All of Lost Futures's Comments + Replies

Interested in any of the roles. I haven't played chess competitively in close to a decade and my USCF elo was in the 1500s at the time of stopping. So long as I'm given a heads up in advance, I'm free almost all day on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

This line leaves me wondering about human isolation on our little planet and what maladaptations humanity is stuck with because we lack neighbors to learn from.

Failing to adopt cheap and plentiful nuclear power comes to mind as a potential example.

I largely agree with the sentiment of your post. However, one nitpick:

The world's largest protest-riot ever, when measured by estimated damage to property.

This claim is questionable. The consensus is that the economic cost of the George Floyd Protests was between one and several billion. Perhaps it was the most expensive riot in US history (though when inflation-adjusted the LA riots may give it a run for its money) and the most expensive to be cleanly accounted for economically, but intuitively I would imagine many of the most violent riots in history, su... (read more)

Sam's comments a few months ago would also make sense given this context:

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/ndzqjR8z8X99TEa4E/?commentId=XNucY4a3wuynPPywb

further progress will not come from making models bigger. “I think we're at the end of the era where it's going to be these, like, giant, giant models,” he told an audience at an event held at MIT late last week. “We'll make them better in other ways.” [...] Altman said there are also physical limits to how many data centers the company can build and how quickly it can build them. [...] At MIT last week, Alt

... (read more)

This new rumor about GPT-4's architecture is just that and should be taken with a massive grain of salt...

That said however, it would explain OpenAI's recent comments about difficulty training a model better than GPT-3. IIRC, OA spent a full year unable to substantially improve on GPT-3. Perhaps the scaling laws do not hold? Or they ran out of usable data? And thus this new architecture was deployed as a workaround. If this is true, it supports my suspicion that AI progress is slowing and that a lot of low-hanging fruit has been picked.

1Lost Futures8mo
Sam's comments a few months ago would also make sense given this context: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/ndzqjR8z8X99TEa4E/?commentId=XNucY4a3wuynPPywb

Altman said there are also physical limits to how many data centers the company can build and how quickly it can build them.

This seems to insinuate a cool down in scaling compute and Sam previously acknowledged that the data bottleneck was a real roadblock.

Yep, just as developing countries don't bother with landlines, so to will companies, as they overcome inertia and embrace AI, choose to skip older outdated models and jump to the frontier, wherever that may lie. No company embracing LLMs in 2024 is gonna start by trying to first integrate GPT2, then 3, then 4 in an orderly and gradual manner.

Pretty sure that's just an inside joke about Lex being a robot that stems from his somewhat stiff personality and unwillingness to take a strong stance on most topics.

You're likely correct, but I'm not sure that's relevant. For one, Chinchilla wasn't announced until 2022, nearly two years after the release of GPT-3. So the slowdown is still apparent even if we assume OpenAI was nearly done training an undertrained GPT-4 (which I have seen no evidence of). 

Moreover, the focus on efficiency itself is evidence of an approaching wall. Taking an example from the 20th century, machines got much more energy efficient after the 70s which is also when energy stopped getting cheaper. Why didn't OpenAI pivot their attention t... (read more)

AFAIK, no information regarding this has been publicly released. If my assumption that Bing's AI is somehow worse than GPT-4 is true, then I suspect some combination of three possible explanations must be true:

  1. To save on inference costs, Bing's AI uses less compute.
  2. Bing's AI simply isn't that well trained when it comes to searching the web and thus isn't using the tool as effectively as it could with better training.
  3. Bing's AI is trained to be sparing with searches to save on search costs.For multi-part questions, Bing seems too conservative when it comes to searching. Willingness to make more queries would probably improve its answers but at a higher cost to Microsoft.

I'm also quite sympathetic to the idea that another AI winter is plausible, mostly based off compute and data limits. One trivial but frequently overlooked data point is that GPT-4 was released nearly three years after GPT-3. In contrast, GPT-3 was released around a year after GPT-2 which in turn was released less than a year after GPT-1. Despite hype around AI being larger than ever, there already has been a progress slowdown relative to 2017-2020.

