Are you confident in your current ontology? Are you convinced that ultimately all ufos are prosaic in nature?
If so, do you want some immediate free money?
I suspect that LW's are overconfident in their views on ufos/uap. As such, I'm willing to offer what I think many will find to be very appealing terms for a bet.
Essentially, I wish to bet on the world and rationalists eventually experiencing significant ontological shock as it relates to the nature of some ufos/uap.
Offer me odds for a bet, and the maximum payout you are willing to commit to. I will pick 1+ from the pool and immediately pay out to you. In the event that I ultimately win the bet, then you will pay out back to me.
I'm looking to give out between $5k-10k, but depends on what kinds of offers I get, could be more or less.
Two Worlds: All-ufos-are-ultimately-prosaic, and Not-all-ufos-are-ultimately-prosaic. I win the bet if we come to believe we likely live in the latter world. I win the bet if the ufo story ultimately gives us LW's a significant ontological shock. I win the bet if the ufo story ultimately causes the LW community to stop, melt, and catch fire. I've found it difficult to precisely nail down how to phrase this, so I hope its clear what kind of criteria I'm trying to get at.
Examples of things where if we come to believe at least one of them likely explain >0 ufo/uap cases, then I win the bet:
Important Note: The bet resolve in my favor if we think that one of the "weird hypotheses" is likely (>50%) true, NOT that we are confident in which specific explanation is true. Essentially, the bet resolves in my favor if we agree with the statement: "Whatever these most perplexing ufo/uap cases represent, they are likely something beyond our current paradigm"
If these terms are acceptable, please make an offer and maximum payout amount. I will select from available offers as I see fit. I would prefer to pay out in bitcoin/eth but can work with you for another method.
My $150K against your $1K if you're still up for it at 150:1. Paypal to email@example.com with "UFO bet" in subject or text, please include counterparty payment info if it's not "email the address which sent me that payment".
Key qualifier: This applies only to UFOs spotted before July 19th, 2023, rather than applying to eg future UFOs generated by secret AI projects which were not putatively flying around and spotted before July 19th, 2023.
ADDED: $150K is as much as I care to stake at my current wealth level, to rise to this bettors' challenge and make this point; not taking on further bets except at substantially less extreme odds.
Though I disagree with @RatsWrongAboutUAP (see this tweet) and took the other side of the bet, I say a word of praise for RatsWrong about following exactly the proper procedure to make the point they wanted to make, and communicating that they really actually think we're wrong here. Object-level disagreement, meta-level high-five.
Glad to have made this bet with you!
I am not - $150K is as much as I care to stake at my present weath levels - and while I refunded your payment, I was charged a $44.90 fee on the original transmission which was not then refunded to me.
Oh, that's suboptimal, sending 100$ to cover the fee charge (the extra in case they take another fee for some reason).
Again, apologies for the inconvenience. (wire sent)
Received $95.51. :)
(I like your eagerness to put your money where your mouth is and appreciate you covering the costs when your offer was not accepted.)
When it comes to solution criteria, it might be useful to have a Metaculus question. Metaculus questions have a good track record of being resolved in a fair matter.
The thing that has me pretty confused about your confidence here is not just that there's something weird going on here, but, that you expect it to be confirmed within 5 years.
I would give 200:1 odds for up to 50,000 of my own dollars.
My likelihood for one of the weird hypotheses you listed being true is higher than .5%. However my odds are much lower that we get any significant evidence of those hypotheses being true within the next 5 years and that UFOs + UAPs are caused by that weird hypothesis.
I think the issue is going to be disagreements about what the > 50% likelihood means. A lot of people are saying the current round of military and federal officials coming forward with their stories about the government keeping alien craft in secret facilities is significant evidence in favor of aliens. I would like a resolution criteria that is either public polling (>50% of people polled say that X hypothesis is true) or maybe a particular public figure taking a serious stance (Scott Alexander seriously claims that UFOs are shadow US government 4d vehicles extending into our visible space).
BTC transaction cleared today for 665,668 satoshis, equivalent of $200 usd. Bet is agreed to as above.
A proper Bayesian currently at less 0.5% credence for a proposition P should assign a less than 1 in 100 chance that their credence in P rises above 50% at any point in the future. This isn't a catch for someone who's well-calibrated.
