Posts

Meta: LW Policy: When to prohibit Alice from replying to Bob's arguments? 2012-09-12T03:29:59.041Z · score: -3 (53 votes)
Peter Thiel warns of upcoming (and current) stagnation 2011-10-04T17:30:53.926Z · score: 24 (28 votes)
[link] Apostles' Creed = Tsuyoku Naritai??? 2011-08-23T14:49:35.891Z · score: -3 (11 votes)
I can't see comments anymore -- what was recently changed? 2011-08-05T16:16:50.504Z · score: 9 (9 votes)
Cryonics facility coming to Texas? 2011-06-28T14:51:58.231Z · score: 14 (15 votes)
General Bitcoin discussion thread (June 2011) 2011-06-10T23:21:21.932Z · score: 4 (10 votes)
[LINKs] Bitcoin hits mainstream; intelligent technical critique 2011-05-19T18:30:35.402Z · score: 8 (8 votes)
Cryptanalysis as Epistemology? (paging cryptonerds) 2011-04-06T19:06:53.526Z · score: 11 (13 votes)
First Waco, Texas LW Meetup, 4/09, 1PM 2011-04-06T15:13:20.053Z · score: 15 (20 votes)
Real-world Newcomb-like Problems 2011-03-25T20:44:16.401Z · score: 14 (29 votes)
Google lends further legitimacy to Bitcoin 2011-03-21T22:26:57.329Z · score: 6 (11 votes)
I'll be in NYC from Oct. 30 to Nov. 21 2010-10-28T16:27:15.436Z · score: 2 (5 votes)
Hazing as Counterfactual Mugging? 2010-10-11T14:17:09.201Z · score: 3 (6 votes)
Morality as Parfitian-filtered Decision Theory? 2010-08-30T21:37:22.051Z · score: 25 (38 votes)
The role of mathematical truths 2010-04-24T16:59:28.316Z · score: 16 (26 votes)
Understanding your understanding 2010-03-22T22:33:23.315Z · score: 73 (78 votes)
The continued misuse of the Prisoner's Dilemma 2009-10-23T03:48:08.860Z · score: 29 (40 votes)
Rationality Quotes - July 2009 2009-07-02T18:35:19.802Z · score: 8 (10 votes)

Comments

Comment by silasbarta on You're Entitled to Arguments, But Not (That Particular) Proof · 2016-09-29T01:52:03.526Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My favorite one: burning wood for heat. Better than fossil fuels for the GW problem, but really bad for local air quality.

Comment by silasbarta on According to Dale Carnegie, You Can't Win an Argument—and He Has a Point · 2013-12-07T22:28:53.438Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To your alternative approaches I would also add Bruce Schneier's advice in Cryptographic Engineering, where he talks a little about the human element in dealing with clients. It's similar to the Socratic approach, in that you ask about a possible flaw rather than argue it exists.

Bad: "that doesn't work. Someone can just replay the messages."

Good: "what defenses does this system have against replay attacks?"

Comment by silasbarta on Should effective altruists care about the US gov't shutdown and can we do anything? · 2013-10-04T04:03:18.625Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Case in point: the weather.

Comment by silasbarta on Should effective altruists care about the US gov't shutdown and can we do anything? · 2013-10-04T04:01:15.304Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why is a mere statement of contradiction voted up to five? Something I'm missing here? I could understand if it was Clippy and there was some paperclip related subtext that took a minute to "get" but ...

Comment by silasbarta on Should effective altruists care about the US gov't shutdown and can we do anything? · 2013-10-03T21:28:36.589Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Admittedly no one's ever been charged under the ADA, but there are plenty of examples of people being disciplined for violating it.

Thinking about your experiments does not (in itself) involve expenditure of government money, so I don't see how they would prosecute you under the ADA for that. Yes, managers have to be very clear to workers not to use resources, just to keep them away from edge cases, but even with that level of overcaution, managers can't actually stop you.

Even if you came back and (for some reason) said, "Hey boss, I totally thought about this experiment from the couch when the shutdown was going on", they still don't have grounds unless you were using up resources. Now, they could fire you just for the defiance (maybe), but if they're that trigger-happy in the first place, then ...

