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Kelly Bet on Everything

Oh darn, you're right. Thank you!

Kelly Bet on Everything

I'm running simulations to get a feel for what "betting Kelly" would mean in specific contexts. See code here: . I observe, that given a uniform distribution of probabilities 0-1, if the maximum odds ratio is less than 40/1, this algo has a high chance of going bankrupt within 50-100 bets. Any thoughts on why that should be?

What is required to run a psychology study?

In the context of customer development for product research, yes. For good questions on that, see eg the book "Mom test" by Rob Fitzpatrick, and lean customer development field in general. This was solving for the general question "will developing x be paid for"; being wrong on this particular question is expensive.

What is required to run a psychology study?
Answer by sdrMay 29, 201923

In the name of supporting people actually doing stuff:

  • Scott’s IRB Nightmare comes from the circumstance of polling taking place within the context of privileged patient-provider interaction, which is covered by HIPAA, which requires somewhat stringent data handling. If you are not a doctor, and you're not asking your patients in the hospital, this does not apply to you.
  • Yes, you are allowed to "just go out and ask a whole bunch of people stuff". People can, actually, give away whatever information they feel compelled to do so. People are allowed to enter (mostly) any trade. People are free to do stuff.
  • For people <18, you need parental consent.
  • There are, like, hundreds of tools to do this -both finding people, and nailing the questions. Google Survey samples currently best across US (specifically, it had predicted the 2016 election results successfully). This is good, if you have a specific hypothesis, that you want to ask from 1000++ people.
  • The more quantitative you get, the less signal it carries, at higher precision. Survey & stats criticism generally comes from attempting to determine "things about humanity in general", which is also (somewhat) useful, but requires N > very large, and _very_ methodical sampling / experiment formulating / etc.
  • Generate qualitatively, validate quantitatively. Vast majority of effort goes into actually locating the hypothesis. Before building a research thesis in your room, go out and do the simplest thing first. Talk with people, like, in-person. There's a learning curve prior to being able to formulate meaningful hypotheses.
  • Ask yourself, what rent does answer to a specific question pays. What does it say of reality if it turns out to be A vs B? How does that interact with neighbouring things?
    • And: what, specifically, do you wish to achieve here? Specifically, some qualitative answers to some of the questions above from Bay Area people, along with some synthesis, would be extremely informative (to me at least).
  • A good starting point for this might be cultural anthropology, but instead of getting a book, here's an MVP: get a tape recorder,ask 50 of your friends the questions above, then put answers into a spreadsheet, and a synthesis into an lw post. This is extremely informative for eg measuring local shifts in the overton window, finding common ground (and grounds shifting); and is sorely missing.
    • Why in-person? People who persistently fill out textareas on web pages are heavily biased in income, and mental illnesses; generally, people don't do that. Being in-person, you're raising the interview against personal reputation, which bridges the addressibility gap, and makes a much wider variety of people's voices accessible.
    • To avoid pet-theory issue: Ask open-ended questions (eg the relating to job/ambition ones above are good). Don't lead, capture the raw stuff
  • Do this simple thing first, prior to embarking on specific hypothesis formulation; and post the results!
LW Migration Announcement

Not grandparent, but browsing through my private notebook for potentially breaking links, eg: <- which is one specific advice (and a good one at that) vs <- which is 404. This actually do have a high impact both on other sites linking specific comment threads, and by extension, on SEO in general (linked page with content changed to empty).

( Relatedly, returns HTTP 200 instead of 404, which is more wrong, than )

Superhuman Meta Process

Hello my values a decade ago, it's so nice to see you publicly documented! In retrospect & in particular, the level of paranoia imbued here will serve you well against incentive hijacking, and will serve as a foundational stone in goal stability.

There is one particular policy here, where my thinking has changed significantly since then; and I'd love to check against Time whether it makes sense, or has my values been shifted:

| Reject invest-y power. Some kinds of power increase your freedom. Some other kinds require an ongoing investment of your time and energy, and explode if you fail to provide it. The second kind binds you, and ultimately forces you to give up your values. The second kind is also easier, and you'll be tempted all the time.

