All of kjz's Comments + Replies

Mandatory Post About Monkeypox

Maybe the market is predicting that R0 will be >1, but isolation and contact tracing will be enough to prevent a wider outbreak?

What DALL-E 2 can and cannot do

What about the combo: a tic-tac-toe board position, a tic-tac-toe board position with X winning, and a tic-tac-toe board position with O winning. Would it give realistic positions matching the descriptions?

I really doubt it but I'll give it a try once I'm caught on on all the requested prompts here!
“Pivotal Act” Intentions: Negative Consequences and Fallacious Arguments

That's fair. Maybe I was more trying to get at the chances that current live orgs will develop this know-how, or if it would require new orgs designed with that purpose.

“Pivotal Act” Intentions: Negative Consequences and Fallacious Arguments

Does an organization's ability to execute a "pivotal act" overlap with Samo Burja's idea of organizations as "live players"? How many are there, and are there any orgs that you would place in one category and not the other?

5Ben Pace4mo
My current belief is that there is no organization has the know-how to execute a pivotal act, so I would place all live orgs in one category and not the other.
On expected utility, part 2: Why it can be OK to predictably lose

Do you prefer D over E? I do.

Is this backwards? Seems like it should be E over D.

2Joe Carlsmith5mo
Oops! Yep, thanks for catching.
Ukraine Post #2: Options

Galeev mentions Navalny in his newest thread about power dynamics and how they might change in response to the current crisis. It's a long thread so you'll need to scroll down quite a bit to see the section on Navalny. Galeev doesn't portray him in a very positive manner.

Russia has Invaded Ukraine

Yeah, I like his prediction that if Europe stops buying Russian energy it could force Russia into greater economic dependence on China. I'm wondering how likely Europe is to actually move away from Russian energy though. It sounds like the obvious thing to do, but I don't know from a practical standpoint how easy it would be without causing a lot of disruption in the short to medium term. I doubt they can just flip a switch and convert to new energy sources overnight, especially in Eastern Europe which is heavily reliant on Russian supply.

I think the longe... (read more)

Seek Mistakes in the Space Between Math and Reality

There is also the consideration that the earlier you pick a partner, you get to enjoy the benefits of having a partner for longer.

Russia has Invaded Ukraine

Thanks for the link. I found it well thought out and plausible, but it seems strongly based on the assumption that Russia will remain isolated from the global financial system for the next 5-20 year timeframe discussed in the article. Is that a reasonable assumption? Although Russia is a pariah now, once the hostilities have ended I would guess the sanctions will be lifted over time, since they are also expensive for the West to maintain.

I think his point is that Europe will wean themselves off of Russian energy ASAP, and that energy is Russia's main export. Removing sanctions won't matter if no one is buying what Russia is selling. Hence his prediction of radical dependence on China. He's suggesting China will become Russia's only relevant customer.
Russia has Invaded Ukraine

This article by Tomas Pueyo looks at Russia from a historical and geographical perspective. It makes the case that much of Russia's foreign policy is based on the need to protect Moscow, which is in the middle of the vast Eurasian plain with no natural barriers for defense, and so is vulnerable to attack from all directions. So Russia's strategy has been to expand as much as possible, to either control directly the land where invasions might have otherwise come from (e.g. Siberia), or failing that, to at least create predictably controllable buffer states ... (read more)

I like a lot of things about this article - it is a high-effort piece, and the graphics are helpful and relevant. That being said, the author is relying on a bunch of conventional-wisdoms that turn out to be false and as a result, the article essentially raises the defense-in-depth point without having any persuasive power.

A central confusion is rivers, which the article treats as a dealbreaker for commerce to and from Siberia but as not existing for military purposes or commerce with Europe. Rivers are major physical obstacles to cross, and often a major ... (read more)

Why do people avoid vaccination?

#21's response that "If a pill form was available... I would" might be related to needle phobia, although not explicitly stated.

Why do people avoid vaccination?

When I've asked my Red Tribe friends their thoughts about the vaccines, they've generally given similar answers to your survey how they don't trust the government, media, big pharma, etc. But I think the main underlying reason is just signaling which tribe they belong to. Early in the pandemic, Trump's messaging was that covid was no big deal, just the flu, it will go away soon, etc. and this became the party line. For relatively young, healthy people, choosing to get the vaccine might be seen as disloyal to the tribe. So when they weighed these social cos... (read more)

Design policy to be testable

This seems consistent with Zvi's concept of Asymmetric Justice.

