I’m grateful for MIRI etc and their work on what is probably as world-endy as nuclear war was (and look at all the intellectual work that went into THAT).
The thing that’s been eating me lately, almost certainly mainly triggered by the political situation in the U.S., is how to manage the transition from 2020 to what I suspect is the only way forward for the species—genetic editing to reduce or eliminate the genetically determined cognitive biases we inherited from the savannah. My objectives for the transition would be
Minimize physical suffering
Minimize mental/emotional suffering
Maximize critical thinking
Maximize sharing of economic resources
I’m extra concerned about tribalism/outgrouping and have been thinking a lot about the lunch-counter protestors in the U.S. practice/role-playing the inevitable taunts, slurs, and mild or worse physical violence they would receive at a sit-in, knowing that if they were anything less than absolute model minorities, their entire movement could be written off overnight.
I’m only just starting to look into what research there might already be on such a broad topic, so if you see this, and you have literally any starting points whatsoever (beyond what’s on this site’s wiki and SlateStarCodex), say something.
Do you think genetic editing could remove biases? My suspicsion is that they’re probably baked pretty deeply into our brains and society, and you can’t just tweak a few genes to get rid of them.
I figure that at some point in the next ~300 years, computers will become powerful enough to do the necessary math/modeling to figure this out based on advances in understanding genetics.
It just feels like “biases” are such a high level of abstraction that are based on basic brain architecture. To get rid of them would be like creating a totally different design.