Comment by zvi on Rest Days vs Recovery Days · 2019-03-21T14:04:03.040Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This distinction seems super valuable. What I find most interesting is that I would have labeled what OP calls Rest as Recovery, and what it calls Recovery as Rest...

Comment by zvi on Privacy · 2019-03-17T17:20:12.604Z · score: 19 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I will attempt to clarify which of these things I actually believe, as best I can, but do not expect to be able to engage deeper into the thread.

Implication: it's bad for people to have much more information about other people (generally), because they would reward/punish them based on that info, and such rewarding/punishing would be unjust. We currently have scapegoating, not justice. (Note that a just system for rewarding/punishing people will do no worse by having more information, and in particular will do no worse than the null strategy of not rewarding/punishing behavior based on certain subsets of information)

>> What I'm primarily thinking about here is that if one is going to be rewarded/punished for what one does and thinks, one chooses what one does and thinks largely based upon that - you have a signaling equilibria, as Wei Dei notes in his top-level comment. I believe that this in many situations is much worse, and will lead to massive warping of behavior in various ways, even if those rewarding/punishing were attempting to be just (or even if they actually were just, if there wasn't both common knowledge of this and agreement on what is and isn't just). The primary concern isn't whether someone can expect to be on-net punished or rewarded, but on how behaviors are changed.

We need people there with us who won’t judge us. Who won’t use information against us.

Implication: "judge" means to use information against someone. Linguistic norms related to the word "judgment" are thoroughly corrupt enough that it's worth ceding to these, linguistically, and using "judge" to mean (usually unjustly!) using information against people.

>> Judge here means to react to information about someone or their actions or thoughts largely by updating their view of the person - to not have to worry (as much, at least) about how things make you seem. The second sentence is a second claim, that we also need them not to use the information against us. I did not intend for the second to seem to be part of the first.

A complete transformation of our norms and norm principles, beyond anything I can think of in a healthy historical society, would be required to even attempt full non-contextual strong enforcement of all remaining norms.

Implication (in the context of the overall argument): a general reduction in privacy wouldn't lead to norms changing or being enforced less strongly, it would lead to the same norms being enforced strongly. Whatever or whoever decides which norms to enforce and how to enforce them is reflexive rather than responsive to information. We live in a reflex-based control system.

>> That doesn't follow at all, and I'm confused why you think that it does. I'm saying that when I try to design a norm system from scratch in order to be compatible with full non-contextual strong enforcement, I don't see a way to do that. Not that things wouldn't change - I'm sure they would.

There are also known dilemmas where any action taken would be a norm violation of a sacred value.

Implication: the system of norms is so corrupt that they will regularly put people in situations where they are guaranteed to be blamed, regardless of their actions. They won't adjust even when this is obvious.

>> The system of norms is messy, which is different than corrupt. Different norms conflict. Yes, the system is corrupt, but that's not required for this to be a problem. Concrete example, chosen to hopefully be not controversial: Either turn away the expensive sick child patient, or risk bankrupting the hospital.

Part of the job of making sausage is to allow others not to see it. We still get reliably disgusted when we see it.

Implication: people expect to lose value by knowing some things. Probably, it is because they would expect to be punished due to it being revealed they know these things (as in 1984). It is all an act, and it's better not to know that in concrete detail.

>> Consider the literal example of sausage being made. The central problem is not that people are afraid the sausage makers will strike back at them. The problem is knowing reduces one's ability to enjoy sausage. Alternatively, it might force one to stop enjoying sausage.

>> Another important dynamic is that we want to enforce a norm that X is bad and should be minimized. But sometimes X is necessary. So we'd rather not be too reminded of the X that is necessary in some situations where we know X must occur, to avoid weakening the norm against X elsewhere, and because we don't want to penalize those doing X where it is necessary as we would instinctively do if we learned too much detail.

We constantly must claim ‘everything is going to be all right’ or ‘everything is OK.’ That’s never true. Ever.

Implication: the control system demands optimistic stories regardless of the facts. There is something or someone forcing everyone to call the deer a horse under threat of punishment, to maintain a lie about how good things are, probably to prop up an unjust regime.