Polymarket Covid-19 1/17/2022

I'm not a lawyer, but their newest Terms of Service imply otherwise:


Not sure how willing and able they would be to enforce such a regulation, but that's a different question. (Not legal advice!)

3Liam Donovan7mo
Yeah it's definitely against poly's terms of service but not against US law (otherwise they wouldn't be complying with the prohibition on offering their services to US customers)
Polymarket Covid-19 1/17/2022

Any thoughts on if/when Polymarket might be available again in the US? I found their Compliance Update which says they are still looking to build a US product, but given the recent CFTC settlement it's hard to tell how likely this is to happen.

Of course, one pleasingly meta way to get at this question would be to create a new prediction market asking "Will Polymarket be available in the US on [date]", but I wonder if Polymarket would be willing to put up a market like this, since the regulators they are dealing with might not find it amusing.

5Liam Donovan7mo
FWIW it is totally legal for Americans to trade on polymarket via a VPN or similar; it's just not legal for polymarket itself to offer services to people with US IP addresses
Omicron Post #12

I agree that attending large events is a type of risk compensation, and we may be referring to similar behavior patterns using different words here. But I'm trying to distinguish between these two types of infection:

  1. Infections resulting from people going about their daily activities (e.g. getting exposed at work, in a store or restaurant, other small gatherings, etc.) Here, individuals might indeed change their behavior based on their own vaccination status and risk tolerance. But since Omicron is so widespread at this point, the probability that an infect
... (read more)
Thank you, good explanation. But see also my response to tivelen below.
Omicron Post #12

That may contribute as well, but I think Peter was implying that if enough cases overall take place during superspreader events where ~all of the attendees were vaccinated, vaccinated people may be more likely to test positive just because they were substantially more likely to be attending those superspreader events than unvaccinated people.

How is that different from what CraigMichael said? Attending that sort of event is a type of risk compensation.
RadVac Commercial Antibody Test Results

I also strongly upvoted for the same reasons. Very much looking forward to the results of the ELISA mucus test!

Judging Our April 2020 Covid-19 Predictions

Bitcoin can only go as low as $0. Bitcoin could, in theory, go up not only to $100k but to $1 million or more.

I'm confused. In theory, $50k currently invested in VTI could also go to any of those values. Is there something I'm missing about the relative likelihood of different outcomes that would make Bitcoin the more attractive investment? I feel like there's some Econ 101 lesson I'm forgetting here.

There’s no trade, since (as many people reminded me) Metaculus is not a prediction market and you can’t trade on its values, but there’s still a big contradic

... (read more)
Yeah, I could do with more explanation here too. I see that 'EMH implies 50-50 odds' is clearly false, and not only because of the risk premium. And I see why bitcoin could be a great buy with a 50% chance of outperforming the stock market. But I don't see why it obviously would be. It definitely seems more volatile, but why couldn't a sensible person judge that it is: * much more likely than the stock market to crater to ~0 * more likely than the stock market to rise dramatically * only negligibly (if at all) more likely than the stock market to rise to insanely high levels and that this all nets out to a ~50% chance of outperforming the stock market, and also an EV similar to (or less than) that of an index fund?
Well, no. If you can't trade directly in a way that moves the price, it's likely that OTHERS also have information that it's wrong and couldn't move the price. So the market information is far more likely to be correct than the Metaculus information. If you can't middle, it's not arbitrage.
Making Vaccine

Welcome, and thanks for making your first comment!

As a fellow scientist with decades of experience in the industry, I disagree with several of your claims.

First, you will never know if it really works until you run blinded clinical trials against a placebo. This is the only way to tell and that is why it's required for any new drug/vaccine to be launched on the market. 