In the example you give, the extent to which it seems likely that critical typos would happen and trigger this mechanism by accident is exactly the extent to which an observer of a strange headline should discount their trust in it! Evidence for unlikely events cannot be both strong and probable-to-appear, or the events would not be unlikely.
How come you're trusting essentially random internet strangers to pay up significant sum of money if they lose a bet in up to 5 years?
LW's with a reputation are a far cry from random internet strangers. I made the bet terms as such to be as frictionless and minimum downside for my counterparties as possible to try and eliminate as many concerns as possible, I do want to make bets afterall.
If I get stiffed I'd be pretty surprised, but I take that risk knowingly.
An Update: I have now paid out $4864 to 9 different bettors. From this point on I will only be accepting offers with at least 150:1 odds. I would love to make more bets, so feel free to reach out with offers at any point. Thanks to everyone who has already finalized bets with me.
I'm willing to pay out a maximum of $800,000 USD for a 200:1 bet of $4k. I'll pay out at 666:1 if the biologic pilots are confirmed to be supernatural in origin, ex. demons or angels.
I don't know what assumptions the OP has, but don't forget the simulation argument: If you think we are heeded for super intelligence, then the following all become more likely:
Max bet $50k, I would be totally happy to bet at 50:1 odds.
I have recieved $1000. The bet is on!
We're still doing this? Fine. No need to arrange any odds or payment methods or your bankroll limits, I'm willing to just commit my money:
In 5 years, if it has become a scientific consensus that any of the past UFO observations are extraterrestrial intelligent aliens, I will straight up just send $1,000 to any place Tyler Cowen or Robin Hanson† or RatsWrongAboutUAP choose.
In 5 years, if it has become a scientific consensus that any of the past UFO observations are extraterrestrial intelligent aliens, I will straight up just send $1,000 to any place Tyler Cowen or Robin Hanson† or RatsWrongAboutUAP choose.
(If space aliens are semi-consensus and I weasel out of it anyway, then you will have to settle for laughing at me online.)
While we're on the topic: in addition to the NY Post expose on the toxic stew of fraud, quasi-embezzlement, abuse of classification, echo chambers, and misinterpreted Chinese spy balloon references (carrying water for a dictatorship), which manufactured most of the recent UFO craze, today the NYT has a profile of Avi Loeb which helps explain where a lot of this UFO noise is coming from: rich old techies subsidizing intellectual hobbies. In addition to Yuri Milner, whose role is well-known, there's also a "Eugene Jhong" who is a 'software engineer' I've never heard of but who has put at least $1.2m into Loeb's aliens*, and Charles Hoskinson (Ethereum) appears to be putting in millions, at... (read more)
This sounds like the opening premise of a fun TV show or film.
UFO believer makes big bet with (for the sake of TV) one very rich person. Then heads out on an epic road trip in a camper van to find the alien evidence. A reporter covers the story and she starts travelling with him sending updates back to her paper. Obviously they fall for eachother.
They have various fun adventures where they keep encountering unconvincing evidence, or occasionally super-convincing evidence (UFO flys by) that they comically fail to catch on camera. Meanwhile the rich person on the other side of the bet becomes a villain, sending a hench-person to cut the tires on their van, get them in trouble with the police and generally obstruct the process.
I'm interested in my $250k against your $10k.
I'd take a bet at 1:50 odds for $200. I'm happy to let the LW community adjudicate, or for us to talk it over. I'm currently at something like 5e-5 for there being UFOs-as-non-prosaic. So I don't think I'd be that hard to convince.
Sure, lets bet. Reach out with means to receive payment
I bet RatsWrongAboutUAP $200 at 50:1 odds against us both assigning >50% odds for a non-prosaic explanation for UFOs within 5 years from today. He agreed, and I have received the money. We'll try to adjudicate the bet ourselves, or failing that, ask the LW community, or whomever is suitable, to adjudicate matters.
So I could get 0.5% of the committed payout right away, but would have to avoid spending the committed value for 5 years, even though the world could change significantly in a lot of non UAP-related ways in that time frame. That's not actually that attractive.
This is to publicly confirm that I have received approximately $2000 USD equivalent.
