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Comment author: parabarbarian 03 April 2016 03:11:09PM 2 points [-]

That might depend the the kind of insurance. For example, here in California, I am required by law to have personal liability and property damage coverage on my cars. If I take out a loan for a car, the lender will require I have collision and theft as well. So, if I decide I want to drive on public streets, buying insurance -- rational or not -- becomes a part of the cost of owning and operating a vehicle.

Comment author: jkaufman 04 April 2016 12:01:13PM 1 point [-]
Comment author: jaime2000 04 April 2016 04:26:50AM 3 points [-]

In addition to what everyone else said, I recommend Gwern's "Console Insurance". Also, Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme says the following about dental and vision insurance:

I don’t have dental or vision insurance. Paying insurance that covers “regular maintenance” like teeth cleaning or contact lenses which these kinds of insurance do makes no sense whatsoever. Suppose everybody pays $25/month for contacts. Now do you think that everybody paying those $25 through an insurance company will make it any cheaper? No, the insurance company will add a $5 administrative fee—they most definitely will not give away free money. As such this kind of insurance is nothing but a financing plan for people who can’t figure out how to save the money for a $200 dental visit. The point of insurance is to cover rare events with a six-figure cost, which dental or vision simply doesn’t have.

Comment author: jkaufman 04 April 2016 11:59:25AM 2 points [-]

In the US, some kinds of insurance are really collective bargaining. Dental and vision usually aren't, but this is a reason to get health insurance even if you could afford to self insure.

Comment author: welf 09 March 2016 09:15:42PM 0 points [-]

Excellent discussion. This certainly made me think more about donation; however, I believe you are wrong to include the effects of chains in your analysis, for two reasons.

Firstly, I don't see how you can count the benefit of all donations in a chain within the donation of the first donor. Sure, those down the chain may not have been able to donate without the original donor, but it is still them that is having a kidney removed, and they should rightly be able to count that within their own 'charity equivalent' value. Double counting this donation value for two different donors doesn't seem correct.

Secondly, I personally wouldn't want to donate into a chain, as to me it feels like adding additional conditions to the donation - 'I will donate you this kidney, as long as you have a friend who is willing to donate to someone else'. I believe that patients on the waiting list for a kidney should have equal rights to donated kidneys, regardless of whether they have anyone willing to donate for them.

I like to think that those friends or family that were willing to donate, but were not a match, would still be moved to donate altruistically if their loved one received a living donor kidney. Although this then puts the choice of when and how to donate on their own terms. (I'm not aware of any stats or studies on whether this is actually the case or not.)

Finally, as other comments have mentioned, I don't see kidneys and cash as fungible in the same way you do. Whilst most would probably donate the equivalent cost of saving a life to charity rather than undergo major surgery, there is nothing stopping you from doing both, particularly if you employer will cover your time off work at full pay. I think AlexanderB has previously made this point quite well.

Comment author: jkaufman 17 March 2016 02:19:53AM 0 points [-]

I don't see how you can count the benefit of all donations in a chain within the donation of the first donor.

If you're trying to compare actions, you should say "how will the world be if I do A instead of B". If you think the chain truly wouldn't have happened if you hadn't decided to donate your kidney then the benefit of all of those people receiving kidneys happens in the world where you donate, and not in the world where you keep your kidney.

Comment author: Clarity 09 January 2016 11:05:09PM 0 points [-]

Incredible analyses in the comments here.

Somebody That I'll Never Know (Gotye parody) Organ Donation

Comment author: jkaufman 11 January 2016 03:53:40PM 0 points [-]

Which of the youtube comments are you referring to? There are a bunch of them (and none of them jumped out as an incredible analysis to me? But I was just skimming.)

Comment author: Dreaded_Anomaly 23 September 2011 03:15:37AM 5 points [-]

The earliest reference to the parable that I can find is in this paper from 1992. (Paywalled, so here's the relevant page.) I also found another paper which attributes the story to this book, but the limited Google preview does not show me a specific discussion of it in the book.

