All of Nicholas Conrad's Comments + Replies

Thinking about this more in the shower the following occurred to me:

3rd party voting meets both conditions. As a vote, the potential gains are much larger both on nominal alignment and execution (as non incumbent parties are (I imagine) more likely to take action to disrupt the status quo if elected).

But 3rd party voting is also a form of demonstration, enticing mainstream parties to align more closely with your highest value positions (at least nominally) to win proven (and numerable) voters. E.g., if you're a Democrat with special consideration for envir

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I suspect that the chances of a 3rd party winning are orders of magnitude lower than a 1st or 2nd, so the expected value from you having the deciding vote would be too small. But in terms of policy influence, if the 3rd party does unusually well (without winning), I agree that can be significant. Indeed I recall an example of this happening in the UK in the 1990s, when in one national election the Green party (then the 4th or 5th party) did unexpectedly well, albeit still only getting a few % of the vote, which immediately made the major parties start saying how important the environment was and announcing new policies.

If you're locking yourself in to voting for one of the two major party candidates to even have a chance at moving the needle on policy, then I would argue you're not multiplying a small probability by a large benefit because the major parties actually agree on almost everything and only clash on marginal execution issues (the occasional brexit type referendum notwithstanding).

For all the anti-war protests in the Bush years, Obama kept them rolling at pace for almost a decade; for all the tea party protests in the Obama years, republicans had no fiscal rest

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Yes, but since on my numbers the benefits of voting are so huge, a tiny difference between parties can still justify it. E.g. near the end of the article I calculate that in a UK general election, if the difference between the two main parties equals 10% of government spending (in benefit to the country, not necessarily actual spend), that equals 7% of Brexit or about $7,000 to a marginal voter. So even if it's only worth 0.1% of government spending (e.g. a small confidence that one party will make a small execution improvement on a few policies), that's $70 - enough to justify voting.

You're making a big assumption in your analysis of the value of voting, that one's preferred policy bundle is on the ballot to vote for in the first place. Anyone who feels more aligned with a 3rd party (in the us at least) has to a nearest approximation 0% chance of having their party's candidate elected in even small local elections, much less national ones. And that candidate still likely doesn't align 100% with their policy preferences. Recent polling shows reps and dems increasingly don't like their party's candidates either, they just really hate the

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Yes, I didn't get into more detailed arguments about the pros/cons of voting & voting systems; the Put A Number On It post I linked to has a quite good discussion of these, and I didn't mention other reservations of my own (in particular I'm suspicious of multiplying very small probabilities by very large benefits). But on your particular point, my brief thought is that not participating in a voting system doesn't make it change (though organizing a mass boycott of it could do). And on my estimated numbers, in the same way that even a tiny bit of altruism makes it worth voting, if you have even a tiny preference between the two lead parties, and even if it's very uncertain they will implement their policies, it is probably still worth voting to keep out the worse one.

My highschool debate experience taught me to recognize some 'cheap debate tricks' in rhetoric, but the sad truth is they exist because they work. Most of my judges at competition were volunteers without any particular training in rationality or logic. In one debate where the resolution was something to the effect of 'the use of nuclear weapons is always unjustified' (in which I had the affirmative) at the end of the debate the judge gave a speech about his time in the Pacific during WWII, and how his he and tens of thousands of his compatriots would've all

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Hmmm, I didn't find your linked post particularly related. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand the connection. It seems like you are talking about post-singularity ai, and I am certainly talking about pre-singularity. Sure, if the ai is actually looking at the atoms in our bodies as resources to fuel it's paperclip factory and has the power to take them, there's no cost of living adjustment that's going to offset being turned into paperclips. But the whole concept of the singularity is that it's kind of pointless to speculate about what happens a

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"if I just want some mangos for myself, and there happened to be widespread disagreement among humans about what things are mangos, I could just have my genie simulate my brain's concept of mango and everything would be just fine. On the other hand, if I wanted my genie to make mangos for resale, this wouldn't work."

This seems like it would only be true if you yourself don't understand what aspects of quasi-mangoness are desirable on the market. Otherwise your conception of mango that was simulated would include the fuzzy "I don't call subset x 'real' mangos, but lots of people do, and they sell well" data, no?

Age stratification in a world where people live arbitrarily long means you never have an opportunity to become a respected elder in your society; generations of more respected super-elders will be around no matter how old and wise you get.

Also, in this world, are people youthful indefinitely? I think many of the age related changes in activity choices are driven by physical aging, not maturity, e.g., choosing cocktail parties over clubbing happens not because you realize one day that cocktail parties are a richer experience, but because one day you realiz

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For any x, you eventually get the opportunity to be in the top x% of society! And assuming that the size of a social circle/community stays roughly fixed, eventually you'll be at the very top of your community. Maybe the more respected super-elders will be in some other galaxy, but not on your world. Yes, people would be youthful indefinitely. I think there's a mix of reasons, but getting bored/moving on is definitely one of the main ones. Picture a jaded 40 year old in a nightclub - is the limiting factor really tiredness?

My sense is that this is just language coopting useful ideas in favor of useful sounding ideas. The term 'value' is quantitative and objective, as it is used say, in economics or finance. It's not inherently vauge, and goals can be comeasured as valued higher or lower. I imagine this comeasurable sense was shared in early philosophical use as well, as in debates about whether liberty or equality is the higher value.

If the language in vouge changed to 'priorities', I doubt it would take long before mission statements said thing like "prioritizing strengthened community through live art". This seems no more lucid or operationalizable to me.

You briefly touched on this as a function of growth, but I think the direct causality is generally underappreciated in the "robots are taking our jorbs" conversation: AI / automation replaces human labor because it is more efficient. That means the products produced through such means will be less expensive, and the more efficient AI becomes, the cheaper they get. So it's not just true that people will have to work fewer hours to maintain their current lifestyle because AI will grow the economy generally, but also directly because of the reduced cost of their output (and labor is a substantial portion of the cost of most goods today).

Why on Earth would human cost of living become cheaper in terms of human working hours? Humans are very inefficient users of resources compared to future AI.

Here's an analogy: if we introduced the same number of horses to London today as there were in 1900, could they all afford luxurious horse-lives by selling horse-labor? Nope! Most of them wouldn't even be able to afford rent. London's economy has way more efficient things to do than keeping lots of horses for their labor.

I wrote a post explaining this argument in more detail. The conclusion is that we

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