I think you're zeroing in on the hypothesis that your list had a problem too early. There are many possible reasons to fail college, like having a mental health issue or not being very motivated to succeed in the first place. Do you know that he actually read your list?
In my experience the biggest predictor of teaching success is whether the person asked to be taught)
If you are leaving relatives or friends behind, consider developing some kind of code language, because people in Russia might be afraid to tell you their real opinions over the phone in plain speech.
I believe there is nothing wrong or irrational about taking collective action or calling to it. On the contrary, a culture that prohibited collective action has failed at instrumental rationality and is about to be conquered by a culture that didn't. So I am strongly opposed to your first suggested rule.
Yes, I believe we shouldn't get involved in politics if it endangers alignment research efforts or otherwise hurts the community for little gain. But we should take collective actions which carry negligible risks and huge expected benefits. Rationality is about winning. Being divided makes us weak and less likely to win. Let's not do this.
Will MIRI want to hire programmers once the pandemic is over? What kind of programmers? What other kinds of people do you seek to hire?
I agree that this statement could be understood this way, and I don't find your interpretation objectionable. It also could be understood to mean that Russian POWs say what they say to stop torture, there is no disclaimer against this interpretation. I should probably have interpreted everything in the most charitable way possible, if it was one thing. I am pushing back because several things made me feel paranoid.Advising Ukrainans to flee while banning commenters from giving any advice to Western powers or discussing morality and justice seemed not neutral. (Russian people remaining nonviolent is not in Ukrainians' interest either.) Comparing Putin's situation to a trolley problem frames him as someone selflessly trying to do what's best for others. I am not saying that these posts are pretending to objectivity while secretly being kremlin propaganda, it just looks to me like lsusr is trying to be neutral and falling short.
There is also this isolating effect when the media tells a lie, e.g. denies some true fact X, and most people don't buy it, but they decide "this is what we're all conspiring to tell our enemies". And while you're busy trying to "convince" your opponent that X actually happened, you never get to discuss whether X is the right thing to do.
It seems like the source of your disagreement is that you do not believe turkeys actually suffer (as you write "suffer" in scare quotes), while the OP clearly believes they do. I think this question needs to be settled first before we decide which emotional reactions are reasonable. (I myself have no idea what the answer is.)
Radical actions. The word "radical" means someone trying to find and eliminate root causes of social problems, rather than just their symptoms. Many people pursue radical goals through peaceful means (spreading ideas, starting a commune, attending a peaceful protest or boycotting would be examples), yet "radical act" is commonly used as a synonym to "violent act".
Extremism. Means having views far outside the mainstream attitude of society. But also carries a strong negative connotation, in some countries is prohibited by law and mentioned alongside "terrorism" like they're synonyms, and redefined by Wikipedia as "those policies that violate or erode international human rights norms" (but what if one's society is opposed to human rights?!) Someone disagreeing with society is not necessarily bad or violent, so this is a bad concept.
"Outside of politics". Any choice one makes affects the balance of power somehow, so one cannot truly be outside. In practice the phrase often means that supporting the status quo is allowed, but speaking against it is banned.