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I think the distinction is that even for plant cultivars and pharmaceuticals, we can straightforwardly circumscribe the potential danger, e.g. a pharmaceutical will not endanger people unless they take it, and a new plant cultivar will not resist our attempts to control it outside of the usual ways plants behave. That's not necessarily the case with an AI that's smarter than us.

As a control, you could look at Craigslist, which hasn't changed its appearance for about 25 years, but is still the most popular website in its category according to SimilarWeb.

I think most organizations the size of EA have formal accountability mechanisms that attempt to investigate claims of fraud and abuse in some kind of more-or-less fair and transparent way. Of course, the actual fairness and effectiveness of such mechanisms can be debated, but at least the need for them is acknowledged. The attitude among EAs, on the other hand, seems to be that EAs are all too smart and good to have any real need for accountability.

I guess I should know better by now, but it still astonishes me that EAs can set such abysmally low standards for themselves while simultaneously representing themselves as dramatically more ethical than everyone else.

It seems like anger against the exact kind of neoliberal technocracy you propose was a major source of energy for the 2016 Trump campaign, as well as the highly contentious Sanders campaigns.

After carefully considering your arguments, I've decided that you are right. Therefore, I won't update my current belief that I should sometimes update my beliefs.

Unfortunately, I think the tribalization and politicization is caused by the share-with-followers social media model, not by specific words, so using or not using the word "doomer" will have a negligible effect on the amount of tribalization. You just have to accept that people who insist on using Twitter will have their sanity eroded in this way, and do what you can to compartmentalize the damage and avoid becoming a target.

I think the causality runs the other way though; people who are crazy and grandiose are likely to come up with spurious theories to justify actions they wanted to take anyway. Experience and imitation shows us that non-crazy people successfully use theories to do non-crazy things all the time, so much so that you probably take it for granted.

I feel like I'm still the same person as I was before I learned how many humans were born earlier than me. I think that's all you need for the Doomsday Argument to go through.

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