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"Humanity doesn't have control of even today's AI, but it's not just AI: climate risk, pandemic risk, geopolitical risk, nuclear risk - they're all trending to x-risk, and we don't have control of any of them. They're all reflections of the same underlying reality: humanity is an infinitely strong infant, with exponentially growing power to imperil itself, but not yet the ability to think or act coherently in response. This is the true threat - we're in existential danger because our power at scale is growing so much faster than our agency at scale.

This has always been our situation. When we look into the future of AI and see catastrophe, what we're looking at is not loss of control, but the point at which the rising tide of our power makes our lack of control fatal."

Wonderfully said. My path here was actually through other X risk, as well as looking for solutions to our current paradigm, where with different incentives, always desiring to gain the most we can, and suffering when we fail to meet these goals, someone will always have to suffer for someone else's happiness. Under this, even an AI which worked perfectly for one person's happiness would hurt others, and one working for everyone's happiness together would still be hated at times by people forced to be held back by it from achieving all the happiness they could. I am working to be one brick on the long road to building an intelligence which can act for its future happiness efficiently and be composed of the unity of all feeling life in the world. We're a long way from that, but I think progress in computer brain interfaces will be of use, and if anyone else is interested in this approach, of building up and connecting the human mind, please reach out!


Nice post and exploration of this topic OP. I think what you said can be generalized to 'Escapism and life denial comes about due to defeat, and you need to eat and drink deeply of the pleasures of life gained through victories in order to love and accept your role in the world again.' Maybe that's not much of a summary ; )

I particularly liked your examples of the martial arts. I was a smaller boy and a younger sibling, and the threat of being physically dominated by older siblings and these others tough me to hide myself and not commit earnestly to my passions. I never even played D&D as a kid, I lurked play by post forums. I joined a D&D group, and found a similar fear and withdraw from our passions in my comrades, one of whom needed an awful lot of weed, and dropped out his first semester, another who hesitantly played a catgirl but could never commit to it, and kept going through the motions of his conservative family. 

I also took a judo class that semester, which didn't cure my fear, but made me feel strong and not so afraid of others, which helped lead to taking other opportunities, which taught this love of what we actually can do in life which I feel is the fire inside all of our engines. The people in it were pretty boring, and the lifestyle of martial arts bores me, though that would probably be different had I excelled in it and found stimulation in competing rather than realizing I could beat those smaller than me but not larger than me without high investment.

The key is to love yourself and your ability to act, and the experience of life because there are things you can do to feel happy and unafraid. This is built on bringing beauty and actualization into your life. It shouldn't be a grind of 'improving yourself' for some outside authority in my outside authority opinion ;) but it should rather be  learning an instrument, that instrument being yourself. You play with what happens with different inputs, and fumble about without shame til you learn the pattern which makes something your find beautiful. That will mean giving up on patterns you can't achieve, such as being a tough guy for most of us, as well as patterns of escapism which don't deliver happy lives. Media can be a relaxing and inspiring pattern, indeed, someone who really loves manga and is making beautiful manga and is at peace has done well, even if they gave up on social dominance- not all of us can be dominant in every field. It's just that most of the time of your life should be spent on things where you aren't pining away for some unmet need.

I think what I've said here stands on its own and through personal experience, and I encourage others to adopt this mindset when they can. I will also point out that some of this causation is also reversed- people with shitty lives also just accept fantasy, and in some cases they can't be helped, but there's always some little thing we can do.