[Question] What’s your big idea?

At any one time I usually have between 1 and 3 “big ideas” I’m working with. These are generally broad ideas about how some thing works with many implications for how the rest of the whole world works. Some big ideas I’ve grappled with over the years, in roughy historical order:

  • evolution

  • everything is computation

  • superintelligent AI is default dangerous

  • existential risk

  • everything is information

  • Bayesian reasoning is optimal reasoning

  • evolutionary psychology

  • Getting Things Done

  • game theory

  • developmental psychology

  • positive psychology

  • phenomenology

  • AI alignment is not defined precisely enough

  • everything is control systems (cybernetics)

  • epistemic circularity

  • Buddhist enlightenment is real and possible

  • perfection

  • predictive coding grounds human values

I’m sure there are more. Sometimes these big ideas come and go in the course of a week or month: I work the idea out, maybe write about it, and feel it’s wrapped up. Other times I grapple with the same idea for years, feeling it has loose ends in my mind that matter and that I need to work out if I’m to understand things adequately enough to help reduce existential risk.

So with that as an example, tell me about your big ideas, past and present.

I kindly ask that if someone answers and you are thinking about commenting, please be nice to them. I’d like this to be a question where people can share even their weirdest, most wrong-on-reflection big ideas if they want to without fear of being downvoted to oblivion or subject to criticism of their reasoning ability. If you have something to say that’s negative about someone’s big ideas, please be nice and say it as clearly about the idea and not the person (violators will have their comments deleted and possibly banned from commenting on this post or all my posts, so I mean it!).