I want to map out all the open problems in Alignment; understand the key topics, how they relate and how the parts form a greater whole. I believe a small group of people who can notice when they're confused, can make substantial conceptual progress on many of the open problems. Besides, it sounds like a lot of fun.
To do this, I will have a 1-hr open meeting every week working on this. If you're reading this, you are free to join.
But wait, what would this look like?
Once a week, time TBD, we would call and go through a few questions, 5-minute timer style. Then discuss. For example:
1. Map out all of alignment from a first principles perspective. [Your solution should feel like it reasonably solves alignment. It can contain many "black boxes" that do the hard work, so spend extra time on opening up the black boxes and exploring them.] (30 minutes, then discuss)
2. Design images that explain the same information from 1 above. [You can use whatever tool you want, I will use draw.io] (10 minutes, then discuss/ post images in Discord)
Week 2: Vote on a specific topic to zoom in on and explore from first principles
Week 3: Literature Review of topic from Week 2
Week 4 on: TBD
[Specific questions and phrasings will change weekly based on feedback]
What if I won't be helpful?
Discussion will be on a volunteer basis. I expect there will even be too much talking (or not enough time to talk). You will not be expected or called out to tell everyone your answer. You can even write up your thoughts in the Discord throughout the week if that's how you'd like to contribute.
One hour/week won't amount to much
As mentioned, there is a Discord server attached. There will always be open problems to explore and work on the week between meetings. If you want to join, you will NOT be expected to work on anything in-between meetings, but I will (I only recommend you do that if you find the topic fun or interesting).
I would love to have a community of people focused on a specific topic, discussing and giving feedback. To me, a Discord server is useful for creative work since I have a lower standard for anything I write (as opposed to writing this post).
What if you waste time on dead ends?
I will post weekly on what we figured out in the last meeting, as well as post the questions for the next week. I am counting on the LW community to provide feedback, to hopefully point out faulty assumptions and dead-end research directions.
If you're interested, pm me here on LW or email me at logansmith5(at)gmail. You will get a WhenToMeet to pick a time and a Discord server link. We will start the week of Aug 9th-15th, depending on the decided time.