Rational Feed

AI:

More Realistic Tales Of Doom by Paul Christiano – Two detailed and plausible AI doomsday scenarios.

Podcast:

Will We Destroy The Future by Waking Up with Sam Harris – ‘ Sam Harris speaks with Nick Bostrom about the problem of existential risk. They discuss public goods, moral illusions, the asymmetry between happiness and suffering, utilitarianism, “the vulnerable world hypothesis,” the history of nuclear deterrence, the possible need for “turnkey totalitarianism,” whether we’re living in a computer simulation, the Doomsday Argument, the implications of extraterrestrial life, and other topics.’

On Birth Natural Parenting And Push Back by EconTalk – ‘Tuteur argues that natural parenting–the encouragement to women to give birth without epidurals or caesarians and to breastfeed–is bad for women’s health and has little or no benefit for their children.’

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Rational Feed

Scott:

Does Reality Drive Straight Lines On Graphs Or Do Straight Lines On Graphs Drive Reality by Scott Alexander – The Moore’s law trend-line has been fairly constant over time. Does this mean that innovations in transistor technology didn’t matter? For example the trend-line did not increase after the invention of photolithography. Should we reject arguments of the form ‘the trend-line did not change after X so X did not contribute to the trend’?

Rationalist:

Blackmailers Are Privateers In The War On Hypocrisy by Ben Hoffman – Ben weighs in on a discussion between Hanson and Zvi. Ben thinks blackmail is prima facie good because it improves norm enforcement and better norm enforcement is good.

Politics and Economics:

Tug Sideways by Robin Hanson – It is more useful to propose ‘sideways’ policies changes, instead of focusing on contested issues. Propose ideas that don’t conflict with entrenched ideologies.

Podcast:

Community India by Conversations With Tyler – ‘How much has the U.S. actually fixed the financial system? Does India have the best food in the world? Why does China struggle to maintain a strong relationship with allies? Why are people trading close-knit communities for isolating cities? And what types of institutions are we missing in our social structure?’

Rational Feed

Scott:

Puritan Spotting by Scott Alexander – Scott scores historical figures on how Puritan they were. What happened to American puritanism?

Podcast:

The Map Of Misunderstanding by Waking Up with Sam Harris – ‘Sam Harris speaks with Daniel Kahneman at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. They discuss the replication crisis in science, System 1 and System 2, where intuitions reliably fail, expert intuitions, the power of framing, moral illusions, anticipated regret, the asymmetry between threats and opportunities, the utility of worrying, removing obstacles to wanted behaviors, the remembering self vs the experiencing self, improving the quality of gossip, and other topics.’

Rational Feed

AI:

Alignment Newsletter 48 by Rohin Shah – Weekly AI alignment newsletter. Featured review: ‘A key worry with AI alignment is that if we maximize expected utility for some utility function chosen by hand, we will likely get unintended side effects that score highly by the utility function but are nevertheless not what we intended. We might hope to leverage human feedback to solve this: in particular, an AI system that simply mimics human actions would often be desirable. However, mimicry can only achieve human performance, and cannot improve upon it. The first link is a 2015 paper that introduces quantilization, which interpolates between these two extremes to improve upon human performance while bounding the potential (expected) loss from unintended side effects.’

Podcast:

On Artificial Intelligence Humanity And The Big Nine by EconTalk – ‘Webb observes that artificial intelligence is currently evolving in a handful of companies in the United States and China. She worries that innovation in the United States may lead to social changes that we may not ultimately like; in China, innovation may end up serving the geopolitical goals of the Chinese government with some uncomfortable foreign policy implications. Webb’s book is a reminder that artificial intelligence does not evolve in a vacuum–research and progress takes place in an institutional context. This is a wide-ranging conversation about the implications and possible futures of a world where artificial intelligence is increasingly part of our lives.’

Rational Feed

Scott:

Ketamine Now By Prescription by Scott Alexander – Ketamine has been known for decades to treat depression. Pharma companies have finally gotten an expensive version of ketamine approved to treat depression. However the pharma version might not work!

Oped Thread by Scott Alexander – Open thread. Comments of the week: Facebook/4chan/Youtube mod experiences, Thorium and molten salt reactors, Cognizant and conspiracy stories. In addition ketamine can only be administered at official ketamine clinics.