Clinical trials are helpful for understanding whether a drug/vaccine works on the population level. But on the individual level, clinical trials are not the only way to tell. For exampl... (read more)

As you can tell, I'm have more of a mainstream approach to health issues. You are totally correct that delays and avoidance of risk in the development process of the pharma industry and with the government clauses personal suffering every day. And let's not even start about the the pharmaceutical industry's need for "commercial success" before they even start working on a disease or problem. However, I think you may have missed my main premise, the fact that degradation is a huge hurtle in any peptide application, it is a clear fact that peptides are digested extremely quickly and therefore are very ineffective as any type of drug. You are correct that the antibody test presented could at least show if these peptides actually enter the body and if you are getting an immune response to these specific peptides. I would be very interested to hear if anyone has tried it on themselves and gotten positive results. However, the other problem here is that even if your body does develop a immune response to peptides of the virus, it does not necessarily correlate to having a immune response to the virus itself. I can see a pathway for this method to develop immunity to the virus itself, where the virus enzymes are broken down to the peptides you have taken and have a general immunity response offering some protection. However as a scientist personally I would need to see proof before trying this method. That would start with some lab trials showing these antibodies have and affect. Then of course we are back to clinical trials which are really the only way to prove this method work. And as you note this takes a lot of time while people are suffering and dying. So my final point is sure, you can try this method while you are waiting for the vaccine, but it definitely shouldn't be a replacement for the vaccine. Also you should keep in mind there are still some risks of something untested and mixed up in your kitchen, but hey, I'm not stopping anyone. Finally if you really
What does the FDA actually do between getting the trial results and having their meeting?
Answer by kjzFeb 14, 20211

I think it's just that a few weeks is the going rate for avoiding blame, as Zvi outlined in his posts Asymmetric Justice and Motive Ambiguity.

A politician can choose between two messages that affirm their loyalty: Advocating a beneficial policy, or advocating a useless and wasteful policy. They choose useless, because the motive behind advocating a beneficial policy is ambiguous. Maybe they wanted people to benefit!

How Should We Respond to Cade Metz?

Good question. I hadn't defined it in any more detail in my mind. But my basic thought is that someone should be able to build an online presence under a pseudonym (from the beginning, without having revealed their real name publicly like Scott had) as long as they comply with the rules of the communities they choose to join, without legal obligation to declare their real name. I would imagine some exceptions would have to apply (for example, in the case of a legally enforceable warrant) but others, including journalists, would refer to the pseudonym if they wanted to report on such a person.

But of course there could be unintended consequences of this sort of rule that I haven't considered.

How Should We Respond to Cade Metz?

Strongly agree with your analysis.

I also think a lesson to take away here is that, assuming we agree pseudonymity is generally considered a desirable option to have available, it falls on us to assert the right to it. 

What does asserting the right to pseudonymity mean?
How Should We Respond to Cade Metz?

I agree this is an important topic for discussion, and I hope others will continue to weigh in with their thoughts. I'm sure this won't be the last time a journalist writes/is interested in writing an article about this community, and it would be good to coordinate around some norms here.

  • Scott was told that the way to get ahead of damaging journalism is to reveal everything they might want to find out. For those of us writing under a pseudonym, should we all just be revealing our real names, and letting friends, family members, and colleagues (where approp
... (read more)
Making Vaccine

Agree with John, thank you so much!

Covid 2/11: As Expected

Yes, I think we are all in agreement on the topic. On my first reading, seeing the isolated quote between the other two examples of poor vaccine responses made me think this was another example of a poor response, and the quote itself can be interpreted that way if read alone (i.e. We think only vaccinating 75-year-olds is the correct policy, and it's hard but necessary work to enforce it).

Covid 2/11: As Expected

The loss of life and health of innocent people who got suckered into a political issue without considering the ramifications?

By now, everyone has had a year to consider the ramifications of their decisions. People are free to make their own choices about the vaccine and their response to covid in general. If they make their choices based on their political affiliation or in-group signaling, so be it.

But with these numbers (death rate, long term health conditions, effectiveness of vaccines) around are you seriously suggesting trying to help them is not cost

... (read more)
Covid 2/11: As Expected

I believe the quote in the Janelle Nanos tweet (after "Meanwhile, in Boston, priorities are straight:") was taken out of context here. The full article shows how Dr. Ivers was trying to point out the inefficiency of the state's rigid system and offer improvements:

For weeks, Dr. Louise Ivers has been advocating for Massachusetts to speed-up the pace of its COVID-19 vaccinations. But it’s not just the slowness of the rollout that is causing the Boston doctor consternation when it comes to the state’s vaccine push. 

