PredictIt: Presidential Market is Increasingly Wrong 2020-10-18T22:40:00.968Z · score: 32 (15 votes)
Covid 10/15: Playtime is Over 2020-10-15T14:30:01.742Z · score: 71 (34 votes)
Covid 10/8: October Surprise 2020-10-08T13:20:01.665Z · score: 67 (28 votes)
Covid 10/1: The Long Haul 2020-10-01T18:00:00.848Z · score: 98 (46 votes)
Covid 9/24: Until Morale Improves 2020-09-24T15:40:02.594Z · score: 96 (39 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: The Stanley Parable 2020-09-24T14:40:01.655Z · score: 27 (8 votes)
Covid 9/17: It’s Worse 2020-09-17T15:10:01.649Z · score: 54 (27 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: Orwell 2020-09-16T13:30:02.648Z · score: 11 (2 votes)
Free Money at PredictIt: 2020 General Election 2020-09-14T14:40:01.941Z · score: 21 (9 votes)
Covid 9/10: Vitamin D 2020-09-10T19:00:01.664Z · score: 114 (42 votes)
The Four Children of the Seder as the Simulacra Levels 2020-09-07T15:00:02.899Z · score: 64 (23 votes)
Covid 9/3: Meet the New CDC 2020-09-03T13:40:01.019Z · score: 48 (16 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: Death and Taxes 2020-08-29T13:10:01.216Z · score: 8 (2 votes)
Covid 8/27: The Fall of the CDC 2020-08-27T14:10:01.636Z · score: 86 (29 votes)
I Started a Sports and Gambling Substack 2020-08-25T21:30:00.876Z · score: 17 (5 votes)
Covid 8/20: A Little Progress 2020-08-20T14:30:00.920Z · score: 46 (13 votes)
WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives 2020-08-18T15:50:00.842Z · score: 17 (5 votes)
Covid 8/13: Same As It Ever Was 2020-08-13T15:40:02.339Z · score: 53 (27 votes)
Covid 8/6: The Case of the Missing Data 2020-08-06T21:40:00.880Z · score: 44 (18 votes)
Unifying the Simulacra Definitions 2020-08-03T12:10:01.076Z · score: 83 (25 votes)
Covid 7/30: Whack a Mole 2020-07-30T15:50:04.756Z · score: 39 (15 votes)
New Paper on Herd Immunity Thresholds 2020-07-29T20:50:01.242Z · score: 41 (19 votes)
Covid 7/23: The Second Summit 2020-07-23T14:40:00.980Z · score: 60 (23 votes)
Fresh Bread 2020-07-21T20:40:00.994Z · score: 23 (6 votes)
Covid 7/16: Becoming the Mask 2020-07-16T12:40:00.663Z · score: 88 (30 votes)
Covid-19: Analysis of Mortality Data 2020-07-11T21:30:01.397Z · score: 32 (13 votes)
Covid 7/9: Lies, Damn Lies and Death Rates 2020-07-09T13:40:01.359Z · score: 55 (27 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: Horizon Zero Dawn 2020-07-07T13:20:00.894Z · score: 10 (2 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (plus a Spoilerific section) 2020-07-04T23:10:03.342Z · score: 14 (4 votes)
Covid 7/2: It Could Be Worse 2020-07-02T20:20:01.045Z · score: 86 (24 votes)
Covid 6/25: The Dam Breaks 2020-06-25T18:30:02.899Z · score: 120 (43 votes)
Linkpost: M21 Review: We Have Normality 2020-06-24T16:10:00.775Z · score: 11 (2 votes)
New York Times, Please Do Not Threaten The Safety of Scott Alexander By Revealing His True Name 2020-06-23T12:20:00.788Z · score: 152 (76 votes)
Covid-19 6/18: The Virus Goes South 2020-06-18T20:10:00.820Z · score: 55 (18 votes)
Simulacra Levels and their Interactions 2020-06-15T13:10:00.717Z · score: 146 (52 votes)
Covid-19 6/11: Bracing For a Second Wave 2020-06-11T21:30:00.706Z · score: 61 (24 votes)
Covid-19 6/4: The Eye of the Storm 2020-06-04T20:50:01.199Z · score: 35 (10 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: CrossCells 2020-06-03T18:30:00.873Z · score: 9 (1 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: Monster Train 2020-06-02T13:40:00.868Z · score: 14 (5 votes)
Covid-19: My Current Model 2020-05-31T17:40:00.945Z · score: 189 (94 votes)
Covid-19 5/29: Dumb Reopening 2020-05-29T21:00:01.069Z · score: 26 (8 votes)
Spoiler-Free Review: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 2020-05-26T14:10:01.401Z · score: 8 (2 votes)
Plague in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 2020-05-24T12:00:00.904Z · score: 30 (12 votes)
Mazes Sequence Summary 2020-05-23T16:40:01.401Z · score: 74 (20 votes)
Get It Done Now 2020-05-22T12:20:00.566Z · score: 52 (26 votes)
Covid 5/21: Limbo Under 2020-05-14T22:30:01.183Z · score: 16 (5 votes)
Legends of Runeterra: Early Review 2020-05-13T10:50:00.696Z · score: 14 (6 votes)
Covid-19: Comorbidity 2020-05-10T21:30:01.304Z · score: 45 (15 votes)
Covid-19 5/7: Fighting Limbo 2020-05-07T19:00:01.414Z · score: 28 (9 votes)
Covid-19: New York’s Antibody Tests 2 2020-05-06T17:40:01.215Z · score: 17 (7 votes)


