Since you asked so nicely, I can give you two other models. 1. Meditation is like slow recursive self-improvement and reprogramming of your mind. It gives focus & mental health benefits that are hard to get from other places. If you want to accelerate your growth, I think it’s really good. A mechanistic model of meditation & then doing the stages in the book The Mind Illuminated will give you this. (at least, this is how it has been for me)2. Try to be weird and useful. If you have a weird background, you will catch ideas that might fall through the cracks for other people. Yet to make those ideas worth something you have to be able to actually take action on them, meaning you need to know how to, for example, communicate. So try to find the Pareto optimal between weird and useful by following & doing stuff you find interesting, but also valuable and challenging.
(Read a fuckton of non-fiction books as well if that isn’t obvious. Just look up 30 different top 10 lists and you will have a good range to choose from.)
I have tried meditation a little bit although not very seriously. Everything I’ve heard about it makes me think it would be a good idea to do it more seriously.
Not sure how to be weird without being unuseful. What does a weird but useful background look like?
Also I’ve already been trying to read a lot but still somewhat dissatisfied with my pace. You mentioned you could read at 3x your previous speed. How did you do that?
I actually read less books than I used to, the 3x thing was that I listen to audiobooks at 3x the speed so I read less non-fiction but at a faster pace.
Also weird but useful in my head is for example looking into population dynamics to understand alignment failures. When does ecology predict that mode collapse will happen inside of large language models? Understanding these areas and writing about them is weird but it could also a useful bet for at least someone to take.
However, this also depends on how much doing the normal stuff is saturated. I would recommend trying to understand the problems and current approaches really well and then come up with ways of tackling them. To get the bits of information on how to tackle them you might want to check out weirder fields since those bits aren’t already in the common pool of “alignment information” if that makes sense?