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Link to those results: http://lesswrong.com/lw/fp5/2012_survey_results/
I've been basically lurking this site for more than a year now and it's incredible that I have actually taken anything at all on this site seriously, let alone that at least thousands of others have. I have never received evidence that I am less likely to be overconfident about things than people in general or that any other particular person on this site is.
Yet in spite of this apparently 3.7% of people answering the survey have actually signed up for cryonics which is surely greater than the percent of people in the entire world signed up for cryonics. The entire idea seems to be taken especially seriously on this site. Evidently 72.9% of people here are at least considering signing up. I think the chance of cryonics working is trivial, for all practical purposes indistinguishable from zero (the expected value of the benefit is certainly not worth several hundred thousand dollars in future value considerations). Other people here apparently disagree, but if the rest of the world is undervaluing cryonics at the moment then why do those here with privileged information not invest heavily in the formation of new for-profit cryonics organizations, or start them alone, or invest in technology which will soon develop to make the revival of cryonics patients possible? If the rest of the world is underconfident about these ideas, then these investments would surely have an enormous expected rate of return.
There is also a question asking about the relative likelihood of different existential risks, which seems to imply that any of these risks are especially worth considering. This is not really a fault of the survey itself, as I have read significant discussion on this site related to these ideas. In my judgment this reflects a grand level of overconfidence in the probabilities of any of these occurring. How many people responding to this survey have actually made significant personal preparations for survival, like a fallout shelter with food and so on which would actually be useful under most of the different scenarios listed? I generously estimate 5% have made any such preparations.
I also see mentioned in the survey and have read on this site material related to in my view meaningless counterfactuals. The questions on dust specks vs torture and Newcomb's Problem are so unlikely to ever be relevant in reality that I view discussion about them as worthless.
My judgment of this site as of now is that way too much time is spent discussing subjects of such low expected value (usually because of absurdly low expected probability of occurring) for using this site to be worthwhile. In fact I hypothesize that this discussion actually causes overconfidence related to such things happening, and at a minimum I have seen insufficient evidence for the value of using this site to continue doing so.
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