Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Comment author: Clarity 10 February 2016 04:48:20AM *  -2 points [-]

Consider that 1 major democratic party candidate isn't technically from the democratic party. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You're taking the 'suckers bet'. Market makers are generally better informed than other participants. Unless you have private knowledge, or are gambler, it's probably not a good idea to make these kinds of bets.

Comment author: knb 10 February 2016 07:19:43AM 1 point [-]

Bernie Sanders is a Democrat as of 2015.

Comment author: gjm 09 February 2016 10:48:12AM 0 points [-]

known to have a significant advantage in presidential elections due to the Blue Wall and [...]

So far as I can make out, "Blue Wall" is just a slightly colourful way of saying "there are some states that have a solid Democratic majority", and doesn't indicate any advantage except in so far as being more popular is an advantage. In the only US presidential election of the last century (I didn't look further back) in which the outcome didn't match the popular vote, the Democrats won the popular vote and the Republicans won the election. (Very narrowly in both cases.)

Comment author: knb 09 February 2016 08:57:37PM 0 points [-]

In the only US presidential election of the last century (I didn't look further back) in which the outcome didn't match the popular vote, the Democrats won the popular vote and the Republicans won the election. (Very narrowly in both cases.)

The Blue Wall is considered to be a recent development, so looking at history doesn't really tell you much. It's something that has built up gradually but only really been a significant advantage for Democrats for maybe 2 presidential cycles. Basically the Republicans have to win a lot more swing states than Democrats. In 2012 Obama won 4% more of the electoral votes than Mitt Romney, but won 61% more electoral votes.

doesn't indicate any advantage except in so far as being more popular is an advantage.

If democrats were generically more popular it seems unlikely republicans would have large majorities in the House and Senate, control 31 state legislatures and 31 governorships, etc.

Comment author: CronoDAS 08 February 2016 05:10:14PM 4 points [-]

I think my girlfriend needs psychiatric help - she has visual hallucinations and other symptoms I've promised to keep confidential. She doesn't want to see a psychiatrist, as she and her family attribute her symptoms to supernatual causes; they believe that the "spirits" she sees actually exist. (Another family member - not a blood relative - also has psychiatric symptoms that are being treated and managed.) I really don't want to go into further details because one time I promised not to tell my psychiatrist about her issues and then told him anyway and she freaked out when I admitted to telling him. (I admitted it because I can't lie for shit and suck at keeping secrets, but that's beside the point.)

Any advice? ("Break up with your girlfriend" will be ignored, unless you can convince me that it would be better for her if I left her.)

Comment author: knb 08 February 2016 11:41:09PM 1 point [-]

What kind of advice are you seeking? Advice about how to convince her to seek treatment? Advice about whether she needs treatment? I don't think you've given enough information to give any meaningful advice.

Comment author: James_Miller 08 February 2016 08:25:02PM 3 points [-]

On the betting market PredictIt you can by a contract for 38 cents that pays $1 if the Democratic party doesn't win the next U.S. presidential election. This seems like an amazingly good bet. (I have 1158 shares) Do others who follow U.S. politics agree that the chance of the Democrats not winning the election is well above 38%?

Comment author: knb 08 February 2016 11:21:17PM *  1 point [-]

I'd put the odds of a non-Democrat a bit higher, maybe 45%. Democrats are known to have a significant advantage in presidential elections due to the Blue Wall and higher turnout compared to midterms. On the other hand a party rarely wins 3 presidential terms in a row. Also, I think there's a fair chance of an economic downturn this year, which would I suspect would tend to benefit the Republicans as the party controlling the white house seems to get blamed for recessions.

Comment author: knb 03 February 2016 07:01:21AM 2 points [-]

Would anyone like to comment on Eliezer's facebook post about the AlphaGo victory over Fan Hui?

People occasionally ask me about signs that the remaining timeline might be short. It's very easy for nonprofessionals to take too much alarm too easily. Deep Blue beating Kasparov at chess was not such a sign. Robotic cars are not such a sign. This is.

Comment author: knb 31 January 2016 01:58:44AM 14 points [-]

Less Wrong doesn't seem "overgrown" to me. It actually seems dried out and dying because the culture is so negative people don't want to post here. I believe Eliezer has talked about how whenever he posted something on LW, the comments would be full of people trying to find anything wrong with it.

Here's an example of what I think makes LessWrong unappealing. User Clarity wrote an interesting discussion level post about his mistakes as an investor/gambler and it was downvoted to oblivion. Shouldn't people be encouraged to discuss their failures as they relate to rationality? Do we really want to discourage this? No one even bothered to explain why they downvoted.

All discussion in Less Wrong 2.0 is seen explicitly as an attempt to exchange information for the purpose of reaching Aumann agreement. In order to facilitate this goal, communication must be precise. Therefore, all users agree to abide by Crocker's Rules for all communication that takes place on the website.

I think trying to impose strict new censorship rules and social control over communication is more likely to deal the death blow to this website than to help it. LessWrong really needs an injection of positive energy and purpose. In the absence of this, I expect LW to continue to decline.

Comment author: Viliam 29 January 2016 11:37:48PM 12 points [-]

It's not just offensive comments from this account, but also the fact that he was banned a few times in the past, and keeps returning with new accounts. And now probably with an army of sockpuppets.

He should be banned even without saying anything offensive, as an enforcement of the previous ban. However, if he only could abstain from his typical behavior, there is a good chance he would be ignored. But he seems unable to do even that.

Comment author: knb 30 January 2016 03:28:42AM 1 point [-]

I agree. I was not aware this was Eugene_Nier.

Comment author: Houshalter 29 January 2016 09:08:35PM 0 points [-]

Why on earth did they give into this? Please ip ban this asshat and everyone who's ever upvoted his comments.

Comment author: knb 29 January 2016 10:27:02PM 3 points [-]

What did The_Lion say that was so offensive?

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 January 2016 06:34:16PM *  0 points [-]

If I look in Google Maps at California there seem to be huge open spaces. What's stopping new cities in California to be build on land that's outside of the existing cities?

Comment author: knb 27 January 2016 12:06:02AM 3 points [-]

A lot of Californians like those big open spaces. Others don't want developments that make it easier for poor people to live around them (due to fear of crime, "bad schools" or other unpleasantness.)

From 1969 onward in California, “progressivism” has chiefly been about preserving privilege, especially the privilege of living in an uncrowded bucolic manner in the finest landscapes (typically, the coast in Southern California, the first valley in from the coast in Northern California) by blocking on environmentalist grounds developments that would make these regions more affordable to more people.

San Francisco is now one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, and the populace wants to keep it that way.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 20 January 2016 02:26:24PM 0 points [-]

Any important dynamics I'm missing?

Saudi Arabia flooded the market in order to reduce the price, in order to combat the benefit to Iran of the raising of sanctions.

Comment author: knb 21 January 2016 09:13:20AM 1 point [-]

That's one argument. Another common argument is that they want to increase their market share and kill the US tight oil industry.

View more: Next