The executive director of Massachusetts

... (read more)
The dangers of quick writing and internet sarcasm are real, but I think that me and Dr. Ivers are in agreement here and the statement was meant to reflect that.
Covid 2/11: As Expected

I also notice that there is a large part of me that thinks, once it’s easily and widely available, you know what? Straight up, just f*** ‘em if they don’t want the vaccine.

This is how I was planning to act at that point, and basically as soon as I'm able to get an official vaccine. Once it's readily available I'll feel no guilt about continued cases (assuming no major vaccine escape, that would be a different story). Even once I've gotten the official vaccine, I'll want to propagate the norm that vaccinated people should live their lives as if they were, you know, vaccinated, so I intend to act that way, unless there's a reason I'm not considering.

The loss of life and health of innocent people who got suckered into a political issue without considering the ramifications? I mean, the group of people who holds out on getting a vaccine as long as possible will definitely be harder to convince than the average citizen. But with these numbers (death rate, long term health conditions, effectiveness of vaccines) around are you seriously suggesting trying to help them is not cost-effective? From the post I think you're talking about tens of millions of people in the USA alone, if not 100M+.
Making Vaccine

Is this something that can be done at home with readily available and affordable equipment? If so, would you be willing to share more details of how someone might get started? I think a lot of readers would be interested in hearing more about this - it could even be its own post.


I wrote down this manual for anyone to follow -

As it is a modified protocol I'm not sure It will work (especially when we do not have any positive and negative baseline). 

In short: 

Antigen (peptide) binding to the plates:

  1. Prepare peptide solutions in PBS buffer in 1.5 mL tubes. The final concentration of the peptides should be around 10-20 µg/mL 
  2. Prepare high-binding 96-well plates and a piece of tin foil for cover. Add a 100 µL of peptide sol
... (read more)
I'd recommend googling for "ELISA kit", and reading up on exactly how it works. My understanding is that it shouldn't require particularly fancy equipment as long as the sample prep is simple (in particular, no microcentrifuge) and the signal is strong enough to read with the naked eye. If unpurified nasal wash/diluted mucus works and the signal is strong (as Anna suggests), then it should be viable. There is a fair bit of complexity, but it's the kind of complexity that involves lots of straightforward steps rather than anything confusing/difficult. Anna's comments make me a lot more optimistic that it's viable without any expensive equipment.
Making Vaccine

Maintaining 4 °C sounds doable with a good fridge and a data logging thermometer. -20 °C is more tricky - maybe use a home freezer (*** is specced at ≤ -18 °C) and add a data logger. If it then turns out that it can't reach -20 °C, it might be possible to fix that by modding its internal thermostat somehow. Or have access to a lab freezer, or shell out the big bucks (four figures) to buy one.

As someone who has worked in the labs a long time, I wouldn't worry about having to hit exactly -20 °C; that basically just means "freezer temperature". Lab freezers d... (read more)

Lab freezers have no defrost cycle. Home freezers often do, which prevents ice buildup but also means they don’t maintain temperature.
Creating A Kickstarter for Coordinated Action

I didn't know that! OP, you can also highlight the desired text and click the block quote button. You can also add links that way.

Making Vaccine

Totally agree, and this is pretty much what I had in mind as well. The organizer can also host a Zoom call beforehand where they explain the procedure, answer any questions, and let people sign up for times spaced out by 5-10 minutes to self administer.

Making Vaccine

Agree neither Sarah or you had explicitly mentioned a clinical trial. I was pushing back more against Sarah's statement “Take a random peptide that has never been tested on any living thing” and your statement "She doesn't explicitly state that this has never been tested on any living thing", which I interpreted as endorsing the claim that this vaccine has never been tested on any living thing. My point is that there is evidence this vaccine has been tested in living things, namely the humans who claim to have self administered it. I have no strong reason ... (read more)

Making Vaccine

Why would they have to gather in close quarters? One person could make it in their kitchen, then leave the room while others come in one at a time to self administer their dose.

