Information asymmetry is a funny thing.

A while ago I created a question asking "Will NASA return a sample of material from the surface of Mars to Earth before SpaceX Starship lands on Mars?".  Currently the odds according to the Metaculus prediction are that there's an 80% chance Starship will land on Mars before the sample-return mission is complete.  How different would NASA's Mars exploration program look if everyone working there believed this to be the case?  What if every American believed this to be the case?

Now Metaculus could be wrong of course, but its predictions are historically well-calibrated and it has a track-record of beating the experts (for example on covid-19).  That means anyone--and specifically anyone reading this post--has access to information that while not "secret" is hardly general knowledge.

Other than writing dire letters to NASA about how SLS is a waste of money because it is likely to succeed at about 2 launches prior to 2030, what can you do with this information?

Consider Metaculus' prediction that the first AGI will be created around 2052.  Or the fact that there is a 30% chance of China annexing Taiwain in the same time frame? Or that there is a 50% chance another cryptocurrency will eclipse Bitcoin by 2026?

Here is the point: many future changes are highly predictable, but people for the most part go about their lives acting as though things will continue more or less the way they always have.  Don't be that way!  Imagine you were born with a superpower that gave you prophetic insight into the future. It wouldn't just be dumb to ignore that power, it would borderline reprehensible.  We have a moral obligation to warn the world around us about the changes that are coming.  

To warn them that they are the walking dead.



It would be really cool to create a project that studies on which topics Metaculus disagrees most with the average expert (or the average member of the public) and somehow systematically make use of that information (e.g. by making strategic investments).


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I also find this fascinating. Related, from my shortform:

In stories (and in the past) important secrets are kept in buried chests, hidden compartments, or guarded vaults. In the real world today, almost the opposite is true: Anyone with a cheap smartphone can roam freely across the Internet, a vast sea of words and images that includes the opinions and conversations of almost every community. The people who will appear in future history books are right now blogging about their worldview and strategy! The most important events of the next century are right now being accurately predicted by someone, somewhere, and you could be reading about them in five minutes if you knew where to look! The plans of the powerful, the knowledge of the wise, and all the other important secrets are there for all to see -- but they are hiding in plain sight. To find these secrets, you need to be able to swim swiftly through the sea of words, skimming and moving on when they aren't relevant or useful, slowing down and understanding deeply when they are, and using what you learn to decide where to look next. You need to be able to distinguish the true and the important from countless pretenders. You need to be like a detective on a case with an abundance of witnesses and evidence, but where the witnesses are biased and unreliable and sometimes conspiring against you, and the evidence has been tampered with. The virtue you need most is rationality.

I'm not really sure where you're getting "the walking dead" from?

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