Comment author: jkaufman 25 December 2015 03:34:26PM 0 points [-]

Expanded my comments into a post: http://www.jefftk.com/p/detecting-tanks

Comment author: pedanterrific 23 September 2011 03:09:48AM *  7 points [-]

It's almost certainly not the actual source of the "parable", or if it is the story was greatly exaggerated in its retelling (admittedly not unlikely), but this may well be the original study (and is probably the most commonly-reused data set in the field) and this is a useful overview of the topic.

Does that help?

Comment author: jkaufman 24 December 2015 03:27:04PM 0 points [-]

Except "November Fort Carson RSTA Data Collection Final Report" was released in 1994 covering data collection from 1993, but the parable was described in 1992 in the "What Artificial Experts Can and Cannot Do" paper.

Comment author: Dreaded_Anomaly 23 September 2011 03:15:37AM 5 points [-]

The earliest reference to the parable that I can find is in this paper from 1992. (Paywalled, so here's the relevant page.) I also found another paper which attributes the story to this book, but the limited Google preview does not show me a specific discussion of it in the book.

Comment author: jkaufman 24 December 2015 03:22:10PM *  0 points [-]

Here's the full version of "What Artificial Experts Can and Cannot Do" (1992): http://www.jefftk.com/dreyfus92.pdf It has:

... consider the legend of one of connectionism's first applications. In the early days of the perceptron ...

Comment author: Dreaded_Anomaly 23 September 2011 03:15:37AM 5 points [-]

The earliest reference to the parable that I can find is in this paper from 1992. (Paywalled, so here's the relevant page.) I also found another paper which attributes the story to this book, but the limited Google preview does not show me a specific discussion of it in the book.

Comment author: jkaufman 24 December 2015 03:10:50PM 0 points [-]

There's also https://neil.fraser.name/writing/tank/ from 1998 which says the "story might be apocryphal", so by that point it sounds like it had been passed around a lot.

Comment author: timtyler 24 October 2011 01:53:40AM *  0 points [-]

In the "Building Neural Networks" book, the bottom of page 199 seems to be about "classifying military tanks in SAR imagery". It goes on to say it is only interested in "tank" / "non-tank" categories.

Comment author: jkaufman 24 December 2015 03:09:26PM 0 points [-]

But it also doesn't look like it's a version of this story. That section of the book is just a straight ahead "how to distinguish tanks" bit.

Comment author: AstraSequi 12 December 2015 09:28:14PM *  7 points [-]

The primary weakness of longitudinal studies, compared with studies that include a control group

Longitudinal studies can and should include control groups. The difference with RCTs is that the control group is not randomized. Instead, you select from a population which is as similar as possible to the treatment group, so an example is a group of people who were interested but couldn't attend because of scheduling conflicts. There is also the option of a placebo substitute like sending them generic self-help tips.

ETA: "Longitudinal" is also ambiguous here. It means that data were collected over time, and could mean one of several study types (RCTs are also longitudinal, by some definitions). I think you want to call this a cohort study, except without controls this is more like two different cross-sectional studies from the same population.

Comment author: jkaufman 14 December 2015 08:11:25PM *  4 points [-]

Instead, you select from a population which is as similar as possible to the treatment group

They did this with an earlier batch (I was part of that control group) and they haven't reported that data. I found this disappointing, and it makes me trust this round of data less.

On Sunday, Sep 8, 2013 Dan at CFAR wrote:

Last year, you took part in the first round of the Center for Applied Rationality's study on the benefits of learning rationality skills. As we explained then, there are two stages to the survey process: first an initial set of surveys in summer/fall 2012 (an online Rationality Survey for you to fill out about yourself, and a Friend Survey for your friends to fill out about you), and then a followup set of surveys one year later in 2013 when you (and your friends) would complete the surveys again so that we could see what has changed.

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