All of verbiage_ecstatic's Comments + Replies

Suspiciously balanced evidence

Here’s a better explanation that captures the intuition behind those responses: a middling probability doesn’t just come from balanced evidence, it also results from absence of evidence (because in the absence of evidence, we revert to our priors, which tend to be middling for events that aren’t dramatically outside the realm of what we consider possible). It’s not suspicious at all that there are millions of questions where we don’t have enough evidence to push us into certainty: understanding the world is hard and human knowledge is very incomplete. It

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The Vulnerable World Hypothesis (by Bostrom)

I think it’s a sad and powerful Overton window demonstration that these days someone can write a paper like this without even mentioning space colonization, which is the obvious alternate endgame if you want a non-global-dictatorship solution.

5Ben Pace2ySome of Bostrom's key papers [https://nickbostrom.com/astronomical/waste.html] are primarily about the massive importance of colonising space soon, and other researchers at the institution he founded have written papers [https://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/space-races-settling.pdf] trying to do basic modelling of plans to ensure we're able to use all the resources in the universe. It's inaccurate to say that this isn't something that these researchers think about a lot and care about. But I don't think it affects this paper. There can be technologies that pose such existential threats (e.g. superintelligent AGI) that it doesn't matter how far away you are when you make them (well, I suppose if we leave each others' light cones then that's a bit different, though there are ways to get around that barrier). So I think many of these arguments will go through if you assume we've, say, built dyson spheres and shot out into the galaxies.
An optimistic explanation of the outrage epidemic

I have a counter-example. I have a few people in my Facebook feed who regularly post outraged articles about Palestinians launching terror attacks or doing bad things. I also have a few people who regularly post outraged articles about Israelis killing Palestinian protestors. This theory would predict that the people posting the former would tend to be Palestinian or Muslim, while the latter who tend to be Israeli or Jewish. But I’m fact it’s the opposite: all the articles about Palestinians doing bad things are posted by Jews, and all the articles about Israelis are posted by Muslims.

5chaosmage3yNo, the degree of outrage also depends on closeness to the victim. In this case Jews will feel closer to Israelis (the victims of Palestinians), and Muslims will feel closer to Palestinians (the victims of Israelis) so that's what they're outraged about. Closeness to the perpetrator is a factor I think, but I don't expect it is stronger than closeness to the victim.
Blind Empiricism

I’ve also read the book and agree that it is totally compatible with what EY is saying. I’ve also met many people who sound like founder 1.

My theory is that founder 1s don’t exist in the wild because of confusion about epistemology. Rather, I think most people don’t like and / or are bad at top-down reasoning from first principles. I think that if you are good at it, and try to do things in the real world, your epistemology will automatically gravitate towards being reasonable. And if you are bad at it / don’t do it, it doesn’t matter how many articles... (read more)

Moloch's Toolbox (2/2)

Thanks! Always helpful to know what the actual term is. I did a couple minutes of googling... the one contemporary player I turned up is https://collaction.org. They seem to be playing from the modern web startup playbook (design aesthetic is Kickstarter-lite), but they don't seem to have much traction: they claim six people on their team, but no evidence of revenue or fundraising, and their website is slow and a little clunky.

Their demo projects are pretty uninspiring; they don't seem to be going after genuine collective action problems, but ... (read more)

Moloch's Toolbox (2/2)

Soooo.... why doesn't someone build an app for this??

I mean, seriously. As Part 1 pointed out, we have Kickstarter, but Kickstarter only solves problems where it's obvious that directly applying cash is what is needed. As soon as it gets more complicated than that, you need to trust the person who is going to be spending the cash, and then you get back into assymetric information land.

Let's take the subset of problems where a) no one is afraid to be publically affiliated with the hard-to-coordinate action, they just can't rationally t... (read more)

8Sniffnoy3yWorth noting: Eliezer failed to mention the phrase "assurance contract", but that's what the thing he was talking about is called. If you want to see what's been done with assurance contract platforms already, it's something you'll want to look up.
3ChristianKl3yTo me this seems like a project of virtue signaling to each other. I don't think the problem is that we have to little people who say "we should stop using p-values". The problem is rather that we don't have a good alternative on which we can agree of how the system should be structured. Could you give specific examples of how you see specific problems getting solved?