That said, a big unknown is to what extent specialized hardware dedicated to AI can outperform Moore's Law. J... (read more)

4omegastick1y
I think the long gap between GPT-3 and GPT-4 can be explained by Chinchilla. That was the point where OpenAI realized their models were undertrained for their size, and switched focus from scaling to fine-tuning for a couple of years. InstructGPT, Codex, text-davinci-003, and GPT-3.5 were all released in this period.

Does GPT-4 seem better than Bing's AI (which also uses some form of GPT-4) to anyone else? This is hard to quantify, but I notice Bing misunderstanding complicated prompts or making mistakes in ways GPT-4 seems better at avoiding. 

The search requests it makes are sometimes too simple for an in-depth question and because of this, its answers miss the crux of what I'm asking. Am I off base or has anyone else noticed this?

2Charlie Steiner1y
It does seem plausible that bing chat got to use OpenAI's base gpt-4 model, but not its RLHF finetuning infrastructure.
2ChristianKl1y
Do we know whether both use the same amount of compute?

Probably? Though it's hard to say since so little information about the model architecture was given to the public. That said, PaLM is also around around 10x the size as GPT-3 and GPT-4 seems better than it (though this is likely due to GPT-4's training following Chinchilla-or-better scaling laws).

2ESRogs1y
See my edit to my comment above. Sounds like GPT-3 was actually 250x more compute than GPT-2. And Claude / GPT-4 are about 50x more compute than that? (Though unclear to me how much insight the Anthropic folks had into GPT-4's training before the announcement. So possible the 50x number is accurate for Claude and not for GPT-4.)

So Bing was using GPT-4 after all. That explains why it felt noticeably more capable than chatGPT. Still, this advance seems like a less revolutionary leap over GPT-3 than GPT-3 was over GPT-2, if Bing's early performance is a decent indicator.

3ESRogs1y
Seems like this is what we should expect, given that GPT-3 was 100x as big as GPT-2, whereas GPT-4 is probably more like ~10x as big as GPT-3. No? EDIT: just found this from Anthropic:
7Caspar Oesterheld1y
To me Bing Chat actually seems worse/less impressive (e.g., more likely to give incorrect or irrelevant answers) than ChatGPT, so I'm a bit surprised. Am I the only one that feels this way? I've mostly tried the two systems on somewhat different kinds of prompts, though. (For example, I've tried (with little success) to use Bing Chat instead of Google Search.) Presumably some of this is related to the fine-tuning being worse for Bing? I also wonder whether the fact that Bing Chat is hooked up to search in a somewhat transparent way makes it seem less impressive. On many questions it's "just" copy-and-pasting key terms of the question into a search engine and summarizing the top result. Anyway, obviously I've not done any rigorous testing...

Question for people working in AI Safety: Why are researchers generally dismissive of the notion that a subhuman level AI could pose an existential risk? I see a lot of attention paid to the risks a superintelligence would pose, but what prevents, say, an AI model capable of producing biological weapons from also being an existential threat, particularly if the model is operated by a person with malicious or misguided intentions?

4ChristianKl1y
I think in the standard X-risk models that would be a biosafety X-risk. It's a problem but it has little to do with the alignment problems on which AI Safety researchers focus. 
3rpglover641y
Some thoughts: * Those who expect fast takeoffs would see the sub-human phase as a blip on the radar on the way to super-human * The model you describe is presumably a specialist model (if it were generalist and capable of super-human biology, it would plausibly count as super-human; if it were not capable of super-human biology, it would not be very useful for the purpose you describe). In this case, the source of the risk is better thought of as the actors operating the model and the weapons produced; the AI is just a tool * Super-human AI is a particularly salient risk because unlike others, there is reason to expect it to be unintentional; most people don't want to destroy the world * The actions for how to reduce xrisk from sub-human AI and from super-human AI are likely to be very different, with the former being mostly focused on the uses of the AI and the latter being on solving relatively novel technical and social problems

I'm puzzled by this as well. For a moment I thought maybe PaLM used an encoder-decoder architecture, but no it uses next-word prediction just like GPT-3. Not sure what GPT-3 has that PaLM lacks. A model with the parameter count of PaLM and training dateset size of Chinchilla would be a better hypothetical for "Great Palm".

