11 minute TED talk is about instrumental rationality

by JamesAndrix1 min read29th Aug 20123 comments

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Essentially this is about cutting your enemy, and some procedural pitfalls in his examples.

I didn't spot any novel principles in the talk, but I want to learn more about how he thinks.

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Excellent talk about designing things that will be bought and used, rather than just get awards.

File it under "effective charity" and "something to defend".

So what are they going to do the neonuture device?

If they are not doing it, I hope they will open source it so that somebody will eventually figure out how to make it useful to developing countries.

That's a good talk. It starts slow but ends on an important lesson about rational personal responsibility. I know we're not supposed to use rational as a descriptor like that (eg, rational shoes), but it's so different from what people normally talk about as responsible. It's the idea that, no matter what happens, the only things your actions count for is what actually happens as a result.

Sadly, it's not covered well in the sequences. I think trying to try is the closest there is. I know Eliezer believes in it though because it's in HPMoR. Still, this talk is a great example of it and I'm glad to have seen it.

Edit: Disregard me, NancyLebovitz is correct. Something to Protect covers it exceptionally well. Also the newcomb's post.