Rational Feed: Last Week's Community Articles and Some Recommended Posts
===Highly Recommended Articles:
Slack by Zvi Moshowitz - You need slack in your life. Slack lets you explore and invest. If you don't have slack you can't relax or uphold your morals. Fight hard to maintain your slack and don't let people or things take it away. Maya Millennial's lack of slack.
Personal Thoughts On Careers In Ai Policy And by carrickflynn (EA forum) - 3600 words. AI strategy is bottlenecked by hard research problems. Hence most people will find it hard to contribute effectively, even if they are very talented. Solving these problems has extremely high value. We should prepare to mobilize more talent once the blocking issues are solved. Operations work is still in high demand.
End Factory Farming by 80,000 Hours - Three hour podcast. How young people can set themselves up to contribute to scientific research into meat alternatives. Genetic manipulation of chickens. Skepticism of vegan advocacy. Grants to China, India and South America. Insect farming. Pessimism about legal or electoral solutions. Which species to focus on. Fish and crustacean consciousness.
Against Individual Iq Worries by Scott Alexander - "IQ is very useful and powerful for research purposes. It’s not nearly as interesting for you personally." IQ measurement problems. Even accurately measured IQ isn't that predictive.
Links: Hurly Burly by Scott Alexander - SSC links post. Copyright, genetic engineering, Autism, Machine Learning, Putin's fears of AI risk, the lesswrong relaunch and more
Dojo Bad Day Contingency Plan by Elo - Eleizer's discussion of why rationality theory isn't enough, you need to practice. An exercise about improving your mental on bad days.
Also Against Individual IQ Worries by Scott Aaronson - IQ tests tend to ask unclear questions and require you to reverse engineer what the test maker meant. Scott's own IQ was once measured at 106.
Predictive Processing by Entirely Useless - Responses to quotes from Surfing Uncertainty and Scott's review. A large focus is the "darkened room" problem.
Prosocial Manipulation by Katja Grace - Being calculating and guarded in communication is commonly considered manipulative and selfish. But many people's goals are pro-social, why do we assume manipulation is anti-social?
Humans As Leaky Systems by mindlevelup - "Fairly obvious stuff that probably lots of people are thinking about, but now put into simpler words (maybe). Basically, the idea that humans are affected by both ideas and the environment, and this is an important consideration in several models."
Dealism Futarchy And Hypocrisy by Robin Hanson - Policy conversations don't have to be about morality or terminal values. We can instead use tools like economics as a way to help people get whatever it is they want. We can push closer to the Pareto optimal frontier.
Debunking Iq Denial Ism by Grey Enlightenment - Criticisms of Scott's article on individual iq. People can change their socioeconomic status not their iq, IQ is more predicative than socioeconomic status, Feynman, Job titles are non-specific, low-iq 'computer' professions might be doing data entry. EQ isn't intrinsic and doesn't compete with IQ.
Harnessing Polarization by Robin Hanson - Capitalism channels status competition into productive enterprise. How can we similarly channel partisanship? Contests? Decision Markets?
Common Sense Eats Common Talk by Stefano Zorzi (ribbonfarm) - Missing the housing bubble. Falling for conformity. Seeing through invisible clothes. Advice: Test macro assumptions, beware of jargon, assume propositions that contradict common sense are wrong. Common talk and common sense and their failings.
Sabbath Hard And Go Home by Ben Hoffman - The Sabbth as easymode leisure. Unplugging while camping or on a meditation retreat feels natural. What is leisure? If you are unable to keep a Sabbath things are not ok, there isn't enough slack in the system.
Cognitive Empathy And Emotional Labor by Gordon (Map and Territory) - Affective empathy contrasted with Cognitive empathy. Cognitive empathy enables real emotional labor.
City Travel Scaling by Robin Hanson - Review of Geoffrey West's 'Scale'. Most visits to a location are from infrequent visitors who live nearby. Fractal piping systems have an overhead that only grows logarithmically with the size of the city. Evolution never found such efficient heating/cooling systems.
Travel Journal Hawaii by Jacob Falkovich - The Hawaiian language only has 40 syllables. Sales tax. Circadian Rhythm. Colonialism. The Hawaiian caste system. The best meal in the world. Don't quit your job to sell lemonade. Minimum wage ruined the pineapple industry.
Why I Quit Social Media by Sarah Constantin - Becoming stronger and less emotional since we live in a finite world with constrained resources. Social media: "It distances you from reality, makes you focus on a shadow-world of opinions about opinions about opinions; it makes you more impulsive and emotionally unstable; it incentivizes derailing conversations to fish for ego-strokes."
An Outside View Of Ai Control by Robin Hanson - Non-singularity scenarios where software performs almost all jobs. Software usually reflects the social organization of those who made it. Entrench designs and systems. Don't work on the control problem until its time. Human control and AI control. Most AI failures in this scenario will cause limited damage and can be handled after they occur.