Erik Engheim and Terje Tvedt introduced me another important development in Europe that seems connected to the industrial revolution: The Machine Revolution. While Medieval China invented plenty of industrial machines, including the first water-powered textile spinning wheel, by the high middle ages Western Europe was using more water and wind power per capita than anywhere else in history. 

...watermills in 1086 did the work of almost 400,000 people at a time when England had no more than 1.25 million inhabitants. That means doing as much work as almo

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Agreed. The printing press, newspapers, and The Republic of Letters certainly expanded the communication bandwidth.

Any eta on when applicants will receive an update?

5GradientDissenter1y
Everyone who applied to the upcoming program should have heard back now! (Decisions were sent out shortly after you posted your comment.) People who said they couldn't make the upcoming program but wanted to be considered for future programs we might run haven't been notified, since we don't know what those events will look like yet or if they'll happen.

Does OpenAI releasing davinci_003 and ChatGPT, both derived from GPT-3, mean we should expect considerably more wait time for GPT-4? Feels like it'd be odd if they released updates to GPT-3 just a month or two before releasing GPT-4.

We never did ELO tests, but the 2.7B model trained from scratch on human games in PGN notation beat me and beat my colleague (~1800 ELO). But it would start making mistakes if the game went on very long (we hypothesized it was having difficulties constructing the board state from long PGN contexts), so you could beat it by drawing the game out.

I'm curious how long it'll be until a general model can play Diplomacy at this level. Anyone fine-tuned an LLM like GPT-3 on chess yet? Chess should be simpler for an LLM to learn unless my intuition is misleading?

3LawrenceC1y
I couldn't find any actual elo estimates (nor code that lets me estimate the elo of a bot), but GPT-3 (at least, davinci and text-davinci-002) can play chess decently well using PGN notation without any finetuning.

I've fine tuned LLMs on chess and it indeed is quite easy for them to learn.

GPT-3 was announced less than two and a half years ago. I don't think it's reasonable to assume that the market has fully absorbed its capabilities yet.

2tailcalled1y
I would just have expected at least an explosion in basic demo projects that use GPT-3 for reasoning. A skilled programmer can usually code up something simple over a weekend or two, even if it is too unstable and incomplete to be economically viable. But instead there seems to just be... almost nothing.

Hmm, I should rewrite the Falcon 9 sentence to clarify my intent. I meant to express that more affordable rockets were possible in the 90s compared to what existed, rather than that the F9 exactly was possible in the 90s.

They were, some Soviet engine design from the 70s were the best for their niche until the late 2010s.

Given that the Soviet Union collapsed soon after and that no competitive international launch market really began to emerge until the 2000s this isn't surprising. There was no incentive to improve. Moreover, engines are just one component o... (read more)

1M. Y. Zuo1y
And what incentives to improve could there have been?  If you mean on some alternate earth where human incentive structures are different and they had some Apollo sized project going on in their equivalent of our 90s, sure it probably would have been feasible to drive down the price of expendable rockets by a factor of 2 or 3 at their equivalent of 90s technology. Assuming they made it in huge quantities and the opportunity cost of capital was zero.

Funny you should say that, the king of France initially wanted condemned criminals to be the first test pilots for that very reason.

Would you consider the space shuttle doomed from the start then? Even without bureaucratic mismanagement, legislative interference, and persistent budget cuts? The market for rocket development in the 80s and 90s seems hardly optimal. You had OTRAG crushed by political pressure, the space shuttle project heavily interfered with, and Buran's development halted by the collapse of the Soviet Union. A global launch market didn't really even emerge until the 2000s. 

