Some thoughts as someone who has been eating plant-based for the past year and who thinks about the ethics constantly for fun:
There's an analogy being drawn between the power of a hypothetical advanced alien civilization and the power of a superintelligent AI. If you agree that the hypothetical AI would be more powerful, and that an alien civilization capable of travelling to Earth would be a threat, then it follows that superintelligent AI is a threat.
I think most people here are in agreement that AI poses a huge risk, but are differ on how likely it is that we're all going to die. A 20% chance we're all going to die is very much worth trying to mitigate sensibly, and the OP say... (read more)
Given how long it took me to conclude whether these were Eliezer's true thoughts or a representation of his predicted thoughts in a somewhat probable future, I'm not sure whether I'd use the label "candid" to describe the post, at least without qualification.
While the post does contain a genuinely useful way of framing near-hopeless situations and a nuanced and relatively terse lesson in practical ethics, I would describe the post as an extremely next-level play in terms of its broader purpose (and leave it at that).
I think I'm more motivated by the thought that I am going to die soon, any children I might have in the future will die soon, my family, my friends, and their children are going to die soon, and any QALYs I think I'm buying are around 40% as valuable as I thought, more than undoing the income tax deduction I get for them.
It seems like wrangling my ADHD brain into looking for way to prevent catastrophe could be more worthwhile than working a high-paid job I can currently hyper-focus on (and probably more virtuous, too), unless I find that the probability of success is literally 0% despite what I think I know about Bayesian reasoning, in which case I'll probably go into art or something.