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I’m confused as to how the fits in with UK politics. I don’t think the minority party has any kind of veto?

I guess we have the House of Lords but this doesn’t really have a veto (at least not long term) and the House of Commons and House of Lords aren’t always or even usually controlled by different factions.


One extra thing to consider financially is if you have a smart meter then you can get all of your hot water and a chunk of your heating done at off peak rates. Our off peak electricity rates are about equal per kWh to gas rates.

Without this I think our system would be roughly the same cost per year as gas or slightly more, with it we save £200 per year or so I think. (This would be a very long payback time but there was a fully funded scheme we used).

If it helps anyone we are in Scotland and get average COP=2.9


In the UK there is a non-binding but generally observed rule that speed cameras allow you to drive 10% + 2mph above the speed limit(e.g. 35mph in a 30mph zone) before they activate.

This is a bit more of a fudge but better than nothing.

Answer by Bucky2-2
  1. Someone in your company gets fired by a boss you don't know/particularly like without giving any reason
  2. You are mad with the boss and want the decision overturned
  3. You have a credible, attractive BATNA (the Microsoft offer)

These 3 items seem like they would be sufficient to cause something like the Open Letter to happen.

In most cases number 3 is not present which I think is why we don't see things like this happen more often in more organisations.

None of this requires Sam to be hugely likeable or a particularly savvy political operator, just that people generally like him. People seem to suggest he was one or both so this just makes the letter more likely.

I'm sure this doesn't explain it all in OpenAI's case - some/many employees would also have been worried about AI safety which complicates the decision - but I suspect it is the underlying story.


I work in equipment manufacturing for construction so can comment on excavators. Other construction equipment (loaders, dumpers) have a similar story although excavators have more gently duty cycles and require smaller batteries so make sense to electrify first. Diesel-Hydraulic Excavators are also less efficient giving more potential advantage for electric equipment.

  1. Agree that payback period is relatively low but possibly a bit longer than here - I’ve seen 3-5 years. The ruggedised batteries required for instance can be expensive.

Purchasers of new machines will generally keep them for 5-7 years which is enough to justify the payback but not to make it an obvious easy win.

  1. If you have to use a diesel generator you immediately lose a lot of your cost saving. It is surprising how many construction sites lack mains electricity.

  2. Many machines go to the rental market. In this case the equipment buyers do not get the benefit of the reduced operating costs. In that case the rental company has to sell the increased rental cost to their customers who are happy with what they are currently using.

  3. Total cost of ownership just isn’t the main driver of buyer decisions. This is already a problem with diesel-hydraulic machines - there are many ways to make these more efficient which would have a decent payback period but don’t get implemented because efficiency isn’t a key purchasing driver.

What buyers really need is performance and reliability (plus low up front cost). The advantage of electric is more difficult to sell for reliability because of a lack of track record so going electric is a risk. Users are also rightly concerned that battery range will not be sufficient on high usage days - batteries in current machines often claim a full day but not necessarily with high usage.

  1. Most likely route for electric in short term is for them to get used in environments where emissions are important (due to regulations or low ventilation such as mines) plus companies wanting to be/look green. This will allow a track record to build up which will give more confidence to buyers.

I suspect the most useful thing a government could do (assuming carbon tax is politically infeasible) would be to legislate for low emissions in cities which would build the track record faster.


Something similar not involving AIs is where chess grandmasters do rating climbs with handicaps. one I know of was Aman Hambleton managing to reach 2100 Elo on chess.com when he deliberately sacrificed his Queen for a pawn on the third/fourth move of every game.


He had to complicate positions, defend strongly, refuse to trade and rely on time pressure to win.

The games weren’t quite the same as Queen odds as he got a pawn for the Queen and usually displaced the opponent’s king to f3/f6 and prevented castling but still gives an idea that probably most amateurs couldn’t beat a grandmaster at Queen odds even if they can beat stockfish. Longer time controls would also help the amateur so maybe in 15 minute games an 1800 could beat Aman up a Queen.


Think you need to update this line too?

This is a bit less than half the rate for the CTA.


Is there a default direction to twist for the butt bump? The pictures all show the greeters facing in the same direction so one must have turned left and the other right! How do I know which way I should twist?

I cannot sign the assurance contract until I understand this fundamental question


Agreed, intended to distinguish between the weak claim “you should stop pushing the bus” and the stronger “there’s no game theoretic angle which encourages you to keep pushing”.


So there's no game theoretic angle, you can just make the decision alone, to stop pushing the frigging bus.

I don’t think this holds if you allow for p(doom) < 1. For a typical AI researcher with p(doom) ~ 0.1 and easy replacement, striking is plausibly an altruistic act and should be applauded as such.

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