2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Possible Survey Spoiler. You may want to take the survey before reading this.

I'm not sure if monetary prize question was intended to serve as a reimagining of the prisoner's dilemma, but that seems to be the way people are interpreting it in these comments. I would like to point out that the cooperate/defect question is fundamentally different from the original Prisoner's Dilemma because the total amount of prison time in the original scenario actually is dependent on your cooperation or defection. In this game, the total amount of money is unchanged by ou... (read more)

Showing 3 of 4 replies (Click to show all)
[anonymous]6y6

In future surveys, this could be corrected for (assuming this is intended to serve as a prisoner's dilemma) by promising to burn the portion of the prize money that is defected away.

Nah, that would just slightly increase the value of the US dollar, and be equivalent to reassigning more money to anyone who's holding any US dollars. You'd have to destroy intrinsically valuable resources instead.

2Wes_W6yIt seems to me that Yvain keeping money which he himself arranged to give away should not necessarily be considered to have positive utility. That leaves self-interest. But whether self-interest can/should motivate cooperation is the fundamental question of PD in the first place, isn't it?
3gattsuru6yI'm unable to take the money, but think that there is value toward incentivizing both high survey returns and people taking the monetary prize question seriously, so cooperating was strongly more valuable.

2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

by Scott Alexander 1 min read22nd Nov 2013620 comments

80


It's that time of year again.

If you are reading this post, and have not been sent here by some sort of conspiracy trying to throw off the survey results, then you are the target population for the Less Wrong Census/Survey. Please take it. Doesn't matter if you don't post much. Doesn't matter if you're a lurker. Take the survey.

This year's census contains a "main survey" that should take about ten or fifteen minutes, as well as a bunch of "extra credit questions". You may do the extra credit questions if you want. You may skip all the extra credit questions if you want. They're pretty long and not all of them are very interesting. But it is very important that you not put off doing the survey or not do the survey at all because you're intimidated by the extra credit questions.

It also contains a chance at winning a MONETARY REWARD at the bottom. You do not need to fill in all the extra credit questions to get the MONETARY REWARD, just make an honest stab at as much of the survey as you can.

Please make things easier for my computer and by extension me by reading all the instructions and by answering any text questions in the simplest and most obvious possible way. For example, if it asks you "What language do you speak?" please answer "English" instead of "I speak English" or "It's English" or "English since I live in Canada" or "English (US)" or anything else. This will help me sort responses quickly and easily. Likewise, if a question asks for a number, please answer with a number such as "4", rather than "four".

Last year there was some concern that the survey period was too short, or too uncertain. This year the survey will remain open until 23:59 PST December 31st 2013, so as long as you make time to take it sometime this year, you should be fine. Many people put it off last year and then forgot about it, so why not take it right now while you are reading this post?

Okay! Enough preliminaries! Time to take the...

***

2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

***

Thanks to everyone who suggested questions and ideas for the 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey. I regret I was unable to take all of your suggestions into account, because of some limitations in Google Docs, concern about survey length, and contradictions/duplications among suggestions. I think I got most of them in, and others can wait until next year.

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

80