None of the presidents fully represent my (TurnTrout's) views.

TurnTrout wrote the script. Garrett Baker helped produce the video after the audio was complete. Thanks to David Udell, Ulisse Mini, Noemi Chulo, and especially Rio Popper for feedback and assistance in writing the script.

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23 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 2:43 AM

This is the future of education. I don't think I would have otherwise spent 22 minutes listening to a discussion of pros and cons of various research agendas.

I want to note that it's really hard to properly represent other people's views and intuitions, and instead aimed to strawman each agenda ~equally[1] for brevity and humor. 

A bunch of the presidents make critiques and defenses weaker than the ones I'd make. There are a bunch of real hot takes of mine in this video, generally channeled via Trump (who also drops a few pretty dumb takes IMO). (Which Trump-takes are dumb and which are based? Well, that's up to the viewer to figure out by thinking for themselves!)

  1. ^

    With the exception of infrabayesianism, which wasn't treated seriously.

I was curious why Trump was dropping some of the best takes!

This was hilarious, thanks for making it!

The statements strike me as more credible and more interesting than they would be delivering in the speaking style of the people who usually talk on the topic, but then it is no surprise that winners of presidential elections have compelling vocal skills.

Things I think would have improved this a lot, for me:

  • a visual indicator of who was "speaking"; this could be as simple as a light gray box around the "speaker"
  • significantly larger "inflection" in the voice. More dynamic range. More variance in loudness and pitch. I don't know how easy or hard this is to tune with the tools used, but the voices all felt much flatter than my brain wanted them to sound
  • more visual going on in general; a scrolling transcipt on the right, maybe

These seem useful if OP wants to put in considerably more time, but just wanted to mention that I listened to it without watching the video and I think it was great without any additional visual resources.

Yeah I don't know how much time any of these would take compared to what was already done. Like is this 20% more work, or 100% more, or 500% more?

But good point: I listened to about a quarter, upped the speed to 1.5x, and stopped after about a half. When I decided to write feedback, I also decided I should listen to the rest, and did, but would not have otherwise. And, oddly enough, I think I may have been more likely to listen to the whole thing if I didn't have visuals, because I would have played it while gardening or whatever. :D

I had a bit of trouble hearing the difference in voice between Trump and Biden, at the start. I solved this by actually imagining the presidents. Not visually, since I'm not a visual person, just loading up the general gestalt of their voices and typical way of speaking into my working memory. 

Another way to put it: When I asked my self "which if the voices I heard so far is this" I sometimes could not tell. But when I asked my self "who is this among Obama, Trump and Biden" it was always clear.

Importing some very early comments from YouTube, which I do not endorse (I'd have to think longer), but which are perhaps interesting for documenting history, and tracking influence campaigns and (/me shrugs) who knows what else?? (Sorted to list upvotes and then recency higher.)

@Fiolsthu95 3 hours ago +2

I didn't ever think I'd say this but.. based Trump?!?

@henrysleight7768 1 hour ago +1

"What Everyone in Technical Alignment is Doing and Why" could literally never 

@scottbanana1 3 hours ago +1

The best content on YouTube

@anishupadhayay3917 14 minutes ago +0


@Mvnt6 26 minutes ago +0

"S-tier, the s is for sociohazard" 12:25

@gnip4561 1 hour ago +0

Never did I ever thought that I'd agree with Donald Trump so much

@johnmalin4933 2 hours ago +0

I found this insightful. Reply 

@SheikhEddy 2 hours ago +0

I can't stop laughing

Generally S-tier content. This video has motivated me to look into specific agendas I haven't had a closer look at yet (am planning on looking into shard theory first). Please keep going.

Would say I think some of the jokes at the beginning could've been handled a bit better, but I also don't have any specific advice to offer..

I enjoyed this enough to commit to watching it again in two weeks.

This was really great. Thanks for making it.

Nice touch that Barack is on your LW page ;)

This is an infohazard: I now feel somewhat well-disposed towards Trump.

Nothing on the cooperative AI agenda? E.g. Gillian Hadfield has suggested that alignment is nothing but sensitivity to normative infrastructure i.e. cooperation (I don't know if this is a publicly expressed opinion anywhere) and a lot of others consider it a top priority even if they don't state it so strongly. (I disagree with the strong claim, while being presently agnostic/clueless to the priority.)

I can't respond to a joke with a joke? I guess that's politics for you

My guess is that it's not that people are downvoting because they think you made a political statement which they oppose and they are mind-killed by it. Rather they think you made a political joke which has the potential to mind-kill others, and they would prefer you didn't.

That's why I downvoted, at least. The topic you mentioned doesn't arouse strong passions in me at all, and probably doesn't arouse strong passions in the average LW reader that much, but it does arouse strong passions in quite a large number of people, and when those people are here, I'd prefer such passions weren't aroused.

Aha, thanks. That makes some sense! I generally don't expect people to get mind-killed by (what seem like) obvious jokes, but I guess now you mention it, I should probably entertain that as possible (but maybe not on LW?)

Well, the joke does give a fair bit of information about both your politics and how widespread you think they are on LW. It might be very reasonable for someone to update their beliefs about LW politics based on seeing it. Then to what extent their conclusion mind-kills them is somewhat independent of the joke.

(I agree it’s a fairly trivial case, mostly discussing it out of interest in how our norms should work.)

Yeah, interesting. FWIW I've never voted in the US (I'm British), and I've observed and discussed politics (broadly construed) being mind-killing. I weakly assess LW consensus to be 'obviously major candidates are all terrible'. Of course internet people don't know these facts unless they bother to check, which is an unreasonably high bar! But I do expect LW readers to understand mind-killing, and consider it common knowledge.

Trying to learn from this thread. With the OP invoking recent US presidents as a topic of in-context flippancy and humour, it didn't even cross my mind that the joke wouldn't come across as being entirely about the ability of deepfakes to influence people's opinions (I could have punctuated it with any number of flippant fake observations, and it didn't seem important). Then the only real explanation for downvotes was mind-killed responses, but you've helped me realise this all wasn't obvious, and in hindsight I should have predicted that - thanks.

Incidentally, this reminds me of the (folk?) claim about normativity along the lines of, 'most people don't believe the news, while believing most other people do believe the news'. Normally I think it's part of the mind-killing process that people much too frequently respond to things on the basis of some imagined third-party response. But regarding the question of 'is this political-flavoured sentence potentially mind-killingly potent' I can see why it'd be worth adopting a precautionary principle. (But then why is not the OP punished? After all, it's literally a politically-flavoured infohazard in multiple ways which I won't spell out. I happen to think it's an on-balance good one, but I also happen to think my throwaway remark was an on-balance good and harmless one.)

[+][comment deleted]3mo10