Comment by silasbarta on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-03T21:58:32.638Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

... and that is what being a big fish in a small pond feels like ;-) That is, most of them there won't even make it that far. At least, that was my experience.

(My approach was the cruder one of just taking a remainder modulo max size after each operation.)

Comment by silasbarta on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-03T18:23:25.641Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

C-style integers = integers with a fixed possible range of values and the corresponding rollover -- that is, if you get a result too big to be stored in that fixed size, it rolls over from the lowest possible value.

Ruby doesn't implement that limitation. It implements integers through Fixnum and Bignum. The latter is unbounded. The former is bounded but (per the linked doc) automatically converted to the latter if it would exceed its bounds.

Even if it did, it's still useful as an exercise: get a class to respond to addition, etc operations the same way that a C integer would. (And still something most participants will have trouble with.)

Comment by silasbarta on Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013 · 2013-08-01T19:50:30.422Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

+1 for a (+1 for acknowledging the inconvenient) on a subject you dislike discussion of.

Comment by silasbarta on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T19:19:07.897Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Depends on what you intend to get out of it, but you can go to an amateur hack night ("we're going to implement C-style integers in Ruby", "we're going to implement simulated annealing)", where almost everyone but you will have trouble conceptualizing the problem.

Comment by silasbarta on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T19:17:38.322Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Non-thinking-of-customers-as-fish is not a business plan.

Comment by silasbarta on Does anchoring on deadlines cause procrastination? · 2013-07-18T23:12:16.285Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Work expands to fill the available time.

Comment by silasbarta on Does anchoring on deadlines cause procrastination? · 2013-07-18T23:11:40.497Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's bad if they're systematically underestimating the urgency (and thus placing the deadline too far out) which seems to be the rule with humans rather than the exception.

Comment by silasbarta on Prisoner's dilemma tournament results · 2013-07-16T07:58:51.740Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe we should have a prisoner's dilemma meta-tournament in which we define a tournament-goodness metric and then everyone submits a tournament design that is run using the bot participants in the previous tournament, and then use the rankings of those designs.

Wait: does anyone know a good way to design the meta-tournament?

Comment by silasbarta on Duller blackmail definitions · 2013-07-16T07:48:05.808Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Very well said! I would only add that your point generalizes: the differences between the two cases is the extent to which it has implications for future interaction ("moving the Schelling point"): blackmail-like situations are those where we intuit an unfavorable movement of the point (per the blackmailed) while we generally don't have such intuitions in he case of trade.

Comment by silasbarta on Countess and Baron attempt to define blackmail, fail · 2013-07-16T07:37:43.883Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Somewhat OT:

Does it really help the exposition to have all the elaborate packaging (the such-and-such vase, the jester and description of the punishment, etc)? For me it just makes it harder to read: is the vase just a perspicuous example of a valuable, or is it important that it's subject to random catastrophe (from errant jesters)? Does the presence of the makeup sex have any relevance that should affect my intuition on this?

But then, a lot of people seem to like that kind of thing, even in non-fiction and when they no longer need explanations via fairy tale metaphors, so perhaps I'm alone on this.

EDIT: Sorry, I missed that you linked a fluff-free version. Much appreciated!

Comment by silasbarta on Public Service Announcement Collection · 2013-06-29T01:26:27.666Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Are you saying that no one expected the printing money (bidding up gold) before it happened, or is there a more subtle reason why the only relevant comparison is from the moment the policy called QE started?

Someone who bought gold after the Lehman fiasco (08), but before any of those QE milestones would have had several options since then to redeem for 2-3x gain.

It's an even bigger gap if you compare to any year before, back to ~98. S&P has had a horrible volatility/return performance going back to at least then.

Comment by silasbarta on Public Service Announcement Collection · 2013-06-28T01:16:27.399Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, it was a pretty safe bet in '08 given typical reactions to economic crises, and the prevalence of advice like this P/S/A that "oh, there totally won't be inflation from the printing money".

Comment by silasbarta on Public Service Announcement Collection · 2013-06-28T00:03:46.057Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

P/S/A: The people telling you to expect above-trend inflation when the Federal Reserve started printing money a few years back, disagreed with the market forecasts, disagreed with standard economics, turned out to be actually wrong in reality, and were wrong for reasonably fundamental reasons so don't buy gold when they tell you to.