>> OK, this one's just straight up correct if you remove the unjust regime part. Also, I am married with children.

But these problems, while improved, wouldn’t go away in a better or less hypocritical time. Norms are not a system that can have full well-specified context dependence and be universally enforced. That’s not how norms work.

Implication: even in the most just possible system of norms, it would be good to sometimes violate those norms and hide the fact that you violated them. (This seems incorrect to me!)

>> As I noted above, my model of norms is that they are even at their best messy ways of steering behavior, and generally just norms will in some circumstances push towards incorrect action in ways the norm system would cause people to instinctively punish. In such cases it is sometimes correct to violate the norm system, even if it is as just a system as one could hope for. And yes, in some of those cases, it would be good to hide that this was done, to avoid weakening norms (including by allowing such cases not be punished thus enabling otherwise stronger punishment).

If others know exactly what resources we have, they can and will take all of them.

Implication: the bad guys won; we have rule by gangsters, who aren't concerned with sustainable production, and just take as much stuff as possible in the short term. (This seems on the right track but partially false; the top marginal tax rate isn't 100% [EDIT: see Ben's comment, the actual rate of extraction is higher than the marginal tax rate])

>> This is not primarily a statement about The Powers That Be or any particular bad guys. I think this is inherent in how people and politics operate, and what happens when one has many conflicting would-be sacred values. Of course, it is also a statement that when gangsters do go after you, it is important that they not know, and there is always worry about potential gangsters on many levels whether or not they have won. Often the thing taking all your resources is not a bad guy - e.g. expensive medical treatments, or in-need family members, etc etc.

If it is known how we respond to any given action, others find best responses. They will respond to incentives. They exploit exactly the amount we won’t retaliate against. They feel safe.

Implication: more generally available information about what strategies people are using helps "our" enemies more than it helps "us". (This seems false to me, for notions of "us" that I usually use in strategy)

>> Often on the margin more information is helpful. But complete information is highly dangerous. And in my experience, most systems in an interesting equilibrium where good things happen sustain that partly with fuzziness and uncertainty - the idea that obeying the spirit of the rules and working towards the goals and good things gets rewarded, other action gets punished, in uncertain ways. There need to be unknowns in the system. Competitions where every action by other agents is known are one-player games about optimization and exploitation.

World peace, and doing anything at all that interacts with others, depends upon both strategic confidence in some places, and strategic ambiguity in others. We need to choose carefully where to use which.

Implication (in context): strategic ambiguity isn't just necessary for us given our circumstances, it's necessary in general, even if we lived in a surveillance state. (Huh?)

>> Strategic ambiguity is necessary for the surveillance state so that people can't do everything the state didn't explicitly punish/forbid. It is necessary for those living in the state, because the risk of revolution, the we're-not-going-to-take-it-anymore moment, helps keep such places relatively livable versus places where there is no such fear. It is important that you don't know exactly what will cause the people to rise up, or you'll treat them as bad as won't do that. And of course I was also talking explicitly about things like 'if you cross that border we will be at war' - there are times when you want to be 100% clear that there will be war (e.g. NATO) and others where you want to be 100% unclear (e.g. Taiwan).

To conclude: if you think the arguments in this post are sound (with the conclusion being that we shouldn't drastically reduce privacy in general), you also believe the implications I just listed, unless I (or you) misinterpreted something.

>> I hope this cleared things up. And of course, you can disagree with many, most or even all my arguments and still not think we should radically reduce privacy. Radical changes don't default to being a good idea if someone gives invalid arguments against them!

Comment by zvi on Privacy · 2019-03-17T16:48:57.124Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I replied to this comment on my blog (


2019-03-15T20:20:00.269Z · score: 76 (24 votes)

Speculations on Duo Standard

2019-03-14T14:30:00.343Z · score: 10 (6 votes)

New York Restaurants I Love: Pizza

2019-03-12T12:10:01.002Z · score: 11 (6 votes)
Comment by zvi on On The London Mulligan · 2019-03-07T14:01:38.398Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

They would not change it back.

