Sherrinford

Economist.

Comments

Sherrinford's Shortform

Interesting. I had maybe read the Wikipedia article a long time ago, but it did not leave any impression in my memory. Now rereading it, I did not find it dramatic, but I see your point.

Tbh, I stilĺ do not fully understand how Wikipedia works (that is, I do not have a model who determines how an article develops). And the "originated" (ok maybe that is only almost and not fully identical to "first grew") is just what I got from the article. The problem with the association is that it is hard to definitely determine what even makes things mentionable, but once somebody publibly has to distance himself from something, this indicates a public kind of association.

Further reading the article, my impression is that it indeed cites things that in Wikipedia count as sources for its claims. If the impression of lesswrong is distorted, then this may be a problem of what kinds of thing on lesswrong are covered by media publications? Or maybe it is all just selective citing, but then it should be possible to cite other things.

Sherrinford's Shortform
"My model is that in USA most intelligent people are left-wing. Especially when you define "left-wing" to mean the 50% of the political spectrum, not just the extreme."

I agree. (I assume that by political spectrum you refer to something "objective"?)

And there seem to be many Americans on Less Wrong, just like on most English-speaking websites.

Given the whole Bay-area thing, I would have expected a higher share. In the survey, 37 out of 60 say they are residing in the US.

So, I would expect Less Wrong to be mostly left-wing (in the 50% sense). My question is, why were you surprised by this outcome?

Having been in this forum for a while, my impressions based on posts and comments led me to believe that less than 50% of people on lessrong would say of themselves that they are on values 1-5 of 1-10 scale from left-wing to right-wing. In fact, 41/56 did so.

For example, "neoreaction" is the only flavor of politics that is mentioned in the Wikipedia article about LessWrong. It does not claim that it is the predominant political belief, and it even says that Yudkowsky disagrees with them. Nonetheless, it is the only political opinion mentioned in connection with Less Wrong. (This is about making associations rather than making arguments.) So a reader who does not know how to read between the lines properly, might leave with an impression that LW is mostly right-wing. (Which is exactly the intended outcome, in my opinion.) And Wikipedia is not the only place where this game of associations is played.

The wikipedia article, as far as I can see, explains in that paragraph where the neoreactionary movement originated. I don't agree on the "intended outcome", or rather, I do not see why I should believe that.

Sherrinford's Shortform

I don't think that fits what I am talking about:

  1. The survey was non-binary. Your first claim does not distinguish extremes and moderates.
  2. The survey was anonymous. You cannot ban anonymous people.
  3. I see no reason why people should have overstated their leftishness.
  4. If your statement is meant to explain why my perception differs from the result, it does not fit. My perception based on posts and comments would have been relatively more rightwing, less liberal / social democratic / green etc.
  5. I don't see where leftwing lesswrongers are denounced as rightwing extremists. In particular, I don't see where this explains people identifying as leftwing in the survey.
Sherrinford's Shortform

The results of Bob Jacob's LessWrong survey are quite interesting. It's a pity the sample is so small.

The visualized results (link in his post) are univariate, but I would like to highlight some things:

49 out of 56 respondents identifying as "White",
53 out of 59 respondents born male and 46 out of 58 identifying male cisgender
47 of 59 identifying as heterosexual (comparison: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_sexual_orientation)
1 out of 55 working in a "blue collar" profession
Most people identify as "left of center" in some sense. At the same time, 30 out of 55 identify as "libertarian", but there were multiple answers allowed.
31 of 59 respondents think they are at least "upper middle class"; 22 of 59 think the family they were raised in was "upper middle class". (Background: In social science surveys, wealthy people usually underestimate their position, and poor people overestimate it but to a lesser extent.)

I would not have guessed the left-of-center identification, and I would have slightly underestimated the share of male (cisgender).

Be impatient

You list many examples why it's good being fast. But who doubts that it is good being fast, smart, rich or healthy (ceteris paribus)? The critical point, given your motivating example and the title of the post, would be evidence for the sentence "Being impatient is the best way to get faster at things."

Open & Welcome Thread - July 2020

This article may be interesting for people here: Derek Thompson, The Atlantic: "COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, So Why Are Deaths Flatlining?" https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/why-covid-death-rate-down/613945/

Book Review: Fooled by Randomness

I see. Using "signal" and "noise" figuratively here, I ran the risk of being understood that way. But to be clear: I do not regard explanations and illustrations as "noise", because they help understand the signal. The book has a lot of text that is counterproductive and has, in my opinion, a very loose relation with the concepts Taleb (presumably) aims to explain.

Book Review: Fooled by Randomness

Christian, thanks for your comment. However, I do not understand what your first paragraph is referring to, as I do not think I claimed not being affected by hindsight bias, or anything similar. Whether additional examples of the hindsight bias (or anything else) are helpful is up to any potential reader to decide; I'd just say that I find the signal-to-noise ratio of the book low, and would probably start reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias (or Kahneman) instead.

The central message of Taleb's oeuvre in general may be about many distributions being fat-tailed, but just judging from FbR, I think you will not learn very much about the concept. Searching the google books version for the word "fat" seems to indicate that the word "fat-tailed" only appears in the preface.

Book Review: Fooled by Randomness

Thanks for the different perspective!

2020 LessWrong Demographics Survey Results

No, sorry - you are right, you mentioned all that in advance.

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