20 people sequentially, over a day or two, navigating an unfamiliar kitchen, without contact with the host? Not gonna happen. Most of them, at least, are going to have substantial exposure to the host (and vice versa).
Making Vaccine

This article from July 2020 claims that George Church and many of his colleagues had already self administered their vaccine at that point. It's almost certainly true that there hasn't been a clinical trial, because nobody has ever had an incentive to run a clinical trial. I don't think their intent was to publicize this widely or profit commercially from it. Rather, they realized they could just do it, went ahead and did it, and wrote up their findings publicly but under the radar, so other like-minded individuals could duplicate their procedure at their ... (read more)

No one said anything about a clinical trial. Emphasis added: Researching the effects in cells requires no IRB approval and publishing the results of that research as a publicly-accessible preprint is not hard. This should be fairly easy to do, for someone with access to a good lab, personal-scale funding, and motivation. I have to assume that Church et. al. have the first two, so either they don't care enough to bother, or they did but the results weren't encouraging (and either kept quiet or just unnoticed). Neither is what I'd call a 'good sign'.
Making Vaccine

For the average Less Wrong reader, I tend to agree. But a nurse in an area with a strong, vocal anti-vaccine community may face substantial social pressure to (at least publicly) reject commercial vaccines, for the reasons I stated above.

The average nurse in a anti-vaccine community is not going to make their own vaccines. I would also expect that most nurses will face some social pressure in their workplace to take the vaccine.
Making Vaccine

Agree it is extremely unlikely that many nurses have done so, and your probabilities seem quite reasonable. I think the main reason why many nurses have declined the vaccine is social signaling - either to maintain their social status within a mostly anti-vaccine peer group, or to maintain credibility with their anti-vaccine patients, who may be reluctant or outright refuse to be treated by a nurse who has been vaccinated because such a nurse is on "the wrong side" and can no longer be trusted. However, a nurse could self-administer the radvac vaccine and ... (read more)

Yes, I still plan to get the commercial vaccine once it's available to me (likely some time in august.) As I understand it, the commercial vaccines hit different areas of the virus from the ones that radvac selected, improving protection even further. There is actually an optional peptide for radvac which does cover one of the same regions as the commercial vaccines. I elected not to include it under the assumption I'd be getting it from the commercial vaccine.
Making Vaccine

Crazy thought, and I doubt this is likely on large scale or it would have been in the news, but any chance this could explain the higher than expected percentage of nurses who have rejected getting the vaccine? Perhaps some have already vaccinated themselves under the radar! And therefore have no need to take the "real" one.

This is a conversation with an MD I recorded which may answer some of the reluctance: tldr; An untested delivery mode scares an MD to think that neurodegenerative diseases will increase in vaccinated. I think lipid nanoparticles may have too broad a tropism, far broader even than attenuated virus vaccines (which are still limited to the tropism of the wild-type virus), and thus could pose a uniquely high safety hazard due to cytotoxic attack on the broad cellular range that uptakes the LNPs. Since the LNPs would enter cells via endocytosis, the SARS-CoV-2 epitopes would be expressed on MHC-1 molecules, making them targets of cytotoxic CD8 lymphocytes, attacking a much greater range of cells than any previous vaccine modality. This is concerning in general, but it’s a nightmare scenario if the vaccines are crossing the blood-brain barrier and endocytosing into e.g. oligodendrocytes (multiple sclerosis risk) or motor neurons (which could possibly cause an ALS-type picture). No other vaccine has this broad tropism. That is THE major safety concern here. 1. Because of the anatomy and circulatory trajectory from the deltoid and cephalic vein (essentially a straight shot into the SVC), if enough “spillover LNPs” are getting shuttled into the right atrium and transiting through the pulmonary circulation — which could be high, another reference here for the rich vasculature around IM injection — then one of their earliest stops on the map after exiting the heart would be in tissues serviced by branches of the common carotid and subclavian arteries (including the CNS), enhancing delivery to tissues behind the blood-brain barrier simply due to higher relative concentration at tissue corridors more proximal to the injection site. 2. Even if initial transit through the BBB and into other sensitive tissue parenchyma is relatively low, there’d be a cumulative effect with each booster delivering more spillover LNPs to those non-local sites. 3. Related to that point, the duratio
Given that this vaccine targets a different part of the immune system there's no good reason to reject an injection vaccine when you take this vaccine.

