Will Less Wrong's big red button be used to take down the front page on Petrov Day?
Resolved
YES

See https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/KTEciTeFwL2tTujZk/lw-petrov-day-2022-monday-9-26 .

Edit: You're all so confident so quickly, here's another market to predict exactly when it happens.

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Multicore avatar

Button appears to have been used. Waiting for a bit more confirmation before resolving.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
sold Ṁ64 of YES

@Multicore It's obviously only pressed because of a bug where they accidentally made a button that takes down the home page and gave everyone the launch codes. Should resolve no.

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
sold Ṁ2 of NO

I suppose if there was a bug that allowed someone to trigger the screen without actually pressing the button, that shouldn't count. Given the fact that there were two other bugs today involving the Petrov Day activity, it seems reasonable to me to wait for confirmation before resolving.

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Young
bought Ṁ500 of YES

Can all of you who don't want the button pushed please stop buying no. This market is too correlated with bad outcomes. We should buy and hold yes, take the L on the market and take the W on LessWrong itself.

citrinitas avatar
Anton
predicted NO at 91%

I value accuracy in prediction.

The nice part about prediction markets is that it's hard to subvert them to manipulate external goals. This is a symmetric weapon, so it doesn't matter if your cause is noble or not.

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Young
predicted YES at 90%

I don't know that we'll disagree on object level stuff.

MartinRandall avatar

@NathanpmYoung For folks who bought YES for incentive rather than prediction reasons, I'm curious what they think the true probability was. I saw some big limit orders at 90-95% YES and I mostly didn't trade into them because they felt too low.

galen avatar
Galen
predicted YES

@MartinRandall I thought it was about 80%.

JasonGross avatar

@citrinitas What do you mean by "subvert" in "The nice part about prediction markets is that it's hard to subvert them to manipulate external goals."? Prediction markets always incentivize the outcome to move in whichever direction can be influenced in a less costly way. Insofar as destruction is easier than creation, prediction markets are a destructive force.

@MartinRandall It should be possible to play incentives in a prediction market separately from playing probability. Insofar as Manifold is set up correctly, you should always be buying at no more than your true probability / selling at no less than your true probability. The choice of whether to leave (public) limit orders on one side or the other is the way you incentivize action.

MartinRandall avatar

@JasonGross I think your question should maybe be directed to @galen ? I was not betting on this market to incentivize action. The vast majority of participants don't even have Manifold accounts.

JasonGross avatar

I guess I should refine what I said above: prediction markets aren't themselves destructive, but being a market maker in a prediction market is (insofar as destruction is easier than creation).

@MartinRandall I was attempting to suggest a partial answer to your question, but on rereading it seems I may have misinterpreted you; you were wondering whether or not the limit orders you saw were there for incentive reasons?

MartinRandall avatar

@JasonGross I am pretty sure they were. @galen was buying YES at 95% based on a true belief of 80%. And @NathanpmYoung at the top of the thread is saying that everyone should buy and hold yes with the intention of making a loss here but a win in terms of keeping the site up.

Personally I think the market was pretty accurate, which is why I didn't fill the large YES limit orders that were available. A 15% return in 48 hours would have been a good day.

While pressing the button is an easy action, not creating the button would have been even easier. Manifold users were offering mana incentives to not create a destructive button, but alas they were not large enough.

aps avatar

Entire site is down with a 502. Seems unintended. Odd!

CodyRushing avatar
Cody Rushing
predicted NO at 99%

yeah, its back up again now. was probably unintended

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
sold Ṁ6 of NO

It's difficult to incentivize people to not press the button, but here's an attempt: If we successfully get through Petrov day without anyone pressing the button (other than the person who has already done so via the bug), I will donate M$5000 to a charity selected by majority vote.

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
predicted NO at 97%

Slight correction: I'll donate $50 USD, it won't necessarily be via Manifold.

Multicore avatar

As I said on the other market, I'm ruling that the brief takedown due to a bug does not count.

From my perspective, I slept through the night and the site is still up.