Unless you dispute what timing is appropriate for the knowledge cutoff, I will consider the knowledge cutoff for the paradigm-shattering UAP-related revelations for me to send you $100k USD to be 11:59pm, June 14, 2028 UTC time.
Glad we could make this bet!
I will predict that no bet with significant stakes (say, over $200 from the poster) gets made. This is a stunt, and the terms (of resolution and collection) are way too loose to be useful.
update a few days later: an established (ish - 6-month history, with quite a few comments and karma. @simon.) poster has confirmed that approx $2000 payment was received. Something weird could still be discovered, but this raises my estimate of legitimacy from ~15% to ~70% (had thought as high as 85% until I realized that it's $100k agreement for simon t... (read more)
The whole idea conflates refusal to accept the bet for reasons that apply to bets in general, with refusing to accept the bet because you're not really confident that UFOs are mundane.
It's easy to explain why people who hold beliefs for signaling purposes don't want to bet on those beliefs. It interferes with getting status points by exposing bullshit.
I can't give you an exhaustive list of the problems I have with betting, but some reasons:
Properly phrasing a bet is difficult, like writing a computer program that runs perfectly the first time, or phrasing a wish to a genie. I'm no good at avoiding loopholes, and there's no shortage of rationalists who'd exploit them as long as they can get a win. And just saying "I won't prey on any technicalities" isn't enough without being able to read your mind and know what you consider a technicality.
Betting has social overhead. This is the "explain to your parents/wife/children why you bet this money" scenario.
Some people value money differently than I do. Some people just have glitchy HumanOS 1.0 which leads them to spend money irrationally. Some people are just overconfident. If I bet against such a person I may win money in be an overall winner after X years, but until the X years are up, I'll have essentially lost the argument, because my opponent was willing to spend money--there must be some substance behind his argument or he wouldn't do that, right?
As others have pointed out, it's a bad idea to trust random people on the Internet to pay me money in X years. "I ha
Do you OP have access to secret (non public) information related to the bet?
Hesitant to bet while sick, but I'll offer max bet $20k at 25:1.
If you were offering, say, $100K at 5:1 odds, I would be very inclined to take it, despite the risk that e.g. next month's X-Day finally delivers, because that would let me set in motion things that, according to me, have their own transformative potential. But I'm not sure about the value of these smaller sums.
I'll bet. Up to $100k of mine against $2k of yours. 50:1. (I honestly think the odds are more like 1000+:1, and would in principle be willing to go higher, but generally think people shouldn't bet more than they'd be willing to lose, as bets above that amount could drive bad behavior. I would be happy to lose $100k on discovering aliens/time travel/new laws of physics/supernatural/etc.)
Happy to write a contract of sorts. I'm a findable figure and I've made public bets before (e.g., $4k wagered on AGI-fueled growth by 2043).
I am concerned for your monetary strategy (unless you're rich). Let's say you're absolutely right that LW is overconfident, and that there is actually a 10% chance of aliens rather than 0.5. So this is a good deal! 20x!
But only on the margin.
Depending on your current wealth it may only be rational to take a few hundred dollars worth of these bets for this particular bet. If you go making lots of these types of bets (low probability, high payoff, great EXpected returns) for a small fraction of your wealth each, you should expect to make money, but if you ma... (read more)
This is a very interesting topic, since from my own perception there is a high market inefficiency regarding this topic, and the lack of international press around the recent developments on the USA Congress UAP hearings.
Happy to bet $40k at 110:1 20:1 odds ($364 $2k). (Edited Sep 2023; previous bets confirmed at previous odds.)
USDC ERC-20 (Ethereum): 0x4fBA16996FA224042b0f2fcd8118D8003F9E8c0b
USDC Polygon: 0x9064Bc314431A05d710a7D9803982cAc4e6355C1
(Edit 23 June 3:45 PT): I'm only willing to bet assuming that AGI-created tech doesn't count for the purposes of this bet—it has to be something more supernatural than that.)
What if UFO are indeed really weird, but this will not shake LW belief system as it will be easily retrospectively explained: e.g. 'we always know that acausal cooperation between glitching streams in dust theory will produce Bayesian artifacts with low apriori probability but also unprovable in classical statistic sense'.