Comment by zvi on The Darwin Game · 2020-10-19T22:55:26.802Z · score: 16 (7 votes) · LW · GW

So, in case anyone's wondering what I did...

I cared enough to think and enter, but not to program. 

I designed a simulator, but was told it wouldn't be coded for me, so that was out.

So instead, I wrote this:

Until symmetry breaks, if the round # is 1, is 3 or is even, play sequence 23322232323322233 and then repeat 22222223 until symmetry breaks. If round # is odd and 5 or more, the reverse, except repeating 22222223 at the end.

Once it breaks, alternate 2 and 3 for 4 turns.

Then, if the last turn added to 5, keep doing that until they don't.

Once they don't...

If they've always played 0 or less, play 5.  

If they've always played 1 or less, play 4.  

If they've always played 2 or less, play 3.

Otherwise, depending on round number:

Rounds 1-50: Keep alternating until turn t+10. After that, if last turn added to 5, alternate 2 and 3. Otherwise, check their average score per round after symmetry. If it's 2.5 or lower, play 2, otherwise play 3. 

Rounds 51-100: Same as above, except you also always play 3 if their score is 5 or more higher than yours.

Rounds 101+: Same as above, except you also always play 3 if their score is higher than yours.

(We could improve by adding more logic to properly exploit in strange situations, but we don't care enough so we won't.)

That's it. Keep it simple. Still call it BendBot I guess.

The intention here was pretty basic. Endgame behavior varies by round to get stingier if anyone tries something, to grab early pool share without being exploited later.

The big thing is that this bot is deterministic. I intentionally avoid calling the random function by choosing a semi-random set of 2s and 3s, on the theory that it's unlikely anyone else would choose an identical sequence, and if I meet myself I get the 2.5 anyway.

If they are not simulating or checking code, it won't matter.

If they are looking at all, then my not loading their code and not being random tells them the water's fine, take a look, see what's going on, and we can cooperate fully - you can see what I'm starting with, and we can get 2.5 each without incident. I'm sad that some people thought that more than two parenthesis was high risk to simulate/examine - I thought that the obvious thing to do was check to see if someone ever loads code or uses a random function, and if you don't do either, you should be safe.