As a broader point, even if you chalk up the nonexistence of economically competitive partia... (read more)

2M. Y. Zuo1y
Yes, but not primarily because of computer performance issues. The gliding descent profile, along with the rest of the operations, could have been entirely manually flown or manually controlled by ground based staff if necessary. Though that would have been economically less efficient.   It simply was too oversized and heavy for the vast majority of projected, and actual, missions. It might have had much better economics if they had enough legislative support to approve the initial efficient designs, without needing to rely on the backing of the Air Force, who demanded nearly all of the cost growth as their condition. They were, some Soviet engine design from the 70s were the best for their niche until the late 2010s. Manufacturing improvements a la SpaceX might have been possible in the 90s but at a much steeper price, as they were very niche and pricy techniques back then, so they wouldn't have made expendable rockets any cheaper, unless ordered in huge quantities.

Are contemporary rocket computer systems necessary for economical reusability? As I understand it, rocket launch costs stagnated for decades due to a lack of price competition stemming from the high initial capital costs involved in developing new rocket designs rather than us hitting a performance ceiling.

5M. Y. Zuo1y
Yes, computers of sufficient performance are necessary for economic reusability, most importantly for the automated landings. 

Thanks for the response jmh!

One idea might be that it should have been invented then IF the idea that air (gases) were basically just like water (fluids).

I dunno if this is an intuitive jump but it seems unnecessary. Sky lanterns were built without knowledge of the air acting as a fluid. I don't see why the same couldn't be true for the hot air balloon.

But there would also have to be some expected net gain from the effort to make doing the work worthwhile. Is there any reason to think the expect value gained from the invention and availability of the ballo

... (read more)

Thanks for the detailed and informative response Breakfast! I think I largely agree with your post.

I find it likely that that the coincidence of the Montgolfier brothers' and Lenormands' demonstrations in France in 1873 was no accident. There was something about that place and that time that motivated them. If I had to guess, it was something cultural: the idea of testing things in the real world, familiarity with hundreds of years of parachute designs, a critical mass of competitive and supportive energy in the nascent aeronautics space, increasing cultur

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9DirectedEvolution1y
I think that question needs more precision. We could identify the most efficient series of actions a caveman, Roman, or Leonardo da Vinci could have taken to build a hot air balloon. We could ask how many person-hours would have been required to build a hot air balloon starting with the raw material inputs in each year from 0 AD to 1783. On a broader level, if we assume that the intellectual ferment of 1783 France was the main cause of both hot air balloon and parachute, we can equally ask whether that ferment could have occurred at an earlier point in time. If I had to guess, whatever structural factors supported urban agglomeration are the underlying causal factor here. Maybe advancements in agriculture and governance, or technology-centered arms races (Lenormand studied gunpowder and Montgolfier was stimulated by the potential of the hot air balloon to break sieges)? It vaguely seems to me like human history is a process of slow, self-reinforcing agglomeration and institution-building. The process accelerates itself. The rare things that were build close to the earliest possible moment we take for granted. We don’t ask whether the first stone tools could have been invented 10,000 or 100,000 years earlier. There’s just a few tantalizing inventions, like the hot air balloon, that make us think “maybe.” Overall, I think structural forces dominate, but I also think that individual humans have perhaps a greater ability with time to individually influence those structural forces in lasting ways. History is full of kings and emperors whose reigns seem to have amounted to just a lot of meaningless death. These days, even idiots who get elected can quietly make useful improvements in governance, because our planet is full of advisors who actually do consense on some policy issues that are more than partisan point scoring. We have social movements like EA that encourage people even in their teens and twenties to envision the pursuit of positive sum ambitions of world

This is my first post on LessWrong as well as my Substack. Been sitting on this post for a while but finally dug up the courage to publish it today. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

[anonymous]1y1810

[Deleted]

Wouldn't the capital saved on fewer car accidents be free to boost consumption and production? Moreover, most of the $800 billion figure does not entail savings from car repairs/replacements but working hours lost to injuries, traffic jams, medical bills, and QALY lost.

