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Comment author: Furcas 16 October 2014 02:21:04PM 2 points [-]

A while ago Louie Helm recommended buying Darkcoins. After he did the price of a darkcoin went up to more than 10$, but now it's down to 2$. Is it still a good idea to buy darkcoins, that is, is their price likely to go back up?

Comment author: knb 16 October 2014 11:58:35PM 1 point [-]

Honestly I doubt cryptocurrencies are any better than a random walk (unless you have some special foreknowledge of some extra attention the currency is about to get.)

Comment author: ChristianKl 12 October 2014 05:30:34PM -1 points [-]

Given the conspiracy theory post last month, this takes a bit more intellectual effort to dismiss.

Now suppose that a travel ban blocked 80% of sick people trying to fly here from Liberia. We’d have 80% fewer cases in US citizens: and that would be a good thing. Really it would.

This is just wrong. There no reason to assume that every possible case of Ebola in the US comes from somebody who fly to the US from Liberia. Other countries will be less likely to share information with the CDC so the risk coming from other countries and other epidemics rises.

Comment author: knb 14 October 2014 10:35:27AM 0 points [-]

Given the conspiracy theory post last month, this takes a bit more intellectual effort to dismiss.

That thread really illustrated LW's problem with understanding texts that are non-literal. I thought Cochran's "conspiracy" post was really funny--I especially enjoyed the allusion to Elvis being "The King" in Cochran's scenario.

Comment author: James_Miller 01 October 2014 08:25:34PM 3 points [-]

Besides Death Note, I have never found Anime to be deep or intellectually stimulating. Am I missing something, or is Anime a lot closer to being like comic books than novels?

Comment author: knb 03 October 2014 07:27:45AM *  2 points [-]

I certainly wouldn't view anime as a replacement for novels, but it can be a great supplement to western live-action TV. It's pretty rare for visual media to be as deep or intellectually stimulating as novels. I don't think that is a fair reference point.

I would say the best of anime is comparable to the best US/western live action TV. Even the most sophisticated live-action dramas I've seen (like Breaking Bad and True Detective are probably only as intellectually deep as middlebrow novels.

Comment author: James_Miller 29 September 2014 06:03:54PM 6 points [-]

How are the Hong Kong protesters able to overcome their collective action problems? The marginal value of one extra protester in terms of changing what's going to happen via China has to be close to zero, yet each protester faces serious risk of death or suffering long term negative consequences because they have to expect that China is carefully keeping track of who is participating. Is this a case of irrationality giving the protesters an advantage, or are there private gains for the protesters?

Comment author: knb 29 September 2014 08:10:08PM *  7 points [-]

I think you're overestimating the risks they face.

Comment author: ChristianKl 23 September 2014 11:17:29AM *  4 points [-]

I don't think that strategy is likely to succeed. Just look at the criticism that Eliezer got after his April first post.

I think the most charitable reading is that he wants to run an experiment on his audience to see the effect of writing utter crap.

Comment author: knb 25 September 2014 07:55:37AM 2 points [-]

Just look at the criticism that Eliezer got after his April first post.

What happened? What is this post?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 25 September 2014 06:24:14AM 0 points [-]

Sure they would. If some random nobody was living forever without aging, they would still get noticed, as Joseph Curwen discovered.

The PTB are not random nobodies, and Curwen is fictional.

It's funny to me that you can't recognize the sardonic quality of the post (e.g. reference to becoming a "sequoiah farmer."

I can recognise many things in the post. I can imagine he's not serious, and recognise non-seriousness in the post. I can imagine he's lost it and means every word, and recognise that in the post. I can imagine it's an idiot test to judge his commenters by their responses, and recognise that in the post. I can read all of these things into the post as easily as each other, which means I don't know which, if any, is the true meaning. But there is that internal inconsistency about who and what he thinks the PTB are.

Comment author: knb 25 September 2014 07:40:32AM *  1 point [-]

The PTB are not random nobodies, and Curwen is fictional.

Seems like you missed the point. I mentioned the example of Joseph Curwen as an illustration, not as evidence. The basic point is that it does not matter how famous/obscure someone is, if they just stay young forever, people will notice. And the idea is that they prefer to remain unnoticed. So the obvious solution is to kill off the old identities every so often and start over in some other place under some new identity.

So that makes it clear that there is no inconsistency in Cochrane's scenario. As long as they are immortal, they will have to keep switching identities or their anonymity is compromised.

I don't know which, if any, is the true meaning.

Maybe it's just because I'm familiar with his general attitude, but I think it is very clear he is joking. I pointed out in my other comment that he's talked about this before, and he makes it clear that he thinks that longevity research is underfunded because elites are ignorant of the possibilities. He's comically assuming the opposite: that elites ignore longevity research for the only rational reason: because they are already immortal. If it has to be explained it isn't as funny, I suppose.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 23 September 2014 12:45:00PM 2 points [-]

He is joking or crazy, right?

Dunno, but he's not very consistent in whatever it is. He says at the end of that paragraph:

[Faking your death and returning] wouldn’t mean losing power – real power is already invisible.

If the real powers that be are invisible, i.e. so powerful you'll never hear of them, they don't need to pretend to die.

Presumably, the visible powers that be that he begins by talking about are taking their orders from the invisible PTB, who discovered the secret of immortality in their own secret laboratories. But this is Weekly World News territory.

Comment author: knb 25 September 2014 04:45:27AM 1 point [-]

If the real powers that be are invisible, i.e. so powerful you'll never hear of them, they don't need to pretend to die.

Sure they would. If some random nobody was living forever without aging, they would still get noticed, as Joseph Curwen discovered.

It's funny to me that you can't recognize the sardonic quality of the post (e.g. reference to becoming a "sequoiah farmer." Being rational does not mean you must exhibit Spock-like literalism!

Comment author: James_Miller 22 September 2014 08:08:11PM 5 points [-]

If you want a logical reason for the complete disinterest in longevity research shown by the powers that be, the most obvious, if you’re even a little paranoid, is that they already have the secret, and aren’t interested in distributing it to the hoi polloi. If so, members of the inner circle would obviously have to fake their own deaths every so often – otherwise they might face mobs of angry peasants bearing torches.

From Greg Cochran

He is joking or crazy, right?

Comment author: knb 25 September 2014 04:37:25AM *  3 points [-]

He's joking. Look at his previous post on longevity.

This might take a lot of work. If so, don’t count on seeing effective immortality any time soon, because society doesn't put much effort into it. In part, this is because the powers that be don’t know understand the points I just made. Sometimes I wonder what they do understand.

Cochrane's model of the "powers that be" seems to be that they are kind of dumb.

Comment author: knb 23 September 2014 06:11:32AM 0 points [-]

Tell me your idea.

Comment author: Mark_Friedenbach 20 September 2014 10:32:03PM *  4 points [-]

Please explain the causal connection which permits me to update that making radio transmitters decreases the chance of nuclear war.

It changes the map, not the territory. It may or may not update your own assigned probabilities, based on your own priors and accepted belief structures. But the actual chance of nuclear war is the same before and after.

Comment author: knb 21 September 2014 05:06:43AM 2 points [-]

Seems like James is using "probability is in the mind" and you are using "probability is in the universe." Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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