You would have missed out on doubling or tripling your money if you hadn't bought gold when those same people had made the predictions.

Comment by silasbarta on Is our continued existence evidence that Mutually Assured Destruction worked? · 2013-06-20T01:04:28.930Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Many treatments of this issue use "observer moments" as a fundamental unit over which the selection occurs, expecting themselves to be in the class of observer-moments most common in the space of all observer moments.

Comment by silasbarta on Quotes and Notes on Scott Aaronson’s "The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine" · 2013-06-17T21:13:08.428Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Causality is based on entropy increase, so it can only make sense to draw causal arrows “backwards in time,” in those rare situations where entropy is not increasing with time. [...] where physical systems are allowed to evolve reversibly, free from contact with their external environments." E.g. the normal causal arrows break down for, say, CMB photons. -- Not sure how Scott jumps from reversible evolution to backward causality.

It's a few paragraphs up, where he says:

Now, the creation of reliable memories and records is essentially always associated with an increase in entropy (some would argue by definition). And in order for us, as observers, to speak sensibly about “A causing B,” we must be able to create records of A happening and then B happening. But by the above, this will essentially never be possible unless A is closer in time than B to the Big Bang.

That is, we are only capable of remembering (by any means) things closer to the Big Bang, because memories require entropy increase; and furthermore, memories are necessary for drawing a causal arrow that orders past vs future. But if there is a system that stays isentropic, it needn't have such a ordering.

Note: this is actually very close to Drescher's resolution of Loschmidt's paradox ("why is physics time-symmetric but entropy isn't?") in Good and Real: since entropy determines what we (or any observers) regard as pastward, we will necessarily observe only those time histories of increasing entropy.

Comment by silasbarta on Prisoner's Dilemma (with visible source code) Tournament · 2013-06-13T21:34:36.097Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Just thought I'd throw this out there:

TabooBot: Return D if opponent's source code contains a D; C otherwise.

To avoid mutual defection with other bots, it must (like with real prudish societies!) indirectly reference the output D. But then other kinds of bots can avoid explicit reference to D, requiring a more advanced TabooBot to have other checks, like defecting if the opponent's source code calls a modifier on a string literal.

Comment by silasbarta on [link] Scott Aaronson on free will · 2013-06-11T18:43:28.207Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Eh, I don't think I count as a luminary, but thanks :-)

Aaronson's crediting me is mostly due to our exchanges on the blog for his paper/class about philosophy and theoretical computer science.

One of them, about Newcomb's problem where my main criticisms were

a) he's overstating the level and kind of precision you would need when measuring a human for prediction; and

b) that the interesting philosophical implications of Newcomb's problem follow from already-achievable predictor accuracies.

The other, about average-human performance on 3SAT, where I was skeptical the average person actually notices global symmetries like the pigeonhole principle. (And, to a lesser extent, whether the other in which you stack objects affects their height...)

Comment by silasbarta on Applied art of rationality: Richard Feynman steelmanning his mother's concerns · 2013-06-10T21:15:01.488Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I see that now. It didn't help that Luke_A_Somers, in defending what he did as steelmanning, kept insisting that he was "making the original argument worse".

(In any case, I don't think TB was the "steelest" man you could make here, nor the mother's real rejection.)

Comment by silasbarta on A Viable Alternative to Typing · 2013-06-10T15:57:25.388Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, but I don't think EEG quality (in terms of lab vs. consumer grade) is the real bottleneck; I think it's minimizing the amount of input that must be provided at all by exploiting the regularity of the input that will be provided. The techniques available here may have been overlooked.

Comment by silasbarta on A Viable Alternative to Typing · 2013-06-10T01:58:27.889Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One character is not the same as one byte of (maximally compressed) information. The whole point of programs like Dasher (and word suggestion features in general) is to take advantage of the low entropy of text data relative to its uncompressed representation. Characteristic screenshot

Were you using a static, non-adaptive, on-screen keyboard? If so, that's why I would think connecting it to Dasher should result in a speed greater than one char per second, at least after the training period (both human training, and character-probability-distribution training).

Comment by silasbarta on Applied art of rationality: Richard Feynman steelmanning his mother's concerns · 2013-06-09T02:48:16.860Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Right, except yours missed out on the whole "make it a better argument that you're refuting" thing.