For what it's worth, I'm fairly confident self-driving cars will cause a bigger splash than $500 billion. Car accidents in the US alone cost $836 billion. In a world with ubiquitous self-driving cars, not only could this cost be slashed by 80% or more, but reduced parking spots will also allow much more economic activity. Parking spots currently comprise about a third of city land in the US. The total impact could easily be over a trillion for the US alone. 

Still not enough to get even close to 20% growth though.

5ChristianKl1y
Saving money through having less car accidents doesn't produce GDP. It might even reduce GDP because people don't have to buy a new car to replace the crashed car.

Guzey goes on to give other takes I find puzzling like the following:

If Google makes $5/month from you viewing ads bundled with Google Search but provides you with even just $500/month of value by giving you access to literally all of the information ever published on the internet, then economic statistics only capture 1% of the value Google Search provides.

He already has his conclusion and dismisses arguments that reject it. "Of course the internet has provided massive economic value, any metric which fails to observe this must be wrong." What is the evid... (read more)

I'm skeptical. Guzey seems to be conflating two separate points in the section you've linked:

  1. TFP is not a reliable indicator for measuring growth from the utilization of technological advancement
  2. Bloom et al's "Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?" is wrong to use TFP as a measure of research output

The second point is probably true, but not the question we're seeking to answer. Research output does not automatically translate to growth from technological advancement.

For example, the US TFP did not grow in the decade between 1973 and 1982. In fact, it declined

... (read more)
5Lost Futures1y
Guzey goes on to give other takes I find puzzling like the following: He already has his conclusion and dismisses arguments that reject it. "Of course the internet has provided massive economic value, any metric which fails to observe this must be wrong." What is the evidence that Google Search provides consumers with $500/month of value? The midcentury appliances revolution alone saved families 20 hours or more of weekly labor. No one argues that the digital revolution hasn't improved technological productivity, economists cite it as the cause of the brief TFP growth efflorescence from the mid-90s to the early 2000s. But Guzey seems to think its impact is far larger and imagines scenarios to support this claim.

What "civilizational development", as you refer to it, would you say that The Netherlands lacked during the Dutch Golden Age? What hindered them from industrializing 200 years before England?

5Dirichlet-to-Neumann1y
Turns out ACOUP's last week post is precisely about this question. https://acoup.blog/2022/08/26/collections-why-no-roman-industrial-revolution/ I swear half my comments on the Internet these days are just links to that blog...
1Ladislaus_Bessmertny1y
Dutch? We are talking about Late antiquity. Again, my point is that Roman empire was a totally different world. In all senses. About the Netherlands. Do not understand your question. I do not know a lot about Dutch trade empire, but my knowledge is sufficient to conclude that they were a technological leader. Their emipre stretched from Moluccas to South Africa, they basically invented capitalism as it is and created first full-time stock exchange.  Please elaborate what do you want to ask here.
1[comment deleted]1y

IIRC, the aeolipile provided less than 1/100,000th of the torque provided by Watt's steam engine. Practical steam engines are orders of magnitude more complex than Hero's toy steam turbine. It took a century or more of concerted effort on the part of inventors to develop them.

1Ladislaus_Bessmertny1y
The whole point here is the idea that society was simply not ready for such innovations. Who needs steam power? You have cheap slaves. Plenty of them. Glorious Roman steel can even bring you more, and so on. This is not about pure mechanics or mathematics. This is about social development. Civilsational development.
1Ladislaus_Bessmertny1y
But the idea of steam-powered engine was not unknown to Greek philosophers. Of course it was just a mere toy. Still, first commercially developed steam engine (James Watt) had, as far as I remember, something like 1,5 percent of energy conversion efficiency.

