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What are all these children doing in my ponds?
  1. Then next week, as you are saving your nth child, you notice that this is the first child you saved. That child fell into the pond again!
  2. Years later you meet a child you saved. That child is now a grown adult. They kept living near the pond in a dire condition. As a consequence their whole life has been miserable, and they made people miserable around them.
  3. That child is now an adult. They had 10 children. 5 of them fell in ponds and drowned.

I'm not saying that that's what happens in real life. Just that the analogy never considers those cases (same disclaimer as OP).

How do we prepare for final crunch time?

There are probably a class of people for whom working on AI alignment is not worth it/optimal/their concern before crunch time, but becomes their main focus once crunch time is officially declared. Something akin to sleeper agents, if you will.

There should be a network ready to tap on these people's assets/skills when the signal is launched.

Why Selective Breeding is a Bad Way to do Genetic Engineering

The right to reproduce is fundamental.

It might be that creating new consciousnesses is a fundamental right, but merely stating it is just sweeping a (tricky) subject under the rug. And even rights have limits when they collide with other rights. Imagine someone has a genetic trait that condemns their offspring to constant excruciating pain. How about the right not to be born just to suffer?

Selective Breeding is Cruel

For myself personally, this is the most compelling reason to not use selective breeding: it is a cruel judgment upon those who, through no fault of their own, happen to draw the short stick in the genetic lottery.

How about people who are not attractive then?

Though we may recognize that certain genes confer advantages to an individual, we must not confuse human ability with human value.

Differences in ability already lead to different opportunities for breeding offspring. Should we correct that too?

Good brainteasers for children?

There's one that's hard to guess, but easy to test if you have a small pool or even a kitchen sink (from Aha! by Martin Gardner).

In a pool there's a boat with heavy gold in it. You throw the gold at the bottom of the pool. Of course, the boat rises, but what about the level of the water in the pool?

Good brainteasers for children?

One I haven't seen anywhere:

I go hiking on a mountain. When I start, the water makes up half the total wieght of my backpack. When I reach the summit, I have drunk half the water. What proportion of the backpack weight does it make up now?

“PR” is corrosive; “reputation” is not.

At quick glance it seems just a slightly more complicated example of always telling the truth (a la Kant) VS lying strategically. But lying can be useful. Likewise PR can be useful.

Killing the ants

I have a strong feeling of déjà-vu. I witnessed a similar discussion happen a few years ago, but was it here?

Is the world becoming better?

If you talk about the progress of (un)happiness in rich countries over the last decades, you should say a word about the progress of unemployment in rich countries over the last decades.

What is up with spirituality?

Spiritual feelings are often associated with awe and the word ‘transcendent’

After being born, at the crucial stages of the development of our being, we are left in a stage of utmost dependency. We own nothing, we are helpless, and the world is full of obvious but unnatainable meaning. At this stage, every growing human needs the percievable world to be fairly well-intended to even survive through infancy, let alone thrive. So evolution hardwired us to seek bonding with our caretakers. That wiring manifests in the form of an intense feeling of fullfillment when we reaffirm or strengthen that bond.

I suspect that transcendence and spiritual awe are more common with people who feel helpless in their life, as an attempt to recreate that feeling of being helped and supported by a powerful entity beyond understanding. Monotheistic spirituality, with the figure of the loving father-god, goes as far as to explicitly state that the believer should forgo understanding and be a helpless child in the hand of the benevolent god.
 

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