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Comment author: Miller 25 May 2017 06:20:58AM *  0 points [-]

Prediction is intelligence. Why is there not more discussion about stock picks here? Is it low status? Does everyone believe in strong forms of efficient market ?

(edited -- curious where it goes without leading the witness)

Comment author: Dagon 25 May 2017 02:07:17PM 1 point [-]

1) Prediction is not intelligence. Intelligence is goal-driven action, which makes use of conditional prediction (if I do X, Y is more likely).

2) stocks are a game where the vast majority of us are at an information disadvantage. It only takes a very weak efficient market to make it unbeatable by the layperson.

3) stock picks are useless for reason #2.

4) calling something low-status is low-status around here. You're better off decomposing the reasons something might affect peer perceptions of the poster.

Comment author: Thomas 22 May 2017 05:46:49AM 1 point [-]
Comment author: Dagon 22 May 2017 03:44:36PM *  0 points [-]

So consider an extreme: a tide-locked planet in that same orbit. if it begins to rotate, does the average temperature increase or decrease? I don't actually know, and can't think of a reason it would change. The sunrise will now have access to surface area not yet at the inferno equilibrium, so it'll be absorbing heat. But the sunset is doing the opposite: radiating all that heat that's no longer being replenished.

Does it matter if the planetary material absorbs and radiates heat at different rates? Is that even possible?

Edit: extend this idea. Take a tide-locked planet at equilibrium. Magically flip it so the cold side is toward the sun and the hot side toward space. Give it time to come back to equilibrium. Average surface temperature at t<0> and t<end> is the same, right? During this period, does the average rise and then fall back, or does it drop and then rise back?

I think I recall that hot things radiate faster than cold thing absorb heat, which implies it'll overall cool and then come back up after the now-cold side reaches minimum temperature before the now-hot side reaches maximum. which implies that spinning faster makes the average cooler.

I guess there may be some energy effects of the rotation itself, generating a bit of heat from internal differentials.

Comment author: bogus 22 May 2017 08:40:19AM 0 points [-]

This is not really a solution though, because it's not incentive compatible. There's nothing to ensure that the extortionist will spend the money on providing the desired goods, and attempts at creating such incentives must ultimately fail for the same underlying reasons as the original problem. (This is of course assuming no excludability - if a club owner can ban some members from her club and invite others to join for a fee, she is incented to manage the club to the members' benefit, for standard Coasian reasons!)

Comment author: Dagon 22 May 2017 02:00:52PM 0 points [-]

It's a solution for the extortionist, and that's who is experiencing free riding as a problem.

Threatening your housemates that you'll replace them if they don't pony up for painting or threatening jail if a resident doesn't pay taxes could be done by bad actors (and IMO often is), but that's only a difference in purpose, not in activity. Extortion is, by it's very nature, incentive-compatible with collecting revenue: its only aim is to provide incentive for the freeloaders to pay.

Comment author: Dagon 21 May 2017 02:23:12PM 0 points [-]

time to be decided UTC

Grin.

Comment author: cousin_it 16 May 2017 04:32:25PM *  1 point [-]

There's a free market idea that the market rewards those who provide value to society. I think I've found a simple counterexample.

Imagine a loaf of bread is worth 1 dollar to consumers. If you make 100 loaves and sell them for 99 cents each, you've provided 1 dollar of value to society, but made 99 dollars for yourself. If you make 100 loaves and give them away to those who can't afford it, you've provided 100 dollars of value to society, but made zero for yourself. Since the relationship is inverted, we see that the market doesn't reward those who provide value. Instead it rewards those who provide value to those who provide value! It's recursive, like PageRank!

That's the main reason why we have so much inequality. Recursive systems will have attractors that concentrate stuff. That's also why you can't blame people for having no jobs. They are willing to provide value, but they can't survive by providing to non-providers, and only the best can provide to providers.

Comment author: Dagon 20 May 2017 11:45:24PM 0 points [-]

I think you have to back up a step in your idea of "value". What makes the loaf worth $1 if you sell it for $0.99? Why isn't it worth $1M (to a theoretical starving rich person) and you're giving away HUGE amounts? Why isn't it worth $0.10 and the buyers gave you $890 in charity?

A thing's value is relative - different to every participant. And the relative values are only known (actually, not - they're bounded above by the seller and below by the buyer) by the transaction.

Comment author: Dagon 19 May 2017 07:57:34PM *  0 points [-]

Sure, that's why I asked you to describe what the "problem" you want to address is. Free stuff isn't a problem for recipients. Some providers consider it a problem, but IMO it's usually a different problem than they think.

The cab driver may be sad that they didn't get revenue from the second rider, and consider that to be a big problem. Your housemates may not consider old paint a problem, and almost certainly don't consider free paint to be a problem. You or your housemates may or may not consider jealousy or bad feelings about "fairness" to be problems.

