(Edit: I am not the user RatsWrongAboutUAP.)
I'm offering a new bet along similar lines to Yudkowsky's bet with the user RatsWrongAboutUAP in this thread last month. My bet has these similarities (here added explicitly after some confusion in the comments):
My bet has these differences:
EDIT: If you can document liquid assets, I will go down to 100:1. The limit to odds I will accept is at 75:1, but that would only be if the other wager was put in escrow.
I'd like to discuss details like credibility of payback, but first I want to see if there's any interest. My suspicion is that LW users are more afraid to make this bet now than they were in July, but we'll see.
Putting $75,000 into escrow for 3 years for a payoff of $1000 is a terrible financial move even if the evidence rationally supported a 99.9+% likelihood of receiving the payout. But it doesn't: even if the underlying question met that criterion, the payout chance is definitely lower which makes that a bet that only a fool would take.
Agree, I hope rats is wealthy and doesn't really care about the money put into these bets because odds are most of the counterparties would either not pay out or would be insolvent in the event of a payout.
most of the counterparties would either not pay out or would be insolvent in the event of a payout
At this rate there is unlikely to be any counterparties, despite me being the one taking a financial risk. I suppose that rationalists have begun updating on this question, or simply not many people saw the bet.
Many of us bet with RatsWrongAboutUAP at 50:1 odds (at least me (simon), Charlie Steiner, Algon, Philh and Thomas Sepulchre). Some bettors with less history or who for whatever reason bet later (after RatsWrongAboutUAP increased the odds he was demanding, such as Eliezer) got less favourable odds. That offer got plenty of attention, and as it was more favourable than what you are offering, anyone who would bet with you should have already bet with RatsWrongAboutUAP. Even now AFAIK his offer of 150:1 is still open, and doesn't come with demands about people revealing private details of their finances as a precondition to the bet. Also, your credibility as an actual bettor (as opposed to someone, say, fishing for information) is lower due to your lack of history of actual payouts.
demands about people revealing private details of their finances as a precondition to the bet
Mine doesn't either, I only ask for a credible reputation. My offer was to lower the odds from 150:1 to 100:1 if the other party would give additional financial evidence.
and as it was more favourable than what you are offering
For the people who got better than 150:1. But otherwise, I think that my bet is more appealing due to the reduced time frame. But more importantly: the ontology most frequently professed on LW, at least formerly, could not consistently allow for accepting this bet at 50:1 yet not at 150:1.
Also, your credibility as an actual bettor (as opposed to someone, say, fishing for information) is lower due to your lack of history of actual payouts.
Maybe, but I don't think those people had thought of this: if I fail to pay out (which could be confirmed quickly) then the person who had accepted the bet would gain substantial bragging rights for reporting this, and would likely gain much karma. The event of a supposed UFO believer making a bet with rationalists, and running away after the bet had been agreed to, should be a congenial one.
Out of curiosity, since you mention evidence, what odds would you find acceptable? (In the non-escrow case, where I will pay immediately but you don't)
or new evidence
or new evidence
You win the bet if new unexplained claims are made?
What counts as new evidence?
Not simply if new claims are made, but if new evidence emerges and is confirmed by the same standards used in Yudkowsky's bet. In contrast to my bet, Yudkowsky didn't want the criteria to include new events that emerged after the bet was made. In my bet, non-prosaic origins of any past evidence or evidence that emerges during the 3 year interval is fair game.
Have you considered offering more generous odds for those with a higher 'credibility of payback'?
Sure. If you could document liquid assets of an amount where paying off the bet would not appear to present any financial issue, I would go as low as 100 to 1.
Not that I have any current betting plans (we already talked previously), but what odds would you allow for someone willing to put their money in escrow? Just asking out of curiosity.
(we already talked previously)
Not that it matters, but I don't believe that we did. I'm a different user.
what odds would you allow for someone willing to put their money in escrow?
Better (play money) odds here:
People aren't betting with you because the utility of money is not linear.
If you own $150,000 it is very unlikely that $1000 makes any difference to your life whatsoever. But losing $150,000 might ruin it.
Here is a way around that problem: You both wager $1000 (or whatever you like). When the bet is resolved you throw the dice (or rather use a random number generator).
If you win you throw the 99.33% probability "you get paid"-dice.
If your opponent wins he throws the 0.66% probability "he gets paid"-dice.
(If the [0,100] random number is <0.66 your opponent gets $1000 if he wins. If the random number is between 0.66 and 100 you will get $1000 if you win. In the other combinations you both keep your money.)
So instead of wagering a larger amount of money your opponent wagers a larger probability of having to pay in the event of losing the bet.
PS: Yes, you can also just wager small amounts of money but that's kinda boring.
Offering money up front reduces issues with the bet proposer's credibility as a counterparty. With your proposed scheme, that becomes an issue.
You could still offer money up front. Getting $2000 if the stars align is still much more likely than getting $150,000.
When making bets with extreme odds, I think the precision of your estimate becomes a lot more important.
To use a simple model, if I am 10% off with my precision when I think an event has 50% odds, the actual odds might be somewhere between 40-60%, which is fine. But if I think an event has 99.4% odds (the ratio you propose,) the actual odds are in the range of 89.4-100%. (Putting my actual estimate at 94.7% - not so good!)
In order to even get up to actual odds of 99.4%, even if I believed with complete certainty, my belief would need to have a precision within 1.2% just to get even odds. I have a hard time justifying that sort of precision when predicting novel future events, no matter how unlikely I think they are.
Now, I would be willing to bet with lower odds. For example, I'd bet at 20:1 odds that no such evidence appears within 22.5 years.
I'm sorry, but 20:1 is too low for me.