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jimmy comments on The Importance of Goodhart's Law - Less Wrong

75 Post author: blogospheroid 13 March 2010 08:19AM

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Comment author: jimmy 14 March 2010 07:05:19PM 12 points [-]

LW karma is an interesting example because no one has direct access to the karma giving algorithm.

It's a bit like telling the nail factory that you're going to evaluate them on something, but not telling them whether its nail mass or number or something else until the end of the evaluation period.

If the one being evaluated knows nothing about how he's going to be evaluated except that it's going to be a proxy for goodness, then he can't really cheat. However, they might know that it's going to be very simple criteria so they make a very massive nail and many miniature ones.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 14 March 2010 09:05:13PM 30 points [-]

This reminds me of the way I hear they do state censorship in China. The censoring agencies don't actually give out any specific guidelines on what is allowed and what isn't, instead just clamping down on cases they do consider to be over the line. As a consequence, everyone self-censors more than they might with specific guidelines: with the guidelines, you could always try to twist their letter to violate their spirit. Instead, people are constantly unsure of just exactly what will get you in trouble, so they err on the side of caution.

While I strongly oppose state censorship, I can't help but admire the genius in the system.

Comment author: Emile 06 December 2011 09:16:23PM 5 points [-]

Also, unlike Saudi Arabia, they don't make many efforts to block pornography. As a result, the average Chinese teen is less likely to know how to access blocked sites than the average Saudi teen is (or so I read; I'm not aware of any study on that).

Comment author: [deleted] 06 December 2011 07:07:24PM *  2 points [-]

Depressing. This would mean that most informal norms of censorship are much more resilient and effective than most formal laws censoring material.

Arguably this makes them much harder to dislodge than even the intentionally vague Chinese law. Since I guess you can't really be prosecuted under it by pointing out there is a censorship law right?

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 16 April 2015 09:20:26AM *  1 point [-]

Or section 28 , which didn't forbid the discussion of homosexuality in the classroom, only its promotion....but since promotion wasn't defined, schools erred on the side of not mentioning it.