Comment by silasbarta on A Viable Alternative to Typing · 2013-06-08T20:19:48.384Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Right, I found that information at the time, but wasn't convinced this was the best achievable performance for such individuals (let alone price-performance), considering what should be possible with consumer-grade BCIs + Dasher.

I still can't convince myself that this is the best they can do. Personal project time?

Comment by silasbarta on Applied art of rationality: Richard Feynman steelmanning his mother's concerns · 2013-06-08T20:13:33.143Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Right, and we're talking about what true steelmanning would be in this case, right?

Comment by silasbarta on Applied art of rationality: Richard Feynman steelmanning his mother's concerns · 2013-06-07T23:43:38.000Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think we're agreeing on definition: I thought steelmanning was necessarily making the argument better, not worse.

Comment by silasbarta on Applied art of rationality: Richard Feynman steelmanning his mother's concerns · 2013-06-07T20:12:37.912Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think steelmanning would instead be if you listed more realistic dangers of that place rather than more extreme dangers: for example, "TB is not a threat, but let's look at what the biggest danger would be, and see if the concern is still justified. How about the danger that people may not want to be around you if you go there too much [probably closer to what she actually had in mind] ..."

Comment by silasbarta on A Viable Alternative to Typing · 2013-06-07T17:15:09.705Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I was exploring it

a) as a possible alternative (and very cheap) typing mechanism for the disabled that hadn't been tried before, and

b) because I figured I could improve on it to the point of making brain-typing competitive, or at least make BCI competitive with mouse usage.

Comment by silasbarta on A Viable Alternative to Typing · 2013-06-07T00:02:22.358Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is a device I got in December 2010, for IIRC $130. It detects tension ("grrr"), eye movement, and some other brain waves. In my experimentation with it, I found the brain wave modes hard to control, while the others were easier.

There was another model I saw that was $300, but I can't remember the name. The amazon page should get you started on finding related hardware.

Note: I haven't actually used a BCI with Dasher, it was just an idea I had for hands-free typing (and possible improvements in costs over existing tools for the disabled).

Comment by silasbarta on Prisoner's Dilemma (with visible source code) Tournament · 2013-06-06T21:58:22.260Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Make sure the equality comparison only depends on things that affect functionality -- i.e. it will declare any functionally equivalent programs equal even they use a different nameset for variables or something.

(Yes, I know that's reducible to the halting problem; in practice, you'll use a computable, polynomial time approximation for it that will inevitably have to throw out equivalent programs that are too complex or otherwise be too 'clever'.)

Comment by silasbarta on A Viable Alternative to Typing · 2013-06-06T21:36:21.001Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I was considering setting up a brain-computer interface for typing. There are a lot of existing BCI hardware systems out there, and you could hook them into Dasher), a program for the disabled that makes it easy to point a mouse or finger at the keys they want to type, and makes likelier keys easier to hit.

Idea free for the stealing.

Still, keyboards are pretty effective (I use Pentadactyl to browse the web using just the keyboard), so I would think you could find a better keyboard somehow that could work for you.

Comment by silasbarta on Why economics is not a morality tale · 2013-06-06T21:32:55.749Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Those are moral arguments.

Comment by silasbarta on Why economics is not a morality tale · 2013-06-04T22:33:23.860Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To act morally means to take actions which benefit other people.

To act morally implies taking actions which benefit other people under certain value systems.

Comment by silasbarta on Why economics is not a morality tale · 2013-06-04T22:29:03.893Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If we're going to talk about what people often do, I should add that people often warn about economics "not being a morality tale" and then go right on moralizing in different language ("we shouldn't let bondholders being able to stall a recovery...").

Or, a better example, "pollution is bad".

Comment by silasbarta on How much was creating Google worth? · 2013-06-03T20:09:12.859Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Good point, but I don't think the value of the end result is necessarily equal to RB, for much the same reason that (I suspect) Shapley value would correspond to (something like) "market value" rather than "market value plus consumer surplus". That is, no matter how badly you want you bathroom cleaned, the value of the labor to clean the bathroom is only equal to the market value of that labor, irrespective of how happy I am to have it done.

