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Trial and error in policy making

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"Have you tried flying into a third world nation today and dragging them out of backwardness and poverty? What would make it easier in the 13th century?"

I think this is an interesting angle. How comparable are 'backward' nations today with historical nations? Obvious differences in terms of techno...(read more)

I think this is the vital thing: not 'does academia work perfectly', but 'can you work more effectively THROUGH academia'. Don't know for sure the answer is yes, but it definitely seems like one key way to influence policy. Decision makers in politics and elsewhere aren't going to spend all their ti...(read more)

Isn't there an argument that having a million voices synthesising and popularising and ten doing detailed research is much less productive than the opposite? Feels a bit like Aristophanes: "Ah! the Generals! they are numerous, but not good for much"

Everyone going around discussing their overarch...(read more)

They often look the same.

You make a bit of effort to make conversation with someone you don't know: they give the minimum responses, move away when they can do so, and don't reciprocate initiation.

This could be shyness or arrogance. Very tough to tell the difference. Plus the two can actually be...(read more)

I basically agree with you, but I think situation B to quite that extent is rare. And of course identifying similarity to that is pretty open to bias if you just don't like that movement.

Concrete example - I used to use the Hebrew name of God in theological conversations, as this was normal at my ...(read more)

You seem to be equivocating between 'a step towards being a utility monster' and 'being a utility monster'. Someone asking you to turn your music down is surely more likely to just be them actually having an issue with noise. There are literally hundreds of things I do without even feeling that stro...(read more)

This reads like quite a lot of bile towards a hypothetical person who doesn't like loud music.

You don't know what the neighbour's tried, you're putting a lot of weight on the word 'complained', which can cover a range of different approaches, and you're speculating about her nefarious motivations...(read more)

Interesting question. Not sure I agree with the premise, in that certainly where I live, I don't think there is a clear objective line of acceptable noise dictated by 'social norms'. I'd say that the social expectation should and does include reference to others' preferences and your own situation. ...(read more)

Haven't seen this solution elsewhere: I think it's actually strong on its own terms, but doubt it's what Eliezer wants (I'm 90% sure it's about AI boxing, exploiting the reliability granted by Unbreakable Vows and parsetongue)

However, this being said, I think Harry could avoid imminent death by p...(read more)

I love this idea in general: but don't see how he could have faked the map, given:

"Did you tamper with thiss map to achieve thiss ressult, or did it appear before you by ssurprisse?"

"Wass ssurprisse," replied Professor Quirrell, with an overtone of hissing laughter. "No trickss."