Eight Unusual Science Fiction Plots by Paul Christiano – Eight sketches of stories about AI, simulated people and worlds and rebuilding after the apocalypse.
More Than Death Fear Decay by Robin Hanson – Complex adaptive systems (corporations, legal systems, software projects etc) tend to calcify over time and accumulate inefficiencies. Fixing these problems is usually either impossible or extremely expensive. However generalist species do not seem to ‘age’ or ‘rot’ over time. How did evolution achieve this? If we cant cheaply build non-rotting system what implications does that have for our future.
Why Groups Should Consider Direct Work by Richenda – EA communities have a serious retention problem and many groups wish they had more work to do. Hence EA groups should get involved in more direct work, though they need to be careful about the work being low value.
How Pet Owners Can Help Wild Animals And The Environment by Ozy – Cats kill between 1.3 and 4 billion birds and between 6.3 and 22.3 billion mammals annually in the United States. Cats have contributed to 14% of modern mammal, reptile, and bird extinctions. The negative environmental effects of dogs are less well studied but they are also predators and contribute to extinctions. Keep your cats and dogs inside.
Iain Mcgilchris by EconTalk – “McGilchrist argues we have misunderstand the purpose and effect of the divided brain. The left side is focused, concrete, and confident while the right side is about integration of ourselves with the complexity of the world around us. McGilchrist uses this distinction to analyze the history of western civilization. This is a wide-ranging conversation that includes discussions of poetry, philosophy, and economics.”
On Collective Intelligence by Rationally Speaking – “Why do some teams perform better than others at a wide variety of tasks? Julia discusses potential objections to the findings and how gender-related publication bias should affect our interpretation of them. In the second half of the episode, Julia and Chris discuss why people get so upset at companies like Facebook and OKCupid for doing experiments on their users, and whether that’s fair.”
Freedom From The Known by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks with Michael Pollan about his new book ‘How to Change Your Mind.’ They cover the the resurgence of interest in psychedelics in clinical practice and end-of-life care, the ‘betterment of well people,’ the relationship between thinking and mental suffering, the differences between psychedelics and meditation, the non-duality of consciousness, the brain’s ‘default mode network,’ their experiences with various psychedelics, and other topics.”