ZachSteinPerlman avatar
Zach Stein-Perlman
predicted YES at 91%

@Multicore registering my disagreement; the big red button was used and the site was taken down accordingly.

ZachSteinPerlman avatar
Zach Stein-Perlman
predicted YES at 92%

(and after "the night," the site was up again, not still.)

Retsam19 avatar
Retsam19
predicted NO at 92%

@ZachSteinPerlman The LW team themselves clearly do not consider the button to have been "pushed", given that the site is up.

It seems like the question here is "will the BRB be used [per the stated rules of the event]". Yes, the second part was not actually stated, but it seems a reasonable implication that this market was about user behavior, not programming glitches.

(There's still a good chance this will be a moot point, anyway)

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 92%

@Retsam19 They don't consider the site to have been blown up. But the button was pressed and launch codes entered.

Aside: When Chris was social engineered in 2020 that counted but when a coder introduced a technical vulnerability in 2022 that doesn't count. Accountability for thee, not for me?

Retsam19 avatar
Retsam19
predicted NO at 94%

@MartinRandall Using social engineering to convince someone to press the button was within the stated rules of the event in 2020. Someone with zero Karma being able to launch the missiles due to a programming mistake is not within the stated rules of the event.

MichaelWheatley avatar

@Retsam19 A coder causing mass destruction by rushing flawed code into production does seem in keeping with the spirit of the event though.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted YES at 95%

@Retsam19 I see no references to social engineering in the Petrov Day 2020 announcement. What are you referring to?

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/XfHXQPPKNY8BXkn72/honoring-petrov-day-on-lesswrong-in-2020

Retsam19 avatar
Retsam19
predicted NO

@MartinRandall It wasn't prohibited by the rules, therefore it was allowed. Whereas the rules for this event clearly stated that there's a minimum, (and decreasing) karma requirement - someone with zero karma being able to launch the nukes (at start) violated the rules of the game, so they fixed it.

Obviously, it's a moot point now, but I think the market was absolutely correct to not resolve on the implementation glitch.

MartinRandall avatar

@Retsam19 The 2022 post says:

Every user with an existing LessWrong account (created before 2022-09-21) and non-negative karma is able to participate.

Obviously zero is not negative, and so users with non-negative karma were meant to be able to participate. One such user chose to participate.

At the start of the 24-hour celebration, only those with 2,300 karma or more will be able to successfully launch.

This is not a rule, this is a (false) description of how the button works. A rule would instead say something like "You are not allowed to press the button unless you have enough karma to meet the threshold".

It's a moot point for this market, but still relevant for LessWrong users who want to know if they will be treated fairly if they make mistakes, whether coding mistakes or phishing mistakes.

Retsam19 avatar
Retsam19
predicted NO

@MartinRandall I don't care to have a semantic debate over "rules" vs however you'd rather describe it.

I don't understand how this is a fairness issue, either. There was a minor technical hiccup which was corrected.

MartinRandall avatar

@Retsam19 I'm not sure what your point is about "stated rules", so I don't know how I would describe it.

If you re-read the 2020 postmortem, I think you will agree that Chris's mistake was not treated as a minor technical hiccup. Also, it was not corrected. I might say that it was not a minor technical hiccup precisely because it was not corrected.

Allowing zero karma users to press the button was a worse mistake in some ways. It was made by someone in their professional capacity, in a task that they had opted in to do. If t had not been reversed it would have had a bigger impact, on more users.

These mistakes were treated differently.

jack avatar
Jack
predicted YES

@MartinRandall I think there's a valid point about the rules (here I'm simply using rules to refer to LW's stated description of how the Petrov day event would work). In 2020, the site was nuked according to the rules - a user entered their valid launch codes. In 2022, the site was not nuked according to the rules (user entered their launch codes which were supposed to be invalid), but it was nuked according to the code. Those were different due to a software bug.

People certainly can and often should undo problems caused by bugs (Manifold does this all the time - Manifold doesn't use the crypto style "code is law", it follows the intended rules even when the code differs).

MartinRandall avatar

@jack I pointed out:

When Chris was social engineered in 2020 that counted but when a coder introduced a technical vulnerability in 2022 that doesn't count.