I also have an additional query regarding the stocking frame:

Did Queen Elizabeth I really inhibit the development of the stocking frame? The common narrative is yes. Wikipedia seems to think so, but I stumbled across a post disputing this claim. The same post also makes some pretty bold claims:

By 1750 — the eve of the Industrial Revolution — there were 14,000 frames in England. The stocking frame had by that time become very sophisticated: it had more than 2000 parts and could have as many as 38 needles per inch (15 per centimeter).

Sounds like a remarkably... (read more)

3jasoncrawford1y
Anton Howes says short answer, no evidence of Queen Elizabeth inhibiting the stocking frame: https://twitter.com/antonhowes/status/1565433982006792194 

Why didn’t clockwork technology get applied to other practical purposes for hundreds of years?

Could the stocking frame count? I'm uncertain of its exact inner workings, but it does represent a fairly complex, practical machine invented before the industrial revolution. Seems plausible parts of it were derived from clockwork technology?

3jasoncrawford1y
Good one. In general, of course, there were many types of machines: small ones like looms and other textile equipment, and large ones like various kinds of mills. I guess what seems unique about clocks is their ability to execute a long series of sophisticated motions autonomously. But yeah, I think the stocking frame is another example of an invention that was surprisingly sophisticated for its era, and predates a lot of other textile machinery by a surprising period of time
3Lost Futures1y
I also have an additional query regarding the stocking frame: Did Queen Elizabeth I really inhibit the development of the stocking frame? The common narrative is yes. Wikipedia seems to think so, but I stumbled across a post disputing this claim. The same post also makes some pretty bold claims: Sounds like a remarkably complex and diffused pre-industrial machine.

Why is hating humanity acceptable?

A good starting point to answer this would be to ask another question, "Is misanthropy more common today than in the past?"

I suspect three factors play a big role:

  1. Lack of historical weight—Genocide and ethnic hatred only became acknowledged as the evils they are after the horrors of the 20th century. Run-of-the-mill misanthropy has rarely been the driving force behind large-scale atrocities. This makes the taboo it holds much weaker.
  2. Doomer mindset—The average person today, particularly those in young adulthood, seems to ha
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Anyone else shown DALL-E 2 to others and gotten surprisingly muted responses? I've noticed some people react to seeing its work with a lot less fascination than I'd expect for a technology with the power to revolutionize art. I stumbled on dalle2 subreddit post describing a similar anecdote so maybe there's something to this.

For comparison, according to pg. 11 of The Census of Manufacturers: 1905, the average 16+ male wage-earner made $11.16 per week and the average 16+ woman made $6.17.

Is it true that 19th-century wheelwrights were extremely highly paid?

I'm quite skeptical of the claim that wheelwrights made $90 a week in 1880s.

San Francisco Call, Volume 67, Number 177, 26 May 1890: A job listing offers $3.50 a day for wheelwrights. Another offers $75(!) but I suspect this is for a project rather than a daily (or weekly) wage.

San Francisco Call, Volume 70, Number 36, 6 July 1891: Two job listings offer $3 a day for wheelwrights. Another offers $30 to $35 for a "wheelwright: orchardist" but again I suspect this is commission work rather t... (read more)

4Lost Futures2y
For comparison, according to pg. 11 of The Census of Manufacturers: 1905, the average 16+ male wage-earner made $11.16 per week and the average 16+ woman made $6.17.

Found an obscure quote by Christiaan Huygens predicting the industrial revolution a century before its inception and predicting the airplane over two hundred years before its invention:

The violent action of the powder is by this discovery restricted to a movement which limits itself as does that of a great weight. And not only can it serve all purposes to which weight is applied, but also in most cases where man or animal power is needed, such as that it could be applied to raise great stones for building, to erect obelisks, to raise water for fountains or

... (read more)

Georgists, mandatory parking minimum haters, and housing reform enthusiasts welcome!

Recently I've run across a fascinating economics paper, Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation. The paper's thesis contends that restrictive housing regulations depressed American economic growth by an eye-watering 36% between 1964 and 2009.

