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Comment author: Lumifer 10 August 2017 02:57:27PM *  5 points [-]

I think your starting assumptions are false.

prediction markets ... aren't really catching on

Not true. Most financial markets are prediction markets. They seem to be popular.

stock market, which for the vast majority of people is no less distasteful

Not true. In fact, I do not know a single person who would characterize the stock market as "distasteful". Caveat: I don't know many tankies.

Only a small minority of people are neither disgusted by nor terrified of gambling.

Not true. Look at how many people are playing the lotteries, going to casinos, etc.

In general, "prediction market as a sport" is called trading the financial markets. HUGE prizes :-D

Comment author: buybuydandavis 12 August 2017 08:52:44AM 0 points [-]

I don't know many tankies.

My favorite word of the day!

Comment author: James_Miller 22 July 2017 08:34:27PM 2 points [-]

Adams makes lots of falsifiable claims, but not about Trump's character.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 26 July 2017 09:56:44PM 0 points [-]

Adams has stated why he doesn't make claims about Trump's character. Recent podcast.

He says his own moral views are such that if he went around shunning people for immorality, he'd be shunning everyone.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 22 July 2017 08:02:33PM *  2 points [-]

Ok -- so he neither makes falsifiable claims, nor updates publically.

That's certainly something, but why is this rationality? Certainly not epistemic rationality.

If you want to make an argument for instrumental rationality, presumably we should look to self-made billionaires who were not obviously lucky, not cartoonists who are opportunistically shilling for a jackass without an obvious payoff in sight.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 26 July 2017 09:53:35PM 0 points [-]

The claim that Trump is a Master Persuader is falsifiable.

Comment author: James_Miller 21 July 2017 08:04:29PM 2 points [-]

Adams predicting that Trump would win at a time when nearly everyone else thought Trump was a joke candidate is evidence that Adams has special insight into Trump. And this wasn't a mere prediction. Adams essentially bet his entire reputation on this claim. Adams often makes falsifiable predictions such as when he said that Obamacare would essentially never be repealed and that Snapchat had a dim future.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 26 July 2017 09:51:47PM 0 points [-]

The prediction of the win shows he has insights into Trump's capabilities, but not necessarily his intentions.

Comment author: Stabilizer 25 July 2017 09:43:47PM *  0 points [-]

You're right: it was probably wrong of me to ask people to only find errors in his reasoning. It is indeed an invitation to fall under the spell of confirmation bias. It would've been better to also ask people to find places where he makes good arguments.

Where I disagree with you is the claim that attacking someone's epistemological method is necessarily the same as attacking the positions they hold. (Though, I agree with you that it might be interpreted that way.) In a different comment, I try to make it clear that my goal was not necessarily to attack particular positions that Adams holds (though I disagree with him on many positions), but to point out the methods that he uses that might be persuasive to some folks, but ought not to be persuasive, because these methods are not truth-seeking.

Adams uses several techniques (listed in the post) that could be used to argue for any position—even one that I wholeheartedly agree with. I suspect that in such a case I might not be quite so enthusiastic to point out the flaws in the reasoning. But as someone trying to be more truth-seeking, I ought to be sensitive to bad argumentation in those cases as well.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 26 July 2017 09:36:15PM *  0 points [-]

Adams uses several techniques (listed in the post) that could be used to argue for any position—even one that I wholeheartedly agree with. I suspect that in such a case I might not be quite so enthusiastic to point out the flaws in the reasoning.

So that perhaps the following is not quite what you really did:

Where I disagree with you is the claim that attacking someone's epistemological method is necessarily the same as attacking the positions they hold.

Maybe some of that extra enthusiasm leaks over into actual opposition to the person, like:

and he is the kind of figure we rationalists should know how to fight against.

Was Adams v. Harris a convenient vehicle to discuss the dangers of Dark Arts to epistemic rationality, or was a Dark Arts analysis a convenient vehicle for you to advocate opposition to Trump and Adams?

So please, contribute in the comments with your own observations about the Dark Arts involved here.

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

I note this as one of the prime methods of the Dark Arts that one sees in the media all the time - the presupposition. I think it's actually amazing effective. I simply can't stand watching most talking head news media because the discussions presuppose some propagandistic talking point.

But to be even handed about this, I'll give you an example of presupposition from Trump. It's genius Dark Arts.

We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’ You’ve heard this one. You’ll say ‘Please, Mr. President, we beg you sir, we don’t want to win anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.’”

From a dialectical standpoint, this is just absolute balderdash, silly and absurd. It's just goofy.

But from a Dark Arts perspective, it's amazing. The silliness disarms. Not only does he presuppose "winning", he has exactly the same silliness going on within the presuppositions themselves, that we'll all be begging to stop the winning, which again is rejected by the mind - "no, we won't get tired of winning!".

The dialectical mind thinks it is completely rejecting everything said, while underneath all that's left is the feeling of winning, winning, and more winning.

And this is not just analysis. This is empirical observation. It worked. It is yuge. Go search twitter for "not tired of winning yet" and #somuchwinning. They're basically "Hallelujah" for Trump supporters.

