[extropy-chat] Peak Oil meta-news

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky sentience at pobox.com
Wed Mar 8 23:30:12 UTC 2006

BillK wrote:
> On October 7, 1998 the Journal presented the results of the 100th
> dartboard contest. So who won the most contests and by how much? The
> pros won 61 of the 100 contests versus the darts. That's better than
> the 50% that would be expected in an efficient market. On the other
> hand, the pros losing 39% of the time to a bunch of darts certainly
> could be viewed as somewhat of an embarrassment for the pros.
> Additionally, the performance of the pros versus the Dow Jones
> Industrial Average was less impressive. The pros barely edged the DJIA
> by a margin of 51 to 49 contests. In other words, simply investing
> passively in the Dow, an investor would have beaten the picks of the
> pros in roughly half the contests (that is, without even considering
> transactions costs or taxes for taxable investors).

This information is completely useless unless we know by how much the 
pros won or the monkeys lost.  The pros might do very poorly winning 61 
out of 100 contests, if they won small and lost big.  Conversely the 
pros might have done much better relative to the Dow than "51 out of 49" 
would tell you, if they won big and lost small.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                          http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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