All of Sam Marks's Comments + Replies

lsusr's Shortform

Ahh, I had forgotten that "not stolen" shareholders can also take actions that make their desired outcome more likely. If you erroneously assume that only someone's desire to steal the rack -- and not their desire to defend the rack from theft -- can be affected by the market, then of course you'll find that the market asymmetrically incentivizes only rack-stealing behavior. Thanks for setting me straight on that!

lsusr's Shortform

This is pretty interesting: it implies that making a market on the rack theft increases the probability of the theft, and making more shares increases the probability more.

One way to think about this is that the money the market-maker puts into creating the shares is subsidizing the theft. In a world with no market, a thief will only steal the rack if they value it at more than $1,000. But in a world with the market, a thief will only steal the rack if they value the rack + [the money they can make off of buying "rack stolen" shares] more than $1000. ... (read more)

3tjleing18dI really like this framing of the market as a subsidization! To your confusion, both outcomes are indeed subsidized -- the observed asymmetry comes from the fact that the theft outcome is subsidized more than the non-theft outcome. This is due to the fact that the return on the "rack stolen" credit is a 100x profit whereas the "rack not stolen" credit is only a 1.01x profit. If instead the "not stolen" credit cost $0.01 with a similar credit supply you would expect to see people buying "not stolen" credits and then not just deciding not to steal the rack but instead proactively preventing it from being stolen by actually bolting it down, or hiring a security guard to watch it, etc. Different cost ratios and fluctuating supply could even lead to issues where one party is trying to steal the rack on the same day that another party is trying to defend it. Sidenote (very minor spoilers): this reminds me of a gamble in the classic manga Usogui, in which the main character bets that a plane will fly overhead in the next hour. He makes this bet having pre-arranged many flights at this time, and is thus very much expecting to win. However, his opponent, who has access to more resources and a large interest in not losing the bet, is able to prevent this from occurring. Don't underestimate your opponent, I guess.
For mRNA vaccines, is (short-term) efficacy really higher after the second dose?

Yes cases show up in the data on the day that they first report symptoms, not when they were first exposed. As you say, this means that if the data show some efficacy on a given day, you should actually expect to be protected at that level a few days before.

On top of that, people in the waiting room were talking about how you can tell if you're getting the real vaccine by looking at the syringe. And top of that, the doctor who gave me the injection basically told me that I got the real thing ("Keep wearing your mask, we don't know yet if these work"), and

... (read more)
2jimmy1moYeah, the part I was objecting to there was "the placebo group was given a fake injection and everything". Not only did they do far less than "everything" that is supposed to go with giving fake injections, they also failed to give me a fake injection! My second "placebo" was a real vaccine and my dad's second "vaccine" was a placebo!
Covid 4/29: Vaccination Slowdown

It's mentioned in the screenshotted White House statement, but bears emphasizing: the U.S. is also sending vaccine ingredients to India for them to produce vaccines with, effective immediately. This is important because India apparently has good production capacity, but lacks raw materials. Depending on how much raw material we have and how long it takes to turn raw materials into shots in arms, this might be more impactful than the decision to share stockpiled doses over the coming months.

(I'd also like to complain that in the "India" section, all the obj... (read more)

6Zvi1moYeah, I could more clear that we've made good changes, probably should. The change on ingredients is highly welcome but mostly us no longer stopping this from happening - we've stopped interfering. Which, yay?
For mRNA vaccines, is (short-term) efficacy really higher after the second dose?

Umm ... that's weird. I'll paste in the picture again and maybe that'll fix whatever bug is going on? Let me know if it loads now.

Covid 4/22: Crisis in India

I wouldn't trust the vaccine hesitancy data at the sub-state level. From the methodology here, the state level data come from the Household Pulse Survey (HPS), and the local estimates are produced by adjusting these data using sociodemographic factors:

Our statistical analysis occurred in two steps. First, using the HPS, we used a logistic regression to analyze predictors of vaccine hesitancy using the following sociodemographic and geographic information: age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, health insurance status, household income, sta

... (read more)
5JesperO2moCool! So that explains the weird effects at state borders.
Best way to write a bicolor article on Less Wrong?

You could use a monospace font, the same way that Douglas Hofstaedter distinguishes strings of a formal system in Godel, Escher, Bach. It's poetically appropriate because Hofstaedter was trying to solve the same problem you are: use typesetting to set apart map and territory. 

Covid 12/3: Land of Confusion

Minor correction to the "How Many Undiagnosed Cases" section (I think): the CDC calls the parameter they're estimating "Mean ratio of estimated infections to reported case counts," which seems to imply it's the ratio [estimated actual cases (including reported ones)]:[reported cases]. They say their best guess is 11 with a range of (6,24), meaning that you've added 1 to all of these numbers. That would be correct if the CDC's parameter was meant to be [estimated actual cases (not including reported ones)]:[reported cases], but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Why Boston?

The SSC meet-up during Scott's meetups everywhere tour drew over 140 people. So there's a bunch of rationalists, but not any hubs. (Though there is a group house in Cambridge that runs LW meetups.)

Why Boston?

Boston resident here, so I thought I'd add some more points and further emphasize some things.

  • The bike infrastructure is really good, and rapidly improving. In fact, there's so much bike infrastructure that I want to make the converse warning: if you are a nervous driver, driving around here can be terrifying because of the bikers.
  • The winters can be quite brutal (though they seem to be getting milder). And since Boston is way too far east for its timezone, this means that the winter sun sets very early (think ~4:30pm).
  • New England in general, and Boston in
... (read more)
The Goldbach conjecture is probably correct; so was Fermat's last theorem
So Andrew Wiles's genius was in showing there were no unexpected obstructions for the "likely" outcome to be true. That's why the proof is so hard: he was trying to prove something very "likely", and show an absence of structure, rather than a presence, without knowing what that structure could be.

This is a poor description of Wiles's proof; in fact, I would call it diametrically wrong. Wiles proved the presence of a very rigid structure - not the absence - and the presence of this structure implied FLT via the work o... (read more)

2Stuart_Armstrong1yIf you say that "Wiles proved the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modularity_theorem]" (for semistable elliptic curves), then I agree: he's proved a very important structural result in mathematics. If you say he proved Fermat's last theorem, then I'd say he's proved an important-but-probable lack of structure in mathematics. So yeah, he proved the existence of structure in one area, and (hence) the absence of structure in another area. And "to prove Fermat's last theorem, you have to go via proving the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture", is, to my mind, strong evidence for "proving lack of structure is hard".