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I like getting it to write funny stuff based on it's left leaning, mainstream slant. So "Write me an article: We need to talk about the racism problem with pennies."

It's amazing. You should try it.

How are these the same thing?

  • believing data which turns out to be wrong
  • asserting that people are conspiring to cause some bad outcome

Some studies say masks work, some don't. If you incorrectly evaluate the evidence and believe that they don't work... how is that related to accusing people of conspiring? You've just analyzed the evidence wrong, but you haven't made any claims relating to any people, or plans, or schemes.

Do you think it's worth actually memorizing a few actual references? I.e. - Study by X done in X year, instead of just "other studies."

It often seems like "other studies disagree" is only one small step above just asserting it.

This is coming from someone who (as you know) makes this assert-contrarian-without-sources faux pas all the time.

Conspiracy =/= wrong + contrarian. That's an issue with the current Overton window. Conspiracy used to mean people conspiring.

So there's a difference between "carbs bad" - which is probably just wrong and contrarian, and "cereal companies colluded to convince you meat and fat are unhealthy, so you'd eat their sugar cereal," which is a conspiracy theory.

The reason conspiracy theories are typically (rightly) ridiculed is that they tack on a whole bunch of non Occam's Razor propositions to a theory, without the accompanying evidence. The conspiracy from cereal companies is one possible explanation for why meat/fat were incorrectly demonized, but it requires more evidence to assert than just "fat and meat have been incorrectly demonized."

All this is to say - he's not a conspiracy theorist, even with the carbs/fat thing. He might be wrong and contrarian (I also believe carbs are fine, so I believe he is), but to call it "conspiracy" is incorrect.

No that's expressly NOT what he's saying. For example - obesity is dangerous. Everybody thinks obesity is dangerous, and they're correct.

He's just saying that some of the public wisdom seems totally wrong. That [everybody thinks it] has turned out to be much weaker evidence than he originally thought, though still evidence in favor, and certainly not evidence against.

Gold used physical-world trade for a long long time, it did not (and still does not) self-host ownership transfers. 

You're right, it's not identical. However, monetary supply was decided via proof-of-work. Chain of ownership and custody was not. I was referring to monetary policy here, but that is an important distinction.

There's no intrinsic value behind it (that is, no industrial use and no government demanding their taxes/payments in that form)

The use of gold in electronics makes it a worse form of money, not better. The fact that you have to put money in your phone to make it work is very economically awkward.

As for intrinsic value - no currency has intrinsic value. It's a network of people who agree something has value in order to animate trade.

Bitcoin's value proposition is that it functions as a unit of account/store of value better than any other currency right now, incentivizing people to store value and account in it. Right now, it's store of value is there. Unit of account may be close, and medium of exchange seems a ways off, if it does, in fact, get there. That's the value proposition - better money, thereby causing better economic coordination.

The question of whether a currency is inflationary or deflationary for any given period of time is pretty small

I hadn't considered this. I guess we'd also expect the rate of economy fluctuation to increase, like everything else does. It's quite possible we'll see a technology better than Bitcoin, or even something stranger, like successful friendly AI obviating the need for money, within a century. Still, I think that if the claims of deflationary death spirals from history are accurate (which I do suspect they aren't), then it makes sense to ask this question, even in the short-ish term.

If I trust my body to tell me when it's tired, I'll work all night until about 8-9am, and then go to sleep.

Are there things you do to get your body's natural sense to actually match up to reality? Turning down the lights or altering the temperature?

My body literally doesn't send sleep signals. It might send vague fatigue signals at some points, but without actual effort, I would literally stay up all night, every night.

The only exception is on days when I'm already very sleep deprived. Say I slept 2 hours and then worked a 10 hour day. That night, I'll fall asleep at 9-10 without any effort, but that's the rare exception.

Okay but I just don't agree. 

Let each black box have some probability to kill you, uniformly chosen from a set of possible probabilities. Let's start with a simple one: that probability is 0 or 1.

The a prior chance to kill you is .5. 

After the box doesn't kill you, you update, and now the chance is 0.

What about if we use a uniform distribution from [0,1)? Some boxes are .3 to kill you, others .78.

Far more of the experiences of not dying are from the low p-kill boxes than from the high p-kill ones. When people select the same box, instead of a new one, after not being killed, that brings the average kill rate of selected boxes down. Run this experiment for long enough, and the only boxes still being selected are the extremely low p-kill boxes that haven't killed all their subjects yet.

This time, could you make a stronger objection, that's more directly addressed at my counter-example?

Replace thief with a black box that either explodes and kills you, or doesn't. It has some chance to kill you, but you don't know what that chance is.

I was put in a room with black-box-one 5 times. Each time it didn't explode.

Now, I have a choice: I can go back in the room with black-box-one, or I can go to a room with black-box-two.

I'll take black-box-one, based on prior evidence.

Your Latex didn't quite work.

Also, here's three quick examples for anyone still wondering exactly how this works. Remember that the chance of flipping tails until a given digit in the binary expansion, then flipping heads, is  where n is the digit number (1/2 for the first digit after the decimal, 1/4 for the second, etc).

My chance to land on the 1 with a heads is exactly .

My chance to land on a 1 with my first heads is 

My chance to land on a 1 with my first heads is 

The only semi-tough part is doing the base 2 long division to get from your fraction to a binary decimal, but you can just use an online calculator for that. The coolest part is that your expected number of flips is 2, because you stop after one heads.

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