In that case, I pre-commit that if I win, I'll spend it on something leisure-related or some treat that I otherwise wouldn't be able to justify the money to purchase.

I co-operated; I'd already committed myself to co-operating on any Prisoner's Dilemma involving people I believed to be rational. I'd like to say it was easy, but I did have to think about it. However, I stuck to my guns and obeyed the original logic that got me to pre-commit in the first place.

If I assume other people are about as rational as me, than a substantial majority of people should think similarly to me. That means that if I decide that everyone else will co-operate and thus I can defect, there's a good chance other people will come to the same conclusion as well. The best way to go about it is to pre-commit to co-operation, and hope that other rational people will do the same.

Thanks for the chance to test my beliefs with actual stakes on the line :)

Showing 3 of 5 replies (Click to show all)

I am not sure I follow.

If you predict that majority of 'rational' people (say more than 50%) would pre-commit to cooperation, then you had a great opportunity to shaft them by defecting and running with their money.

Personally, I decided to defect as to ensure that other people who also defected won't take advantage of me.

0Oscar_Cunningham7yThat's the correct response when playing against rational players who are also trying to win, but if you actually look at the comments you'll see that most people are deciding to cooperate or defect for a variety of reasons. So I think in this case cooperation is (sadly) not the best move.
2alicey7y-

2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

by Scott Alexander 1 min read22nd Nov 2013620 comments

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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...

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2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

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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.

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