I spend most of time forecasting stuff related to the pandemic. Unfortunately this probably makes my conversations and comments less interesting.
I also write on Quora. https://www.quora.com/profile/Linchuan-Zhang
I find it hard to parse where our disagreement is. Can you point me to what quote you disagree with?
I'm not sure. I mentioned as a reply to that comment that I was unimpressed with the ability of existing "good" forecasters to think about low-probability and otherwise out-of-distribution problems. My guess is that they'd change their minds if "exposed" to all the arguments, and specifically have views very close to the median FHI view, if "exposed" -> reading the existing arguments very carefully and put lots of careful thought into them. However, I think this is a very tough judgement call, and does seem like the type of thing that'd be really bad if we get it wrong!
My beliefs here are also tightly linked to me thinking that the median FHI view is more likely to be correct than Will's view, and it is a well-known bias that people think their views are more common/correct than they actually are.
As someone who is one of the most active users of Metaculus (particularly 2 months ago), I find a lot of the Metaculus estimates on existential risk pretty suspicious:
Is forecasting plausibly a high-value use of one's time if one is a top-5% or top-1% forecaster?
Yes, it's plausible.
What are the most important/valuable questions or forecasting tournaments for top forecasters to forecast or participate in?
My sense is that right now there's a market mismatch with an oversupply of high forecasting talent relative to direct demand/actual willingness/ability to use said talent. I'm not sure why this is, intuitively there are so many things in the world where having a higher-precision understanding of our uncertainty is just extremely helpful.
One thing I'd love to do is help figure out how to solve this and find lots of really useful things for people to forecast on.
Footnote on why this scenario
an expert (or a prediction market median) is much stronger than you, but you have a strong inside view
I think is in practice uncommon:
I think the ideal example in my head for showcasing what you describe goes something like this:
I basically think that there are very few examples of situations like this, for various reasons:
A caveat to all this is that I'm probably not as good at deferring to the right experts as many EA Forum users. Perhaps if I was better at it ("it" being identifying/deeply interpreting the right experts), I will feel differently.
I know this isn't the answer you want, but I think the short answer here is that I really don't know, because I don't think this situation is common. so I don't have a good reference class/list of case studies to describe how I'd react in this situation.
If this were to happen often for a specific reference class of questions (where some people just very obviously do better than me for those questions), I imagine I'd quickly get out of the predictions business for those questions, and start predicting on other things instead.
As a forecaster, I'm mostly philosophically opposed to updating strongly (arguably at all) based on other people's predictions. If I updated strongly, I worry that this will cause information cascades.
However, if I was in a different role, eg making action-relevant decisions myself, or "representing forecasters" to decision-makers, I might try to present a broader community view, or highlight specific experts.
Past work on this includes comments on Greg Lewis's excellent EA forum article on epistemic modesty, Scott Sumner on why the US Fed should use market notions of monetary policy rather than what the chairperson of the Fed believes and notions of public vs. private uses of reason by Immanuel Kant.
I also raised this question on Metaculus.
Is discourse around lying/concealing information out of altruistic concern really that rare in Western cultures?
How correlated is skill at forecasting and strategy games?
I’m not very good at strategy games, so hopefully not much!
The less quippy answer is that strategy games are probably good training grounds for deliberate practice and quick optimization loops, so that likely counts for something (see my answer to Nuno about games). There are also more prosaic channels, like general cognitive ability and willingness to spend time in front of a computer.
Does playing strategy games make you better at forecasting?
I’m guessing that knowing how to do deliberate practice and getting good at a specific type of optimization is somewhat generalizable, and it's good to do that in something you like (though getting good at things you dislike is also plausibly quite useful). I think specific training usually trumps general training, so I very much doubt playing strategy games is the most efficient way to get better at forecasting, unless maybe you’re trying to forecast results of strategy games.
How is your experience acquiring expertise at forecasting similar/different to acquiring expertise in other domains, e.g. obscure board-games? How so?
Just FYI, I do not consider myself an "expert" on forecasting. I haven't put my 10,000 hours in, and my inside view is that there's so much ambiguity and confusion about so many different parameters. I also basically think judgmental amateur forecasting is a nascent field and there are very few experts, with the possible exception of the older superforecasters. Nor do I actually think I'm an expert in those games, for similar reasons. I basically think "amateur, but first (or 10th, or 100th, as the case might be) among equals" is a healthier and more honest presentation.
That said, I think the main commonalities for acquiring skill in forecasting and obscure games include:
The main difference, to me is that:
 For reasons I might go into later in a different answer
What do you think helps make you a better forecaster than the other 989+ people?
I'll instead answer this as:
What helps you have a higher rating than most of the people below you on the leaderboard?
What do you think other forecasters do to make them have a higher rating than you? [Paraphrased]
Okay, a major caveat here is that I think there is plenty of heterogeneity among forecasters. Another is that I obviously don't have clear insight into why other forecasters are better than me (otherwise I'd have done better!) However, in general I'm guessing they:
There are also more specific reasons some other forecasters are better than me, but I don't think all or even most of the forecasters better than me have:
At least this is what I can gather from their public comments and (in some cases) private conversations. It's much harder for me to interpret how forecasters higher than me on the leaderboard but are otherwise mostly silent think.