On further edit: apparently I'm a blind idiot and didn't see the clearly stated "5 year time horizon" despite actively looking for it. Sorry. I'll leave this here as a monument to my obliviousness, unless you prefer to delete it.
Without some kind of time limit, a bet doesn't seem well formed, and without a reasonably short time limit, it seems impractical.
No matter how small the chance that the bet will have to be paid, it has to be possible for it to be paid, or it's not a bet. Some entity has to have the money and be obligated to pay it out. Arranging fo... (read more)
Hm, I don't feel confident enough to place huge odds on none of these things being the answer (besides, the losses may appear deceptively smaller than they are; if you think $20,000 are a lot, try "$20,000 and having to explain to your wife why you lost $20,000 in a bet, all the while aliens may be attacking Earth"). I think the thing that really peeves me is running to "aliens" as the first exotic explanation as some do. If I witnessed something really unbelievable and seemingly breaking all laws of physics, and had plenty of evidence that it's not just a... (read more)
I don't think I have enough of a post history to participate. If I did, I'd factor into my bet that there may be less impact to be had in a world with advanced aliens, at least if those aliens could subdue an earth-originated ASI. Therefor, money might be less instrumentally valuable in that world.
Out of curiosity, is there anywhere you've written about your object-level view on this? The EY post fleshes out what I would call strong consensus on LW thoroughly, is there some equivalence of this that you've put together?
Congratulations, you have entered into the legendarium @RatsWrongAboutUAP. I fully agree with you and think you will win big here. I have been trying to create a bet with Eliezer since 2021 on this same issue (I have receipts) but could not word the criteria as elegantly as you did. Now, what I wanted to comment on was expanding on one of the criteria.
The Breakaway Group. This example may not fall under any of the previous explicit examples: they are still human, they are not an ancient civilization, they are not time travellers. The Breakaway Group repres... (read more)
Thank you for kickstarting an interesting discussion around this topic. I won't bet against you; I, too, think most LessWrongers dramatically underestimate the plausibility of the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
The UK's Project Condign concluded UAP were real and exotic, but were unknown natural atmospheric plasma phenomena (similar to the Hessdalen lights and reports of black or metallic-appearing ball lightning) generating electromagnetic fields that interact with human brains to induce psychedelic/out-of-body experiences (hence alien abduction and close en... (read more)
I’m happy to bet $150k against your $1k, resolves as your bet with Eliezer. DM or email me: ms at contact dot ms
If you're still looking, I'd be happy to bet at 50:1, my $5k against your $100.
Leftovers of an ancient civilization Archaeologist here: you'd want to really, really narrow down on what you mean here, otherwise we will clean your pockets pretty easily. Since about 2016, new discoveries of ancient civilizations, predating the most reasonable estimates crop up like mushrooms.My estimate is that we will have several proofs pushing the the origins of civilization at least 10k years backwards, if not more, in the very near future, likely along the vectors of:- Gobeli Tepe and other Turkish/Anatolian ruins being significantly older tha
I am willing to bet 50:1 up to $20k. Would you be interested?
[EDIT] up to $20k on my side, not up $1M.
Do you use Manifold Markets? It already has UAP-related markets you can bet on, and you can create your own.
This pattern matches to anonymous person on the internet offering free money, which is typically a scam. Safer to pass, I think.
Codyz bets Algon according to the terms of this post with 150:1 odds.
Cody bets $120 USD that UFOs are prosaic against Ali's $18,000 USD that they are not.
Cody sent the $120 USD today, 8/22/23, via Paypal. Ali to confirm receipt below.
I am of the understanding that most users have putting down money against OP. I would like to join OP, with the same terms, for people who haven't got their bets filled.
Willing to stake up to $100k in a 20:1 deal. If someone wants to put $200k down on the phenomenon as described above having fully prosaic explanations for example, I will deposit $10k into an escrow contract on Ethereum and have it be sent to a predefined address in 5 years if adjudicated as so. Will do this up to $100k deposited in the contract. Funds on the counterparty side must be shown as present, although I'm not requiring the amount be deposited into the escrow contract as well.