While voting doesn't directly map onto a market like that, there is a similar sense in which being one of the voters for something that "had no chance of passing" (thus getting the high margin of victory) is worth less -- even per voter -- than voting for something whose fate was less certain.

Comment by silasbarta on How much was creating Google worth? · 2013-06-03T00:15:34.253Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure myself, but the general PageRank algorithm (the method of adjacency matrix eigenvectors for determining critical nodes) had been around since the 60s, but hadn't been properly mapped to the site ranking problem until them (which is not a trivial problem at self, at least at the stage of recognizing the relevance).

Comment by silasbarta on How much was creating Google worth? · 2013-06-03T00:10:27.714Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting! I hadn't heard of Shapley Value before.

Regarding voting, let me do a back of the envelope calculation: every voter (that voted the same way) would, by symmetry arguments have contributed equal value. And since Shapley averages over every possible voter subset, and voters would only get credited for those subsets where they are the determining vote (which is proportional to the factorial of the margin of victory I think) then the value each voter (for policy A given two alternatives) contributes is something like:

  RB
----
n MV!

Where n is the number of voters for policy A, RB is relative benefit of policy A compared to B, and MV is the margin of victory. But I think I made a mistake of ome kind somewhere.

Comment by silasbarta on [LINK] Bets do not (necessarily) reveal beliefs · 2013-05-31T22:34:09.310Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You appear to be unclear on the meaning of "arbitrage". Simply taking a position that has positive expected return is not arbitrage; it's just plain investing. Arbitrage has positive (or at least nonnegative) 'guaranteed' return.

Casino owners are often said to be practicing "statistical arbitrage". What would you call it?

Is there a fundamental difference between 1) a casino's "really high" probability of earning a profit (on bets before expenses), 2) real-world true arbitrage, and 3) positive expected return in the large?

It seems related to the P=BPP problem, in which you can have confidence in a probabilistic solution that's higher than your confidence that your computer works, but which some people deem inferior to a deterministic solution coming from the same hardware.

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-30T03:53:36.730Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think you're engaging your opponents strongest arguments here. Yes most proponents (even economists or scott sumner) of active monetary policy can't articulate why it might be a good idea that is solidly grounded, but other people can (myself, nick rowe, other market monetarists or the austrian monetary desequilibriumists), and you should engage the arguments they make.

Hold on -- Sumner is the one everyone refers back to when advocating monetary policies he likes, he's blogged about it for years, at tremendous length, starting from the crisis, he's become (supposedly) influential in policy circles, and you're saying I'm attacking a weak point? Sumner is exactly who I should be engaging, which is why it's all the more saddening that his arguments fail simple checks:

  • Doesn't this mean the Fed should be loaning to any ol' person who can put up the collateral at 0%, not just large banks?
  • Why is it bad to "hoard" money for a year, but not five days? Why 5% NGDP growth and not some other number?
  • Why is it a "crisis" when interbank short-term loan rates "spike" from 4% to 6%? That just means their borrowing cost went up in the parts per million. (His entire response to this was something like "yes, 'for want of a nail' and all that".)
  • If more exchanges are good, why aren't hyperinflation scenarios (in which people treat money as a hot potato) a social optimum? (Or lesser scenarios that make people trade more than they otherwise would, like bans on home cooking.)

I know you know of a way to tabulate the benefits because we've had extensive discussions about it. The benefits are the marginal utility of holding money (convenience etc.), the costs/benefits are the changes in money holdings you impose on other people when you trade or don't trade with them.

No, those weren't the main benefits of holding money, and your citing of them means I somehow didn't communicate the benefits to you. On your specific illustrative examples of convenience in our past discussion, I found them to completely assume away the important social benefits of hoarding.

In short, every example you gave was a case in which people knew in advance what they were going to spend the money on (e.g. having money for the bus). But these are emphatically opposite of the cases where money is most important and uniquely valuable -- i.e., when you don't yet know what you wish to redeem the money for and prefer to keep its option value.

The main benefit of holding money is that it signals the higher social demand for option value, which in turn is indicative of "discoordination", or the lack of confidence that people can find stable comparative advantages. Money is only the extreme end of a scale that includes goods of increasingly multiple use -- but in such scenarios, anything if valued if and to the extend that it will be useful in a broader array of situations.

