Wiki Contributions


I think that crux is doing a lot of work in that it forces the conversation to be about something more specific than the main topic, and because it makes it harder to move the goal posts partway through the conversation. If you're not talking about a crux then you can write off a consideration as "not really the main thing" after talking about it.


What's the minimum set of powers (besides ability to kick a user off the site) that would make being a Moderator non-frustrating? One-off feature requests as part of a "restart LW" focus seem easier than trying to guarantee tech support responsiveness.

"Strong LW diaspora writers" is a small enough group that it should be straightforward to ask them what they think about all of this.


Yes. This meetup is at the citadel.


My impression is that the OP says that history is valuable and deep without needing to go back as far as the big bang -- that there's a lot of insight in connecting the threads of different regional histories in order to gain an understanding of how human society works, without needing to go back even further.


The second and most already-implemented way is to jump outside the system and change the game to a non-doomed one. If people can't share the commons without defecting, why not portion it up into private property? Or institute government regulations? Or iterate the game to favor tit-for-tat strategies? Each of these changes has costs, but if the wage of the current game is 'doom,' each player has an incentive to change the game.

This is cooperation. The hard part is in jumping out, and getting the other person to change games with you, not in whether or not better games to play exist.

Moloch has discovered reciprocal altruism since iterated prisoner's dilemmas are a pretty common feature of the environment, but because Moloch creates adaptation-executors rather than utility maximizers, we fail to cooperate across social, spatial, and temporal distance, even if the payoff matrix stays the same.

Even if you have an incentive to switch, you need to notice the incentive before it can get you to change your mind. Since many switches require all the players to cooperate and switch at the same time, it's unlikely that groups will accidentally start playing the better game.

Convincing people that the other game is indeed better is hard when evaluating incentives is difficult. Add too much complexity and it's easy to imagine that you're hiding something. This is hard to get past since moving past it requires trust, in a context where we maybe are correct to distrust people -- i.e. if only lawyers know enough law to write contracts, they should probably add loopholes that lawyers can find, or at least make it complicated enough that only lawyers can understand it, so that you need to continue to hire lawyers to use your contracts. In fact contracts are generally complicated and full of loopholes and basically require lawyers to deal with.

Also, most people don't know about Nash equilibria, economics, game theory, etc., and it would be nice to be able to do things in a world with sub-utopian levels of understanding incentives. Also, trying to explain game theory to people as a substep of getting them to switch to another game runs into the same kind of justified mistrust as the lawyer example -- if they don't know game theory and you're saying that game theory says you're right, and evaluating arguments is costly and noisy, and they don't trust you at the start of the interaction, it's reasonable to distrust you even after the explanation, and not switch games.


I tend to think of downvoting as a mechanism to signal and filter low-quality content rather than as a mechanism to 'spend karma' on some goal or another. It seems that mass downvoting doesn't really fit the goal of filtering content -- it just lets you know that someone is either trolling LW in general, or just really doesn't like someone in a way that they aren't articulating in a PM or response to a comment/article.


That just means that the sanity waterline isn't high enough that casinos have no customers -- it could be the case that there used to be lots of people who went to casinos, and the waterline has been rising, and now there are fewer people who do.


I have the same, though it seems to be stronger when the finger is right in front of my nose. It always stops if the finger touches me.


Hobbes uses a similar argument in Leviathan -- people are inclined towards not starting fights unless threatened, but if people feel threatened they will start fights. But people disagree about what is and isn't threatening, and so (Hobbes argues) there needs to be a fixed set of definitions that all of society uses in order to avoid conflict.

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