Grad student Jason Briggeman and I would love for you to take our overcoming-bias related survey, and perhaps win a $100 Visa gift card. I wish I could say more about it here, but we don’t want to bias your answers. After we get enough answers and analyze them, we’ll tell you what we found.
Gee, this survey sounds really interesting. Can someone send me a link to the survey and possibly the results?
I don't believe IQ tests measure anything meaningfulWhat you believe is dead wrong, if you consider predictive power in hordes of life outcomes to be "meaningful". You might want to read g: A precis
I picked "choose not to answer" when asked how much "ethical / spiritual considerations" (or something along those lines) influenced my answer. Reason being, I wasn't sure of what was meant by that - in my view nearly all of the other reasons given would fall under the "ethical considerations" bit.
I don't believe IQ tests measure anything meaningful, I don't associate ethics with spirituality, I think obeying the law is important for selfish reasons but not the measure of a good citizen, and I never went to school or sat an exam but people tend to assume I have a degree. Therefore I had to rely on "prefer not to answer the question" a hell of a lot.
This also reminds me of something, occasionally you'll see that the average IQ is about 104 and the military is slightly higher at 105. But the military doesn't admit the lower end, so it won't be as skewed. It probably has a lower mode (but probably still has two curves, there's a small subpopulation of very intelligent people.).
Just thought of something.
The average american IQ is ~105. What's the distribution?
I occasionally say to friends that "the average IQ is only 105, but probably none of you know anyone with that dumb, or even deal with one on a normal day."
What's the mode? I bet the frequency of injury, illness, and syndromes and the seeming upper bound/low instances of savants to cause the curve to be skewed negative (or have multiple distributions).
I didn't get a $1 trillion question, just a $1 billion question. I hesitated there and in the end picked "prefer not to answer." A billionaire is an extremely powerful person and assigning that much wealth to a random person may have negative consequences. (On the other hand, randomly making someone into a superhuman genius actually seems less likely to screw up the world; presumably they'd be smart enough to figure out that the world isn't a zero-sum game and helping yourself means helping others and vice versa.)
By the way, it would be awesome if someone found $1 trillion worth of platinum, although I'd be worried if they got to keep all the profits from selling it. Platinum is rare and is incredibly useful as a chemical catalyst; if there were more platinum, there really would be more wealth in the world. Gold is not that useful, as far as I can tell - it's a great conductor of electricity (much like copper) but there don't seem to be that many uses for large quantities of gold that can't be accomplished with more readily available substitutes.
The situation is different if the "buried treasure" was something of no intrinsic value. I wouldn't want a random person to discover a large amount of buried cash; that would simply transfer resources from other people to the lucky finder through the mechanism of inflation. Finding rare collectibles - baseball cards, comic books, etc. would be neutral; they don't increase the capacity of the world to produce goods and services, but they don't reduce the wealth of people who don't buy them.
That economics textbook I had for my one mandatory economics course in college was the most effective indoctrination I've ever read. ;) It's certainly more persuasive and compelling than the various religious tracts I've come across. As a result, I've started to think more like an economist. For example, I now believe in comparative advantage and free trade. If I have to move to India to get a technical job, so be it.
The 1 day and $1 trillion questions gave me some pause. but in the end i only lowered the 1 day and 1 trillion to somewhat likely. I figured that all things being equal, 1 day may well be highly beneficial in someones actions.
While the possibility of $1 trillion destabilising the world economy was sobering,in the end I figured things would stabalise eventually, and it would be fun to see what happened and compare to economists models. The data gained from such an occurance may be worth the risk
I said yes to the trillion dollar question only because I thought I could trade on the economic consequences of the treasure. I would short precious metals, go long auction houses and position my portfolio to benefit from a higher than expected liquidity environment. Otherwise I probably would have decided against pushing the button.
Sorry, I just got too bored trying to plough through the (seemingly) interminable tables of how much attention I was supposed to have paid to multiple factors on some previous question, when I hadn't analysed my thought processes in such detail in the first place (or attempted to remember them)...
tacking 1 day or 1 month to a person's life is not necessarily a good thing. They'd probably be just more death-bed days which can be excrutiating.
The foreign aid answer is questionable. Deductible charitable gifts are considered by most policy makers, and in Supreme Court dicta, to be "expenditures". Americans give a lot to foreign causes. More important are military expenditures to be the world's police (Iran & Iraq are expected to cost $161,000,000 in FY 2008) and the subsidies and other items mentioned previously.
that was the point of the second part of my post.
I thought too hard on foreign aid. I think I knew it was in the mid-20s, but I also knew it was about 0.2% or 0.3% of GDP -- and then I got confused between the budget (given) and GDP (not given)...
1% is 24.7, not two.
I way undershot the foreign aid too. I knew it was higher, I think Africa gets close to 10, but I didn't think I had undershot it by 15 billion. I thought it was closer to 15 or 20, but wanted to undershoot.
Uh-oh. I don't know the survey's objectives, but I feel that this questionnaire is going to reveal nothing but the limitations of Likert-type scales. Won't almost everybody always say she's "very likely" to do the thing that benefits the other person? No variation, no explanation.
As for the foreign aid question, I knew it was somewhere around 1 percent, and guessed it would be a little less, so I typed in the number "2".