It's pretty telling that you think there's no chance that anyone who doesn't like your arguments is acting in good faith. I say that as someone who actually agrees that we should (probably, pop. ethics is hard!) reject total utilitarianism on the grounds that bringing someone into existence is just obviously less important than preventing a death, and that this means that longtermist are calling for important resource to be misallocated. (That is true of any false view about how EA resources should be spent though!). But I find your general tone of 'people... (read more)
Also worth noting: if the onset of global catastrophes is better, then global catastrophes will tend to cluster together, so we might expect another global catastrophe before this one is over. (See the "clustering illusion.")
Part 2 can now be read here: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/pbFGhMSWfccpW48wd/a-detailed-critique-of-one-section-of-steven-pinker-s
It's amazing how many people on FB answered this question, "Annihilation, no question." Really, I'm pretty shocked!
“I'm getting kind of despairing at breaking through here, but one more time.” Same here. Because you still haven’t addressed the relevant issue, and yet appear to be getting pissy, which is no bueno.
By analogy: in Scenario 2, everyone who has wandered through room Y but says that they’re in room X is wrong, yeah? The answer they give does not accurately represent reality. The “right” call for those who’ve pass through room Y is that they actually passed through room Y. I hope we can at least agree on this.
Yet, it remains 100% true that if everyone at any g... (read more)
"The fact that there are more 'real' at any given time isn't relevant to the fact of whether any of these mayfly sims are, themselves, real." You're right about this, because it's a metaphysical issue. The question, though, is epistemology: what does one have reason to believe at any given moment. If you want to say that one should bet on being a sim, then you should also say that one is in room Y in Scenario 2, which seems implausible.
"Like, it seems perverse to make up an example where we turn on one sim at a time, a trillion trillion times in a row. ... Who cares? No reason to think that's our future." The point is to imagine a possible future -- and that's all it needs to be -- that instantiates none of the three disjuncts of the simulation argument. If one can show that, then the simulation argument is flawed. So far as I can tell, I've identified a possible future that is neither (i), (ii), nor (iii).
"My 5 dollars: maxipoc is mostly not about space colonisation, but prevention of total extinction." But the goal of avoiding an x-catastrophe is to reach technological maturity, and reaching technological maturity would require space colonization (to satisfy the requirement that we have "total control" over nature). Right?
Yes, good points. As for "As result, we only move risks from one side equation to another, and even replace known risks with unknown risks," another way to put the paper's thesis is this: insofar as the threat of unilateralism becomes widespread, thus requiring a centralized surveillance apparatus, solving the control problem is that mush more important! I.e., it's an argument for why MIRI's work matters.
What do you mean? How is mitigating climate change related to blackmail?
I actually think most historical groups wanted to vanquish the enemy, but not destroy either themselves or the environment to the point at which it's no longer livable. This is one of the interesting things that shifts to the foreground when thinking about agents in the context of existential risks. As for people fighting to the death, often this was done for the sake of group survival, where the group is the relevant unit here. (Thoughts?)
Totally agree that some x-risks are non-agential, such as (a) risks from nature, and (b) risks produced by coordination problems, resulting in e.g. climate change and biodiversity loss. As for superpowers, I would classify them as (7). Thoughts? Any further suggestions? :-)
(2) is quite different in that it isn't motivated by supernatural eschatologies. Thus, the ideological and psychological profiles of ecoterrorists are quite different than apocalyptic terrorists, which are bound together by certain common worldview-related threads.
I think my language could have been more precise: it's not merely genocidal, but humanicidal or omnicidal that we're talking about in the context of x-risks. Also, Khmer Rough wasn't suicidal to my knowledge. Am I less right?
As for your first comment, imagine that everyone "wakes up" in a room with only the information provided and no prior memories. After 5 minutes, they're put back to sleep -- but before this occurs they're asked about which room they're in. (Does that make sense?)
Yes to both possibilities. But gbear605 is closer to what I was thinking.
Great question. I think there are strong reasons for anticipating the total number of apocalyptic terrorists and ecoterrorists to nontrivially increase in the future. I've written two papers on the former, linked below. There's weaker evidence to suggest that environmental instability will exacerbate conflicts in general, and consequently produce more malicious agents with idiosyncratic motives. As for the others -- not sure! I suspect we'll have at least one superintelligence around by the end of the century.
Thanks so much for these incredibly thoughtful responses. Very, very helpful.
Hello! I'm working on a couple of papers that may be published soon. Before this happens, I'd be extremely curious to know what people think about them -- in particular, what people think about my critique of Bostrom's definition of "existential risks." A very short write-up of the ideas can be found at the link below. (If posting links is in any way discouraged here, I'll take it down right away. Still trying to figure out what the norms of conversation are in this forum!)
A few key ideas are: Bostrom's definition is problematic for two reasons: ... (read more)
I'd love to know what the community here thinks of some critiques of Nick Bostrom's conception of existential risks, and his more general typology of risks. I'm new to the community, so a bit unsure whether I should completely dive in with a new article, or approach the subject some other way. Thoughts?