Contrast with:

| Optimization never stops. Avoid one-time effort if at all possible. Aim for long-term stability of the process that generates improvements. There is no room for the psychological comfort of certainty.

So, the operative word above is "freedom" (personally, I've used "possibility space maximization"), and it's super useful to run a conceptually exhaustive search across surface-y options . But.

You probably have goals of interest, that you wish to achieve (eg "long-term future of humanity"). Some of these might require banging at stuff for an extended period of time. You have behaviours (eg your meta-policies), which you do for an extended period of time. Whether you recognize it as such, or not, you are also vesting into these; and by way of the forgetting curve, and blog readership, they also require ongoing maintenance. And yes, there might come future technological change which will make them obsolete, and put you into the decision between "your values" & "rolling with changes".

So, my counter to this is, _Anything which does not take into consideration the passage of time, gets eaten by it._  Your Time is a super scarce resource -probably the scarcest of them all. One way to turn this liability into an asset is by vesting into stuff (projects, startups, skills, people, ideas, what have you), and riding the compounding interest across time. This is, to my knowledge, the only way one can scale scarce resources into epic levels of task-specific utility.

(Relatedly, it seems to me, that there is a sliding scale between the need for change in the face of future changes and vesting into things, that most people tend to shift through as they age. Obvious problem here is simulated annealing being susceptible to fixation on phantom (local) maxima by way of changing environment.)

So, unpacking the desiredata from above, the model I'd offer for consideration is the Affordable Loss Principle, with a side dish of Avoiding Infinite Optimizers:

* The affordable-loss principle: prescribes committing in advance to what one is willing to lose rather than investing in calculations about expected returns to the project. Key to affordable loss policies is generation of Next-best-alternatives, such so when it comes to move, there is something to seamlessly move forward to.

Or, in the wise words of Zvi:

  • Get Got when the deal is Worth It.
  • When you Get Got, do it on purpose.
  • But, You cannot afford to Get Got if the price is not compact.  (Sufficiently advanced optimizers will eat your time, attention, and resources for breakfast _if you let them_ . Don't. )

In conclusion, I'd suggest that yes, run a freedom-maximizing circle, because it eliminates conceptual blindsight, and there is a lot of low-hanging fruit you can pick up on your way. But additionally, be on the lookout for opportunities that are compact, low-hanging, and compounding across time, such so that linear investments today leads to incremental & compounding utility for tomorrow.

Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag

Thank you for posting this. I agree, that growing negotiation skills is hard under best of circumstances; and I agree that certain types of newbies might self-identify with the post above.

There is a qualitative difference between people who are negotiating (but lack the proper skill), and the parasites described above:

  • Beginner negotiators state their request, and ask explicitly (or expect impliedly) for price / counter

  • More advanced negotiators start with needs/wants discovery, to figure out where a mutually beneficial deal can be made; and they adjust as discussion proceeds

  • These parasites, in comparison, attempt to raise their request against explicitly stated, nebulous things (or nothing at all): "Would you like to do free translation for me?" - "Cause X is very important, and therefore you, specifically, should do something about it" - "Would you like to build my full website for me in exchange of 1% shares?"

For the record:

  • I have attempted education in some cases (1-on-1, no social standings on the line on either parties, being discreet, etc), to no effect, and only resentment from the other party.

  • I observe that this parasitic strategy works some of the time, which incentivize existing parasitic behavior to grow until saturation. These are the reasons why I brought this up here in the first place.

  • Kindly note, that while there were a lot more evidencing going into this than described above, I am hesitant to disclose more specificities about any of these cases, because the Bay is small (-> personal identification), and discussion isn't reflective-complete (parasites read this, too; the more I disclose here, the more they can shift their strategies)

Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag

Updated. Re: | if you want to publicly address these people <- if people are addressed offline in public, I suspect you can dress it up with the appropiate social grace. But, we're talking about behavior here (and entrepreneurs have exploits they're already proud of, like hackers have hacks, and free riders aren't actively malicious), and I feel that dressing it up with the same grace would actually backfire by not changing (or even harming) the reward structure of the behavior.

Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag

Agreed. Recommend a non-verbed descriptive noun, and I'll update the post above.

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