So the thought was, many of the best bots would be simulator bots and I'd get full cooperation from them, whereas when they faced each other, they'd have to do some random matching to cooperate, so I'd have an edge there, and I'd do reasonably well against anything else that went late unless some alliance was afoot.

Turns out an alliance is afoot after all, but I certainly didn't care enough to worry about that. Let them come, and let the backstabbers profit, I say.

I was told that I had by far the most complicated non-coded entry even then, and that my endgame logic was being replaced with randomly 50% 2, 50% 3. I was asked, submit as-is, fix it, or withdraw?

That modification definitely didn't work, and the code that was written was not something I felt OK touching. So I explained why, and suggested it be replaced with this:

If (last round added to 5 or less) play whatever they played last.

Else If (their score > my score and round > 5) play 3.

Else Play 2.

I figured that was one extra line of code and should take like 2 minutes tops, and if that was 'too complex' then that was fine, I'd sit out.

So basically, let myself get exploited very early since there would likely be at least one all-3s in the mix but all such things would swiftly lose, then shift to hardcore mode a little faster to keep it simple.  

I didn't get a reply to that, so I don't know if my entry is in or not. I hope it is, but either way, good luck everyone.

Comment by zvi on PredictIt: Presidential Market is Increasingly Wrong · 2020-10-19T22:24:46.160Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed do not accept sign up bonuses unless you know how to roll them over reasonably (if size is big enough I can help with that).

Comment by zvi on Covid 10/15: Playtime is Over · 2020-10-18T21:15:29.688Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Note that my own blog also has an active comments section that has some good people in it (and some not so good of course), if you want to watch for errors without checking other sources directly. 

I do think that if there's something that impacts your decisions a lot, you should do your own investigations too!

Comment by zvi on Bet On Biden · 2020-10-18T17:24:23.438Z · score: 17 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I'm debating to what extent to write a detailed explanation, but


(1) yes the odds are insane at this point, and I felt the need to note this in my weekly Covid post. Trump is not 0% but he sure isn't 38%. 

(2) the relative odds between the odds now, and the odds earlier in the year, are how you know the market is insane here. Nate's update from 71% to 87% reflects that Trump's position is obviously vastly worse than it was before, with less time to go, fewer opportunities for things to change, many votes in the bank and Biden several points farther ahead when the baseline was tightening. Yet the odds on Trump remain stubborn.

When I wrote my recent review of PredictIt prices, I thought Trump's odds were very generous but perhaps plausible. That's no longer the case. 

Comment by zvi on Covid 10/15: Playtime is Over · 2020-10-15T19:01:28.371Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Except it's not ethical to test at any practical cost, privacy rules mean you can't trace, we all know the rules about treat, and we already know what we think about isolate!

Comment by zvi on Why Boston? · 2020-10-13T15:04:44.539Z · score: 21 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I continue to be a strong advocate of New York City. If you think NYC is too expensive (it's cheaper than it was a year ago, and cheaper than SF, and totally Worth It, but yes it's not cheap), Boston is an excellent alternative choice. Right now we're doing our pandemic hideaway in Warwick, NY, about 40 miles NW of the city, but we'll be returning to Manhattan (probably Stuyvesant Town or Chelsea/Union Square area, outside chance of Brooklyn or Upper West Side) in Late Q1 2021. 

A number of strong people have recently clustered in Brooklyn in the Fort Greene area.

If anyone is seriously considering NYC and wants to talk to me about it in more detail, happy to answer any questions.

Comment by zvi on Why Boston? · 2020-10-13T14:59:58.901Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Important corrective to the pedestrian dynamics. You do not check to see if the cars are capable of stopping for you - you assume that the cars will keep going straight at their current speed. Only if you can cross safely under that circumstance do you cross. Assuming the car will actively change what it is doing is a way to get killed. 

And it's super frustrating when it is clear that a car will be well past you by the time you reach them, then you start to cross, then they slow down, and now you have to stop too because you don't know if it's safe. This happens all the time outside of the east coast, and even happens in small towns in the east sometimes, and it's maddening. 

