Chronos and Betting

To add a data point, I offered a bet to Little Nemo on March 10th in this post. It was in Politics & Election and was never modded.

I’ve noticed that writing on these boards is a little bit like driving. You can break the rules more or less provided you don’t cause any accidents or the officers are not looking.

Fair enough.

The board software said it was a Reply to my post, but it’s still new and has some quirks.

I believe that any use of the word “stupid” is against the board’s rules, not just if it’s directed at a poster, not a post, but ANY use. Despite all evidence to the contrary.

And yet this ruling is incredibly stupid.

It’s a good idea in spirit but in actuality it seems to have been tainted with gamesmanship nonetheless on this message board.

For instance, not saying this exact scenario occurred, but imagine if person X says “I think this law is unconstitutional.” And person Y chimes in and says “oh yeah, wanna bet? I’ll bet you $50 that the courts will rule this constitutional!”

That’s a subtle reframing of the argument that many will not catch. If the courts rule 5-4 that the law is unconstitutional, it by no means implies that X’s constitutional argument was clearly bogus. It instead means that reasonable legal minds can differ, even the most highly qualified jurists of the land, and not just Internet amateurs.So far from meaning that person X’s opinion was so obviously misinformed as to not be worth posting, it instead means that person X’s opinion was worth posting because even the courts are having the same discussion.

A bet implies a mutual understanding that, even if the terms of the bet can be falsified, they are so important to be worth betting over. In the instance of a court decision, a slight majority ruling against me does not make the difference between a clearly correct and clearly ludicrous opinion. And not wanting to make a bet would not weaken the strength of my argument which is not tied to the exact makeup of any court.

I don’t know if you tried to make this meta but you did.
You realize that under the new “Chronos Rule” you thinking that using the word stupid is against the rules now makes your post moddable … even if there is no rule about the word stupid…

I so want to report your post to see what the mods would say about it.

I don’t by any means think that bets are a panacea to weed out arguments in bad faith. But I think that the legitimate downsides of them that people have pointed out can be meaningfully constrained by limiting them to one place where everyone who participates expects that bets can be used for that purpose. If you don’t want to bet, don’t post in the Money Where Your Mouth Is forum, or whatever.

Like the Pit. If the whole board used the norms of language and invective that the Pit uses, it would be a total cesspool, but it works out ok to confine it to one place. If you don’t want to be a part of that, you stay out of the Pit.

In fact, it appears that we already almost have such a forum, called the Game Room, where bets are allowed*.

*Sometimes, unless the mods don’t like you.

My guess is that the mods are talking things over (or are just currently overwhelmed with issues with the new board.) The warning turned out to be bad, but Chronos’s follow-up justification for his warning was simply the worst bit of moderation I’ve seen here at SDMB. He blatantly misrepresented UltraVires’s remarks.

I can’t imagine the warning will stand, and I’m going to just try not to think about it for a day or two. And I won’t be participating in Grrr’s new thread. One thread on this topic is enough, even though the lack of justice is a little maddening. It’s a small scale issue that will be righted soon. I’m pretty sure.

Based on recent ATMB threads, I can’t imaging that it will be changed. The fact that dozens of people disagree and point out flaws in moderator decisions is not enough to make them change.

I’d never heard of the word used that way, but OK, thanks.

Can I really be the only one to notice that all of the mods’ avatars are now goateed?

From now on, instead of being sent to the cornfield, socks and spammers will be sent to the Tantalus Field.

When I was a kid, an aunt told me that it was against the law to be in a car without shoes on. It isn’t true, of course, but it was in the back of my mind for years. To argue that someone should be ticketed for being in a car without shoes on because their aunt told them some false rule is idiotic. Why should we go along with idiotic decisions?

Just quietly ban him if you feel he needs to go. New rules aren’t necessary or useful for this.

Oh there is worse moderation. It’s just that at some point you can only laugh at the farcical nature of it.

Late to the party, but add my name to the list of “no fan of UltraVires, but this is an incredibly ridiculous warning” comments.

The warning given to UltraVires has been rescinded.

Please see this thread: New rules and corrections june 27, 2020

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

I’d like to see them sent to the Agony Booth, myself.

Also umpteenthing the ridiculousness of said warning. [edit] See that it has been rescinded, thankfully.

Thank you. Well done. :beers: :beers:

I was mistaken. Thank you for withdrawing the warning.

Good call.

I haven’t been active on this board for the past year or so, but I have fond memories of the informal bets that have been wagered here over the years. I feel this new rule represents a victory for ignorance.

It’s easy to make a prediction, to assert that something will happen. But a bet - or really the setting of odds - focuses the mind and can clarify the underlying issues. I once challenged Bricker by writing, “Gee guy, you seem pretty confident. Will you give me 10:1 odds?” He replied something like, “I’m not 10:1 confident. I’m even money confident”. Seen in that light, our differences were less than they might have first appeared. (By the way, that’s how you handle folks who use betting as a bullying tool. Ask them for 200:1 odds if they are so confident.)

More generally, while I believe truth exists, knowing it is a matter of being less wrong. That implies any reasonable conception of the truth must be probabilistic. And there are few better ways of grasping scientific probabilities than friendly wagers. As an example, I’d point to longbets.org. Wagers there run for many years; winnings go to charity. “Long Bets is about taking personal responsibility for ideas and opinions.”

Admittedly, progress in scientific betting is slow. Robin Hanson: “I think the most interesting question is how little effort we actually put into forecasting [aka probabilistic prediction -mfm], even on the things that are important to us… Even academics aren’t very interested in collecting a track record of forecasts- they’re not very interested in making clear enough forecasts to score… What’s in it for them? The more fundamental problem is that we have a demand for experts in our society but we don’t actually have a demand for accurate forecasts.”