I moved to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, a small country in Central Asia. I am travelling with family and a toddler. The town is lovely and has many nice cafes. 

International travel from Russia is still possible here, as many work migrants in Russia are from Kyrgyzstan. So planes are flying and money sending services seems to work. 

There was some kind of interview on the Russian side of the border: when you will return? why your vacation is so long? Some people said that their phones were checked and border guards read their message history. My message history was clean. 

Note that any non-official opinion about the current Russian operation could be punished by 15 years in jail according to the new law.  It is also illegal to call it "war". So far no one was jailed for 15 years, but some people were fired or arrested for a shorter time after protests.  

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Congratulations on the successful relocation, and best of luck in Bishkek.

Has your family decided how long to stay, on a vacation-to-finding-a-new-job scale?

We are going to rent for a couple of months and search for remote work. But plans are very unclear for now.

A wise decision. 

Judging by this Metaculus question, there is only a 66% chance of a bilateral ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine before 2023. And this question indicates that Russia is unlikely to capture Kyiv in the next two months. 

From this, I can conclude that the war will not end anytime soon. 

The ongoing large-scale war coupled with the worsening economic crisis will intensify the persecution of dissent in Russia. 

I've heard rumors about certain transhumanists in Russia that indicate that those certain people might be inclined / forced to snitch. Might make sense to severe all contacts with them for the time being, and to not post anything on the topic where they can read it. It is not hard to identify such people.

Additionally, with some unknown probability, the crisis could also cause a large-scale uprising in Russia, which will make Russia a very unsafe place to live in.

[-][anonymous]1y 9

Why would we expect an online prediction market to work in this instance? The people with the most information aren't going to be participating, either because they are in a war zone or because of restrictions on acting on classified data.

Judging by the Metaculus' track record, it is surprisingly good in most cases. 

In particular, it gave a >50% probability of the invasion more than 1 month before it has started. And 4 days before the invasion, it gave 75% (source).  

Of course, the invasion plans were classified and carefully guarded, even from some members of the Russian gov. But publicly accessible data were sufficient to give a good forecast anyway.  

I'm closely monitoring the war, and from my understanding of the situation, Metaculus is right: both a ceasefire and a capture of Kyiv are unlikely to happen in the next few months. Thus, the war is unlikely to stop anytime soon. 

If the information doesn't get to the forecasters, a typical person shouldn't expect to be able to obtain that data themselves, so the forecast can still be your best option. If you do have information that others don't, you can always adjust the forecasts you see accordingly.

Tetlock showed that superforcasters can outperform people with access to classified data. You might want to read his book if you are interested in the details.

[-][anonymous]1y 3

Yes, but in a highly dynamic, rapidly evolving situation where the classified data is extremely asymmetric with respect to open sources? A CIA analyst will have daily or even hourly satellite photo updates, real-time access to Russian and Ukrainian communications and transmitter positions, the non-propaganda numbers for functioning military equipment and losses, not to mention all sorts of human intel on the ground. Someone outside of that world and not on the ground in Ukraine has very limited access to information--mostly propaganda from both sides. It's really hard to believe you can extract a better signal from that.

I can believe that prediction markets can outperform a handful of analysts with access to classified data in certain contexts. But this situation appears to me to be maximally weighted in favor of the analysts.

After screwing up predictions about Iraqi WMDs the CIA believed that they have a problem. That lead to IARPA making a tournament for different approaches to making predictions. Tedlock's Good Judgement project won that tournament. 

I think you can make an argument that Metaculus community predictions aren't really reflecting superforcasting predictions as there are plenty of people who are making predictions without that skillset but a well-functioning prediction market wouldn't have that problem.

This encounter with the guards at the border sounds scary. I'm glad you got through safely.
I hope your new location can provide some respite to you and your family 🌸

Was thinking about you! Glad you made it out. Feel free to DM if I can be of assistance

As a fellow Russian expat in Bishkek, would love to meet there if you're interested. I'm from Saint-Petersburg's Lesswrong community.

Hi! Could meet in couple of days ( was ill, but now getting better) - do you have a FB or other way for instant messaging? You can find me at Telegram as AlexeyTurchin100

My friend commented that there is surge of cars with Russians plate numbers, and apparently some Russians from Osh (our second largest city) came back also. Surprised to see such a vivid confirmation.

Hope you and your family have taken your covid shots, people don't wear masks or keep social distancing here. 

Cars are not allowed to cross border now, so seeing more Russian cars are surprising. Only planes allowed for international travel. But I can spot newly arrived Russians in every cafe. Rent also becomes difficult.

We have shots.

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