On The London Mulligan

2019-03-05T21:30:00.662Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Comment by zvi on Blackmail · 2019-02-20T22:31:27.716Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. Long post is long and I didn't want to throw out arguments about particular reveals to show this - in particular, we all think the cost of that should be zero in that case, and we all know it often very much isn't. And I didn't want anyone to think I was relying on that.

Comment by zvi on Blackmail · 2019-02-20T22:29:56.460Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I could have worded it to make this more clear but I think the point stands when clarified/understood - the proximate goal of the blackmail release is to be harmful, whereas the proximate goal of the gossip might or might not be.

If others agree it is misleading I will make this more explicit.

Comment by zvi on Blackmail · 2019-02-20T22:05:55.416Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. It's doing a few things, and that's a lot of it.


2019-02-19T03:50:04.606Z · score: 67 (28 votes)

New York Restaurants I Love: Breakfast

2019-02-14T13:10:01.072Z · score: 9 (7 votes)

Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery

2019-02-10T19:50:00.866Z · score: -13 (4 votes)
Comment by zvi on "AlphaStar: Mastering the Real-Time Strategy Game StarCraft II", DeepMind [won 10 of 11 games against human pros] · 2019-01-31T17:39:10.902Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

We're not out. Certainly we're not out of games - e.g. Magic: The Gathering. Which would be a big leap.

For actual basic board games, the one I want to see is Stratego, actually; the only issue is I don't know if there are humans who have bothered to master it.

Book Trilogy Review: Remembrance of Earth’s Past (The Three Body Problem)

2019-01-30T01:10:00.414Z · score: 47 (20 votes)
Comment by zvi on Announcement: AI alignment prize round 4 winners · 2019-01-28T13:52:48.560Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Important not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. There's almost certainly a better way to find mentors, but this would be far better than not doing anything, so I'd say that if you can't find an actionable better option within (let's say) a month, you should just do it. Or just do it now and replace with better method when you find one.

Comment by zvi on Less Competition, More Meritocracy? · 2019-01-23T14:17:12.589Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In that particular case, I would have chosen different names that likely would have resonated better, but felt it was important not to change the paper's chosen labels, even though they seemed not great. That might have been an error.

Their explanation is that the question is, will the weaker candidates concede that they are weaker than strong ones and let the strong ones all win, or will they challenge the stronger candidates.

Suggestions for other ways to make this more clear are appreciated. I'd like to be able to write things like this in a way that people actually read and benefit from.

Game Analysis Index

2019-01-21T15:30:00.371Z · score: 13 (4 votes)
Comment by zvi on Announcement: AI alignment prize round 4 winners · 2019-01-20T16:22:20.381Z · score: 26 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I want to post a marker here that if I don't write up my lessons learned from the prize process within the next month, people should bug me about that until I do.

Less Competition, More Meritocracy?

2019-01-20T02:00:00.974Z · score: 80 (23 votes)
Comment by zvi on Disadvantages of Card Rebalancing · 2019-01-16T13:54:13.510Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, this is very helpful feedback. Request for more such notes from readers.

A lot of the motivation for writing it was, in fact, to figure out what my own opinions actually were.

I do think a lot of this has implications outside game design, and I was sad that I couldn't efficiently write this in a way that didn't bog it down in a lot of game-design-specific detail, which means it will be hard for those not into the detail to extract the implications unless I come back to them in another form.

Comment by zvi on Subsidizing Prediction Markets · 2019-01-16T13:50:33.698Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Paying in some reasonable investment is an improvement, and in a world with different 'right' investments would be a bigger one, but tying up the money that long in a sufficiently safe investment is still pretty expensive.

It would be interesting if one could bet, say, shares of SPY US plus associated dividends, so you were leaking a lot less alpha. Of course, that changes the odds on long bets quite a bit if they are correlated with SPY US, which most of them will be.

Disadvantages of Card Rebalancing

2019-01-06T23:30:08.255Z · score: 33 (7 votes)
Comment by zvi on Two More Decision Theory Problems for Humans · 2019-01-04T20:24:34.027Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree strongly that, as a problem for humans, assuming that the consequentialist model has all our real values is not a safe assumption.