Also note that you can do what SF people do and wait for the light even when no cars are coming, I mean, if you think your life is too long and you want to give away some of it for no reason and never get it back. As you do. You can eventually cross that way.

Comment by zvi on Why Boston? · 2020-10-13T14:55:37.297Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by zvi on Covid 10/8: October Surprise · 2020-10-10T01:04:39.609Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Very open to different word handling, but strongly disagree with this take. Good Place is underrated.

Comment by zvi on The Darwin Game · 2020-10-09T10:44:31.617Z · score: 28 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Free self recognition seems like it makes game less interesting, And that anyone who gets a big lead early just wins?

Comment by zvi on Covid 10/8: October Surprise · 2020-10-09T10:41:14.395Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Others can let me know if this is common, and what I should do instead of it is. F***? Just don't censor at all? Skip word entirely?

Comment by zvi on Covid 10/1: The Long Haul · 2020-10-01T21:39:31.557Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The overestimate I was thinking of was the number of Covid cases period, not the number of long haul cases. Wording could be improved, I've edited original. 

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/10: Vitamin D · 2020-09-27T20:05:59.807Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think it's best addressed by noting this in the future when it comes up - can't be going back and editing weekly news posts. I'd be more worried if I didn't still firmly believe the same conclusion anyway.

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/24: Until Morale Improves · 2020-09-24T23:36:55.221Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Tell the researchers seems right. But I'd note that if blinding is bad, that seems like it would make the control group take relatively less risk, so the results should still be valid?

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/17: It’s Worse · 2020-09-17T22:42:35.874Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My understanding is it definitely helps versus not having had them! But that historically the amount burned each year was very, very large, so I'm not sure if we actually better off next year than this year, or only less worse off than we could have been.

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/17: It’s Worse · 2020-09-17T22:41:46.370Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

In the case of the pause, I wasn't saying that it was time, that day, to give the vaccine to the public. I was saying that they should continue the trial while they investigate the one case, until such time as they actually find a problem linked to the vaccine, so as to not lose time. The downside risk there seems to be almost zero.

The quotes above are all just further "ethicists" who make their prestige and money from expressing concerns and stopping people from doing things, expressing concern and stopping people from doing things, and forcing their procedures on people regardless of whether they make sense. Nothing there is new to me.

As Dagon says, if you think we should use the same speed and standards now that we would use in a non-crisis that wasn't causing massive damage to lives and livelihoods and the entire world, then I don't think that's how trade-offs work and am confused.

I won't get further into the specifics, but I find the arguments raised here both things I've dealt with before, and highly uncompelling.

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/17: It’s Worse · 2020-09-17T22:35:37.019Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm trying not to overstate the case, but not making too much of an effort - e.g. enough to avoid overstating it if taken out of context. I'm saying more that, it might be enough, we've declined to figure that out along with many other things, and that if it *was* enough that it wouldn't cause behaviors to change.

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/17: It’s Worse · 2020-09-17T22:34:23.631Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Who said I was a utilitarian? I am saying that I have a clear preference order, and one candidate is above the other (and also prefer a clear and accepted victory to a disputed one, no matter who wins).

Its above refers to Trump's administration in that sentence, yes.

Comment by zvi on Spoiler-Free Review: Orwell · 2020-09-16T17:48:19.127Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't seen a game in this genre I'd put into Tier 1, but haven't played too extensively in the genre. Papers, Please has the best reputation. I tried to play once and got frustrated before getting to the part where it's interesting.

Comment by zvi on Free Money at PredictIt: 2020 General Election · 2020-09-14T16:09:49.752Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, that's still somewhat confusing, but makes it clear that they mean the election. I'll edit to reflect that.

(I've now edited the original, mods please update - I gotta go and now is not a good time for me to learn how to properly paste the HTML or what not)

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/10: Vitamin D · 2020-09-11T13:05:42.764Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It won't.

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/10: Vitamin D · 2020-09-11T00:40:22.636Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This has been fixed/updated, please reimport.