That's a shockingly high figure but I found the arguments rather compelling. The paper itself now boasts over 500 citations. I've searched for rebuttals but only stumbled across a post by Bryan Caplan identifying a math error with... (read more)

4ChristianKl2y
I'd be interested in a full-length post delving deeper into it.

Good post George. But I'm surprised by this assertion:

You could imagine a country deciding to ban self-driving, autonomous drones, automated checkouts, and such, resulting in a massive loss to GDP and cost to consumers. But that cost is expressed in... what? restaurant orders? Starbucks lattes? Having to take the bus or, god forbid, bike or scooter? slower and more expensive amazon deliveries? There’s real value somewhere in there, sure, where “real” needs could be met by this increasing automation, but they don’t seem to be its main target.

That's hard for... (read more)

1George3d62y
This is why I said I'm not certain it will have an impact, rather than I'm sure it will or won't. I can see self-driving having a big impact, but won't that impact be outweighed by the kind of jobs people have to drive to being mainly automated?

17th century Netherlands contains another interesting case. The depletion of peat, a primary energy source for the Dutch between the 16th and 17th centuries, directly contributed to the end of the Dutch Golden Age and economic stagnation, even decline. The Dutch economy could perhaps have continued growing had it embraced coal as peat supplies depleted, but no such switch occurred. According to The Rise and Decline of Dutch Technological Leadership by Karel Davids:

The Dutch succeeded in raising output per capita to an unheard-of extent for a prolonged peri

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Great post Zvi. I'm shocked Wikipedia failed to create an article for The Foreign Dredge Act prior to your efforts. Two other American shipping issues worth examining are the relative lack of automation in American ports and their inability to operate 24/7. Both of these issues have been traced back to unions and sometimes used as anecdotes in the grander pro-market narrative that unions are bad and impede productivity. However, many Western European ports have had far greater success with port automation and 24/7 operations despite the strength of their u... (read more)

7ChristianKl2y
It seems like unions in the US and unions in Europe operate differently when it comes to topics like this. From my German perspective, our unions care about workers being paid well, having secure jobs and good working conditions but they are not blocking using technology to automate processes.  Historically, I have also the sense that the connection between unions and the mafia existed in the US in a way that I have never heard of in Germany. In progress studies it might be worth to study that difference in how unions work differently in the US and in Europe and maybe how US unions might be turned to be more like European unions that seem to be both better for workers and for the companies.

Imagining a scenario where the Dredge Act is repealed and EA plays a noticeable role in this seems rather optimistic. That said, I don't imagine the political blowback from such an event would be significant unless something goes horrendously wrong optics-wise for a few reasons.

  1. Economic issues tend to be less controversial in the current political climate than culture war issues
  2. Wonkish economic reforms that require some technical understanding are usually ignored by the general public and thus even less politicized, especially if they pertain to a specific
... (read more)
2ChristianKl2y
At the moment we have a situation where the congressional primary race with the highest funding levels is funded mostly by EA money. It's a kind of situation that will lead sooner or later to more media coverage.  Taking a public position in an article like that is one thing. It's another to actually organize together with pro-corporate lobby groups how to get legal change.  Even when the actual policy reform is wonkish and hard to write about, the story of cooperating with pro-corporate think tanks can be told in the media.

Name: Machine Thinking

Type: YouTube channel

Link: https://www.youtube.com/c/machinethinking/

Description: Over a dozen videos analyzing the technology behind the industrial revolution. Loosely speaking it's a channel dedicated to progress studies. The 1751 Machine that Made Everything is a particularly good video.

Positives:

  • Unique; haven't come across any other channels similar
  • Detailed and technical
  • Establishes the importance of industrial technology in building our modern world of abundance (progress mindset)
  • Good narrator voice

Negatives:

  • The subject matter wil
... (read more)
2Ppau2y
Thanks, I watched a few videos and really liked them Makes you appreciate the importance of common things
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