Saving the world in 80 days: Prologue

What is this?

This is an in­tro to an in­ten­sive pro­duc­tivity sprint for be­com­ing use­ful in the field of AI safety. I’ll be post­ing ev­ery week or 4 on the good/​bad/​ugly of it all. Definitely in­spired by Nate Soares’ pro­duc­tivity sprint.

Who are you?

Re­cent grad­u­ate in Com­puter Eng­ineer­ing who has some­one to protect


Ul­ti­mately to fur­ther the field of AI safety. In the pro­cess of do­ing this and writ­ing these posts, I’ll:

1. Create a more re­al­is­tic model of what I can do/​ of my limits

2. Re­ceive valuable feed­back from other ra­tio­nal­ists (that’s you!)

3. Rad­i­cally im­prove my knowl­edge of the field & var­i­ous maths

So what are you go­ing to be do­ing ex­actly?

16 hours in a day:

  • Food/​hy­giene/​slack − 4 12 hr

  • Cur­rent mathy book − 3 hr (How to Prove It, atm)

  • Work − 4 hr (Might change de­pend­ing on work needs)

  • Cur­rent Ap­pli­ca­tion − 2 hr (ten­sorFlow)

  • AI-Safety read­ing − 1 hr (Miri’s re­search guide)

  • Liv­ing Main­te­nance − 12 hr

  • Med­i­ta­tion ~ 1 hr (Do­ing squir­relInHell’s site, speci­fi­cally this part)

Aren’t you go­ing to flounder/​fail/​burn-out?

I’ve done 3 other in­ten­sive ses­sions like this in the past. One was a flop and two were quite suc­cess­ful, so I feel pre­pared for this one. I’m definitely shoot­ing for sus­tain­abil­ity here, so I’m try­ing to figure out my limits with­out burn­ing out. This could in­clude get­ting more work done per hour, get­ting more effi­cient rest, or vary­ing the amount of slack time given.

My cur­rent Mur­phyjitsu re­sults:

1. I could waste a lot of time on pica. To pre­vent that, I’m go­ing to no­tice when I want to leave my cur­rent situ­a­tion and pur­sue that and just watch that thought/​sen­sa­tion with­out fuel­ing it. I’ve de­vel­oped this skill while med­i­tat­ing, and have had some suc­cess already, though I feel like there’s more that’s miss­ing. Some­thing like I’m quickly mak­ing deals with my­self such as “You only have to deal with this for a few more min­utes, then you’re free”.

2. I could get uber men­tally tired. If so, I’ll move on to liv­ing main­te­nance or med­i­ta­tion which I con­sider men­tally re­lax­ing.

3. Trips & friends tak­ing a lot of time. I’m not go­ing to go out of my way to spend time with peo­ple, but im­por­tant trips (wed­dings, fam­ily) I’m go­ing to for sure, and I’m okay with less pro­duc­tivity; I’m just gonna’ en­joy the heck out of it.

[Note: I’ve ac­tu­ally been try­ing to do this in­ten­sive ses­sion this past week, but ap­par­ently peo­ple want to spend time with you af­ter you grad­u­ate col­lege or some­thing. I even got food poi­son­ing, lol, but I still man­aged to get 6 hours into my cur­rent book! So I’m offi­cially start­ing to­mor­row af­ter I fully re­cover]

If you have any ques­tions, com­ments, deroga­tory re­marks, please com­ment it! I’ll check them once in the morn­ings (prob­a­bly)