I'm a different person starting a new bet like this one. I'm looking for 150:1 odds for a 3 year time frame. I suspect people are less willing to make this bet today than they were in July.
It strikes me that you're wearing a lot of risk beyond the face value bet. Even if we assume everyone is acting in good faith, there's likely credit risk across 10 different people promising a $100k+ payout (because most people don't have that much cash, and even among those who do, there's some likelihood of falling below that level of liquidity after a 5 year period). On your side, it looks like you're just sending people your side of the bet before resolution, so they wear zero credit risk, even though the credit risk on your end was smaller to begin wi... (read more)
Are you still open to taking bets?
Hey, this might be a little bit "last minute" considering the stuff tomorrow, but are you willing to do transfers with regular money instead of crypto?
I will also take this bet, on the side of /u/RatsWrongAboutUAP with exactly the same terms, with anyone who wants. I will pay you now, you pay me 150:1 if UFO are supernatural within the next 5 years.
@RatsWrongAboutUAP I'm willing to risk up to $20k at 50:1 odds (i.e. If you give me $400 now, I'll owe you $20k in 5 years if you win the bet) conditional on (1) you not being privy to any non-public information about UFOs/UAP and (2) you being okay with forfeiting any potential winnings in the unlikely event that I die before bet resolution.Re (1): Could you state clearly whether you do or do not have non-public information pertaining to the bet?Re (2): FYI The odds of me dying in the next 5 years are less than 3% by SSA base rates, and my credence is eve... (read more)
I'd love to do this, but would have a hard time paying out because, for reasons beyond my control and caused by other people's irrationality, I'm on SSI (although that might change in a few years). In the US people can't save more than $2000 in liquid assets without losing their benefits, so I can't take much, and probably wouldn't be able to pay out because every transaction must be justified to the government, and although small purchases for entertainment would go through I'd have a hard time defending paying $1000 or whatever on a bet. Also, I've tried... (read more)
I would also gamble 200:1 odds for up to $5000. I have a strong conviction that all UFOs are prosaic in nature and have held this conviction for longer than a decade at this point.
Interested in my $100-200k against your $5-10k.
This is late but if betting is still available I think I'd take 1:60 odds.
In addition I am willing to reveal my identity (in private) and write an actual contract in the interest of creating a stronger sense of commitment and seriousness if you'd like that. I am also willing to return the exact sum at the end of the 5 years if we reach an "impasse" where you believe strong evidence has been provided that I do not recognize as such (for example, if belief in a supernatural origin for UFOs becomes common in the coming years for various reasons)
I am also very interested in your justifications for this bet. Are there any historical UFO "cases" that you find compelling?
EDIT: You can safely disregard the second paragraph of this, I misread the post initially. Still, the first applies.
In the event that you decide you're being stiffed, how will you quantify community sentiment on the issue to try and prove that the majority of the community believes in one of your categories of anomalous claims? Will you conduct a poll of some kind? Will you just say that you beg to differ?
Also, in the event that you're actually someone who has assessed that they don't want to be on LessWrong greater than 5 years from now anyway in the timeline where no substantial UFO/UAP evidence has surfaced by then, what would compel you to pay up instead of ghosting?
I said in a post to lsusr yesterday (https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/oY9HNicqGGihymnzk/intelligence-officials-say-u-s-has-retrieved-craft-of-non?commentId=od73EXuSL6uKLFfeD) that I would update the post today to address his concerns, but honestly im feeling very lazy and mostly disagree that its unclear what I'm trying to do.
I will be picking some people and moving forward with the bets today. I will ensure with my counterparties that any individual concerns they have are addressed.
I am still open to betting with more people (and would love to do so!).
To be clear, to resolve the bet in your favor, it has to be the case that:a) We have >50% credence in "ontological shock" as you define it
b) UFOs/UAPs identified as of June 13 2023 are meaningfully a result of such "ontological shock" right?(To be more explicit, I want to exclude scenarios like the following thing from being scored in your favor:1. We discover novel philosophical arguments or empirical evidence that leads LessWrongers to believe we're on balance more likely to live in a simulation than not.
2. Causally, the UFOs are a result of simula... (read more)
I'm sure that this time around, it's definitely real aliens. Or, barring that, magic or time travel.