See also: kickstarter - everyone pledges what they want, nobody pays unless the funding minimum is met.

For your side of the painting problem (you want new paint, and suspect your housemates do too, but you're not willing to pay for the whole thing), auction design can likely work. If you demand equality, it's easy - everyone agrees to pay their share or the painting doesn't happen. If you don't, then everyone secretly writes down the amount they're willing to pay, and if the pot covers the painting, do it. Any extra gets refunded proportionally (or spent on better paint).

Comment author: Dagon 19 May 2017 08:28:33PM 0 points [-]

I guess it's worth mentioning one common "solution": extortion/taxation. Threaten to punish people who don't pay what you think they owe. Usually combined with opacity and not telling anyone exactly how their payments are spent.

Comment author: strangepoop 19 May 2017 12:59:47PM *  0 points [-]

Exclusion isn't always socially appropriate. If I take a cab home everyday (which I pay for), and a friend can literally take a free ride because her place is on the way, should I "exclude" her if she doesn't want to share the cost? She claims it doesn't cost me extra, I'd be paying for the cab anyway if she lived somewhere else.

But of course I can come up with un-excludable externalities:

I share a house that's in pretty bad shape, and I decide to get some fresh painting done. This is a net benefit to all the housemates, but we would value them differently. I want this slightly more than all the others. So I have to pay the entire amount.

Comment author: Dagon 19 May 2017 07:57:34PM *  0 points [-]

Sure, that's why I asked you to describe what the "problem" you want to address is. Free stuff isn't a problem for recipients. Some providers consider it a problem, but IMO it's usually a different problem than they think.

The cab driver may be sad that they didn't get revenue from the second rider, and consider that to be a big problem. Your housemates may not consider old paint a problem, and almost certainly don't consider free paint to be a problem. You or your housemates may or may not consider jealousy or bad feelings about "fairness" to be problems.

See also: kickstarter - everyone pledges what they want, nobody pays unless the funding minimum is met.

For your side of the painting problem (you want new paint, and suspect your housemates do too, but you're not willing to pay for the whole thing), auction design can likely work. If you demand equality, it's easy - everyone agrees to pay their share or the painting doesn't happen. If you don't, then everyone secretly writes down the amount they're willing to pay, and if the pot covers the painting, do it. Any extra gets refunded proportionally (or spent on better paint).

Comment author: strangepoop 18 May 2017 09:18:21PM 1 point [-]

Is there some nice game-theoretic solution that deals with the 'free rider problem', in the sense of making everyone pay in proportion to their honest valuation? Like how Vickery Auctions reveal honest prices, or Sperner's lemma can help with envy-free rent division?

Comment author: Dagon 18 May 2017 09:34:13PM 1 point [-]

Can you give an operational definition (or concrete example) of the free rider 'problem'? There are a couple of different things that you might not like about the phenomenon, and I'm not sure exactly which is the problem you're concerned about.

Exclusion is the most common "solution" (auctions and "fair" divisions being specific allocation mechanisms within that). Don't let "free riders" actually ride, and there's no problem.

Comment author: philh 18 May 2017 05:25:09PM 0 points [-]

To clarify, I think capitalism is pretty great (applause light). I'm pointing at something that I think is a not-great feature of capitalism, but I don't have any better ideas.

Comment author: Dagon 18 May 2017 06:27:22PM *  2 points [-]

I get that. From my standpoint, this isn't a not-great feature of capitalism, it's a not-great feature of human choices, or maybe of a universe that contains limited resources and independent-goal actors. Capitalism is neither great nor problematic, in fact it's not a thing at all. It's a side-effect of individual agency and individual decisions about resources.

(edited to add) you can argue that it's also a side-effect of our particular consensual popular conception of "property". Ok, stipulated. But there's not much hope in having ANY system of persistent ownership that doesn't include lots of elements of capitalism. And without the idea of property ownership, everything goes to hell (well, to the strongest/cruelest/luckiest risk-taker).

Comment author: philh 18 May 2017 11:32:41AM 0 points [-]

First, someone rich has the resources to, let's say, exert an economic force. She can use that force to make things happen. Phrasing such events as "more sensitive to" is bad framing: we don't say that a weight is "more sensitive" to a greater force.

The desires aren't the force, the money is. Being rich means the same amount of desire gets translated into a larger amount of money. Framing this as people being more sensitive to the desires seems natural to me. A physical analogy might be levers: a weight is more sensitive to force being applied at one end of a lever than the other end.

But I don't think we disagree about anything real.

Comment author: Dagon 18 May 2017 02:01:40PM 0 points [-]

People with money (or in other systems, people with birth rank or status or strength) definitely have more power than people without. So, what's the alternative to the individual freedom to choose to serve the powerful over the powerless?

I guess we can make all humans into serfs for the great AI. Not terribly appealing to me.

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