BloggingFrozenHeads.TV with Robin Hanson

You'll find it here.  Robin is awesome, as usual, and that is why I am grinning throughout.  The topics are (among others):

Agreeing to Disagree

Tyler vs. Robin on the merits of cryonics (12:23)

Does fiction weaken your grasp of reality? (06:52)

Are economists evil? (12:10)

How to estimate the value of a person’s life (06:04)

Will prediction markets ever really take off? (08:06)

Has fame made Tyler boring? (02:27)

Addendum: Robin and his readers comment here.


I think the inability to "fudge" the results of prediction markets is fatal to the chances of them every being widely adopted. This isn't simply a matter of them not delivering the results that decision makers want ex ante. Even assuming that prediction markets are more accurate than other sorts of forecasting, they aren't going to be correct 100% of the time, and when it does deliver bad results the normal ways of defusing blame won't be available to it the way they are to politicians or C.E.O's. If a politician advocates a particular policy that turns out to be a disaster, he has a large incentive to shift the blame elsewhere, either by minimizing his role in the decision, blaming the bad results on other actors, claiming that things otherwise would have been even worse, etc. He will also have personal connections and loyalty that he can rely on to weather the storm. In a futarchy, by contrast, none of these methods are available, which means that the full blame for even mistakes will fall on the process itself.

Is signaling like Conspicuous Consumption? Where can I read about it? By the way, my brother is a graduate of MIT, getting his PhD in Cognitive Linguistics, but he was also an officer on an attack sub. I ask him questions about being on a sub because I'm going to write a novel, if I live long enough, about a writer who served on a sub. Anyway, according to my brother and friends of his who served on his sub, Battlestar Gallactica is much more realistic about what it's like to be on a sub than so-called "realistic" shows that show life on a submarine.

The jackalope just swam in from Atlantis, unicorn horn in its mouth.

I was gonna give up all my vices and go find a job tomorrow, but it looks like one last worthless evening to savor this one.

Having watched three segments - value of life, are economists evil, and fiction - I score it:

Two rounds heavily for Tyler. "Fiction" round an unimpressive draw.

At times I found it difficult to keep up with Tyler, probably more my fault than his, so I apologize if I am misrepresenting his position, but it sounded to me as if he was advancing the position that since intuitive bias was unavoidable on some level, no one could offer the specific processes that they followed to reach their conclusions as evidence of their superior rationality. That doesn't seem right to me. Is that what he was saying?

Not to be down on you at all, but for your information, you lost me at 44 minutes.

If becoming influential requires you to adopt more conventional opinions, then are you really becoming influential?

Yes, I agree with Rasch. It's as if Tyler has never heard of IVF. He doesn't really evaluate any arguments seriously but just dismisses cryonics as if his intuition is enough.

But of course it rarely is. However, it's convenient, so he tries to slide by on it as if we in audience were stupid and wouldn't catch it. As for Hanson, he presented a weak counter-argument, his deference overwhelmed him or he is himself losing his conviction. Possibly both.

One of the criticisms against economists is that they treat the results they generate from their model of reality as if it should be the default position that needs to be defeated for an alternative to be undertaken.

Who doesn't treat their own ideas this way?

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