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Robin Hanson
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Mar 15, 2010
Josh, you seem to think philosophers have access to "clear" intuitions they are sure have no error, even when many other people disagree. But the fact that many others disagree with your intuitions means you should be at least uncertain about them.
I've tried to clarify that I wasn't trying to make a radical claim as some have interpreted.
C.B., yes, sorry, post is corrected.
Toggle Commented May 26, 2009 on Moving Hiatus at Overcoming Bias
Eliezer, if we could monitor well enough to enforce such a tax, it could be worth considering, at least if we believe people are biased against happiness. Yvian, yes there'd be a lot more work to do to establish than an activity contributed to happiness overall, all things considered. Contrary to you, I don't at all have the impression that Frank or Miller are up to that task.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2009 on Tax Unhappiness? at Overcoming Bias
I added to the post.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2009 on Missing Liberaltarians at Overcoming Bias
conchis and psycho, Frank and Miller almost seem to say we should tax work because it makes us less happy; they don't mention and seem to discount the fact that we get happier later spending the money we make.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2009 on Tax Unhappiness? at Overcoming Bias
Moldbug, you do not understand what you read. Our conversation is over.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2009 on Reply to Moldbug at Overcoming Bias
I rest my case against Molbug. The rest of you, please hold yourself to a higher standard than Molbug, and actually read what I've published about the manipulation problem (I linked to them above) before deciding I'm all wrong about that.
Toggle Commented May 24, 2009 on Reply to Moldbug at Overcoming Bias
Jake, the existence and popularity of other options for dissatisfied major party members is another data point to explain. Jeff, I accept that my sample is limited. Phil, the second part of that sentence explains my meaning. TGGP, so does national security not fit well in the economic vs social dichotomy? Robert, "anyone who innovates, grows and develops in the way that they want" seems a poor candidate for a high status hero to look up to and want to emulate. Badger, if you are right that makes the puzzle all harder to explain.
Toggle Commented May 24, 2009 on Missing Liberaltarians at Overcoming Bias
Moldbug, you say every new financial market we have ever seen hasn't really been different enough to see the effect you postulate, that "new" markets start out with a long learning period when they have useless prices. But somehow you think the markets I propose would be different enough to see this effect, and that it would be intolerable to suffer such a training period, even though markets can tell us how uncertain they are, and we could run the markets in an advisory-only capacity for as long as we wanted until we saw a clear enough track record to inspire our confidence in gradually relying on their advice more. We already have some relevant lab data, and we could try the concept first in smaller organizations before applying them to larger organizations. But apparently you think none of this could be good enough because we could never trust any track record about the past to predict anything about the future.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2009 on Reply to Moldbug at Overcoming Bias
RP, futarchy can be applied at small scales, such as running firms using stock price as the outcome measure.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2009 on Reply to Moldbug at Overcoming Bias
Moldbug, the relevant task of speculators in a firm stock market changes every time the firm changes its policies or its competitive environment changes. Does this mean that such stock markets are always in their "initial state"? I'd say each new task is close enough to old tasks that they are most always in non-intial states. And speculators who deal with a series of similar policy proposals are in a similar situation, so that their experience with previous proposals is good enough. And your theory that "initial" markets statues have useless prices would seem easy to test in real financial market data - have you done such tests? On manipulators, I've done lab experiments (here and here), and others have looked at field data. Why don't my experiments count as "initial" states? I've done models (here and here), which are of course is simplified - that is the point of models. Where are your models? Jeff and Dog, see these cites as well. I'm not proposing to implement futarchy full stop one day; I'm proposing to run a series of increasingly large trials. That would give you the data you want.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2009 on Reply to Moldbug at Overcoming Bias
Moldbug, Morons and non-morons, which I often call sheep and wolves, are not distributed independently across topics. The wolves are consistently attracted to the sheep, and the net effect of having more wolves and more sheep is to have more accurate markets. Having a decision depend on a market induces people who want to manipulate the price, who are in effect sheep, since they attract wolves. You are somehow worried that decision markets that determine government policy would attract sheep without wolves, but I can't imagine why. I've been trying here, but I do have limited patience; it is your job to make a clear pointed objection, not my job to try to discern it in all your varied comments. You think prediction markets are fine, but decision markets are not, all because of some "deductive analysis" I can't find. You are not interested in any of our lab or field data or the standard theory economists use to make sense of this data, in either the prediction or decision case. So I'm stumped. Explain yourself clearly or shut up.
