Rational Feed

EA:

Talent and Funding Gaps by ea247 – Estimates of the talent and funding gaps in Poverty, Animal Rights, AI Risk and Meta-EA. Whether animal rights and meta-Ea seem funding constrained mostly seems to depend on whether you agree with Lewis Bollard and Nick Beckstead respectively (the people in charge of these areas at OpenPhil)

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Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Dimensional Decoupling by Brian Lui – Its often useful to split concepts into component parts. For example someone might split people into ‘good friends’ (nice and generous) and ‘bad friends’ (mean and selfish). However ‘niceness’ and ‘generosity’ are fairly orthogonal concepts and should not be compressed into a single axis.

Science Under High Modernism by sam[]zdat – Meditations on Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific paradigm shifts and the difficulty of crafting explicit definitions.

The Second Circle by Zvi Moshowitz – Zvi discusses a rationalist ‘circle’ in NYC that did not go well. (Circling is way of having group conversations about your experiences and emotions)

AI:

Challenges To Christiano S Capability Amplification Proposal by Eliezer – Paul Christiano (long term rationalist who works at Open AI) has a theory of how to successfully align an advanced AI. Eliezer responds with a long and detailed criticism. Probably only worth reading if you are familiar with Paul’s work already.

Erik Brynjolfsson Interviews Daniel Kahneman by Marginal Revolution – Daniel Kahneman text interview about AI and various problems with bias. Kahneman think AI handles bias much better than humans.

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Open Problems In Group Rationality by Duncan Sabien – Open Problems in group rationality duncan is interested in: Getting new members and having roles for them, defection and feelings of being defected on, how to balance psychological safety with high standards, avoiding Goodhart’s law while increasing productivity, balancing autonomy and group cohesion, distributed moral blame.

Talents by Ben Hoffman – Two parables about accumulating wealth. Is accumulated wealth evidence of competence or is it evidence of being complicit with an abusive system.

The First Circle by Zvi Moshowitz – Zvi describes a conversation that caused him to freak out over AI timelines.

Podcast:

Allan Dafoe: Politics Of AI by 80,000 Hours – Even if we stopped at today’s AI technology and simply collected more data, built more sensors, and added more computing capacity, extreme systemic risks could emerge, including: Mass labor displacement, a more oligopolistic global market structure, universal surveillance, autonomous weapons used to violently suppress civilians.

Rational Feed

Scott:

Basic Income Not Basic Jobs Against Hijacking Utopia by Scott Alexander – Scott argues against replacing basic incomes with a job guarantee. Basic jobs don’t help the disabled (60% of the unemployed), caretakers or parents. Jobs are expensive to have because of transportation and housing costs. Basic jobs might not be productive and there are no proposed mechanisms to replace quitting bad jobs and firing bad workers. Basic income is minimally economically disruptive, basic jobs are the opposite. Personnel development concerns. Basic income puts everyone on the same side, basic jobs does the opposite. Work is fundamentally unpleasant. Scott responds to a long list of counter-arguments against UBI.

Rationalist:

Of Two Minds by Valentine – Thinking comes in two varieties mechanical (catching a ball) and social (what to do about other people). Our ideas about truth are grounded in mechanical reasoning. Humans are reasonably good Bayesian when they engage in mechanical reasoning. Most cognitive biases evolved because its socially useful to have them. Social reasoning is usually more important to reproductive success so if you ignore the social web you are missing most of what is going on.

The Nerd As The Norm by Everything Studies – What qualities define a nerd? If you invert this qualities you get the anti-nerd, the ‘wamb’. Current ideas of normal exclude the unusually nerdy but include the unusually anti-nerdy. A detailed hypothetical ‘field guide to the wamb’ from a society where nerds are consider as normal and wambs are not.

EA:

Update: External Donors by Open Philanthropy – Why Open Phil mostly works with its primary donors Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna. They do not need more donors since their current giving recommendations are below the amount Dustin and Cari want to give away annually. However they have worked with outside donors on criminal justice reform.

AI:

Ai And Compute by Open Ai – “We’re releasing an analysis showing that since 2012, the amount of compute used in the largest AI training runs has been increasing exponentially with a 3.5 month-doubling time (by comparison, Moore’s Law had an 18-month doubling period). Since 2012, this metric has grown by more than 300,000x (an 18-month doubling period would yield only a 12x increase). Improvements in compute have been a key component of AI progress, so as long as this trend continues, it’s worth preparing for the implications of systems far outside today’s capabilities.”

Politics and Economics:

Culture War Roundup by r/ssc – Weekly culture war roundup. Recommended posts from the subreddit.

Book Reviews For April by Ozy – Book Reviews: Feminism and Sex Work, Unschooling,mSEx Therapy, Religious Freedom, Autism, Private Employer Tyranny and other topics.

Misc:

Resource Pages by Eukaryote – Some resource pages: Music to study to, Cheap Food (focused on Vegetarian/Vegan) and Online literature Recommendations.

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Getting Into Programming by Jeff Kaufman – Very basic advice on getting into software development. However there is good discussion of why programmer salaries remain high in the comments and at the end of the article.

Podcast:

Eva Vivalt: Social Science Generalizability by 80,000 Hours – Most global development research does not reproduce. How can we practice evidence based development when so much of the evidence is shoddy? “The typical study result differs from the average effect found in similar studies so far by almost 100%. That is to say, if all existing studies of an education program find that it improves test scores by 0.5 standard deviations – the next result is as likely to be negative or greater than 1 standard deviation, as it is to be between 0-1 standard deviations.”

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Personal Relationships With Goodness by Katja Grace – Four explanations for why our actions don’t line up with our considered moral values. For example why do we watch youtube videos instead of working on preventing x-risk.

Low Decoupling Vs High Decoupling by Chris_Leong – “High decoupling norms: It is considered eminently reasonable to require your claims to be considered in isolation – free of any context or potential implications. Low decoupling norms: It is considered eminently reasonable to expect certain contextual factors or implications to be addressed. Not addressing these factors is often seen as sloppy or even an intentional evasion.”

Rational Feed

Podcast:

Peter Boettke On Adam Smith by EconTalk – “Adam Smith’s view of the state, the tension between the state as enabler of real vs. crony capitalism, the potential for the poor to flourish in a market economy, and the challenges of democracy.”

Science of Psychedelics by The Ezra Klein Show – “Over the past decade or so, the scientific community has reengaged with psychedelic substances, and done so to extraordinary effect: The studies Pollan describes in this discussion are remarkable, but so too are the insights into how our minds work, the ways in which they become overly ordered and efficient as we age, and the power that a dedicated dose of disorder can hold. You don’t have to be interested in taking magic mushrooms to listen to this conversation. Most of it isn’t about psychedelics at all. It’s about how we think, how we sense, how we learn, whether spiritual experiences can have materialist consequences, what makes us afraid of death, what our minds filter out in the world around us, and much more.”