You can suppress that signal, but only by worsening the economic allocation problem, just as you can suppress spiking oil prices, but only by shifting around the inefficiencies.

So I don't think anyone, including you, has really engaged with the benefits of hoarding and so don't have a satisfactory framework for evaluating whether there's "too much".

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-27T18:01:42.739Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Because one attempts to solve a shortage of money by adding more money and one tries to solve the same problem by much worse means?

But the dynamic is exactly the same! People are making all trades in which the stuff they get is better than enduring the "punishment" (arrest or loss of savings). This means the fraction of trades that only happened because of this policy are not, like other trades, Pareto-optimal. The fact that the means are better or worse among them (in gross terms) does not matter; they all are undermining the basis on which we can conclude that trades are positive sum. If your solution assumes away this loss of utility, you can get away with anything.

I'm confused why we're having this argument again, I thought I had more or less convinced you on these issues.

What gave you that impression? I thought we reached pretty intractable points, in that our core disagreement hinges on the question of the economic role of liquidity in goods, and the extent to which the market can thereby signal "discoordination" (a term you also claimed doesn't operationalize).

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-26T22:56:14.029Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would say your language is at least as unrecognizable if you're going to propose measures to stop people from hoar... not spending money fast enough, while saying the problem "isn't about that" (another red flag term), but instead "really about" this other new thing you just brought up.

Regardless, about that thing: yes, it certainly sucks when you can't retroactively change the numbers in a contract you signed, and don't understand how it embrittles your business plan to guarantee a stream of payments like that. However, sane policies should not favor those who failed to plan against eventualities, nor are sane economies predicated thereon.

I'm afraid that you do have to employ the concept of hoarding (or some isomorphic one) when you want to claim that welfare-enhan... positive sum trades are maximized when NGDP grows at n% like clockwork, regardless of how unmoored the economy has become, for some value of n that Sumner pulled out of thin air.

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-26T21:50:03.765Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This doesn't mean that they're evil hoarders, though I do think that preferring money as a store of value generally indicates something wrong.

Well, that's the core of our disagreement (indeed, my disagreement with anyone who buys into either the Sumner or Krugman view).

Specifically, on what basis can you even begin to make a case that there is "too much" hoarding without a framework for tabulating its benefits? That's like saying that someone isn't "eating healthy enough" while only counting the benefits of eating healthy.

And yet (as best demonstrated by the Landsburg link), any time such proponents are asked how to tabulate the relative benefits of hoarding to hoarders against its social costs, the answer is somwhere between silence and "assume we want to get people spending".

That should be a much bigger red flag for you in the opposite direction.

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-26T21:43:47.306Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Remember our conversation! Sometimes negative interest rates are appropriate.

Even so, the case you describe wouldn't require central banking to bring about zero interest rates, and yet their action is needed to do exactly that.

Also, I don't understand why you insist on talking about adding more money to the economy as 'forcing of higher trading'.

Then why do you understand why it's talked about in exactly that manner, i.e. used to prop up total nominal expenditures? How do you differentiate e.g. quantitative easing from from the murder policy I described, or the "ban on home cooking" that I described in past discussions with you. Both get people to spend more money.

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-26T21:35:59.906Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

As a blanket presumption, that's dumb and you know it.

I think you're confusing "presumption" with "categorial principle" or "axiom" or something. A presumption can be overridden, given sufficient evidence; my question was whether or how strongly EY takes a presumption against it. If you agree with the concept of criminalizing counterfeiting, you agree with that presumption.

Certainly printing money is a near costless way to solve economic problems at some times otherwise we wouldn't use money at all.

Does not follow. Not all moneys arose in a Pareto-optimal fashion, so their use not evidence printing money being costless.

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-26T21:31:32.151Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm referring the commonly-known problem of deriving macro results from micro, which we also talked about in those exchanges, and during which you rejected the claim that failing to so derive results is a reason to reject the macro conclusions. If you remember differently, give a link.

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-26T21:28:18.898Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Which, FWIW, is what happened. The question is, "why didn't it happen sooner?" with perhaps a follow-up of "what's the soonest we can reasonably expect these things to happen?"

Comment by silasbarta on Mathematicians and the Prevention of Recessions · 2013-05-26T21:23:06.869Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

1987) is the example typically offered by propotents of that position.