What bothers me is that the real agenda of the LessWrong/Singularity Institute folks is being obscured by all these abstract philosophical discussions. I know that Peter Thiel and other billionaires are not funding these groups for academic reasons -- this is ultimately a quest for power.

I've been told by Michael Anissimov personally that they are working on real, practical AI designs behind the scenes, but how often is this discussed here? Am I supposed to feel secure knowing that these groups are seeking the One Ring of Power, but it's OK because they've written papers about "CEV" and are therefore the good guys? He who can save the world can control it. I don't trust anyone with this kind of power, and I am deeply suspicious of any small group of intelligent people that is seeking power in this way.

Am I paranoid? Absolutely. I know too much about recent human history and the horrific failures of other grandiose intellectual projects to be anything else. Call me crazy, but I firmly believe that building intelligent machines is all about power, and that everything else (i.e. most of this site) is conversation.


Keep your friends close...

-3timtyler9yThat's from the document [http://hanson.gmu.edu/vc.html#yudkowsky] where Yudkowsky described his "transfer of allegence". What puzzles me is how the outfit gets any support. I mean, they are a secretive, closed-source machine intelligence outfit who makes no secret of their plan to take over the world. To me, that is like writing BAD GUY in big, black letters on your forehead. The "He-he - let's construct machine intelligence in our basement" is like something out of Tin-Tin. Maybe the way to understand the phenomenon is as a personality cult.

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

by Will_Newsome 1 min read19th May 2011162 comments


Or, what do you want to see more or less of from Less Wrong?

I'm thinking about community norms, content and topics discussed, karma voting patterns, et cetera. There are already posts and comment sections filled with long lists of proposed technical software changes/additions, let's not make this post another one. 

My impression is that people sometimes make discussion posts about things that bother them, and sometimes a bunch of people will agree and sometimes a bunch of people will disagree, but most people don't care that much (or they have a life or something) and thus don't want to dedicate a post just to complaining. This post is meant to make it socially and cognitively easy to offer critique.

I humbly request that you list downsides of existing policies even when you think the upsides outweigh them, for all the obvious reasons. I also humbly request that you list a critique/gripe even if you don't want to bother explaining why you have that critique/gripe, and even in cases where you think your gripe is, ahem, "irrational". In general, I think it'd be really cool if we erred on the side of listing things which might be problems even if there's no obvious solution or no real cause for complaint except for personal distaste for the color green (for example).

I arrogantly request that we try to avoid impulsive downvoting and non-niceness for the duration of this post (and others like it). If someone wants to complain that Less Wrong is a little cultish without explaining why then downvoting them to oblivion, while admittedly kind of funny, is probably a bad idea. :)