I would go further, and say that this assumption is almost always going to be importantly wrong and result in loss of important values. Nor do I think this is a hypothetical failure mode, at all; I believe it is common in our circles.

Advantages of Card Rebalancing

2019-01-01T13:10:02.224Z · score: 9 (2 votes)

Card Rebalancing and Economic Considerations in Digital Card Games

2018-12-31T17:00:00.547Z · score: 14 (5 votes)
Comment by zvi on Card Collection and Ownership · 2018-12-29T14:55:24.944Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It remains to be seen whether they're going to go full blast on making lots of changes, and whether the changes they do make will be good going forward - while these changes were net positive by most accounts, even with the giant crater they left in the color green, they do suggest a trap I'll be describing in my next post that I worry about.

Comment by zvi on Card Collection and Ownership · 2018-12-29T14:53:51.849Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There are a lot of hints in this series, some of them quite explicit.

I have a whitepaper, but it's not currently public.

Of course, part of designing a game is finding out that you're wrong, and changing it to make it better.

Comment by zvi on Card Collection and Ownership · 2018-12-29T14:31:37.713Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think that's right.

I do think that it helps with some confusion, but there is a core important set of issues here regarding what is actually going on and which systems are better and worse in which ways.

Comment by zvi on Card Balance and Artifact · 2018-12-29T14:26:59.213Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Looking forward to the follow-up; you may wish to post it on the original blog post since it's going deep into such matters.

I totally get that there's another perspective but have not heard a strong case for it.

Card Balance and Artifact

2018-12-28T13:10:00.323Z · score: 9 (2 votes)

Card Collection and Ownership

2018-12-27T13:10:00.977Z · score: 19 (5 votes)

Artifact Embraces Card Balance Changes

2018-12-26T13:10:00.384Z · score: 12 (3 votes)

Fifteen Things I Learned From Watching a Game of Secret Hitler

2018-12-17T13:40:01.047Z · score: 13 (8 votes)

Review: Slay the Spire

2018-12-09T20:40:01.616Z · score: 14 (9 votes)

Prediction Markets Are About Being Right

2018-12-08T14:00:00.281Z · score: 81 (26 votes)
Comment by zvi on Conversational Cultures: Combat vs Nurture · 2018-12-03T15:45:21.985Z · score: 19 (7 votes) · LW · GW

An outright "You're dumb" is a mistake, period, unless you actually meant to say that the person is in fact dumb. This rounding is a pure bad, and there's no need of it. Adding 'being' or 'playing' or 'doing something' before the dumb is necessary.

Part of a good combative-type culture is that you mean what you say and say what you mean, so the rounding off here is a serious problem even before the (important) feelings/status issue.

Comment by zvi on If You Want to Win, Stop Conceding · 2018-11-22T23:22:50.669Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Curious for your take on this question (I have my own answers but I want to not anchor you): Why do we frequently see sports teams in (e.g. basketball or football) effectively concede games by taking approaches with 0% win rate, when they have strategies that have non-zero (but very low) win rates?

Comment by zvi on If You Want to Win, Stop Conceding · 2018-11-22T23:21:19.681Z · score: 15 (8 votes) · LW · GW

There is a special case where these thoughts are actually useful. If you are playing at less than full capacity, you should consider avoiding complex positions and long chains of reasoning, and seek variance slash try to get lucky in various ways. Simplify the game, or force the decisions onto the opponent. If you're on the clock, don't count on being able to operate quickly later on.

The other special case is, regardless of why, noting you are not focused can be a good motivation to actually focus, whereas you won't fix it if you don't realize you have a problem.

And of course between rounds is often a great time to hydrate, grab a bite, get a few minutes of rest or what not, and it can very important to your success in the tournament to become aware of your needs going forward. Then, after the tournament, you do what Richard says and prevent it from happening again.

Comment by zvi on Review: Artifact · 2018-11-22T23:15:15.446Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't played. I think it is a cool idea and I have a lot of faith in Richard, so I am optimistic. I should try it at some point, hard to say more without giving it a shot.

