Thanks, I think between you and gwern you've probably covered what I had in mind. From your linked comment:

Shortly thereafter, Peter Thiel expressed a wish that all the people currently working on string theory would shift their attention to AI or aging; no disagreement was heard from anyone present.

It might be hard to argue that everyone currently working on string theory should shift their attention, but much easier to argue that at the margins, we need more highly capable people working on creating a positive Singularity, or reducing existential risk, or aging, and fewer doing theoretical research. It's unlikely we can make all string theorists shift their attention anyway, but I feel like we'd be doing some good if we could change a few people's minds (like Celestia's for example). Do you disagree?

But in any case note that studying physics in college does not necessarily commit one to "going into" physics.

Sure, but if one doesn't intend to pursue a career in physics, why not study something more generally useful, like computer science?

Sure, but if one doesn't intend to pursue a career in physics, why not study something more generally useful, like computer science?

You can do both. Some of the value of adding physics is that it's a credible signal and your classmates are a cut above most other departments (and you do pick up some problem-solving techniques).

Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011)

by orthonormal 1 min read12th Aug 2010805 comments

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