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Short of "a foreign power or going bankrupt."  Germany was forced to pay for all damages that occurred during WW1.  They were pretty bankrupt as countries go.  And then the great depression happened.  So I think Germany counts as democratic backsliding on account of "going bankrupt."  And it doesn't claim all democracies.  Just democracies that reach a large enough numbers of keys.

    I notice that you cite Freedom House, and Richard Hanania goes into why that NGO in particular is pretty institutionally captured and a biased source.  Citing Freedom house is akin to circular reasoning or is too close for comfort with regards to the question of "Democracy". (link) Also, for better or worse every institution of the US is very liberal, including the government (link) so it's hard to imagine how in any real sense the US could become an actual right wing dictatorship. 

   Furthermore,"The Dictator's Handbook" actually researches this exact question, with an eye toward selectorate theory, on how stable democracies vs dictatorships are, and actually digs into the numbers on this. And the punchline is that if you actually look, once you get past a certain threshold of keys, needed to obtain or stay in power, Democracies become very, very, very stable. And that in the entire history of democracies, no democracy past that threshold has ever backslid into dictatorships, short of being conquered by a foreign power or going completely bankrupt. (It goes without saying the US is well past this point)


Was extremely enjoyable.  Any plans for more?    

Huh.  I found your forecasting newsletter via LessWrong, and then subscribed to the substack's RSS feed?  Which probably made me less likely to open it/see it in LessWrong?  Dunno.  Maybe your LessWrong traffic moved to substack?  (sample size=1)    

Yeah.  Why I said "generally."  Obviously if you emulate Stalin bad things will happen.  Slightly off topic but I'd say those leader's weren't "unconstrained" and revealed something about human nature, but were constrained as any ruler and had to follow the Dictator's Handbook to stay in power.  

Answer by CitizenTen30

Move to New Hampshire.  Join the Free State Project.  I'm only slightly kidding.  For national politics, a huge amount of people dedicate ginormous amounts of attention too it and because of that there's not much slack for an individual person to affect much.  Local politics on the other hand, people barely care about.  Pull the rope sideways and all that. (   Apparently, something like 3000 libertarians have been able to accomplish all this:  just this year.  The movement has elected 40 of their own members to the senate.  (Out of 300ish)  So a sizable minority that is vocal can have a huge impact on local politics. And furthermore, another 1000 have moved to NH year due to Covid.  So if you have libertarian leanings (and/or think those policies are good at helping people) and want to run for office , I'm sure they would get you elected pretty quickly.  Apparently some seats run completely unopposed, just because how few people care.  So yeah, if you want to have a meaningful effect, on a small(ish) amount of people, then move to NH.  


Silly question warning. 


You think that when an AI performs a bad action, (say remove the diamond) the AI has to have knowledge that the diamond is in fact no longer there.  Even when the camera shows the diamond is (falsely) there and the human confirms that the diamond is there. 

You call this ELK

You want the human to have access to this knowledge, as this is useful to choosing decisions that the human wants.

This is hard.  So you have people propose how to do this.  

And then people try to explain why that strategy wouldn't work.

Rinse and repeat.

Once you have a proposal that nobody is able to show doesn't work.... profit?


Correct any misunderstandings in my basic overview above.  

Continuing with the pattern, our next meetup would be Saturday, Nov 13. @Connor /CitizenTen won't be able to make it, so Zach offered to help coordinate. We'll meet at the same place as last time: Bird Park (here, at least initially: and the same time: 1pm PT. 

Separately, Zach volunteered to help put together a small activity to try to encourage interesting conversations. We can pilot it at this next meetup, if there's interest. (Like any pilot, we can bail on it if it doesn't seem to be working.) Elevator pitch: A game where you answer questions to show how well you know someone — except that you just met them, and have only had 10 minutes to talk. The idea here is to encourage folks to cut through some of the "small talk" and try to figure out how to quickly/efficiently learn enough about someone that you can predict how they might answer some questions. The rough idea is that we'll partner up, get to know each other, and then have some of the partnerships answer questions. • To assess how well you understand your partner's values, I might ask: Does Partner [A|B] believe torture is ever permissible? • To assess how well you understand the way your partner evaluates trade-offs, I might ask: Partner [A|B] is offered a choice between $10k and a 1-in-10 chance of $100k. Which do they pick? • As a fun experiment in coordination, I might ask: Pick a number. Of course, I wouldn't ask exactly these questions; that would be too easy. If you'd like to suggest questions, we can build a pool: (don't share them here to avoid spoilers).

Hmmm... It seems that someone has thought of doing the exact same thing? Though considering the digging I had to go to find it, it should be more prominent. 

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