James_Miller

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James_Miller's Shortform

Today I started taking Rapamycin for anti-aging purposes.  I'm taking 3mg once a week.  I will likely increase the dosage if I don't have negative symptoms.   I got it through Anderson Longevity Clinic in Rhode Island.  They required me to have one in-person visit, but I can do the rest virtually.  My regular doctor and an online doctor refused to give me a prescription.  I will update if I have any symptoms.

On infinite ethics

"An infinite line of immortal people, numbered starting at 1, who all start out happy (+1). "  Are you allowed to do this?  Say I am one of these people, how long is my number likely to be?  Can my number be described with a finite number of symbols?  Isn't my position determined by a draw from a uniform distribution over the positive integers, which I think isn't allowed?   https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/14777/why-isnt-there-a-uniform-probability-distribution-over-the-positive-real-number

What to include in a guest lecture on existential risks from AI?

Here are the readings/videos I assign when I teach about AI risks to my undergraduates at Smith College:

https://mindstalk.net/vinge/vinge-sing.html

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0031-8949/90/1/018001

[RETRACTED] It's time for EA leadership to pull the short-timelines fire alarm.

Additional money would help as evidence by my son's job search.  My 17-year-old son is set to graduate college at age 18 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (where we live) majoring in computer science, concentrating in statistics and machine learning.  He is looking for a summer internship.  He would love to work in AI safety (and through me has known and been interested in the field since a very young age), and while he might end up getting a job in the area, he hasn't yet.  In a world where AI safety is well funded, every AI safety organization would be trying to hire him.  In case any AI safety organizations are reading this, you can infer his intelligence from him having gotten 5s on the AP Calculus BC and AP Computer Science A exams in 7th grade.  I have a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and a JD from Stanford and my son is significantly more intelligence than I am.

[RETRACTED] It's time for EA leadership to pull the short-timelines fire alarm.

A fire alarm approach won't work because you would have people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg saying that we should be developing AI faster than we currently are.  What I suggest should happen instead is that the EA community should try to convince a subset of people that AI risks are 80%+ of what we should care about, and if you donate to charity most of it should go to an AI risk organization, and if you have the capacity to directly contribute to reducing AI risk that is what you as a moral person should devote your life to.

Ways to invest your wealth if you believe in a high-variance future?

I know that Rudi Hoffman, who is prominent in selling life insurance to people interested in cryonics including myself, has set up trusts or something similar to allow people to save money to be used after they are revived.  I'm not sure exactly what he has done.

Ways to invest your wealth if you believe in a high-variance future?

It may still be worth it, but even if so, it's not a scalable investment - there's no way to put incrementally more of your capital into it in order to increase your future returns.

There are ways of saving money to be used after you have been revived.

Ways to invest your wealth if you believe in a high-variance future?

Cryonics becomes a better investment because your getting revived is highly correlated with how good the future is.  The run up to a singularity will cause real interest rates to increase as investment opportunities grow.  An actual singularity might cause money to lose all its value.  

James_Miller's Shortform

The invasion of Ukraine might cause a famine because of restrictions on food and energy exports from Russia and Ukraine, reduced planting in Ukraine, and reduced fertilizer production.  Below are some steps that could be taken to mitigate the famine:

  1.  Eliminate government biofuel mandates.
  2. Have agricultural exporting countries promise they will not restrict the price of food.  Expectations that governments will reduce the future price of food will reduce food production today.
  3. If politicians need to keep down some food prices, lower the long-term price of meat.  Lowering this price will cause farmers to slaughter and so no longer feed animals.
  4. Eliminate regulatory barriers to farmers planting more, using different crops, or using different fertilizer.
  5. Eliminate regulatory barriers to using existing power plants that are not currently run at full capacity to produce fertilizer.  Accept that this will to some extent harm climate change goals.
  6.  Make use of prediction markets to investigate how bad the famine could get.
  7.  Philanthropic organizations should investigate the possibility of famine.  Offer fast grants to qualified individuals to investigate.  The key (I think) is to determine the price elasticity of supply of food given the fertilizer production limitations we face.
  8. Corn produces significantly more calories per acre than wheat does, and I believe on many types of land farmers have the ability to plant either corn or wheat.  If famine is a huge concern, farmers should be incentivized to grow corn over wheat.  This could in part be accomplished by philanthropic organizations promising to buy corn in the future, thus raising the expected future price of corn.

 

Anything else that can be done?  I'm not sure if it's optimal to try to make reducing famine a significant goal for the United States since the government might respond by using price controls that make the famine worse.

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