Review: Artifact

2018-11-22T15:00:01.335Z · score: 21 (8 votes)
Comment by zvi on Preschool: Much Less Than You Wanted To Know · 2018-11-21T18:31:43.061Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would have as well. This suggests that their problems run deeper slash the difficulty lies elsewhere. Alternatively, they are helped, but others are actively hurt.

Comment by zvi on Preschool: Much Less Than You Wanted To Know · 2018-11-21T17:02:49.593Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

And of course two more things: That taking the better short-term of the two sides is the best way to interact with such a supremely broken system, despite the fact that it strengthens the system and makes it that much less likely to improve, and that you prefer a hugely inefficient transfer (that likely leads over time to even less efficient similar things) to doing nothing - transfers are most certainly not free even in the best of cases, and this is not that.

Preschool: Much Less Than You Wanted To Know

2018-11-20T19:30:01.155Z · score: 65 (21 votes)
Comment by zvi on Fat People Are Heroes · 2018-11-13T20:18:34.508Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · LW · GW

This is definitely not my experience. Once I got thin, I had to keep working hard every day to keep it that way. Knowing it was worth it made it easier, but I work way harder on it now than I ever did in the past.

Deck Guide: Burning Drakes

2018-11-13T19:40:00.409Z · score: 9 (2 votes)

Octopath Traveler: Spoiler-Free Review

2018-11-05T17:50:00.986Z · score: 12 (4 votes)

Linkpost: Arena’s New Opening Hand Rule Has Huge Implications For How We Play the Game

2018-11-01T12:30:00.810Z · score: 13 (4 votes)
Comment by zvi on The Art of the Overbet · 2018-10-22T12:45:13.789Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Mumble mumble "not investment advice" mumble mumble!

So there's at least *a little* deliberately avoiding being clear and explicit on exactly what to do, because legally one can't give investment advice safely, especially if the advice would be something riskier than standard. There's also 'what to actually do comes later and is a distinct and complex and heavy topic'.

You are correct that this series is in part a response / building upon "Against the barbell strategy." Not a coincidence there. I certainly am pointing out that choosing a weird form of "safety" as measured in dollars under 'normal' world conditions as represented by bonds is, even under the best of assumptions, a false security not worth sacrificing much for in expected value terms under most circumstances.

Comment by zvi on The Kelly Criterion · 2018-10-22T12:39:57.879Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Consider the parallel to the AI whose goal is to bring you coffee, so it takes over the world to make sure no one can stop it from bringing you coffee: The fact that one might need or want more money makes it nonzero.

The more serious issue here is something I call the Uncanny Valley of Money, which I hope to write about at some point soon, where you have to move from spending on yourself (at as little as 1:1, in some sense) to spending on everyone (at up to 7000000000:1, or even more if you count the future, in some sense), in order to actually make any progress even for yourself.

The Art of the Overbet

2018-10-19T14:00:00.518Z · score: 58 (25 votes)
Comment by zvi on The Kelly Criterion · 2018-10-16T10:47:24.953Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Being linear in utility is insufficient to make betting it all correct, you also need to be able to place bets of unlimited size (or not have future opportunities for advantage bets). Otherwise, even if your utility outside of the game is linear, inside of the game it is not.

And yes, some of these points are towards being *more* risk-loving than Kelly, at which point you consider throwing the rules out the window.

The Kelly Criterion

2018-10-15T21:20:03.430Z · score: 60 (28 votes)
Comment by zvi on Additional arguments for NIMBY · 2018-10-13T14:52:35.944Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I can believe a model where there's a budget for some amount of weird ES, and there's a potential tragedy of the commons if that budget is overused where it then becomes something different and less useful, and also a similar thing within a given blog/writer since it's clear that DWATV ESs aren't going to usually be 'confident', 'uncertain' or what not.

One possibility, given that ES isn't used that much right now (e.g. I looked at all other front page LW posts on 'all posts' plus the 3 curated, and there were no other ESs), is I accept that I'm doing a different thing and call it 'vibe' or something.

