Links 8-19 by Scott Alexander – Standard SSC links post.
Building Up To An Internal Family Systems Model by Kaj Sotala – ‘Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a psychotherapy school/technique/model which lends itself particularly well for being used alone or with a peer. For years, I had noticed that many of the kinds of people who put in a lot of work into developing their emotional and communication skills, some within the rationalist community and some outside it, kept mentioning IFS. In this post, I’ll try to describe and motivate IFS in terms which are less likely to give people in this audience the same kind of a “no, that’s nonsense” reaction as I initially had.’
Jeff Hawkins On Neuromorphic AGI Within 20 Years by steve2152 – ‘I just listened to AI podcast: Jeff Hawkins on the Thousand Brain Theory of Intelligence, and read some of the related papers. Jeff Hawkins is a theoretical neuroscientist; you may have heard of his 2004 book On Intelligence. Earlier, he had an illustrious career in EECS, including inventing the Palm Pilot. He now runs the company Numenta, which is dedicated to understanding how the human brain works (especially the neocortex), and using that knowledge to develop bio-inspired AI algorithms.’ Jess gives multiple arguments why AGI is likely within the next 20 years including the claim that ‘Every part of the neocortex is running the same algorithm’.
Questions We Ask Ourselves Making Grant by Open Philanthropy – Some questions: ‘What role would this play in the ecosystem? What need is it filling? Who is best placed to assess the need? Who are we are betting on with this grant? Is this the right grantee for this project? Are we the right funders? What’s the appropriate size and duration for funding? How should we think about the cost-effectiveness of this grant? How could this grant end up having no impact? How will we evaluate this grant?’
Lee Kuan Yew Review by TracingWoodgrains – The conclsuion of a four part series on the man who ran Singapore during its rise to riches. Parts: 1) Growth & redistribution. 2) You are free to agree 3)Race, language, and uncomfortable questions 4) The pathway to power
Is Screen Time Bad For You by Rationally Speaking – ‘It’s common wisdom that spending a lot of time on your smartphone, or checking social media like Facebook and Twitter, takes a psychological toll. It makes us depressed, insecure, anxious, and isolated — or so people say. But is there any research to back that up? Julia discusses the evidence with professor Andy Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute.’
Judea Pearl: Cause Effect by Waking Up with Sam Harris – ‘Sam Harris speaks with Judea Pearl about his work on the mathematics of causality and artificial intelligence. They discuss how science has generally failed to understand causation, different levels of causal inference, counterfactuals, the foundations of knowledge, the nature of possibility, the illusion of free will, artificial intelligence, the nature of consciousness, and other topics.’
On Books And Learning by EconTalk – ‘Software Engineer Andy Matuschak talks about his essay “Why Books Don’t Work” with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Matuschak argues that most books rely on transmissionism, the idea that an author can share an idea in print and the reader will absorb it. And yet after reading a non-fiction book, most readers will struggle to remember any of the ideas in the book. Matuschak argues for a different approach to transmitting ideas via the web including different ways that authors or teachers can test for understanding that will increase the chances of retention and mastery of complex ideas.’