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Comment author: ChristianKl 18 May 2017 08:51:14PM 0 points [-]

There's a reason the saying "If you have to ask for the price, it's too expensive for you" exists.

A huge reason why lottery winners go broke is that they don't earn more money, there are other rich people who do earn money and who spent it lavishly.

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 18 May 2017 11:17:36PM *  1 point [-]

There's a reason the saying "If you have to ask for the price, it's too expensive for you" exists.

That saying has more to do with poor people not having the purchasing power of rich people and less to do with rich people and their lack of stinginess.

A huge reason why lottery winners go broke is that they don't earn more money

False. Most jackpot winners (and almost all of the ones that go broke), come from the lower and less educated classes. If they were to invest their entire prize in passive investments and live off the annual returns, they'd be earning far more money than any salary they could've ever hoped to achieve with their labor. These people don't go broke because they don't earn more money--they go broke because they squander multiple lifetimes worth of upper class earnings astonishingly quickly.

there are other rich people who do earn money and who spent it lavishly.

Not in the way that was described in the original example. Note that in philh's comment, Alice "doesn't actually care very much about having this $1000 loaf over a $1 loaf," but decides to go ahead and drop $1,000 on it anyways. The overwhelming majority of ultra rich people don't spend this way. And when they sort of do, they don't stay ultra rich over the long run.

Comment author: ChristianKl 18 May 2017 03:23:59PM 0 points [-]

Some billionaire's like Warren Buffet do care about the price difference between a $1,000 and a $1 loaf but many don't.

It might be more clear when you replace "loaf of bread" with wine.

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 18 May 2017 08:08:40PM *  1 point [-]

All [long-term] wealthy people care about price differences. They'd go broke if they didn't (see lottery winners). Even billionaires don't just throw their money around, because their money is still scarce and they want to spend it so as to maximize their expected utility.

Replacing bread with wine doesn't change anything; if a billionaire slightly prefers one type of wine to another, he doesn't arbitrarily pay a ton more for it. He pays the market price.

Comment author: philh 17 May 2017 09:51:13AM 0 points [-]

I think "everyone" is pretty much true. Your counterexample seems like it only works as long as Alice and Bob's preferences aren't in conflict. And I guess they often won't be. But I don't think that being in that situation means people care about their preferences equally; it just means they don't have to choose right now.

To be more explicit about when your counterexample fails: suppose Alice wants a particularly fancy load of bread. It takes you all day to bake so you can't make bread for Bob (or any of your other customers) any more, but she's willing to pay $1000 for it.

She doesn't actually care very much about having this $1000 loaf over a $1 loaf, which is why she's only willing to pay $1000, which isn't very much to her. Bob's $1 has more value to him than $1000 does to Alice. The cost to Bob of not getting the $1 loaf is more than the value to Alice of getting the $1000 loaf instead of the $1 loaf.

But you make the $1000 loaf anyway. This is great for you. But it's pretty bad for Bob, and only slightly good for Alice.

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 17 May 2017 04:03:17PM *  1 point [-]

Alice would probably not want to pay $1,000 for a loaf that she prefers only slightly to the $1 loaf. She'd likely be willing to pay $1.05 or $1.10 for it. And Bob would be willing to pay $2 or $3 or maybe even $4 since he wants it so badly.

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 12 May 2017 10:57:33AM *  0 points [-]

I'll sleep when I'm dead

-Warren Zevon

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 01 May 2017 09:15:02AM 0 points [-]

Should LessWrong have been more open to political discourse? Might that have boosted popularity during its heyday and helped to offset the exodus of Eliezer and company?

Comment author: Ritalin 26 April 2017 01:08:39PM 2 points [-]

Why do you get up in the morning?

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 30 April 2017 06:32:48PM *  0 points [-]

my utility function tells me to

In response to There is No Akrasia
Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 30 April 2017 06:19:01PM *  0 points [-]

I agree with the first sentence. "Akrasia" is just the brain being [quite reasonably] unsure whether its long-term goals are really worth the effort.

Comment author: Lumifer 29 April 2017 03:50:22PM *  1 point [-]

All the handymen I know are extremely intelligent.

That is not true for me. But I am curious -- if you think that this type of service/blue-collar jobs are occupied by highly intelligent people, where are the stupids? Half of the population is below the median intelligence, where are they? Where do they work? What kind of jobs do they take?

Nannies tend to be of about average intelligence

Again, not according to my observations (though I admit we may have different baselines). I agree that immigrant nannies -- like other immigrants -- have to demonstrate a certain level of capability and independence to get to where they are. But I don't think this level is very high.

On the other hand, for some intelligent people becoming a nanny in the US is the easiest way to improve their condition. So there is a lot of variance -- some nannies are very bright and some are not. Just like most people, really :-)

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 30 April 2017 05:40:02PM 0 points [-]

where are the stupids? Half of the population is below the median intelligence, where are they? Where do they work? What kind of jobs do they take?

Clearly you've never worked at a big corporation.

Comment author: Lumifer 22 June 2016 05:14:30PM 2 points [-]

to their benefit

You assert this as if it were an axiom. It doesn't look like one to me. Show me the benefit.

And I still don't understand why would I want to become an ideal utility maximizer.

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 25 June 2016 03:50:56PM 0 points [-]

And I still don't understand why would I want to become an ideal utility maximizer.

If you could flip a switch right now that makes you an ideal utility maximizer, you wouldn't do it?

Comment author: Vaniver 24 June 2016 06:57:10PM 5 points [-]

This is summed up by the question: "if you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"

For many LWers, the answer is "I'm young," but I think there are also a lot of people where the answer is "I am rich."

Comment author: JEB_4_PREZ_2016 25 June 2016 03:37:18PM *  3 points [-]

Also worth noting: LWers should be extracting more utility from their money than non-LWers.

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