Comment by zvi on The Four Children of the Seder as the Simulacra Levels · 2020-09-10T14:08:33.741Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting question. An experiment off top of head.

Level 1: "Please pass the potatoes" because you want potatoes.

Level 2: "Please pass the potatoes" because I want you to think you make good potatoes.

Level 3: "Please pass the potatoes" because I want to fit in with the potato-eating group.

Level 4: "Please pass the potatoes" because I can see there are no potatoes and this will lower the status of the people who didn't make enough potatoes or raise the status of those whose potatoes are in high demand, or cause a fight over who ate too many, or whatever.

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/3: Meet the New CDC · 2020-09-06T11:25:32.875Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree the housing market is deeply broken in many places, but would explain this purely in supply and demand terms. There is large demand, and laws severely restrict supply. Thus, prices go up. We expect additional restrictions on supply, so prices are expected to go up more, so they go up now, expectations set in, and so on. Then in part to protect those expectations, restrictions are increased.

If we ban/tax renting that won't solve the problem, that will force renters to buy instead, and destroy the ability of the poor (who don't hit a lottery where they're given a house for free) to find places to live even more than we already do. This is already happening of course. Rent control is known to be the best way to destroy a city's housing stock short of aerial bombing - and eviction bans are the most extreme form of rent control.

The solution is obvious. Get rid of the restrictions on building more housing and on how one rents out housing, and supply will increase, as will expected future supply, driving prices down to not much more than cost of construction. To help more, also work to make us able to build things cheaper.

(OK, tagging out on further discussions here to avoid getting into politics and things that have nothing to do with Covid-19)

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/3: Meet the New CDC · 2020-09-04T20:05:30.469Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

All those air quotes sound mostly like the kind of thing that people who want to can just claim without too much effort, or threaten to claim they did when threatened with eviction, or when taken to court to be evicted. Meanwhile they're threatening criminal penalties for breaking the rule. So effectively, anyone who doesn't want to leave and is willing to break the social contract to stay, is going to be untouchable - the fight is ugly enough to begin with, this gives a credible threat to make it much worse.

If we think it is good public policy to keep such people in their homes, and we decided to pay their rent for them because this was a taking of private property, and ideally take over that debt in some form for later collection if the person recovers their income, that seems like a plausible thing to consider. Seizing the property outright, not so much.

Also, I don't buy that property in general is in such low demand. The argument presumes that people have little demand for slash ability to pay for apartments/houses (house), and thus there's a huge overhang of supply, and evictions make things worse. But what I'm seeing in the charts is that house prizes are up in many/most places, not down, with places that are exceptions places that actually are worse places to live for now (e.g. NY/SF).

I think that's about as far as I'll go with this. I agree that there's a reasonable argument to be made to provide some eviction protections, or more than already exist. But we both agree, I think, that the CDC doing it is in no way appropriate. I would say blatantly unconstitutional, sets a really horrible precedent, violates the basic concept of rule of law, etc etc. You want to do this, you pass an act of congress.

Comment by zvi on Covid 9/3: Meet the New CDC · 2020-09-04T19:57:35.653Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Literally negative. Which means it was some sort of correction, and shouldn't be treated as a real effect, because it can't be.

Comment by zvi on A tool to estimate COVID risk from common activities · 2020-09-01T10:40:53.084Z · score: 9 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If I thought it was only worth $10k to avoid Covid, then I would stop trying to not catch it entirely, I'm giving up way, way more value than that and none of my actions make sense, and also the lockdown is a beyond obvious mistake (e.g. $10,000 times 300 million extra cases is both the beyond-worst-case and also 3 trillion so just let it happen modulo the most vulnerable).

Also, dollar framing this way excludes impact on others, so it'll be a vast underestimate. Including it would likely give people a very bad idea.

Comment by zvi on Plans / prepping for possible political violence from upcoming US election? · 2020-08-31T23:29:58.990Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I have postponed consideration of moving back to Manhattan until after the election, and plan to be well stocked on November 3. Don't intend to do anything beyond that.

