Assume a flat distribution from 0 to 10000 and it's $150 a year, or about a lottery ticket and a half per week at $2 a ticket. Not too unreasonable. But on the other hand, you've got to figure lottery spending's unevenly distributed, probably following something along the lines of the 80/20 rule, and that brings us back to a ticket a day or higher.

It still break my formerly favourite analogy, movie tickets -- I don't think the average household making <$10k/year spends $150/year on movie tickets. (Some such households probably do, but I strongly doubt the average one does.)

4gjm5ySeems plenty unreasonable to me. If your income is somewhere on "a flat distribution from 0 to $10000" then you are probably just barely getting by, and perpetually one minor financial difficulty away from disaster. If you were able to save $150/year, that could make a really substantial difference to your financial resilience. (Though I don't much like pronouncing from my quite comfortable position on how those in poverty should spend their money. It's liable to sound like a claim of superiority, but in fact I do plenty of stupid and counterproductive things and it's entirely possible that if I were suddenly thrown into poverty I'd manage much worse than those people; I doubt I'd be buying lottery tickets, but I'd probably be making other mistakes that they don't.) [EDITED to fix a bit of incredibly clunky writing style.]

Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015

by Vaniver 1 min read2nd Mar 2015235 comments


Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.
  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.