All of Cédric's Comments + Replies

You could get your framework by adapting existing frameworks to fit your meta-agent utility function. Examples:

  1. The utilitarianism framework which seeks to maximize the sum of utility over all agents.
  2. The Rawlsian maximin framework which seeks to maximize the utility of the worst-off agent.
  3. The Nozickian entitlement framework which seeks to give each agent the maximal entitlement they could have, given the constraints of the system.
  4. The Nussbaumian capability approach which seeks to give each agent the maximal capability they could have, given the constra
... (read more)
1Delen Heisman4mo
Correct me if I'm wrong but those are all ethical frameworks rather than meta-ethocal frameworks? My post was an attempt to create a framework with which to discuss those, not to be an alternative to those.

Explaining more to align understanding.

Just translate this:

"I didn't say there was a wolf!" cried the boy. "I was estimating the probability at low, but high enough. A false alarm is much less costly than a missed detection when it comes to dying! The expected value is good!"

Into normie language and should be fine.

However it's very hard to communicate nuance at scale. I have no idea how to solve that.

Follow up:

I didn't try the experiment for very long but here are my observations when sleeping fewer hours:

  • Lower self-control (more Uber Eats, more checking socials during work)
  • When I was able to exert enough control to concentrate on something, my concentration was deeper
  • Felt more tense/stressed? I guess it must be due to more adrenaline and cortisol
  • More creative (increased frequency of random ideas while doing chores/mundane tasks, more lost in interesting thoughts - when a thought was particularly interesting, I'd deeply and automatically follow th
... (read more)

Well then let's use hyperbolic discounting to our advantage. If we make paddling sufficiently taboo, the social punishment of paddling will outweigh the rewards of potentially building AGI in the minds of the selfish researchers.

What I'm doing is trying to help with the wings by throwing some money at MIRI. I am also helping with the stopping/slowing of paddling by sharing my very simple reasoning about why that's the most sensible course of action. Hopefully the simple idea will spread and have some influence.

To be honest, I am not willing to invest that much into this as I have other things I am working on (sounds so insane to type that I am not willing to invest much into preventing the doom of everyone and everything). Anyway, there are many like me who are willing to help but only if the cost is low so if you have any ideas of what people like me could do to shift the probabilities a bit, let me know.

Sadly, it doesn't seem like there's any low-hanging fruit that would even "shift the probabilities a bit". Most people seem, if anything, anti-receptive to any arguments about this, because, e.g. it's 'too weird'. And I too feel like this describes myself: I'm thinking – very tentatively (sadly) – about maybe looking into my own personal options for some way to help, but I'm also distracted by "other things". I find this – even people that are (at least somewhat) convinced still not being willing to basically 'throw everything else away' (up to the limit of what would impair our abilities to actually help, if not succeed) to be particularly strong evidence that this might be overall effectively impossible.

Imagine we're all in a paddleboat paddling towards a waterfall. Inside the paddleboat is everyone but only a relatively small number of them are doing the paddling. Of those paddling, most are aware of the waterfall ahead but for reasons beyond my comprehension, decide to paddle on anyway. A smaller group of paddlers have realised their predicament and have decided to stop paddling and start building wings onto the paddleboat so that when the paddleboat inevitably hurtles off the waterfall, it might fly.

It seems to me like the most sensible course of actio... (read more)

If eliminating the risk takes 80+ years and AI development is paused for that to complete, then it is very likely that everyone currently reading this comment will die before it is finished. From a purely selfish point of view it can easily make sense for a researcher to continue even if they fully believe that there is a 90%+ chance that AI will kill them. Waiting will also almost certainly kill them, and they won't get any of those infinite rewards anyway. Being less than 90% convinced that AI will kill them just makes it even more attractive. Hyperbolic discounting makes it even more attractive still.
Dunno what that last sentence was but generally I agree.  At the same time: be the change you wish to see in the world. Don't just tell people who are already working on it they should be doing something else. Actually do that raising the alarm thing first.

Well, I hope you're right because I'd feel bad if someone tried to write something useful for us and it was so bad the comments are just speculation about whether the person is a spammer.

I'll keep on assuming people are actually trying though and try to provide constructive feedback and encouragement because the demand for LW posts outstrips supply. Even if the person is a spammer, perhaps being more encouraging and constructive will make others who are hesitant to post more comfortable. And if the person is not a spammer, they can use the feedback to improve on their next post and hopefully iterate until their posts become really good.

What would be the purpose of doing such a thing? There is no link in the writeup which would indicate farming backlinks for SEO

speculating, but perhaps establishing presence and getting karma is the purpose of this post.  And if it was upvoted, than future posts (on many sites, not LW, because it has a smaller and more active voting populace and much more aware admins) will be able to contain spam without being auto-filtered.

You're getting downvoted without feedback so I'll try to provide some.

The post does not provide any particular insight, it's a disparate collection of quotes. The same and more can be gotten by googling 'Einstein quotes'. Some ideas about how you can make the post more insightful:

  • Connect the quotes to uncover Einstein's worldview and approach to his work and life
  • Give your personal thoughts about the quotes, its caveats and nuance
  • Explain what Einstein means a little more as some quotes don't really mean much without context/explanation

Also, Einstein's... (read more)

OP might be some sort of content farming sockpuppet. No activity other than this post, and this was posted within a minute of a (now deleted) similarly vacuous post from a different account with no prior site activity as well.

A failure mode for this is that when someone is faced with strong negative emotion, they are unable to think about the problem rationally. Their brain gets hijacked by negative emotion with no capacity to actually go through the correct steps.