My personal estimate is that the the percentage of nurses who have done this is effectively zero (less than one in a thousand with high probability, less than one in ten thousand with moderate probability.)

Further, those who did do it are likely to have read through the whitepaper, and therefore are also likely to get the commercial vaccine, as it covers different epitopes than the radvac vaccine.

2Eigil Rischel2y
This seems prima facie unlikely. If you're not worried about the risk of side effects from the "real" vaccine, why not just take it, too (since the efficacy of the homemade vaccine is far from certain)?. On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who worries about the side effects of a vaccine that's been through clinical trials, you're probably not the type to brew something up in your kitchen based on a recipe that you got off the internet and snort it.

I predict that is an overly-optimistic reason for why they're rejecting the vaccine.

kjz's Shortform

Also from nostalgebraist's summary:

Meanwhile, the change which the essay does argue for – towards more legibility – feels only tangentially relevant to the problem.  Yes, designs that are easier to understand are often easier to customize.

For voting systems, I think the key insight is instead: Designs that are easier to understand are easier to trust. 

What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria?

One last comment/reminder to myself: I read nostalgebrist's summary of Weyl's "Why I am not a technocrat" argument (haven't read the original yet), and his last few points seem very relevant to my argument:

8. What needs to be true for a mechanism to be open to modification by the masses?  For one thing, the masses need to understand what the mechanism is!  This is clearly not sufficient but it at least seems necessary.

9. Elites should design mechanisms that are simple and transparent enough for the masses to inspect and comprehend.  This goa

... (read more)
What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria?

Sorry, again I realize I didn't explain some of my thoughts clearly enough. I think we are discussing two different but related questions: 1. How do we convince the average voter to support alternate voting systems, vs. 2. How do we convince senators, state and local governments, local political activists, etc. to support alternate voting systems, get them on the ballot, and ultimately passed into law. Most of my thinking and comments in this thread have been more related to question 1, but it feels like you interpreted some as related to question 2. Both ... (read more)

One last comment/reminder to myself: I read nostalgebrist's summary [] of Weyl's "Why I am not a technocrat" argument (haven't read the original yet), and his last few points seem very relevant to my argument:
What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria?

Agree with how senators are elected. I was thinking of senators proposing a bill to change how federal elections are held, especially for President. As I understand it (90% confident?) such a change would require a constitutional amendment ratified by Congress and the states. Most of my considerations have been around Presidential elections, since they are the focal point of the US political system.

As you mention, state laws decide how their senators are elected and it's quite likely that some states (preceded by cities such as Fargo) will change to an alt... (read more)

Practically, that means not caring about moves to get alternative voting systems adopted. From a principled reason it's stupid to experiment with new voting systems at the place that's most central instead of other less central places. Practically, senators and congressman from places with an alternative voting system can reasonable make proposals like "Our voting system is much better, everyone should adopt it" without getting punished as being unserious. If you both have established politicians speaking in favor of changing the voting system and a bunch of grassroots reformers it's easier for the proposal to succeed in a state. Most people's fear is a different topic then what's good politically for senators and congressmen. Senators and congressmen fear getting primaried. A typical Republican in a red state has to fear getting successfully primaried by some extreme tea party candidate or Qanon believer under the current system. On the other hand they are unlikely to lose their seat to a Democrat in either the current system or approval voting (and 3-2-1). Approval voting (and 3-2-1) make it less likely that a tea party candidate or Qanon believer manages to unseat them.
Bets, Bonds, and Kindergarteners

It sounds like Lily was kind of explaining how she would teach her own friends how money worked. And sounds like a good way to go about it!

What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria?

Hmm. I feel like we are talking past each other to some extent, or not using terms the same way due to inferential differences, or something like that. Sorry if I've been unclear, I'll try to explain my position better.

