Benquo

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My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

I think we need more than two categories here. We can't allocate credit for input, only output. People can learn things by carefully observing stuff, but we shouldn't get to mint social capital as rationalists for hours meditating any more than Darwin's reputation should depend directly on time spent thinking about tortoises.

Discerning investors might profit by recognizing leading indicators of high productivity, but that only works if incentives are aligned, which means, eventually, objective tests. In hindsight it seems very unfortunate that MIRI was not mostly funded by relevant-to-its-expertise prediction markets.

Good art seems like it should make people sexy, not credible.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

I still count them among my closest friends, but I don’t want to be socially liable for the things they say. I don’t want the implicit assumption to be that I’d agree with them or back them up.

Same. I don't think I can exit a faction by declaration without joining another, but I want many of the consequences of this. I think I get to move towards this outcome by engaging nonfactional protocols more, not by creating political distance between me & some particular faction.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

What is psychological collapse?

For those who can afford it, taking it easy for a while is a rational response to noticing deep confusion, continuing to take actions based on a discredited model would be less appealing, and people often become depressed when they keep confusedly trying to do things that they don't want to do.

Are you trying to point to something else?

Personally, I interpreted Vassar’s words as factual claims then tried to implement a strategy on them. When I was surprised by reality a bunch, I updated away.

What specific claims turned out to be false? What counterevidence did you encounter?

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

It seems like you're having difficulty imagining that I'm responding to my situation as I understand it, and I don't know what else you might think I'm doing.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

I think this line of discussion would be well served by marking a natural boundary in the cluster "crazy." Instead of saying "Vassar can drive people crazy" I'd rather taboo "crazy" and say:

Many people are using their verbal idea-tracking ability to implement a coalitional strategy instead of efficiently compressing external reality. Some such people will experience their strategy as invalidated by conversations with Vassar, since he'll point out ways their stories don't add up. A common response to invalidation is to submit to the invalidator by adopting the invalidator's story. Since Vassar's words aren't selected to be a valid coalitional strategy instruction set, attempting to submit to him will often result in attempting obviously maladaptive coalitional strategies.

People using their verbal idea-tracking ability to implement a coalitional strategy cannot give informed consent to conversations with Vassar, because in a deep sense they cannot be informed of things through verbal descriptions, and the risk is one that cannot be described without the recursive capacity of descriptive language.

Personally I care much more, maybe lexically more, about the upside of minds learning about their situation, than the downside of mimics going into maladaptive death spirals, though it would definitely be better all round if we can manage to cause fewer cases of the latter without compromising the former, much like it's desirable to avoid torturing animals, and it would be desirable for city lights not to interfere with sea turtles' reproductive cycle by resembling the moon too much.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

This seems mostly right; they're more likely to think "I don't understand a lot of these ideas, I'll have to think about this for a while" or "I don't understand a lot of these ideas, he must be pretty smart and that's kinda cool" than to feel invalidated by this and try to submit to him in lieu of understanding.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

The people I know who weren't brought up to go to college have more experience navigating concrete threats and dangers, which can't be avoided through conformity, since the system isn't set up to take care of people like them. They have to know what's going on to survive. This results in an orientation less sensitive to subtle threats of invalidation, and that sees more concrete value in being informed by someone.

In general this means that they're much more comfortable with the kind of confrontation Vassar engages in, than high-class people are.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

I did feel inhibited from having as much fun as I'd have liked to in this exchange because it seemed like while you were on the whole trying to make a good thing happen, you were somewhat scared in a triggered and triggerable way. This might have caused the distortion you're describing. Helpful and encouraging to hear that you picked up on that and it bothered you enough to mention.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

In most cases it seems intentional but not deliberate. People will resist pressure to change the pattern, or find new ways to execute it if the specific way they were engaged in this bias is effectively discouraged, but don't consciously represent to themselves their intent to do it or engage in explicit means-ends reasoning about it.

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