Comment by zvi on Covid 8/27: The Fall of the CDC · 2020-08-27T23:00:56.169Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, also in the hopes that it helps encourage others to wear them. As Silver_Swift says it's fine to use that. It can even be Level 1 - you're providing a true Bayesian update to others about whether masks work and what the consequences of wearing one would be!

Comment by zvi on Covid 8/27: The Fall of the CDC · 2020-08-27T22:59:55.194Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I 100% listened and heard him get it very wrong, and lots of other people did too. And if he'd gotten it right, he wouldn't have had to apologize afterwards, so I'm rather confident he got it wrong.

(Which is why, sadly, apologizing is once again clearly the wrong strategic move, even when clearly the right thing to do. Sigh.)

Comment by zvi on WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives · 2020-08-19T10:39:50.622Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No. It's from Illuminatus. I could write one easily enough.

Comment by zvi on WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives · 2020-08-18T22:28:23.617Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's fundamentally terrible and I don't see that changing.

Comment by zvi on WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives · 2020-08-18T22:27:55.654Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed that the game theory is worth thinking about more.

In general, I'm inclined to answer the second question with 'it's fine to talk about it in public because both your game theory should be robust to others knowing what it is, and also You Are Not The Target, a powerful mantra.

Comment by zvi on WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives · 2020-08-18T22:26:32.031Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm using Windows, so that one's out. Would be happy to consider a good third-party editor. For now my third-party editor is 'write in Google Docs or word'.

Comment by zvi on WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives · 2020-08-18T22:25:49.273Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am not self-hosting. If transitioning to self-hosting is a reasonable solution I am willing to consider it - it would have to either be simple to do, or have other benefits.

Comment by zvi on Unifying the Simulacra Definitions · 2020-08-03T22:43:12.482Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm looking forward to it.

Comment by zvi on Unifying the Simulacra Definitions · 2020-08-03T22:42:14.570Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There are three mistakes. One is the one you worry about, that levels 3 and 4 will be seen as evil and dark arts and avoided, preventing effectiveness. You can't just hit ignore.

The second is to fail to understand level 4 and even level 3 and treat them as much less alien than they are with respect to levels 1 and 2.

The third is to gaze into the abyss and let it gaze too far into you, and lose your grip on reality. Elon and Steve and Walt are pretty special. It's something to aspire to.

Balancing all the messages is hard. And right now, I am worried mostly about the first one.

Comment by zvi on New Paper on Herd Immunity Thresholds · 2020-07-30T10:15:08.069Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

No, just no. You are being misled. Lots of people were sick in March and almost none of them caught it again in July. We know it's a minimum of 4 months.

I have talked about this many times in my posts so I won't say more here.

Comment by zvi on "Should Blackmail Be Legal" Hanson/Zvi Debate (Sun July 26th, 3pm PDT) · 2020-07-27T00:27:44.680Z · score: 20 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Congrats to Robin. He represented his side well. Looks like the crowd shifted substantially towards him after the debate.

I do not think I did as good a job, and in particular did not think to prepare concrete examples where legal blackmail would do harm, and had trouble thinking of good ones in the moment. Of course, now, it's easy to think of a list.

Part of that, ironically, is that I was afraid of my statements in a public form implicitly endorsing or admitting to something that could be used against me later.

Comment by zvi on "Should Blackmail Be Legal" Hanson/Zvi Debate (Sun July 26th, 3pm PDT) · 2020-07-27T00:19:38.845Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Looks like the meeting got cut off by the host?

Comment by zvi on Covid 7/23: The Second Summit · 2020-07-23T21:19:17.578Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, the free version isn't dragon, you need to pay $10/month, will think about whether it's worth a note up top.

On the fire alarm, it's a metaphor, agreed we're using it slightly differently, if there's a consensus this is a problem I can reword.