A potential solution to that is putting things into the broadest perspective by asking yourself whether this is even a big deal at all (will it matter in a week? two weeks? a year?). Most problems don't. But it can be hard to do even that. So you must change your entire mindset to recognise most problems as being not ... (read more)

No logic is helpful in the moment, for sure. The idea is to practice it enough outside the stressful moment that the automatic negative thinking is overwritten by a similarly automatic productive thinking. The best one can usually do while in the moment is notice the unhelpful thought, but rarely resist acting on it.

That's pretty much me. I spent 2021 learning fullstack web dev and I'm spending 2022 bootstrapping a vertical SAAS. I'm doing this on the side while I work as a dev for not for profits (civic tech).

The long-term goal is to keep building those niche SAAS products and open source all the code while donating a yet undecided % of profits to effective charities.

I'm also learning how to write well with the goal of sharing whatever knowledge I acquire along the way through my blog.

I am also working on a moonshot solo research project in the field of complexity sc... (read more)

Unlike the other commentors, I am sold enough on the conclusion to give it a try.

I've been waking up at the same time every day (~95% of the time) and sleeping at roughly the same time every night (~70% of the time). What I'll do is keep waking up at the same time but just go to bed when I'm tired instead of ~8 hours before my waking time.

I don't have any issues with tiredness/low-energy. Ideally that would continue and I would be able to reclaim an hour or two from each day.

Follow up: I didn't try the experiment for very long but here are my observations when sleeping fewer hours: * Lower self-control (more Uber Eats, more checking socials during work) * When I was able to exert enough control to concentrate on something, my concentration was deeper * Felt more tense/stressed? I guess it must be due to more adrenaline and cortisol * More creative (increased frequency of random ideas while doing chores/mundane tasks, more lost in interesting thoughts - when a thought was particularly interesting, I'd deeply and automatically follow the thoughts for multiple minutes) So basically I felt tired, energetic, more disinhibited, creative, unable to stay concentrated but when concentrated, the concentration was deeper. It was a very oxymoronic experience with the tired + energised and contradictory effects on concentration. Overall, pros and cons but if I can overcome the self-control problem it will be a net positive productivity wise. However, due to the stress that's another point deducted from the healthiness of sleeping fewer hours (not to mention the other non stress related potential issues). The main thing that this has unlocked for me is that it has freed me from the fear of missing out on sleep. I sleep my 8 hours but don't sweat it if I don't sleep well or if I stay up late. I also think it's a good idea to try random things, even if they fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Obvious caveat is you might cause irreparable damage to yourself but as long as you're careful not to take self-experimentation too far there might be some benefit to walking off the beaten track.

I used to use a Fitbit to track my sleep. I noticed that after sleeping very few hours, I'd have more % deep and REM sleep the following night (and less % light sleep / restlessness) often enough for me to notice a correlation. I checked my friend's Garmin sleep stats and it's roughly the same.

I wouldn't give too much weight to the accuracy of this observation (confounding, device accuracy etc). However it just about makes the cut to share it in a comment imo.

A conversation with a friend of mine in the car about him learning React.

This conversation might be interesting to others as rationality techniques were successfully used to persuade someone to act more rationally for their benefit in an everyday life type context.

K: 'When I get home I'm going to keep working on my portfolio website and use that to learn React'

Me: 'How are you going about that?'

K: 'I'm following a YouTube tutorial'

Me: 'I think you should just learn the concepts yourself then apply them to making the website without following a tutorial. Wh... (read more)

Feel free to ignore if you don't want to go on an object-level tangent, but my current impression of my own learning style is that structured course -> own project is often the best combination. The structured course gives me a clear starting point and prevents me from feeling lost or overwhelmed. It's true that I will only retain a relatively small fraction of the details, and an even smaller fraction of what I actually need to know IRL, but if the course is any good it will make the self-guided learning of the second phase much easier.  For example, I'm currently doing a couple of web dev projects, having previously done some 'online bootcamp'-style courses. I'm having to do a heck of a lot of googling, including some embarrassingly basic stuff, but I still feel like the courses did at least a few useful things: * demystified the whole process, so that I usually have at least a rough idea what to look for and where; * recommended (and gave me some experience with) various useful tools; * gave me a sense of which kinds of project are feasible. If I were smarter or more reliably self-motivated, maybe the courses would have been a waste of time; I certainly could have learned the same material in a purely self-guided way, and perhaps I could have done so much more efficiently. But realistically, I think I would have been much more likely to give up in frustration had I tried to dive straight in. (I realise your friend was talking about a Youtube tutorial, and I'm talking about courses that are more foundational and less focused on teaching you how to do one specific thing, and that your position on those might be different.)

I remember being shocked how many kids were totally disinterested and disengaged from the thing they were dedicating close to half of their waking hours. That never happened when I was homeschooled - if I wasn't interested in something, or didn't like how something was being taught, it could be done differently. I understand that's a very labor intensive way to teach, and I don't blame kids for being disengaged from the unpaid fulltime job they're being actively coherced into doing. I want to believe school shouldn't be mandatory, and that a lot of kids wo... (read more)

These statements might spur some action in the moment but are unlikely to have lasting effects. People have a certain level of trait conscientiousness and certain behaviour/thinking patterns. I think it'll take more to actually meaningfully push someone to aim higher and act on those higher aims.

One could probably use those consistently on a friend over time and actually see a change (provided the friend actually wants to change/is receptive).

I definitely find it helpful to be surrounded by people who will do this for me and help me cultivate a habit of it over time. The case for it being very impactful is if people do a one-time thing, like apply for something or put themselves in the running for something that they otherwise wouldn't have that makes a big difference. The ones that are about accountability (Can I remind you about that in a week?) also are sort of a conscientiousness loan, which can be cheap since it can be easier to check in on other people than to do it for yourself.