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DonyChristie's Comments

The Real Standard

Great post! It's like the "what if an alien took control of you" exercise but feels more playful and game-y. I started a Google doc to plan the month of April from Gurgeh's perspective.

See also: Outside.

Dony's Shortform Feed

Why does CHAI exclude people who don't have a near-perfect GPA? This doesn't seem like a good way to maximize the amount of alignment work being done. High GPA won't save the world and in fact selects for obedience to authority and years of status competition, leading to poor mental health to do work in, decreasing the total amount of cognitive resources being thrown at the problem.

(Hypothesis 1: "Yes, this is first-order bad but the second-order effect is we have one institutionally prestigious organization, and we need to say we have selective GPA in order to fit in and retain that prestige." [Translator's Note: "We must work with evil in order to do good." (The evil being colleges and grades and most of the economic system.)])

(Hypothesis 2: "GPA is the most convenient way we found to select for intelligence and conscientiousness, and those are the traits we need the most.")

(Hypothesis 3: "The university just literally requires us to do this or we'll be shut down.")

Won't somebody think of the grad students!

How many people in the Bay Area are infected with Covid-19 as of the end of 2/29/2020?

No, there has barely been any testing. I think it's more like 200-1000 cases.

How many people in the Bay Area are infected with Covid-19 as of the end of 2/29/2020?

I think it's ~1000 for that day. I don't know how long deaths take to bear out - is it 14 days? If it's that, then if we have ~34 deaths in 14 days then that suggests this prediction is right.

We probably have a greater than average transmission rate/doubling time because no one is tracking it, and I'm pessimistic enough about the U.S. healthcare system at by this point that we may not even be tracking fatalities accurately.

I will update my answer as I think about this more clearly.

Dony's Shortform Feed

What was the most valuable habit you had during the past decade?

What is the most valuable habit you could inculcate or strengthen over the next decade?

(Habit here broadly construed as: "specific activity that lasts anywhere from a number of seconds to half an hour or more. Examples: playing golf each morning. Better example: practicing your driving swing at 6:00am for 30 minutes (but you can give much more detail than that!). Bad example: poorly operationalized vague statements like "being more friendly".)

See: The One Thing

Sayan's Braindump

Can you define a post-scarcity economy in terms of what you anticipate the world to look like?

bgaesop's Shortform

I am currently very skeptical that the PNSE paper has anything of worth, given that Jeffery Martin's Finder's Course is basically a scam according to this review and some others. (I don't know if the paper is based on Finder's Course participants.) It would be valuable for someone to do a fact check on the paper.

Invisible Choices, Made by Default

Actually making the cards is what stops me.

What's your big idea?

"Let's finish what Engelbart started"

1. Recursively decompose all the problem(s) (prioritizing the bottleneck(s)) behind AI alignment until they are simple and elementary.

2. Get massive 'training data' by solving each of those problems elsewhere, in many contexts, more than we need, until we have asymptotically reached some threshold of deep understanding of that problem. Also collect wealth from solving others' problems. Force multiplication through parallel collaboration, with less mimetic rivalry creating stagnant deadzones of energy.

3. We now have plenty of slack from which to construct Friendly AI assembly lines and allow for deviations in output along the way. No need to wring our hands with doom anymore as though we were balancing on a tightrope.

In the game Factorio, the goal is to build a rocket from many smaller inputs and escape the planet. I know someone who got up to producing 1 rocket/second. Likewise, we should aim much higher so we can meet minimal standards with monstrous reliability rather than scrambling to avoid losing.

See: Ought

Book summary: Unlocking the Emotional Brain

I'm so glad someone did a writeup of this! Part of me has wanted to, I think I have a draft... I remember going through severe depression over four years ago and one of my reprieves was joyfully reading the papers written about coherence psychology. I will definitely be linking this post as a reference.

There are many times I am talking with people and want to reference from the conceptual structure of coherence psychology, but there is way too much inferential distance especially with aspiring rationalists who are not therapy geeks, so I end up mentally flailing my arms in frustration. The theory seems like a better candidate for The One True Psychotherapy than almost any other and it pains me to see people go about solving their problems without it in their toolkit, and not being able to communicate this to them. e.g. It's frustrating to see people trying to correct the output of emotional schemas without accessing the generating model for disconfirmation. e.g. A person may feel uncomfortable with someone else who has low self-esteem so they will try to correct it verbally without engaging in a process that will change the underlying 'pro-symptom position'.

There's the related problem that there are very few coherence therapists. I don't think most psychologists have heard of this and I find that confusing.

Oh, there's also the fact that I tried a coherence therapist and didn't find it that helpful the way it was done. They were fine to talk to but it seems retrospectively like they were cargo-culting the motions of coherence therapy as outlined by Ecker et al. I haven't had other therapists but I suspect the inefficacy is only very weak evidence pointing against the modality vs other modalities and more a problem with cramming an attempt at powerful introspection into expensive 1-hour blocks. i.e. I think psychotherapeutic structure across the board is broken and when the singularity happens it won't be a problem anymore.

My hope is that we can develop new delivery structures into which we can import psychological techniques and have them deployed at scale while being better than 1-hour weeklies, 8-hour shamanic trips, or that annoying app with the emotionally saccharine bird.

See also: The Method of Levels

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