If I taboo "rules", you are saying "software bug" and I am saying "technical vulnerability" and "coder error" but these are just different words to describe the same thing. This doesn't actually justify a difference in attitude.

People certainly can and often should undo problems caused by bugs.

People certainly can and often should undo problems caused by human error as well, especially if the human error is due to third party deception.

In many games, deception is implicitly against the rules, and the goal is to have fun. You won't get any kudos if you win Connect 4 by convincing your opponent that the goal is to connect them in a square.

Unfortunately LessWrong can't make up its mind whether Petrov Day is a Very Serious Ritual or a Happy Fun Game, and errors are treated inconsistently as a result.

jack avatar
Jack
predicted YES

@MartinRandall Yeah, I understand your point, and I think they are both reasonable viewpoints

Thinking about the "how to make systems secure" perspective, yes, technical vulnerabilities and social engineering vulnerabilities are similar.

Thinking about the social game though (using the term game in the sense of game theory), LW designed a game with certain allowed actions and outcomes, and since talking to other people to persuade them to do one thing or another was certainly allowed, I believe the 2020 social engineering is not fundamentally different and was also part of the game (and LW agreed). (Some games disallow deception, clearly this one did not as per LW's statements and actions.)

In the 2022 social game, the "false alarm" is a nonevent - I think it's very much like how the entire LW site briefly going down with 500 errors certainly counted as the site technically going down (DDOS is a real vulnerability) but certainly did not count as the nukes being launched in the social game. I think they are both valid perspectives, and I agree with LW's decision to reverse the bug (because it was not part of the social game) while not reversing the social engineering.

MartinRandall avatar

@jack I agree that both views are valid. Obviously I prefer mine.

I am glad that LessWrong has endorsed the Shapely attribution for these continuing failures, which assigns them most of the blame.

Yev avatar
Yev
predicted NO

You won't get any kudos if you win Connect 4 by convincing your opponent that the goal is to connect them in a square.

I have to disagree. That'd be hilarious and I'll even tip you some mana if you can do that!

aps avatar

What would be really funny is if you convinced someone of this and they win anyway in the real rules, by accident.

aps avatar
aps
sold Ṁ302 of YES

You know what, I'm selling my YES for a decent profit and removing my incentive to make slightly more money by pressing it, even though I expect someone else will do it anyway before it would even be possible for me to.

Pesky counterfactual guilt. Stopping me from making 18 additional mana.

WilliamKiely avatar

Seems like this question shouldn't exist. Buying No creates an incentive for bad actors or people who don't care about the preferences of those in LessWrong circles to buy Yes and press the button. Seems best not to participate.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 96%

@WilliamKiely Predicting the chances that LessWrong gets blown up creates an incentive for LessWrong to change their plans to be more resistant to bad actors and people who don't care about LessWrong. For example, they could bet heavily NO and then choose not to create a nuclear button this year. This would be a great symbolic act showing rational decision-making reducing existential risk, and I think would appropriately honor Petrov. Unwanted mana can be turned into USD by donating to AllFed, for example.

At the time of writing there is an USD $80 (m8000) incentive from this market to do so. You can increase that incentive by playing a limit YES order at around 50%, if you would like. You want to set it so that only someone with insider knowledge will trade through it.

jack avatar
Jack
predicted NO at 95%

The incentive is miniscule - I did a calculation for the discussion in https://manifold.markets/mkualquiera/will-my-friend-agree-to-defect-on-p and it was maybe M$50, which is equivalent to 50 cents, and also the amount I get every day just from Manifold's daily prediction bonus. That's a ridiculously tiny amount to nuke the LW homepage for.

mkualquiera avatar
mkualquiera
predicted YES at 95%

@jack Well, maybe we don't care that much about the LW homepage, but do care about the joy of nuking it for 50 cents

jack avatar
Jack
predicted NO at 95%

Sure, I can understand that, but I'm quite confident that there are enough people who would do it just for the joy of doing it, that Manifold doesn't make a significant difference.

