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Quotes from Moral Mazes

Koch Industries claims that a major piece of social tech they use is compensating managers based on the net present value of the thing they're managing, rather than whether they're hitting key targets


I looked but can't seem to find any information about this.  Do you have any idea where I could explore this more?

Controlling Intelligent Agents The Only Way We Know How: Ideal Bureaucratic Structure (IBS)

Bureaucracy is just as gameable as any other system. Human bad actors are able to use bureaucracies to their own ends, I see no reason to believe that AI couldn't do the same.

Might be worth checking out the Immoral Mazes sequence and the Gervais Principle to see how that goes down.

Deliberately Vague Language is Bullshit

It's not just bending the truth. Being vague also gives you more discretion in decision making. 

If you list objective criteria for a decision, then you don't have discretion to give things out to your friends or deny things to your enemies.

crl826's Shortform

This is a great post exploring academic environment according to the Gervais Principle. Love more stuff like this.

This is mainly just a note to call out two great comments that I think may add to the theory.

Academia as Company Hierarchy

Sometimes people seem clueless just because we don't understand them, but that doesn't mean they are in fact clueless.

I suppose you aren't using his suspect definition of Clueless. But your point is potentially valid either way. 

It's also true that something can seem "excessively cynical, inaccurate" or "counterproductive" doesn't mean they are, in fact, excessively cynical, inaccurate, or counterproductive.

Does this framework actually explain how diffusion of responsibility works?

The framework alone doesn't but reading the whole thing does.  You can also check out some of my shortforms for some summaries.


You clearly don't like his advice and certainly don't have to follow it. I have found it very helpful (at understanding some previously confusing situations and getting promoted).  I'm not the only one in this thread either so I humbly suggest it might be worth updating priors on how good or bad the framework is.

Academia as Company Hierarchy

I strongly suspect you are incorrect.  Having read much of Rao's work, he pretty explicitly advocates becoming more sociopathic (per his definition). One of his other books is called "Be Slightly Evil"

As far as underperformers getting promoted, Luthans has published work on the difference between successful managers (defined as getting promoted) and effective managers (defined as having high performance teams). The reality is that they do very few of the same things and there is very little overlap between the two. Evidence shows that 'doing well' at work is not the best way to get to the top.

Academia as Company Hierarchy

That is explicitly stated in the post.

Losers recognize that being a wage slave IS a bad deal. As a result, they do the minimum necessary to not get fired and keep collecting their paycheck. Again, this is a reasonable thing to do in many cases. For example, you may be a Loser in your day job so you can pursue your real interests nights and weekends.

Why has nuclear power been a flop?

I suspect, but can't prove, that now so many justify wanting something because of climate change that they don't actually want a solution until and unless they have already got whatever they actually want.

The National Dashboard and Human Progress

I like it. I'd love to pair it with a prediction market so we can find out who best understands what drives these metrics

A New Center? [Politics] [Wishful Thinking]

What values are exclusively centrist?

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