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Bet On Biden

If it's that obvious, though, why does it persist? Elections might not be frequent enough to bankrupt the sources of dumb money, but why have the pros not eaten it up by now? Even if there aren't that many of them, and despite their skills they're not very rich yet, why haven't the people who do have enough capital to bring the markets back to their senses got involved?

Bet On Biden

The arguments here have convinced me to bet some money on Biden

Which ones convinced you? I still haven't seen a serious explanation for why everyone is apparently leaving so much expected value on the table. It seems to me that the market is big enough to be worth the attention of serious people, but not so big that it would take a huge number of them to snap up all the 'dumb money' and push the odds somewhere reasonable.

Bet On Biden

At least a couple of people have downvoted this without replying. One of the things I usually like about LW and similar spaces is that good-faith comments get a reply, not just a silent dismissal.

I get that the comment is not exactly punchy or brilliantly written, but I was trying to do the right thing and explain some of my own assumptions, rather than write the equivalent of 'wat?' and leave deluks917 to do all the work of bridging our communication gap.

Bet On Biden

Can you elaborate? I'm not sure what the point of disagreement is here.

For a big market like this, on an exchange like Betfair, my rough mental model is that there is a combination of recreational/compulsive gamblers, more serious professional/wannabe professional gamblers, and (given that the US election captures the attention of a great portion of the world) people who don't bet for a living but will keep an eye on the market and take any obviously profitable bets on offer.

So a lot of the bets that get matched will be between unserious players (who either don't care or don't think carefully about whether the price is rational) and serious players (who do). Others will be matched within the group of serious players, who of course can disagree with each other about the 'correct price'. But if there's a mispricing obvious enough that you or I can detect it just by reading 538 or Less Wrong, and large enough to be hugely +EV after transaction and opportunity costs, my default assumption is that it will probably self-correct before I get a chance to take advantage. Not all the money in the market is rational, but there are rational bettors with enough capital to keep the prices roughly where they should be.

edit to clarify why I'm focusing on Betfair: I don't know a lot about Predictit, but I believe it heavily limits the amount any individual user can bet. In isolation, that could be enough to allow it to stay surprisingly irrational for surprisingly long. But I assume its prices for any significant market will stay relatively close to those of a big exchange like Betfair, because of the easy arbitrage opportunities when they diverge. And the 65-66c you quote is very close to the Betfair price of about a day ago (though the latter has since tightened to the equivalent of about 62c).

Bet On Biden

My argument doesn't require the EMH to be true in any strong sense, just true enough that you can't beat a big, liquid market by a large margin via easy analysis of very public information. Predictit's price is similar to Betfair's -- in fact Betfair is currently slightly less favourable to Biden -- and presumably won't diverge too far in either direction due to arbitrage. Betfair has matched about $180 million on its 'next US President' market. Of course a lot of its users are wild gamblers, but it is big enough to attract serious professionals (and smart opportunists with plenty of capital) too.

Bet On Biden

Yeah, I think the OP's argument requires a good explanation of why the markets have failed to adequately price in Silver's prediction. I'm not saying markets are always right and impossible to beat no matter what, but the EMH is a pretty good default starting point, requiring strong evidence to overcome in any specific case. 'I trust this guy's public prediction, based on equally public information about his methods and track record' doesn't seem nearly enough.

Covid 10/8: October Surprise

Yeah, I wouldn't expect any change unless my reaction turns out to be common.

As for what to do, personally I am fine with uncensored swearing (which I would prefer to asterisked swearing, which in turn I would prefer to word substitution). But I also think you're a good enough writer to convey the same emphasis or emotion without any swearing or substitutions.

Puzzle Games

I think you might like SpaceChem, by Zachtronics. It fits into your Technical + Efficiency categories. It's superficially chemistry-themed, but effectively a programming game with physical constraints (i.e. the need to fit everything into a finite 2D grid and avoid unwanted collisions) contributing to the challenge. It's generally considered difficult, to the point that Zachtronics regretted making it so hard to beat. It can't be that hard, because I beat it, but it was a very satisfying challenge.

It violates No Time Elements, but only in the final puzzle (IIRC), and in practice the real-time element is more a constraint on the minimum efficiency of your solution than a reflex/coordination test. It violates Factored into Puzzles in that some puzzles are physically connected to each other, so that outputs from one become inputs to another. I think it meets your other criteria very well. I suppose Clear End was debatable, because (again IIRC) there were extra optional puzzles meted out gradually after release, but I presume they have come to a definite end by now, and anyway they were always clearly distinct from the main story missions.

Covid 10/8: October Surprise

Thank you very much for continuing to do these. 

This is a trivial and potentially annoying critique, but I've held back from making it a few times, so I'll just say it in case it's a useful data point: I find the self-censored swearing (e.g. 'forking') quite offputting. Sometimes it's momentarily confusing (what is a 'forking mask', I don't think I've heard of those before?), often just jarring. I like your writing style but when I hit one of the self-censored passages I always cringe a little. (Aside from the occasional confusion, I don't have an objective argument against it; it just rubs me the wrong way and seems unnecessary. )

Rationality Quotes September 2014

It might be possible (and useful) to design an ethics curriculum that helps students to think more clearly about their own views, though, without giving their teachers much of an excuse to preach.

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