Connor_Flexman

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Sci-Hub sued in India

Hopefully my comment above makes this more clear now, but the 37% is supposed to imply the extremely strong pricing power / oligopoly position / lack of competition and that the true cost of production is more like 1-10% than 63% of their revenue. Perhaps I should have made this more clear. 

Anyways, I think this is in fact a major aspect of my true objection; if there were a bunch of small journals of academics competing and universities couldn't afford them, it would be less obvious the first step to take.

Hopefully also clear now: I'm not trying to use arguments as soldiers here, but I am trying to quickly summarize the state of things from my perspective, and am not being incredibly careful with all my wordings. E.g. that whole section is not even accurately "why Sci-Hub exists"—Sci-Hub exists because Alexandra believes in open science. But it's trying to gesture at background reasons why Sci-Hub still exists. Many other mistakes like this—if I had a year I would have taken the time to write a better post. 

Sci-Hub sued in India

What I meant here was not that the problem was a 37% surcharge, it was that the problems were all the ones associated with a 37% OPM oligopoly in science.

First, Viliam had the right idea in the comment below—the costs rise to meet the revenue, and much of the "expenses" are going to be useless administrative bloat in a thousand different ways. The non-profit version could be run at about literally 1000x less cost: https://twitter.com/jeremyphoward/status/1219365213201264640.

But again, the problem isn't so much the money wasted as the practices implied. To maintain 37% OPM as a large company with bloative force means you have some serious pricing power from lack of competition, which means inefficient monopoly pricing. And beyond the econ 101 case, their attempts at bundling mean even more monopoly inefficiency.

I'm not especially clear on what should be done in the academic publishing world as a whole because I haven't been on the ground in the many attempts to change things. But I think most other options involve costs coming down by more like 90% than like 20%. 

Sci-Hub sued in India

That issue is a good point; I think one variant that gets around it is one focused on pre-prints. As I understand it, some journals allow pre-prints and others don't. This basically fixes the problem for all fields with a pre-print server.

Sci-Hub sued in India

Money just isn't really a priority/bottleneck on this so nowhere is set up to take donations, except generic Sci-Hub. And that actually might be strategically bad at the moment because Elsevier, like Wormtongue himself, is claiming in the lawsuit that Sci-Hub has commercialized its works through the donations it accepts. Best to have that number stay low.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

Yeah, ideally would have lampshaded this more. My bad.

The part that gets extra complex is that I personally think ~2/3+ of people who say totalization is fine for them are in fact wrong and are missing out on tons of subtle things that you don't notice until longer-term. But obviously the mostly likely thing is that I'm wrong about this. Hard to tell either way. I'd like to point this out more somehow so I can find out, but I'd sort of hoped my original comment would make things click for people without further time. I suppose I'll have to think about how to broach this further.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

I agree with most of this point. I've added an ETA to the original to reflect this. My quibble (that I think is actually important) is that I think it should be less of a tradeoff and more of an {each person does the thing that is right for them}. 

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

(I would not take this modus tollens, I don't think the "community" is even close to fundamentally bad, I just think some serious reforms are in order for some of the culture that we let younger people build here.)

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

But the "community" should not be totalizing.

(Also, I think rationality should still be less totalizing than many people take it to be, because a lot of people replace common sense with rationality. Instead one should totalize themselves very slowly, over years, watching for all sorts of mis-steps and mistakes, and merge their past life with their new life. Sure, rationality will eventually pervade your thinking, but that doesn't mean at age 22 you throw out all of society's wisdom and roll your own.)

Choice Writings of Dominic Cummings

Ah yeah, I should have thought more about what you meant there. Sorry. I'm still not sure I agree though—I feel like the public can be convinced of all sorts of things. 

I do think growth may end up being decent evidence. I guess I'm trying to point at why I might be so agnostic without going through a 10-paragraph essay explicitly stating a bunch of scenarios.

So for example, I think people are fairly unconcerned about whether they have a 20% versus a 30% GDP growth over the next 15 years, but rightly concerned about whether there's then a pandemic that kills a bunch of people and curtails quality of life drastically (just outside the bounds of our growth measurement, arguendo). So, especially as the world gets more and more crazy and plausibly near end-game, I'm willing to trade off increasingly more GDP growth for other things like liberties, nimble government, less-partisan politics, literal political experimentation, etc, that increase quality of life and general or political sanity and decrease likelihood of disasters. I could imagine a world where those things also cashed out immediately in enough economic growth to pay for themselves, but I could also imagine a world where there were ways to get some of these that required real economic sacrifices.

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