Comment by zvi on You Play to Win the Game · 2018-10-12T19:52:41.309Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In Diplomacy I've never heard the 1/(2n) argument from that sentence. All it's saying is that if you are part of the draw, the person who survived with 1 supply center gets the same result as the one with all 17 on the other side of the line. Whether players actually treat it that way is up to them, of course.

But of course, my natural instinct is that winning alone is a special thing, and that winning outright is more than twice as good as a 2-way draw. When thinking about whether a 2-way draw is more or less than twice as good as a 4-way draw, I'm not sure.

In Castle Panic I think part of the fun is deciding how much you care about the title versus winning the battle, where the right answer is not zero but not enough to *seriously* risk losing the battle over that...

Comment by zvi on Eternal: The Exit Interview · 2018-10-12T19:47:30.354Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I played some L5R back in the day, I found it fun but didn't take it seriously, to the place where collections were complete and decks started to look the same. Felt like a game that used tricks to avoid players getting too ruthless and breaking the game. Which is fine!

Some Magic decks and matchups will always be positional, as is limited, and yes it is something I'd like to do more often in constructed (but far from all the time).

There are some really cool mental games you can play with tiny decks. Have you played three-card Magic? It is exactly what it sounds like, and the metagame can keep you amused for at least hours.

Comment by zvi on Additional arguments for NIMBY · 2018-10-12T19:42:28.319Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think most of most arguments about any given area building are indeed about building in general, and mostly the general question interests me more here anyway. SF is just the number-one-with-a-bullet example.

Comment by zvi on Additional arguments for NIMBY · 2018-10-12T19:41:13.694Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When writing here, I thought it was clear that price wasn't included, but clearly that's not true. Adding the words 'of goods' to the sentence to make things more clear. If other people chime in that it's still not clear I will reword more.

On Epistemic Status: On reflection I like the weird poetry angle, and I think it's true to the concept, as it's telling the viewer in what vein to take what is to come. If I had consistent feedback that people dislike it or it was doing real damage to an important norm, I would stop, but as usual feedback on such things is very sparse.

Additional arguments for NIMBY

2018-10-11T20:40:05.547Z · score: 35 (11 votes)
Comment by zvi on The funnel of human experience · 2018-10-11T19:46:47.072Z · score: 18 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Let's assume that this is true, and the majority of 'scientific' thought is happening now. Given the observed rate of scientific progress, what explanation should we consider?

1) Today's problems really are that much harder than old problems and/or no really, we're making great progress! I kid.

2) Scientific thought today is so terrible that it doesn't produce much scientific progress.

3) What we're calling scientific thought never was what produced scientific progress.

4) Scientific thought today isn't aimed at producing scientific progress, so it doesn't.

Eternal: The Exit Interview

2018-10-10T16:50:02.776Z · score: 12 (3 votes)
Comment by zvi on Modes of Petrov Day · 2018-09-24T00:52:31.111Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I still don't understand, in the context of the ceremony, what would cause anyone to push the button. Whether or not it would incinerate a cake, which would pretty much make you history's greatest monster.

Comment by zvi on Advice Wanted; Reconcile with religious parent · 2018-09-23T18:34:40.385Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As I understand reform Judaism, it's largely cultural and the technical requirements are pretty light. Yom Kippur is kind of a huge deal, but there aren't many others, and it boils down to a day in which to fast and contemplate what you've done and done wrong over the past year. There are perfectly good secular reasons to spend a day on that once a year. He likely has some other similar asks (e.g. passover Seder) but overall they don't add up to much and if you live in different cities it's not like he can check. Nor does it seem like he was trying to.

What he actually cares about, de facto, is you explicitly rejecting what he's trying to pass on to you. It's hurtful, it's insulting, it makes him feel like a failure to himself and his people. So... don't do that? One is stuck with one's family. Sometimes you gotta whistle and pretend everything is fine, especially when getting financial support but also cause you care about each other.