Comment by zvi on Criticism of some popular LW articles · 2020-07-19T22:25:16.884Z · score: 22 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think the criticism of post 2 here is on point at all. Elizabeth is making the claim that if everyone shifted from thinking dollars most reliable to thinking euros, that this would be self-fulfilling and have big impacts. This seems right, regardless of why this happened. The response seems wrong in four ways.

One, I don't think that there needs to be an overarching reason. It's not crazy that a propaganda campaign (someone 'talking their book' on a large enough level) combined with large bets could cause a cascade effect in worlds where that wouldn't have otherwise happened.

Two, it's the currency and not the stock market that matters here. Stock market is a different thing. Not central but worth noting.

Three, the currency markets are exactly the thing Elizabeth is talking about - anticipated future prices, which are a function of supply and demand. A lot of the demand for dollars is the expectation that people will demand dollars because business with others is done in dollars, etc. Hitting the tipping point would cause a cascade. The idea that markets are about some 'fundamentals' and causation is one-directional simply isn't right. Expectations are huge.

Four, even if in this particular example we are not close to a switch, that would only mean it's a bad example. The principle certainly holds. E.g. it is easy to imagine worlds in which there was a 'flippening' and ETH took over the BTC role as primary method of cryptocurrency payment some time in 2018, without anything fundamental changing. There's no reason to think that would have become undone - likely the opposite, and if ETH had passed BTC it would have pulled further away over time.

Comment by zvi on Criticism of some popular LW articles · 2020-07-19T22:15:53.167Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

General inquiry as to level of appetite for this type of criticism, and whether doing such for recent posts would be a positive or negative for those writing.

(Not as a 'should this have been written?' but more as a 'should I/others consider writing more similar posts?'

Comment by zvi on Raemon's Shortform · 2020-07-18T11:12:08.526Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds like mostly low sample size?

Comment by zvi on Covid 7/16: Becoming the Mask · 2020-07-17T13:35:26.947Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW


I've noticed there seems to be a policy of not deleting typo threads after they've completed their missions, not sure why that's the case - when I ask for deletion after the fix it doesn't happen.

Comment by zvi on Covid 7/16: Becoming the Mask · 2020-07-17T13:34:23.588Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So we can test AB-blood populations for antibodies and compare that to the general population, and you'll know quickly if this theory is right or not?

Comment by zvi on Covid 7/16: Becoming the Mask · 2020-07-16T21:25:30.042Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed that this is how most people seem to effectively act, so you need to find a rule to tell them that 80/20s things as best one can. It's unfortunate that this is *wildly* worse than having a gears model, but dunno what can be done about that.

Comment by zvi on Covid 7/16: Becoming the Mask · 2020-07-16T21:24:14.590Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW


What's the practical implication if true? Presumably it implies things like "You're type A so you go to the type O butcher's shop, or have an office meeting with a Type O colleague, and everyone is safe?" Does that mean that type A people become more valuable because there are less of them and they match easier? What about type B? Are ABs worse than As or are they now superstars? Etc.

Does this mean that blood relatives are in general more likely to infect within-household than friends or spouses, since their types match more often? Any implications? Etc.

Comment by zvi on Covid 7/16: Becoming the Mask · 2020-07-16T21:19:28.819Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I assume China is at least doing a cost-benefit - it's risky and expensive to do the vaccinations, and it's not a great source of information on whether it works, so the benefits at that scale are mostly because you think it will likely work. I agree that it's much less evidence than if e.g. Germany were doing it!

I dunno if seeing sports played to empty stadiums signals much of a return to normality. I agree that sports shutting down was a big wake-up call, and helped a lot, but I think every game will have a definite air of 'things are not normal' when they pan to empty fan sections, see the sidelines full of masks and distancing, and talk about which teams have had testing concerns. It might even model good behavior.

Comment by zvi on Covid-19: Analysis of Mortality Data · 2020-07-13T20:12:10.526Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, stuff like that. Some real decline definitely happened, but again it can't be in June.