous comment. My point was that Finney's (hypothetical) decision to defer to Nobel laureates and Eliezer's decision to defer to econ bloggers are similar in the relevant respects, so it's unclear why one decision would be an instance of epistemic modesty while the other an instance of epistemic immodesty.

Comment by lucretius on Inadequacy and Modesty · 2017-10-29T00:50:45.163Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that's the relevant question.

Note, however, that Eliezer didn't take the inside view here: he was deferring to bloggers ("by reading econblogs, I believe myself to have identified which econbloggers know better"). So, again, it seems that this example doesn't illustrate a clear thesis. If we agree modest folk could criticize the Bank of Japan out of deference to Nobel laureates, why should we take Eliezer's deference to econbloggers as illustrative of epistemic immodesty?

Comment by lucretius on Inadequacy and Modesty · 2017-10-29T00:19:59.227Z · score: 17 (5 votes) · LW · GW

It's unclear what point the Bank of Japan example is meant to illustrate. You acknowledge that Nobel laureates and other prestigious economists agreed that the macroeconomic policy of the Bank of Japan would have very bad consequences. So I'd expect Hal Finney, and other epistemically modest folk, to be skeptical of the Bank of Japan on the basis of what these experts believe.

Comment by lucretius on Contra double crux · 2017-10-09T16:27:44.253Z · score: 1 (0 votes) · LW · GW