Btw, If anyone can show me they have holdings that would profit at least M$100 (equivalent of 1 dollar) from pressing the button, I will just give you M$100, no strings attached. I'll also buy your shares for M$100 if you want. (Limit one claim, first come first served)

Yev avatar
Yev
predicted YES at 96%

If anyone tips M$120+ to this comment and DMs me on discord, I will give them 100 YES shares for free.

mkualquiera avatar
mkualquiera
predicted YES at 96%

Lol I forgot you can just embed markets

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Young
bought Ṁ1,000 of YES

I think the right thing to do here is buy yes so that it's more beneficial for others to buy and hold no.

MichaelDickens avatar

@NathanpmYoung To me it doesn't seem remotely worth it to take the site down in exchange for some fake internet points, but I guess not everyone thinks the same way

jack avatar

I highly doubt that making a profit on this market will motivate someone to hit the button. The potential profits for YES are negligible.

I think it's very likely that of all the users, there will be at least one who hits the button just because they think it's fun, or perhaps because they think it's a better outcome for the exercise or the experiment is misguided.

MichaelDickens avatar

@jack IIRC last time someone hit the button, it's because they didn't know what it did and they clicked it by accident

Multicore avatar

@MichaelDickens The button doesn't take down the site until you enter valid launch codes. When the site was taken down in 2020 it's because one of the people with launch codes got tricked/phished.

But this year isn't at all like the previous years because so many more people are eligible to use the button.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 93%

@Multicore Also anonymity.

jack avatar

@MichaelDickens Yeah, the last time someone hit the button, it was because someone else phished them into doing it - which is evidence that there are people who would press the button.

galen avatar
Galen
predicted YES at 95%

@NathanpmYoung I'm doing the same thing, here: I'm not wild about this market existing, but given that it does exist I'm strongly in favour of making it profitable for others to not press the button.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 95%

@galen I commit to not press the button if this comment gets 100 mana in tips.

Yev avatar
Yev
predicted NO at 96%

@MartinRandall Do you also commit to press it if you do not get 100 mana?

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 96%

@Yev Definitely not, since I think it's unlikely to still be pressable by the time it gets to me.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 96%

@galen As promised, I commit not to press the button. Thank you for your donations.

MichaelDickens avatar

Don't negotiate with terrorists, people!

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 95%

@MichaelDickens Yes, I was expecting someone to link to a Dath Ilani treatise on threats, for example.

Yev avatar
Yev
bought Ṁ0 of NO

@MartinRandall

LessWrong is currently deciding to do something that will have an estimated 90%+ chance of blowing up the home page. This decision is 90% as bad as just blowing up the home page.

What is the utility function that might cause LessWrong to take such a decision? I can't come up with anything that fits other evidence. This has confused me in prior years but now there's a prediction market I can quantify my confusion more easily.

I think the organizers want to know when the website goes down. Instead of getting one bit of information about LW community like in the previous years, they'll get log(24) bits.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
sold Ṁ5 of NO

@Yev In 2020 they learned who passed the button first, which was log(200) bits. Also they didn't seem very happy about the price of those bits.

Yev avatar
Yev
predicted YES at 92%
MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
bought Ṁ10 of NO

Betting and hoping that the high odds on this market encourage a change.

mkualquiera avatar
mkualquiera
predicted YES at 99%

@MartinRandall Anyone with a LW account can buy YES and then press the button for free M$. This is a no-brainer.

MichaelWheatley avatar
Michael Wheatley
bought Ṁ10 of NO

@mkualquiera With the probability so high there's not a lot of money to be made. You can place a bed but you're getting 100:1 odds.

mkualquiera avatar
mkualquiera
predicted YES at 99%

@MichaelWheatley I bought at 90%, I'm pretty confident.

And I do have a LW account.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
bought Ṁ10 of NO

@mkualquiera I mean, it's not too late for LessWrong to decide that they don't want to blow up the home page by proxy, and celebrate differently. If this was a conditional market on the outcome if they go ahead with the current proposal, I agree it should converge to 99.9%.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
sold Ṁ3 of NO