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Sure, but it does not preclude it. Moreover, if the costs of the actions are not borne by the altruist (e.g. by defrauding customers, or extortion), I would not consider it altruism.

In this sense, altruism is a categorization tag placed on actions.

I do see how you might add a second, deontological definition ('a belief system held by altruists'), but I wouldn't. From the post, "Humane" or "Inner Goodness" seem more apt in exploring these ideas.

I do not see the contradiction. Could you elaborate?

John Carmack

  • 55-60% chance there will be "signs of life" in 2030 (4:06:20)
  • "When we've got our learning disabled toddler, we should really start talking about the safety and ethics issues, but probably not before then" (4:35:36)
  • These things will take thousands of GPUs, and will be data-center bound
    • "The fast takeoff ones are clearly nonsense because you just can't open TCP connections above a certain rate" (4:36:40)

Broadly, he predicts AGI to be animalistic ("learning disabled toddler"), rather than a consequentialist laser beam, or simulator.

I found this section, along with dath ilani Governance, and SCIENCE! particularly brilliant.

This concept is introduced in Book 1 as the solution to the Ultimatum Game, and describes fairness as Shapely value.

When somebody offers you a 7:5 split, instead of the 6:6 split that would be fair, you should accept their offer with slightly less than 6/7 probability. Their expected value from offering you 7:5, in this case, is 7 * slightly less than 6/7, or slightly less than 6.


Once you've arrived at a notion of a 'fair price' in some one-time trading situation where the seller sets a price and the buyer decides whether to accept, the seller doesn't have an incentive to say the fair price is higher than that; the buyer will accept with a lower probability that cancels out some of the seller's expected gains from trade. [1]

Eliezer: What do you want the system to do?

Bob: I want the system to do what it thinks I should want it to do.

Eliezer: The Hidden Complexity of Wishes

Gwern has a fantastic overview of time-lock encryption methods.

A compute-hard real-time in-browser solution that doesn't rely on exotic encryption appears infeasible. (You'd need a GPU, and hours/days worth of compute for years of locking). For LW, perhaps threshold aggregate time-lock encryption would suffice (though vulnerable to collusion/bribery attacks, as noted by Gwern).

I agree with Quintin Pope, a public hash is simple and effective.

Vitalik's Optimism retro-funding post mentions a few instances where secret ballots are used today, and which could arguably be improved by these cryptographic primitives:

  • The Israeli Knesset uses secret votes to elect the president and a few other officials
  • The Italian parliament has used secret votes in a variety of contexts. In the 19th century, it was considered an important way to protect parliament votes from interference by a monarchy.
  • Discussions in US parliaments were less transparent before 1970, and some researchers argue that the switch to more transparency led to more corruption.
  • Voting in juries is often secret. Sometimes, even the identities of jurors are secret.

In general, the conclusion seems to be that secret votes in government bodies have complicated consequences; it's not clear that they should be used everywhere, but it's also not clear that transparency is an absolute good either.

If we cannot prove who anyone actually voted for, we can't prove who actually won at all.

Using zero-knowledge proofs it is possible to prove that votes were counted correctly, without revealing who anyone voted for. See MACI [1], which additionally provides inability to prove your own vote to a third party.

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