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May 01, 2014



Could be an explanation for the form of begging that goes along the lines of "I've lost my wallet, and I just need £x for the train fare/fuel for my moped." IOW, "I am not a poor feckless person, but someone with a job and money." I assume it works better.

(I know it may sometimes be true.)


Here's a thought. Perhaps people worry that the risk taker is more likely to 'waste' the money redistributed to them in the next stage of the game (which in this case doesn't exist but does in real life).

I'm not sure that's unreasonable on utilitarian or moral grounds?

David Barnes

Linking this to your previous post, are we happy with Ronaldo and Rowling's wealth mainly because we admire what they did to get it.

If we're interested in distributing wealth to reward contribution, rather than rewarding admirable behaviour, then acquisition editors should get paid more and authors less. Rowling suffered rejection after rejection before she was published. The editor's share of a bestseller's spoils is so small that they have little incentive to search for diamonds in the slush pile. The author's incentive is plenty big enough to assure a massive surplus of manuscripts.

More incentive to acquisition editors would mean more great books published -- but most people would find the idea morally concerning, because you're giving money to decision makers rather than creatives.

I'm personally happy for JK Rowling, but I see that as evidence that I like authors, not that the free market worked effectively in her case.


Why would anyone think that HBS students (I presume that's what is meant by "152 subjects at Harvard Business School") are representative of any broad swath of humanity, especially after they've spent much time being shaped and reshaped there (but even before, given the selection process)?

It's an interesting result but likely less indicative of anything about humanity more broadly than your typical psychology experiment on undergraduate subjects.


I can't see any coherent distinction between brute and option luck.

Every choice is forced. You always have the option to choose between your options, and you never have the option not to choose, for whatever set of options there are. In the case of genetic luck, you have no options, in the case of insurance or investment, you may participate or opt not to, but it is a choice either way, and all outcomes are the sum of choices and luck.

Indeed, your options at any one time are the product of luck and prior choices. And your choices are themselves the produce of luck and prior choices (included the "brute" luck of your genetics).

"Your money or your life?" Option luck my arse.

Vacuous nonsense.

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