Toggle Commented May 22, 2009 on Reply to Moldbug at Overcoming Bias
Josh, that sounds like too strong a claim for me to endorse. Jim, of course prediction markets don't always work. Often existing institutions do a good job collecting and summarizing info into consensus estimates, and in such cases prediction markets just tell you the same thing at some added cost. If you want to know what I had for breakfast, just ask me; no need for a prediction market. One example of someone trying to spread false rumors hardly proves that on average prediction markets make estimates less accurate. Tim, betting markets are no more zero sum than stock markets. You can bet a stock index fund, and then the bets grow just as fast as stocks on average. And patrons can subsidize betting markets.
Toggle Commented May 22, 2009 on Reply to Moldbug at Overcoming Bias
Richard, I'm claiming that the details of our behavior are better explained by us valuing the people who do admirable activities than us valuing the products of those admirable activities. We love the art because we love the artist, not vice versa.
Richard, valuing the people who do something well is different from valuing doing the thing.
Eric, my goal is not just to have a convenient belief; I need to ask if I have any evidence for that belief. Yvian, money is obtained from time spent; so ultimately money and discussion signaling are spending the same resource. The question is how much you get out of the process aside from jockeying for rank. In the quote you cite, I interpret Frank as making an incidental comment which doesn't fit in his main argument.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2009 on Spent = Gold + Schlock at Overcoming Bias
bill, population and tech encouraging each other has been constant all along, so this can't explain sudden spurts. Tim, some hunter gatherers lived in large dense communities. Printing showed up long before the industrial revolution. Lord, if the energy was always there, that doesn't explain why particular things happened at particular times. gwern, yes the growth groove game is hard. Juilian, unless you think brain plasticity showed up about 10KBC, I don't see how it explains the timing. bysl, black swans are not mystical causes beyond science; once you see them you can usually understand them - the hard part is to foresee them. snuff, I don't see the prey to predator transition explaining the timing, unless you think it happened over a million years ago. Brian, are you saying we are not influential and powerful? nick, do you have specific delay effects in mind, or are you just guessing there might be some, since the effects you focus on appeared centuries before the industrial revolution? Steve, are you postulating specific genetic innovations at the key 10KBC and 1800 dates?
Toggle Commented May 20, 2009 on The Growth Groove Game at Overcoming Bias
Mitchell, Robin Hanson is made of many selves who live at different times. The current self who writes this is glad to be alive, and so is glad Robin Hanson did not die in his sleep last night. You might say that if I were dead I wouldn't have preferences, but my preferences about such things don't change much from day to day so the preferences of my yesterday self are a good proxy for my preferences now. It is not just that yesterday's self feels altruism toward today's self; it is that he liked to be alive too, and he correctly anticipated that I'd feel the same.
Toggle Commented May 20, 2009 on Capitas Vs. Per Capita at Overcoming Bias
Dagon, he's claiming signaling could be more effective. Miller is trying to minimize the demand for fancy cellphones by making it socially shameful to buy them. Jerome and Eric, Frank and Miller have set their sights on changing your world, not just theirs. They want us all to adopt more of the signaling style of their status group. George, Miller is not proposing to reduce signaling, but to change what is used to signal. So the level of deception would remain similar.
Toggle Commented May 20, 2009 on Spent = Gold + Schlock at Overcoming Bias
Praxeo, no one is suggesting anything is 100% signaling. Yvian, signaling through discussions can waste the same total amount, via wasted time. Proposing that we just subsidize anything that happiness studies suggest make folks more happy than average is a very different proposal, and would require a very different response. Doug, I'm talking about participating in sports.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2009 on Spent = Gold + Schlock at Overcoming Bias
See my added to the post.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2009 on Against Makeup? at Overcoming Bias
Tomasz, we spent lots on hairdressing and beauty-enhancing clothes. The main positional costs of sports are time and effort, and these are not taxed at all.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2009 on Against Makeup? at Overcoming Bias