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We've been steadily accumulating evidence since then that intelligence is compute-intensive. It's time to reject that threat model as a distraction.


If the AI is a much better programmer than humans are, then it has a pretty good shot at packing a lot more intelligence into the same amount of compute. 

Not exactly a disagreement, but I think this post is missing something major about classic style (the style in a more objective sense, maybe not Pinker's version). Namely, classic style can be taken as a sort of discipline which doesn't so much tell you how to write but rather makes strong recommendations about what to write. If you find yourself writing a lot of "I think..." and "Maybe..." and "My concept of..." and so on, you might want to questions whether you should be writing this, instead of thinking it through more carefully. This advice of course doesn't apply universally, but e.g. on LW it probably does apply in a lot of cases. 

E.g. "Maybe all Xs are Ys..."; well, instead of writing that, you could try to find a statement that you're confident enough in to write without the qualifier, and that still carries your point; or you could check this claim more thoroughly; or maybe you ought to more explicitly say that your argument rests on this assumption that you're not sure about, and give the best counterargument to this assumption that you can. If you're making an argument that rests on multiple assumptions like these, then it's likely that you should be making a different argument with more narrow concepts and conclusions that doesn't require as many "maybe"s. 

E.g. sometimes "My concept of..." is a sort of crutch to keep from throwing away a concept that you don't understand / isn't grounded / isn't clear / isn't useful / doesn't apply. Like, yes, you can more easily make true statements about your concept of X than X itself, but you're risking cutting yourself off from X itself.

IDK if helpful, but my comment on this post here is maybe related to fighting fire with fire (though Elizabeth might have been more thinking of strictly internal motions, or something else):


And gjm's comment on this post points at some of the relevant quotes:


(Mainly for third parties:)

I don't care about people accepting my frame.

I flag this as probably not true.

Frankly, lots of folk here are bizarrely terrified of frames. I get why; there are psychological methods of attack based on framing effects.

It's the same sort of thing your post is about. 

Might have filtered folk well early on and helped those for whom it wasn't written relax a bit more.

I flag this as centering critical reactions being about the reacters not being relaxed, rather than that there might be something wrong with his post. 

You write in a gaslighty way, trying to disarm people's critical responses to get them to accept your frame.  I can see how that might be a good thing in some cases, and how you might know that's a good thing in some cases. E.g. you may have seen people respond some way, and then reliable later say "oh this was XYZ and I wish I'd been told that". And it's praiseworthy to analyze your own suffering and confusion, and then explain what seem like the generators in a way that might help others.

But still, trying to disarm people's responses and pressure them to accept your frame is a gaslighting action and has the attendant possible bad effects. The bad effects aren't like "feel quite so scared", more like having a hostile / unnatural / external / social-dominance narrative installed. Again, I can see how a hostile narrative might have defenses that tempt an outsider to force-install a counternarrative, but that has bad effects. I'm using the word "gaslighting" to name the technical, behavioral pattern, so that its common properties can be more easily tracked; if there's a better word that still names the pattern but is less insulting-sounding I'd like to know.

A main intent of my first comment was to balance that out a little by affirming simple truths from outside the frame you present. I don't view you as open to that sort of critique, so I didn't make it; but if you're interested I could at least point at some sentences you wrote.


ETA: Like, it would seem less bad if your post said up front something more explicit to the effect of: "If you have such and such properties, I believe you likely have been gaslighted into feeding the doomsday cult. The following section contains me trying to gaslight you back into reality / your body / sanity / vitality." or something. 

Neither up- nor down-voted; seems good for many people to hear, but also is typical mind fallacying / overgeneralizing. There's multiple things happening on LW, some of which involve people actually thinking meaningfully about AI risk without harming anyone. Also, by the law of equal and opposite advice: you don't necessarily have to work out your personal mindset so that you're not stressed out, before contributing to whatever great project you want to contribute to without causing harm.

Yeah... I mean it's not thinking / comparing / reckoning / discerning, it's just.... saying things that are the sort of thing that someone says in that context...

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