Rationalist

Rationalist:

Dragon Army Retrospective by Duncan – Dragon Army is a military inspired rationalist house. They recently completed a six month Phase One. The house did quote well relative to a normal rationalist house (B+ grade) but fell far short of its goals (D-). the biggest problems were caused by four problematic roles: Ghost who were not engaged enough, White Knights who held others to an unreasonable standard and felt betrayed, Red Knights who were too distrustful of the project and its leadership and Black Knights whose mindset was far too transactional.

Podcast:

Occupational Licensing On by EconTalk – “Redbird finds that licensing expands opportunity for women and minorities and has little impact on wages. She argues that licensing helps historically disadvantaged groups discover ways into various careers they otherwise would have trouble accessing. The discussion closes with a discussion of Redbird’s work on the economic situation of Native Americans.”

On Reforming Psychology And Self Awareness by Rationally Speaking – “Simine Vazire is a professor of psychology, the author of the blog, ‘Sometimes I’m Wrong,’ and a major advocate for improving the field of psychology. She and Julia discuss several potential objections to Simine’s goal, how to handle criticism, and Simine’s psychology research on the question: How self-aware are people about the way they behave?”

What Is And What Matters by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks with Rebecca Goldstein and Max Tegmark about the foundations of human knowledge and morality.”

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Rationalist:

An Untrollable Mathematician by bramdemski – An illustrated presentation on probability, logic, Bayes and logical induction.

Podcast:

Jan Leike Ml Alignment by 80,000 Hours – How to work at Deep Mind: “First complete an undergrad degree in computer science and mathematics. Prioritize harder courses over easier ones. Publish at least one paper before you apply for a PhD. Find a supervisor who’ll have a lot of time for you. Go to the top conferences and meet your future colleagues. And finally, get yourself hired.”

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

A Concrete Multi Step Variant Of Double Crux I Have Used by deluks917 – Raymond Arnold has written about the failure of many discussions to result in clear progress recognizable by both sides. In general, the ideas around double crux are useful but the technique can be under-specified (especially for people who have not been to CFAR). Additionally, progress can be difficult to achieve until participants have a good understanding of the other person’s relevant mental models. Here is a step by step method thats worked well for me.

EA:

Current Thinking On Prioritization 2018 by Telofy – “This article documents my current thoughts on how to make the most out of my experiment with earning to give. It draws together a number of texts by other authors that have influenced my thinking and adds some more ideas of my own for a bundle of heuristics that I currently use to make donation decisions. I hope the article will make my thinking easier to critique, will help people make prioritization decisions, will inspire further research into the phenomena that puzzle me, and will allow people to link the right books or papers to me.”

Podcast:

Conversation Chris Blattman by Marginal Revolution – “We talked about the problem with cash transfers, violence, child soldiers, charter cities, Rene Girard, how to do an Africa trip, Battlestar Galactica, why Ethiopia is growing rapidly, why civil war has become less common, why Colombia and the New World have been so violent, the mysteries of Botswana, and Chris’s favorite Australian TV show, among other topics, including of course the Chris Blattman production function.”

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Rationalist:

Strengthening The Foundations Under The Overton Window Without Moving It by Katja Grace – The current norm is that its ok to argue with people who are slightly wrong but not ok to argue with people who are extremely wrong. This creates problems for people who figure things out mostly via there own reasoning since they won’t hear the best arguments refuting terrible positions.

Caring Less by Eukaryote – “Why don’t more attempts at persuasion take the form ‘care less about ABC’, rather than the popular ‘care more about XYZ’?”

Podcast:

Adventures In Difficult Subjects by The Bayesian Conspiracy – The hosts discuss some popular articles: Yudkowsky on no fire alarms for AI, Zvi on the concept of Slack, Ben Hoffman “Sabbath Hard and Go Home“, A Lesswrong Crypto Autopsy on Lesserwrong by Scott Alexander.

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

A Developmental Framework For Rationality by lifelonglearner – “A way of looking at rationality as a set of transitioning worldviews that operate different assumptions. The short summary of progression looks like techniques → habits → introspection → feelings → multiple ontologies. Skills which appear to be at odds with one another can be seen as operating under different models of what the question of rationality is even about.”

Multiplicity Of Enlightenment States by Wei_Dai – “It seems that there are multiple different mental states that people have historically called “enlightenment”, as well as many different types of contemplative practices with different underlying cognitive mechanisms. I link to and quote from a couple of papers showing this. Given the apparent multiplicity of “enlightenment” states and contemplative practices, I’d like to request that future discussions on these topics include more detailed references or descriptions as to which states and practices are being talking about.”

Six Kinds Of Reading by Everything Studies – “Having the parts brought together in a single volume improved the structural integrity of my worldview. It made the whole edifice sturdier. The partial overlapping with ideas on many topics fixed the system in place, like how papier-maché becomes strong and rigid by layering paper strips partly on top of each other.”

EA:

Thoughts On Existential Risk by Jeff Kaufman – A quick point by point summary of Jeff’s position on X-risk. He mostly just sketches out the argument that the future will have alot of people so stakes are high. However cause prioritization is hard.

AI:

Ai Alignment Prize Round 2 Due March 31 2018 by Zvi Moshowitz – Round 1 of the AI Alignment Prize gave out 15K worth of cash prizes to its six winners. Round 2 is open until the end of March. If you are interested in writing about AI Alignment now is a good time.

Avoiding AI Races Through Self Regulation by Gordon Worley – “The first group to build artificial general intelligence or AGI stands to gain a significant strategic and market advantage over competitors, so companies, universities, militaries, and other actors have strong incentives to race to build AGI first. An AGI race would be dangerous, though, because it would prioritize capabilities over safety and increase the risk of existential catastrophe. A self-regulatory organization (SRO) for AGI may be able to change incentives to favor safety over capabilities and encourage cooperation rather than racing.”

Misc:

History Of Https Usage by Jeff Kaufman – A history of how the encrypted internet protocol https was adopted. Originally https was mostly viewed as a way to implement online shopping. Now we are moving closer to a world with only https (Especially since the NSA seems to store a large fraction of all http traffic).

Podcast:

119 Hidden Motives by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks with Robin Hanson about our hidden motives in everyday life. They discuss selfishness, hypocrisy, norms and meta-norms, cheating, deception, self-deception, education, the evolutionary logic of conversation, social status, signaling and counter-signaling, common knowledge, AI, and many other topics.”

Arnold Kling by EconTalk – “Kling argues that economics would be more useful if it took account of intangibles like culture, incorporated the role of financial intermediation in the economy, and modeled some of the the subtleties of the labor market–how wages are set and the role of team production.”

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Scott:

OT97 Dopen Thread by Scott Alexander – SSC bi-weekly public open thread. Comment of the week and some blog updates.

Rationalist:

Kegan And Cultivating Compassion by mindlevelup – “An overview of Kegan’s subject-object theory in terms of differing expectations. Worldview differences play a key role in disagreements. Using Kegan’s stages to model social relationships and expanding compassion.”

AI:

Universality And Security Amplification by Paul Christiano – ‘Security amplification is the problem of combining many corrigible agents, into a group which is harder to attack than any individual. I hope to iterate security amplification and end up with a secure system.’ (Corrigible roughly means trustworthy)