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Yeah. It's still possible to program in such a way that that works, and it's always been possible to program in such a way that it doesn't work. But prepared statements make it easier to program in such a way that it doesn't work, by allowing the programmer to pass executable code (which is probably directly embedded as a literal in their application language) separately from the parameters (which may be user-supplied).

(I could imagine a SQL implementation forbidding all strings directly embedded in queries, and requiring them to be passed through prepared statements or a similar mechanism. That still wouldn't make these attacks outright impossible, but it would be an added layer of security.)

A large majority of empirical evidence reported in leading economics journals is potentially misleading. Results reported to be statistically significant are about as likely to be misleading as not (falsely positive) and statistically nonsignificant results are much more likely to be misleading (falsely negative). We also compare observational to experimental research and find that the quality of experimental economic evidence is notably higher.

I'm confused by this "falsely negative". Like, without that, that part sounds like it's saying something like

when a result is reported as "we observed a small effect here, but it wasn't statistically significant", then more often than not, there's no real effect there

but that's a false positive. If they're saying it's a false negative, it suggests something like

when a result is reported as statistically insignificant, that makes it sound like there's no effect there, but more often than not there actually is an effect

...but that's (a) not a natural reading of that part and (b) surely not true.

Were SQL a better language this wouldn’t be possible, all the command strings would separated somehow

SQL does support prepared statements which forbid injection. Maybe you're thinking of something stronger than this? I'm not sure how long they've been around for, but wikipedia's list of SQL injection examples only has two since 2015 which hints that SQL injection is much less common than it used to be.

(Pedantic clarification: dunno if this is in any SQL standard, but it looks like every SQL implementation I can think of supports them.)

Planet Money #902 (28 Mar 2019): The Phoebus Cartel

Listened to this one a few weeks ago and don't remember most of it. But half the episode was about the phoebus cartel, a case of planned obsolesence when lightbulb manufacturers decided that no light bulb should be allowed to last more than 1000 hours.

Writing this for Gell-Mann amnesia reasons: in the episode someone says there was no benefit to consumers from this, but I'd recently seen a technology connections episode on the subject saying that longer lasting incandescent light bulbs are less energy efficient (i.e. more heat less light) for physics reasons, to the extent that they could easily be more expensive over their lifetime. Seems like an important caveat that PM missed!

The other half was about psychological obsolesence, where manufacturers make long-lasting goods like cars cosmetically different to convince you you need a new one.

Planet Money #1717 (9 Feb 2024): A Lawsuit for your broken heart

Keith met woman, fell in love, got married, had kids. She helped with his BMX company and she'd post sickeningly cute things on facebook about how she had the best family.

Then Keith saw some very messages she was exchanging with some other guy (from him: «do you like how tall I am», «show me a bikini pic», that kind of thing). He got mad, called him, said «never fucking talk to my wife again» and thought that would be the end of it.

It was not the end of it. She had affair, they got divorced. A bit later he was catching up with an old school friend who'd been in a similar situation, and she told him she was suing the woman her husband had cheated with. You can do that?

These are heartbalm laws and they're kind of archaic. In the past if a woman got engaged and the man broke things off, she could be ruined, so she got to sue him for breach of promise. There's also seduction, where she could sue someone for lying her into bed. And criminal conversation, which is adultery. And the one relevant to the show, alienation of affections, where you can sue someone for damaging your marriage.

Most states have abolished these, partly because public perception moved towards women using these in ways that were unpopular, this is where the term "gold digger" took off. There were also a bunch of famous people who got sued.

But a few states still have alienation of affections, including North Carolina, which is where most of the suits are. Possibly because that's where most of the legal experts in them are.

Keith presents evidence that his marriage would otherwise have been happy: the sickeningly cute facebook posts, messages between him and his ex, messages from her to her girlfriends saying the marriage would have been fine if not for this other guy. (She subsequently married him.)

And because marriage is in part an economic arrangement, his lawyer also talks about the work that the ex had been doing for the company, and all the unpaid labor she was doing like childcare and washing dishes. The hosts point out it's kinda weird that Keith is suing some other guy for the unpaid labor his ex wife used to do. But that's what's happening, and Keith wins the suit and is awarded $8 million.

Other guy files for bankruptcy. Keith probably won't get anything from him, and still owes his lawyers thousands of dollars in fees. But he says it was worth it.


Wikipedia says his mission began on 08/29/1498 and ended on 01/07/1499 (so about 3 months).

It looks like this is just one leg of the return journey. In total the outward journey was about 10 months and the return was about 11, and both spent 3+ months without landing.

Hm, do you want to go into more depth? Intuitively I agree this is obviously distortionary, but I'm finding it awkward to think through the details of the distortion.

One thing that comes to mind is "if the market is at 10% but you think 5% is "correct" according to what seems like the spirit of the question, you're going to expect that the market just doesn't get resolved, so why bother betting it down". But I feel like there's probably more than that. (E: oh, the dynomight essay linked above mentions this one as well.)

Thanks! Yeah, I think that's making the same basic point with a different focus.

And that makes me more confident in changing the title, so doing that now. (Original title: "Conditional prediction markets are, specifically, conditioned on the thing happening".)

Maybe a pithier title would be "Conditional prediction markets are evidential, not causal"?

The problem was so common that shipowners and governments assumed a 50% death rate from scurvy for their sailors on any major voyage.

Sticking my neck out: roll to disbelieve that 50% of sailors on major voyages died in general, let alone specifically of scurvy.

Ways to change the claim that I'd find much more believable:

  • 50% of those who got scurvy died of it
  • A 50% death rate was considered plausible, and the possibility was planned for, but it wasn't common
  • "Major voyage" here is a much smaller category than I expect; think Magellan rather than Columbus.
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