Apply for Emergent Ventures

2018-09-13T21:50:00.295Z · score: 45 (17 votes)
Comment by zvi on On Robin Hanson’s Board Game · 2018-09-10T03:34:23.008Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · LW · GW

What types of players did you test the game on, and how many games did they each play?

I can think of many other games where this distortion effect doesn't happen with new players, as they don't think about the game ending or the strategic layer, then picks up as players gain experience and improve. So this result isn't that surprising for players on their first game, especially if they're not hardcore game players. But it would be surprising if it was a stable equilibrium.

Comment by zvi on On Robin Hanson’s Board Game · 2018-09-10T03:30:03.372Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I like it, that works well, so long as we have an airtight definition in advance of when this counts. Alternatively, we can know from our guide that the result won't be ambiguous.

Comment by zvi on On Robin Hanson’s Board Game · 2018-09-09T12:06:35.296Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

That's some strong praise there. It's great to hear and I hope I can live up to it. I think I'm one of the strongest at some aspects of analysis, and this task here plays into a lot of my strengths including my trading and market making experience. In other ways, I'm not as strong. I

really enjoy doing this type of analysis not only on games but on real world situations, problems, mechanisms, business opportunities, and so forth. If I could get fairly compensated for that type of consulting I'd love to do it, but alas the consulting business is mostly a self-selling business and the internal corporate politics business as far as I can tell - you get advice like "never improve things more than 10%, and if you do improve it more make sure to hide it."

In much more promising news, I'm exploring a potential game design opportunity, but it's too early for me to say more than that yet.

I'll check out the guide, looks cool at first glance.

Comment by zvi on On Robin Hanson’s Board Game · 2018-09-09T11:58:53.731Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Robin explicitly said "the person with the most money wins" and that's the most natural way of viewing it as a game. Of course, there's nothing *wrong* with doing it the other way, and it creates more accurate (realistic?) prices and markets, as I note. But it's important to note that *as a game* it's more interesting to try and get the most money, than it is to simply make good trades. If it's normal trading you're all tactics and no strategy. This way you get both, plus the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Comment by zvi on On Robin Hanson’s Board Game · 2018-09-09T11:56:22.598Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You don't need to know that one and only one contract pays. However, if you don't know that, then you can't allow people to exchange $100 for a set of contracts (or vice versa). So you could have contracts on each person surviving, although you'd need to clarify carefully what did and didn't count, in advance. And the strategy would be different, since there's the chance no one survives, or multiple people survive. You could also have contracts on other stuff (e.g. who dies first, then second, etc, or what kills them, or what not).

Although in most slasher movies the virgin would just trade at $90 and everyone else super cheap...

But yeah, the logic expands.

On Robin Hanson’s Board Game

2018-09-08T17:10:00.263Z · score: 55 (17 votes)

You Play to Win the Game

2018-08-30T14:10:00.279Z · score: 26 (10 votes)

Unknown Knowns

2018-08-28T13:20:00.982Z · score: 105 (46 votes)
Comment by zvi on Subsidizing Prediction Markets · 2018-08-23T00:31:01.030Z · score: 17 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I've seen it, and my reaction was "that's very interesting and clever, I'm glad someone figured that out and wrote it up, but man is that way too complex to actually work."

Chris Pikula Belongs in the Magic Hall of Fame

2018-08-22T21:10:00.448Z · score: 28 (17 votes)
Comment by zvi on Subsidizing Prediction Markets · 2018-08-19T16:12:35.067Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Experience both as a participant, and as someone who has run prediction markets in the past. This is people's revealed preference. Quick resolution is important to people on a different order of magnitude than you'd expect - people would happily pay much higher fees in order to not have to wait.

Subsidizing Prediction Markets

2018-08-17T15:40:00.653Z · score: 99 (27 votes)

Tidying One’s Room

2018-08-16T13:50:00.303Z · score: 39 (13 votes)
Comment by zvi on Prediction Markets: When Do They Work? · 2018-07-30T12:42:58.001Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Full reply would be its own post, which is in my drafts folder in an early stage. I thought I was clear that subsidy is V, in its own way, so that won't be a problem. It can help with the other problems either by subsidizing those solutions directly in some cases (e.g. if the market doesn't resolve, you pay everyone for the time value of their money with the subsidy) or by simply offering a sufficiently big prize that people disregard the other factors.