Nonlinear Computation In Linear Networks by Open Ai - Floating point arithmatic is fundamentally non-linear near the limit of machine precision. OpenAI managed to exploit these non-linear effects with an evolutionary algorithm to achieve much better performance than a normal deep normal network on MNIST.
September 2017 Newsletter by The MIRI Blog - New MIRI paper on Incorrigibility and shitting off AI. Best posts from the intelligent agents forum. Links to videos and podcasts. MIRI personel updates and career opportunities in aI safety.
NBER Conference Artificial Intelligence by Marginal Revolution - Links to the program and videos. Tyler was there to comment on Korinek and Stiglitz.
What Happens To Cows In The Us by Eukaryote - "There are 92,000,000 cattle in the USA. Where do they come from, what are they used for, and what are their ultimate fates?"
Interim Update On Givewells Money Moved And Web Traffic In 2016 by The GiveWell Blog - Summary of influence, total money moved, money moved by charity.
Guardedness In Ea by Jeff Kaufman - As people and organizations gain prestige their communication becomes less open and more careful. Jeff has seen this happen in the EA community and dislikes the effects. However Jeff doesn't see a great alternative.
Trial Postponed by GiveDirectly - Give directly Kenya trial postponed due to political events.
===Politics and Economics:
Why White Identity Doesn't Work by Grey Enlightenment - Who counts as white. Race is secondary to ancestry and culture. No unifying cause or struggle. Whites may be biologically individualist. Too much infighting.
Comment on Oppressed Groups and Slack by Benquo - People who are oppressed often lack the slack to maintain their morals. Seven Samurai. This has the troubling implication that while we should listen to the oppressed the relatively privileged should maintain leadership. However it also implies that oppressed group's behavior will improve after enough time without a boot on their neck.
The OpenPhil Report On Incarceration by The Unit of Caring - "Our prison system isn’t just not-rehabilitative; it is anti-rehabilitative. It traumatizes and retraumatizes people and severs their connections to people and opportunities within the law and abuses them and breaks social trust and produces crime which is then used to justify longer prison sentences which produce more crime."
On The Fetishization Of Money In Galts Gulch by Ben Hoffman - Danny Taggart and Galt feel they can't ethically become lovers until they rectify a power imbalance. Danny solves this problem by becoming Galt's house-maker and cook. Most people's intuition is that employment creates a power imbalance, it doesn't solve one. What is going on?
Seasteading 2 by Bayesian Investor - "The book’s style is too much like a newspaper. Rather than focus on the main advantages of seasteading, it focuses on the concerns of the average person, and on how seasteading might affect them. It quotes interesting people extensively, while being vague about whether the authors are just reporting that those people have ideas, or whether the authors have checked that the ideas are correct. Many of the ideas seem rather fishy."
What Is Going On With The Alt Right by Grey Enlightenment - Reasons the alt-right is falling apart: Trump back-peddling or softening on campaign promises, The civil war between the-lite, alt-medium, and alt-right, Slow news cycle and brevity of ideas, Botched rallies and poor branding, The alt-right losing its official Reddit sub, the right is more intellectually diverse than the left.
Milgram Replicates by Bryan Caplan - Milgram's shock study replicated well in 2009. Since 79% of people who pushed past the subjects first verbal protest went to the end of the range the replication stopped earlier than Milgram.
Summary Of Reading July September 2017 by Eli Bendersky - Book reviews: Stats, genetics, Winnie the Pooh, Zen and other topics.
Creating Trump by The Ezra Klein Show - "How the Republican Party created Trump, how Trump won, and what comes next. As Dionne says in this interview, the American system was "not supposed to produce a president like this,” and so a lot of our conversation is about how the guardrails failed and whether they can be rebuilt."
Rs 194 Robert Wright On Why Buddhism Is True by Rationally Speaking - "Why Buddhism was right about human nature: its diagnosis that the our suffering is mainly due to a failure to see reality clearly, and its prescription that meditation can help us see more clearly. Robert and Julia discuss whether it's suspicious that a religion turned out to be "right" about human nature, what it means for emotions to be true or false, and whether there are downsides to enlightenment."
Robert Wright by EconTalk - "The psychotherapeutic insights of Buddhism and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Wright argues our evolutionary past has endowed us with a mind that can be ill-suited to the stress of the present. He argues that meditation and the non-religious aspects of Buddhism can reduce suffering and are consistent with recent psychological research."
Burning Man by The Bayesian Conspiracy - How much does burning man live up to its principles, changes over time, finding out you aren't gay in your twenties, marriage. Burning Man advice: Go with a camp you like, don't have plans just wander around and get involved in whats interesting.
The Fate Of Liberalism by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "Mark Lilla about the fate of political liberalism in the United States, the emergence of a new identity politics, the role of class in American society"