Preliminary Voting
Dec 15th
Jan 15th
Final Voting
Feb 1st


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Possible takeaways from the coronavirus pandemic for slow AI takeoff

I generally endorse the claims made in this post and the overall analogy. Since this post was written, there are a few more examples I can add to the categories for slow takeoff properties. 

Learning from experience

  • The UK procrastinated on locking down in response to the Alpha variant due to political considerations (not wanting to "cancel Christmas"), though it was known that timely lockdowns are much more effective.
  • Various countries reacted to Omicron with travel bans after they already had community transmission (e.g. Canada and the UK), while it wa
... (read more)
Nuclear war is unlikely to cause human extinction

This will not be a full review—it's more of a drive-by comment which I think is relevant to the review process.

However, the defense establishment has access to classified information and models that we civilians do not have, in addition to all the public material. I’m confident that nuclear war planners have thought deeply about the risks of climate change from nuclear war, even though I don’t know their conclusions or bureaucratic constraints.

I am extremely skeptical of and am not at all confident in this conclusion. Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine descri... (read more)

How to Escape From Immoral Mazes

Tl;dr I encourage people who changed their behavior based on this post or the larger sequence to comment with their stories.

I had already switched to freelance work for reasons overlapping although not synonymous with moral mazes when I learned the concept, and since then the concept has altered how I approach freelance gigs. So I’m in general very on board with the concept.

But as I read this, I thought about my friend Jessica, who’s a manager at a Fortune 500 company. Jessica is principled and has put serious (but not overwhelming) effort into enacting th... (read more)

Nuclear war is unlikely to cause human extinction

This post feels quite important from a global priorities standpoint. Nuclear war mitigation might have been one of the top priorities for humanity (and to be clear it's still plausibly quite important). But given that the longtermist community has limited resources, it matters a lot whether something falls in the top 5-10 priorities. 

A lot of people ask "Why is there so much focus on AI in the longtermist community? What about other x-risks like nuclear?". And I think it's an important, counterintuitive answer that nuclear war probably isn't an x-risk... (read more)

Why haven't we celebrated any major achievements lately?

This post feels like a fantasy description of a better society, one that I would internally label "wish-fulfilment". And yet it is history! So it makes me more hopeful about the world. And thus I find it beautiful.

Most Prisoner's Dilemmas are Stag Hunts; Most Stag Hunts are Schelling Problems

A short note to start the review that the author isn’t happy with how it is communicated. I agree it could be clearer and this is the reason I’m scoring this 4 instead of 9. The actual content seems very useful to me.

AllAmericanBreakfast has already reviewed this from a theoretical point of view but I wanted to look at it from a practical standpoint.


To test whether the conclusions of this post were true in practice I decided to take 5 examples from the Wikipedia page on the Prisoner’s dilemma and see if they were better modeled by Stag Hunt or Schelling... (read more)

"Can you keep this confidential? How do you know?"

Brief review: I think this post represents a realization many people around here have made, and says it clearly. I think it's fine to keep it as a record that people used to be blasé about the ease of secrecy, and later learned that it was much more complex than they thought. I think I'm at +1.

Some AI research areas and their relevance to existential safety

My quick two-line review is something like: this post (and its sequel) is an artifact from someone with an interesting perspective on the world looking at the whole problem and trying to communicate their practical perspective. I don't really share this perspective, but it is looking at enough of the real things, and differently enough to the other perspectives I hear, that I am personally glad to have engaged with it. +4.

Kelly Bet on Everything

On the whole I agree with Raemon’s review, particularly the first paragraph.

A further thing I would want to add (which would be relatively easy to fix) is that the description and math of the Kelly criterion is misleading / wrong.

The post states that you should:

bet a percentage of your bankroll equivalent to your expected edge

However the correct rule is:

bet such that you are trying to win a percentage of your bankroll equal to your percent edge.

(emphasis added)

The 2 definitions give the same results for 1:1 bets but will give strongly diverging r... (read more)

Search versus design

"Search versus design" explores the basic way we build and trust systems in the world. A few notes: 

  • My favorite part is the definitions about an abstraction layer being an artifact combined with a helpful story about it. It helps me see the world as a series of abstraction layers. We're not actually close to true reality, we are very much living within abstraction layers — the simple stories we are able to tell about the artefacts we build. A world built by AIs will be far less comprehensible than the world we live in today. (Much more like biology is
... (read more)
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122 Reviewed Posts(400 Nominated)