You can, of course, throw money at the problem, and a sufficient amount will get people to go for it anyway, although solving or minimizing the problems here makes that much cheaper. A more interesting question is how to efficiently do that.

Non-anonymous trading is very different, and is not robust to cheating.

Comment by zvi on Prediction Markets: When Do They Work? · 2018-07-30T12:41:22.374Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like linking to the wiki is a good thing to do here, then? Seems about right.

Comment by zvi on Prediction Markets: When Do They Work? · 2018-07-29T01:26:54.057Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed that I could (and probably still should) work on the formatting a bit, and consider adding references to other posts; if people have suggestions for what we should link to, I'll consider adding that.

Comment by zvi on Prediction Markets: When Do They Work? · 2018-07-27T23:30:31.095Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW will give you the money at stake (unless people are doing wash trades to make the site or market look better, which would of course never ever happen in crypto land, no sir) and current bid/offer. That gives you a good idea of what's available. Beyond that, you can try to install the app if you like, but commentary in such places? Good commentary? I don't have anything for you, sorry.

Prediction Markets: When Do They Work?

2018-07-26T12:30:00.565Z · score: 116 (43 votes)

Who Wants The Job?

2018-07-22T14:00:00.296Z · score: 23 (15 votes)

Simplicio and Sophisticus

2018-07-22T13:30:00.333Z · score: 42 (19 votes)
Comment by zvi on Announcement: AI alignment prize round 3 winners and next round · 2018-07-16T17:15:50.894Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW


Why Destructive Value Capture?

2018-06-18T12:20:00.407Z · score: 40 (19 votes)
Comment by zvi on On the Chatham House Rule · 2018-06-15T01:03:35.487Z · score: 44 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I've attended one event under Chatham House rules. Not only was keeping who was there a secret costly, but people reliably considered it unreasonable that I actually kept that secret. "Oh, come on" and variants were used often, because actually keeping to the rule was annoying and they didn't see the point.

People treating it as unreasonable does make keeping the rule even more expensive, and raises the probability it will be ignored - I believe others took the information part seriously but not the who was there part. But that also makes it really important we find a way to do the full no-one-knows-you-are-there thing when you need to do it, without it giving away that there was true need for it. If you say who attended until the moment you really can't say, you're doing Glomarization / Meta-Honesty wrong...

Comment by zvi on Front Row Center · 2018-06-12T00:25:53.553Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Amazon to me is a great example of not trying to exploit your customers for short term profits, instead choosing to give them the best possible experience, and now because of that, they are Amazon - that means both finding a way to not charge for shipping by refactoring their prices and offering prime, even if some customers cost them money, to avoid looking like they charge for shipping, and also to actually offer a good deal and a great interface and so on. They're not trying to get you to buy overpriced stuff, or waste your time or maximize clicks.

Front Row Center

2018-06-11T13:50:00.237Z · score: 32 (19 votes)

Simplified Poker Conclusions

2018-06-09T21:50:00.400Z · score: 63 (19 votes)

Simplified Poker Strategy

2018-06-06T11:10:00.636Z · score: 44 (9 votes)

Simplified Poker

2018-06-04T15:50:00.299Z · score: 68 (17 votes)

The Third Circle

2018-05-21T12:10:00.168Z · score: 40 (10 votes)

The Second Circle

2018-05-20T13:40:00.181Z · score: 72 (17 votes)

The First Circle

2018-05-18T14:40:00.359Z · score: 55 (19 votes)

The Sheepskin Effect

2018-05-05T12:10:00.437Z · score: 29 (5 votes)

The Case Against Education: Splitting the Education Premium Pie and Considering IQ

2018-04-29T12:40:00.219Z · score: 20 (5 votes)

Inefficient Doesn’t Mean Indifferent

2018-04-29T11:30:01.467Z · score: 79 (22 votes)

The Case Against Education: Foundations

2018-04-21T14:30:00.454Z · score: 49 (11 votes)