Wanted: Foom-scared alignment research partner

by Icarus Gallagher1 min read26th Jul 20215 comments



Hi, my name is Mack Gallagher, I'm 20 years old, I have ZERO familiarity with computer architecture or [math or computer science technical jargon] [although I'm OK at reasoning], I have never attended a prestigious university, and I currently live in a 15,000-person meatpacking town, where I pack meat. I am terrified of impending foom as the most likely cause of my early death, I think my brain needs regular active reinforcement from [the presence of] people who share my beliefs-and-affect-toward-them to fuel sustained positive action on my part, and I am tired of sitting around waiting to die.

Are you, like me, 

  • Consistently apprehensive of impending foom
  • Allergic to high-status AI risk discussion
  • Currently doing something completely unrelated to AI for a day job
  • Tired of sitting around waiting for death

and preferably:

  • 15-25 years old
  • Low-status [have never attended a prestigious university]


My email is magallagher00@gmail.com. Please email me or message me on LessWrong. Maybe we can be less useless together.

5 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 4:38 PM
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Just wanted to say that not having attended prestigious university doesn't make you low status. Especially in todays society where having degree from prestigious university is way too common and most high status people did not attend one.

Status is just subjective perception of where we place our values. I personally know many people who look down at people who attended university for many different reasons.

So you can easily be viewed as high status because you are that underestimated underdog from humble beginnings having courage to work on something important. 

And in many ways, any achievement you will have will be much more valuable given that you have no credentials because you will be defying expectations.

Good luck on your journey!

I meet all six of those bullet points, basically. Emailed ya.

Way to lay it directly out there! It'd be great if you would consider posting periodic updates of your progress; it's valuable to know which resources are helping, any common misunderstandings, and you're likely to get helpful corrections on various fine points.

Good luck! In addition to looking at object-level books like Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (Russell and Norvig), it might be useful to talk to someone from 80,000 hours. If you're up for it, I'm sure they'd love to try to influence your future in ways they think will be good :P

Emailed you. I can always use more anxiety-ridden friends. :P