Why are you calling this a nitpick? IMO it's a major problem with the post -- I was very unhappy that no mention was made of this obvious problem with the reasoning presented.
For what it's worth, I was just learning about the basics of MIRI's research when this came out, and reading it made me less convinced of the value of MIRI's research agenda. That's not necessarily a major problem, since the expected change in belief after encountering a given post should be 0, and I already had a lot of trust in MIRI. However, I found this post by Jessica Taylor vastly clearer and more persuasive (it was written before "Rocket Alignment", but I read "Rocket Alignment" first). In particular, I would expect AI researchers to be much more competent than the portrayal of spaceplane engineers in the post, and it wasn't clear to me why the analogy should be strong Bayesian evidence for MIRI being correct.
Maybe people who rationalized their failure to lose weight by "well, even Eliezer is overweight, it's just metabolic disprivilege"
How many people raised their hands when Eliezer asked about the probability estimate? When I was watching the video I gave a probability estimate of 65%, and I'm genuinely shocked that "not many" people thought he had over a 55% chance. This is Eliezer we're talking about.............
I wonder if it negatively impacts the cohesiveness/teamwork ability of the resulting AI safety community by disproportionately attracting a certain type of person? It seems unlikely that everyone would enjoy this style
FWIW you can bet on some of these on PredictIt -- for example, Predictit assigns only a 47% chance Trump will win in 2020. That's not a huge difference, but still worth betting 5% of your bankroll (after fees) on if you bet half-Kelly. (if you want to bet with me for whatever reason, I'd also be willing to bet up to $700 that Trump doesn't win at PredictIt odds if I don't have to tie up capital)
We can test if the most popular books & music of 2019 sold less copies than the most popular books & music of 2009 (I might or might not look into this later)
GDP is 2x higher than in 2000
Why not use per capita real GDP (+25% since 2000)?
I'm thinking that if there were liquid prediction markets for amplifying ESCs, people could code bots to do exactly what John suggests and potentially make money. This suggests to me that there's no principled difference between the two ideas, though I could be missing something (maybe you think the bot is unlikely to beat the market?)