Rationality Feed: Last Month's Best Posts

by deluks9172 min read21st Mar 20182 comments



I write a daily rational feed. I write up summaries/teasers for the previous day's article that I found interesting and/or enjoyable. I follow most rationalist blogs as well as LW2.0 and the EA Forum on RSS. The daily feed is posted in the SSC Discord and on my Wordpress Blog . However the rational feed includes quite alot of articles and many people have requested a more heavily pruned feed. Here we go:

=== AI Alignment:

https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/QWyYcjrXASQuRHqC5/brains-and-backprop-a-key-timeline-crux - Modern deep learning is based on gradient descent with backpropogation of error. If the human brain implements this algorithm than to get to AGI we just need to improve existing algorithms. This implies short time horizons for AGI. Discussion of the relevant neuroscience and deep learning is included. - by jacobjacob

https://ai-alignment.com/iterated-distillation-and-amplification-157debfd1616 - "This is a guest post summarizing Paul Christiano’s proposed scheme for training machine learning systems that can be robustly aligned to complex and fuzzy values, which I call Iterated Distillation and Amplification (IDA) here. IDA is notably similar to AlphaGoZero and expert iteration."

=== Independence and Group Cohesion:

https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2018/03/01/luxuriating-in-privacy/ - "I have been somewhat of a cheerleader for group ritual and small group agency, lamenting the capacities and mental states lost in the transition away from a communal, close-knit society, toward an atomized, market-driven society. In reality, the thought of living in a communal, close-knit society, surrounded daily with family and friends, perhaps living in close quarters with many siblings or children, fills me with horror. Here I will allow my own heart its expression, and be a cheerleader for privacy. For something precious has been gained as well as lost in the transition to social modernity."

https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/Mhaikukvt6N4YtwHF/dragon-army-retrospective - Dragon Army is a military inspired rationalist house. They recently completed a six month Phase One. The house did quote well relative to a normal rationalist house (B+ grade) but fell far short of its goals (D-). the biggest problems were caused by four problematic roles: Ghost who were not engaged enough, White Knights who held others to an unreasonable standard and felt betrayed, Red Knights who were too distrustful of the project and its leadership and Black Knights whose mindset was far too transactional. - by Duncan

=== Values Drift and Attitudes about Change:

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2018/02/on-value-drift.html - "Unfortunately, the consistent historical trend has been for values to drift over time, increasing the distance between random future and current values. As this trend looks like a random walk, we see no obvious limit to how far values can drift. So if the value you place on the values of others falls rapidly enough with the distance between values, you should expect long term future values to be very wrong."

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2018/03/growth-is-change-so-is-death.html - "Those who most worry about big long term changes usually seem okay with small short term changes. Even when they accept that most change is small and that it accumulates into big change. This seems incoherent to me."

=== Misc:

https://putanumonit.com/2018/03/03/jordan-peterson/ - Reasons Jordan Petersen is controversial in the rationalist community. Rationalist cut Jordan alot of slack because or his laser like focus on telling the truth. Jordan's position on gay marriage. Fake frameworks and Jordan's ideas about truth. How Jordan helps rationalists find motivation and meaning.

http://benjaminrosshoffman.com/kidneys-trade-sacredness-and-space-travel/ - Offering people resources can hurt them. If you offer someone a fungible resource in taboo trade the fungible resource might just get rent extracted away anyway. It can help people to have a class of resources they can't trade because those resources can't be rent extracted either.

https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/xqJqZgowy5pPxNNst/inconvenience-is-qualitatively-bad - Don't try to add steps to other people's lives. Get worried if you frequently hear yourself saying 'just do X'.

A note:

I started these at a weird time. My goal is to eventually shift the release dates until I post them the first Monday of the Month.


2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 3:51 PM
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One of the main reasons to have a community blog like Less Wrong is to create common knowledge. I see this kind of summary/highlight post as doing a similar kind of work to the canonization that Raemon write about in his Peer Review post.

Thank you.

Thanks, and I hope you keep doing these!