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AGI Ruin: A List of Lethalities

Feel free to delete because this is highly tangential but are you aware of Mark Solms work ( on consciousness, and the subsequent work he's undertaking on artificial consciousness?

I'm an idiot, but it seems like this is a different-enough path to artificial cognition that it could represent a new piece of the puzzle, or a new puzzle entirely - a new problem/solution space. As I understand it, AI capabilities research is building intelligence from the outside-in, whereas the consciousness model would be capable of building it from the inside-out.

What do you do to deliberately practice?

Both meditation and exercise. A daily (1hr a day is the sweet spot), lifelong practice without end. Easy to learn, probably impossible for most of us to master but that's okay because mastery isn't the point.

The point is to strengthen and broaden the connection between mind and body, and the connections within your body itself - to relearn how to move with the whole body.

To learn how to be still, and yet relaxed instead of stiff.

The point is also, at least for me, to do something impossibly slow and hard every day. To fail with a smile on my face. To appreciate the journey, knowing I will never reach the destination.

Can growth continue?

I disagree, strongly. Not only do I believe this line of reasoning to be wrong, I believe it to be dangerously wrong. I believe downplaying and/or underestimating the role of energy in our economic system is part of why we find ourselves in the mess we're in today.

To reference Nate Hagens ( 
We use the equivalent of 100 billion barrels of oil a year. Each barrel of oil can do the amount of work it would take 5 humans to do. There are 500 billion 'ghost' labourers in our society today.

(Back to me)

You cannot eat ideas. You cannot treat sewage with them. You cannot heat your home with them. You cannot build your home with them. You cannot travel across an ocean on them. 

1000x0 is 0. Technology is a powerful multiplier, but 0 is 0.

You cannot build cold fusion power plants with ideas. You cannot conjure up the material resources or the skilled labour and energy inputs necessary to build them with ideas. (once again Nate Hagens -

.... aaaand then there's the whole topic of renewables and the hidden costs and limitations thereof.

The only idea I have encountered that nullifies this reality is a superintelligent AI. The thing we're all so scared of, but simultaneously the only technology powerful enough to both harvest and utilize energy on scales beyond human ability. And also powerful enough to coordinate human activity such that Jeavons Paradox doesn't nullify the benefits (and, more generally, such that we don't waste such an insane amount of energy on stupid things).

And finally, re population:

Demographics, read about them -

tl;dr Yes, Malthus was 'wrong'. He was wrong because it turned out that women with access to education and opportunity choose to have less children (there are exceptions, but not too many). Technology/ideas didn't save us from exponential population growth, it was a natural (i.e. not consciously considered, organized, enacted) change in behaviour. 

[$20K in Prizes] AI Safety Arguments Competition

The more powerful a tool is, the more important it is that the tool behaves predictably.

A chainsaw that behaves unpredictably is very, very, dangerous.

AI is, conservatively, thousands of times more powerful than a chainsaw.

And unlike an unpredictable chainsaw, there is no guarantee we will be able to turn an unpredictable AI off and fix it or replace it.

It is plausible that the danger of failing to align AI safely - to make it predictable - is such that we only have one chance to get it right.

Finally, it is absurdly cheap to make massive progress in AI safety.

20 Modern Heresies

This was wonderful; the post that finally got me to create an account here. I got quite a few sensible chuckles and a few hearty laughs out of your list. I think we've been reading similar books recently (Graeber's Dawn of Everything? :) )

My contribution is to remind the participants that a somewhat recurring theme (something of an original in western philosophy - i.e. Socrates) in history is of wise people enjoying themselves too much and getting murdered by the people who'd grown increasingly scared/estranged/horrified by them. 

Heretical thinking is fun, but in the real world there are people who would harm you for exposing them to it.
Practice safe heresy kids :)