Congressional seats are not given out by the rest of the party. The decision for them is made by the primary voters in a given

Very true. I was thinking more of the question, "Which actual senator or group of senators would propose an actual bill to effect change to a new voting system?" I still don't see how any have an incentive to do that.... (read more)

I think the main issue with that is that senators don't vote on bills that decide how senators get elected. It's state laws that decide how the senators of a given state are elected (and whether they are elected at all or appointed). Change would more likely to happen by a senator saying: "Our state is grid-looked because we don't have enough bipartisanship. We should change our voting system in our state to allow for more bipartisanship." You likely need some grassroots movement for voting reform for a politician to make such a move and be able to portray it as being a noble reformer but it seems possible to me to happen without the politician acting against their interests. Bernie and AOC are very different here. Bernie wins election where he is on a third-party ticket (he got 67.44% as an independent). AOC on the other hand got on the Justice Democrats board which is an organization that promized to support primary challenges of Democrats by candidates that aren't in the board of it. Then Justice Democrats poored all their resources into getting AOC to win her primary challenge and unseat a powerful Democrat.
What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria?

But each individual "corporate Democrat" congressperson also has huge incentives to cooperate with the rest of the party to maintain the current system. Their party has a ~50% chance of winning each election, and incumbents have a substantial advantage when facing re-election. Any individual (or small group) who proposes to defect in favor of a new, untested voting system would likely face a backlash for not being "true Democrats" and for making it more likely that non-Democrats would win more elections going forward.

Also, I notice you mentioned approval v... (read more)

Congressional seats are not given out by the rest of the party. The decision for them is made by the primary voters in a given I think "there's too much polarization between the political parties" and it would be good to have a voting system isn't a position for which you are likely going to be attacked by people on the fringes who don't like politics as usual. You have centrist Democratic strategists who worry that Democrats don't win certain elections because the primary voters chose a candidate that's too extreme to win the general election. A lot has happened since that discussion. OpenPhil funds the The Center for Election Science which managed to run a successful referenda to get Approval Voting into Fargo, ND. While 3-2-1 voting might be easier then ranked choice voting Approval Voting is even easier to understand (there are not multiple rounds).
What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria?

Agree that some individual moderate politicians could benefit from a change in voting methods (Romney is another that comes to mind). But I don't see how they could convince the majority of their party to support changes that go against their personal best interests.

A majority of the Democratic congressman are corporate Democrats and those have to fear getting primaried by people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This is especially the case as the power of far-left activsts to primary corporate Democrats rises. At the same time people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would likely have a hard time publically openly arguing that far-left ideas that wouldn't win under approval voting should win out.
What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria?
Answer by kjzJan 30, 202110

First past the post voting often leads to undesirable outcomes, as explained by Jameson Quinn in his voting theory primer. There are several newly designed voting methods which are likely to be improvements over the current system, but most have seen limited, if any, uptake.

Some factors blocking such a transition include:

  • it's difficult to change political systems from the outside (e.g. few and infrequent opportunities to place referendum questions on election ballots)
  • within a two-party system, both benefit from first past the post voting, as they know they
... (read more)
1Srdjan Miletic1y
Just to point out that there are consequentialist arguments for first past the post, namely that it leads to stable majority governments and a small number of well-defined political parties.
1Nicolas Lacombe2y
anoter big point is that people who got voted and benefited from first past the post have incentive not to change it
Some politicians inside major parties benefit from first-past-the-post voting, other don't. Centrist politicians who have to fear primary challenges from more extremist members of their party could benefit from a switch to approval voting that disempowers the extremists of their party. A politican like Joe Liberman who had to run outside of the Democrat party after loosing a primary would be more secure under approval voting in his reelection.
The GameStop Situation: Simplified

It doesn't feel like game theory to me as much as psychology at this point. During the endgame, I agree game theory will play a huge role in individual investors' decisions to hold or sell. But now, it feels like a clear recognition that they are stronger together as long as they all hold, and what's most interesting to me are the simple slogans and short repeatable talking points they use to do so (as well as the excellent analysis that has gotten them this far).




Why do they work so well? Be... (read more)

Tentative covid surface risk estimates

I haven't looked into this in any detail, but I also don't remember seeing it mentioned anywhere else: is it known whether detecting viral RNA on surfaces is actually correlated with infectiousness? For example, my (limited) understanding of the infection process is that the virus is essentially RNA inside a protein capsule which protects it long enough to infect cells, and any naked foreign extracellular RNA would quickly get broken down by RNases. On surfaces, is it possible that some of the protein capsules have "broken down" such that their RNA is exposed, and therefore much less or even non-infectious?

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