As a final note, I suggest that if you want to discuss the Dark Arts, find it in your side in politics. That way you can be sure you're not just using it as an avenue to attack an enemy, and will give them every benefit of the doubt before casting the accusing finger and proclaiming "I spy Dark Arts!" And you may learn some weaknesses in your side's arguments too.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 25 July 2017 09:42:12PM 0 points [-]

For my part, I found the interview itself as an exercise in Dark Arts by Sam. He wants to pretend that he has given Trump politics a fair hearing. But he doesn't have on someone who actually supports the politics in any conventional sense.

He has on a persuasion analyst who doesn't believe in that there is much utility in us having political opinions because of our lack of knowledge and ability to be objective, and will say that his political opinions are so outside the mainstream that there is no point in discussing them. Similarly, he doesn't argue morality because his he says that his own moral values are so outside the mainstream that he finds everyone immoral.

Not a guy who is going to defend Trump on policy or morality. He finds him an effective persuader, and thinks that an effective persuader will make a good president, and sees a number benefits accrued already.

Sam has him on, and then doesn't even talk policy, but spends the hour attacking Trump personally.

Now watch to see how many times Sam uses this interview as evidence of engaging with the ideas behind Trump's politics and finding them unconvincing.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 25 July 2017 09:22:44PM 1 point [-]

The OP is an interesting twist on the usual "Dark Arts" political argument.

It is commonplace as an extended exercise in confirmation bias to poison the well.

I wanted to work on this essay more carefully, and find out all the different ways in which Adams subverts the truth and sound reasoning.

Seek, and ye shall find, o' confirmation bias.

But "the well" is not just Scott himself, but his epistemological method. This is much more powerful than just attacking the person, as it provides a fully general counterargument to dismiss anything Scott Adams has to say as "Dark Arts".

He is a bad person, for engaging in the Dark Arts, and all his arguments are bad, because they are Dark Arts.

Comment author: ChristianKl 11 May 2017 10:12:38AM 2 points [-]

Anyone knows how intelligence works? Given those two interpretations, do they get assigned priors that trickle up?

If we can believe Tetlock, the US intelligence community didn't assign any probabilities to the interpretations. Afterwards they felt like the screwed up and funded projects like the ACE challenge that Tetlock's Good Judgement Project won via IARPA to find out how things should be done.

The problem with probabilities is that that they produce accountability. If you say X is likely to happen and X happens you can pretend that you meant that it happened with 95% probability and if X doesn't happen you can pretend that your prediction was that it was supposed to happen with 60% probability. As a result there are institutional incentives against using probability.

I don't know what the status quo happens to be within the intelligence community but when I look at the current US administration, I doubt that pushing the CIA to use probabilities more for their assessments is high on the list of priorities.

At the same time getting intelligence right in cases like this is important. That's part of the reason why IARPA spending isn't as evil as weapons research and why 80,000 hours is justified in putting IARPA-Program Manager on their job board.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 23 May 2017 01:41:40AM 0 points [-]

Did they even have "Saddam is faking it" as a possibility?

Comment author: buybuydandavis 11 May 2017 09:43:37AM 0 points [-]

The US intercepted communications where Saddam told his units to ensure that they had no chemical weapons that inspectors could find. Of course, that communication didn't happen in English. That communication seems to have been misinterpreted by the US intelligence community as evidence that Saddam is hiding WMDs.

Even in the English given, I can see alternate interpretations. Make sure you destroy any you have. Make sure they can't find any you have.

Anyone knows how intelligence works? Given those two interpretations, do they get assigned priors that trickle up?

My impression from the Saddam days is that the scenario that Saddam destroyed his weapons the best he could, while trying to maintain the appearance that he had them, really hadn't trickled up to general consciousness, if anyone had considered it at all.

People are overly confident in thinking they've covered the possible motivations a person might have had. "He wouldn't have done this unless."

Any actual science out there on this particular effect?

Comment author: gwern 26 February 2017 02:06:32AM 2 points [-]

A number of LWers signed up (it was posted here) for the BGI high-IQ project; I believe they got copies of their data. As for the project as a whole: Hsu has mentioned some of how it went, including in a podcast last year which I believe got transcribed; basically, BGI made some disastrous strategic decisions in trying to develop & use a genome-sequencing competitor to Illumina and the high-IQ project got orphaned in the chaos, and is largely irrelevant now as similar high-IQ samples turned up nothing special (so the original premise, that either enrichment would increase power dramatically or that rare variants would be found, I forget which, turned out to be wrong) and the regular GWASes like SSGAC+UK Biobank have made much progress & rendered their relatively small sample mostly irrelevant. Hsu sounded moderately hopeful that something might still be finished & published, but hu knows.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 26 February 2017 01:17:41PM *  0 points [-]

So how many 150+ IQ samples did the latest studies have access to?

More generally, what's the equivalent general population sample size for the tail sampled high IQ populations?

Article about the Chinese Study and it's linking up with the SMPY study

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