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This question is broader than just AI. Economic growth is closely tied to technological advancement, and technological advancement in general carries great risks and great benefits.

Consider nuclear weapons, for instance: Was humanity ready for them? They are now something that could destroy us at ...(read more)

Well, ultimately, that was sort of the collective strategy the world used, wasn't it? (Not quite; a lot of low-level Nazis were pardoned after the war.)

And you can't ignore the collective action, now can you?

> It's more a relative thing---"not quite as extremely biased towards academia as the average group of this level of intellectual orientation can be expected to be".

If so, then we're actually *more* rational right? Because we're not biased against academia as most people are, and aren't biased tow...(read more)

It's not quite so dire. You can't do experiments from home usually, but you can interpret experiments from home thanks to Internet publication of results. So a lot of theoretical work in almost every field can be done from outside academia.

otherwise we would see an occasional example of someone making a significant discovery outside academia.

Should we all place bets now that it will be Eliezer?

Negative selection may be good, actually, for the vast majority of people who are ultimately going to be mediocre.

It seems like it may hurt the occasional genius... but then again, there are a lot more people who think they are geniuses than really are geniuses.

In treating broken arms? Minimal difference.

In discovering new nanotechnology that will revolutionize the future of medicine? Literally all the difference in the world.

I think a lot of people don't like using percentiles because they are zero-sum: Exactly 25% of the class is in the top 25%, regardless of whether everyone in the class is brilliant or everyone in the class is an idiot.

Well, you want *some* negative selection: Choose dating partners from among the set who are unlikely to steal your money, assault you, or otherwise ruin your life.

This is especially true for women, for whom the risk of being *raped* is considerably higher and obviously worth negative selecting aga...(read more)

I don't think it's quite true that "fail once, fail forever", but the general point is valid that our selection process is too much about weeding-out rather than choosing the best. Also, academic doesn't seem to be very good at the negative selection that *would* make sense, e.g. excluding people wh...(read more)