The part about hiring proofreading brought a question to mind: where does the operating budget for the lesswrong website come from, both for stuff like that and standard server costs?
Do you have any recommendations of such stories?
If you also consider the indirect deaths due to the collapse of civilization, I would say that 95% lies within the realm of reason. You don’t need anywhere close to 95% of the population to be fully affected by the scissor to bring about 95% destruction.
Sorry if I was ambiguous in my remark. The comparison that I’m musing about is between “fierce” vs “not fierce” nerds, with no particular consideration of those who are not nerds in the first place.
It’s interesting to read posts like this and “Fierce Nerds” while myself being much less ambitious/fierce/driven than the objects of said essays. I wonder what other psychological traits are associated with the difference between those who are more vs less ambitious/fierce/driven, other things being equal.
Nice poem! It’s cool to see philosophical and mathematical concepts expressed through elegant language, though it it somewhat less common, due to the divergence of interests and skills.
I’d say a lot of domains have reasonably-aligned incentives a lot of the time, but that’s a boring non-answer. For a specific example, there’s the classic case of how whenever I go to the grocery store, I’m presented with a panoply of cheap, good quality foodstuffs available for me to purchase. The incentives along the chain from production → store → me are reasonably well-aligned.
J&J (1 shot): mild tiredness the next day, no other symptoms.
Thanks for the summary. A minor copyediting note: the sentence «They begin as the caracter becomes uncontent with their situation, and» cuts off part way.
Is there anywhere that there are transcripts available for these conversations?
Copyediting note: it appears that the parenthetical statement <(Note: agent here just means “being”, not> got cut off.
I think it is? That was kind of the implication that I read into it at least.
You mention the EA investing group. Where is that? A cursory search didn’t seem to bring anything up. Also, more generally speaking, what would be your top few recommendations of places to keep up with the latest rationalist investment advice?
On this note, I would definitely be willing to pay premium to be part of a fund run by a rationalist who’s more intimately involved with the crypto and prediction markets than I am, and would thereby be able to get significantly more edge than I currently can.
It would definitely be neat to read a history of that sort. Having myself not read many of the books that Eliezer references as forerunners, that area of history is one that I at least would like to learn more about.
Yes, I’d just say that there’s a lot resting on that “up to a point”. Lots of goods, cars included,, fairly rapidly saturate in the benefit that they bring, and hence in how much of them get consumed. At least in the US, we’re at the point where there’s almost as many cars as people, and there’s fairly little use to more than one car per person. This puts a pretty hard upper limit on how much increased car production quality/efficiency will show up (and to a lesser extent, has shown up) in material use.
My informal perception is that in the “developed world” at least, a significant proportion of goods are already far enough along in this process that there’s a substantial decay in the quality of their inputs as proxy measures.
As you briefly mentioned, the focus on input measures (like quantity of materials consumed) can be different from the progress we’re really looking for. In making a progress dashboard, I’d be pretty wary of including such measures in roughly the same way I’d be wary of judging how good a university is by how many employees/student it has — at best the measure is correlated with good things, but even then it’s a cost being paid to get those things, not a benefit in its own right.
Similarly, much of the gain of technology is in making better use of resources, and especially given that many human wants can’t really be satisfied just by scaling up the quantity, I’m not sure how good of a proxy the input measures are. For example, certainly cars have gotten a lot better over the last half century, but this doesn’t much show up as any increase in the amounts of rubber and metal used in their construction.
Lest my response give the wrong impression, I do like the idea of a progress dashboard; I just am not sure that input measures are all that good a candidate for inclusion in it.
A fun interactive demonstration of special relativity. It’s good for getting an intuitive sense for some of the “weird” things that happen in relativistic conditions.
In a world where the fixed costs of creating a being with 0 utility are 0 (very unlike our world), and the marginal costs of utility are increasing (like our world), the best population state would be an ~infinite number of people each with a positive infinitesimal amount of utility relative to nonexistence.
However, the characteristics of personhood and existence would need to be so drastically different in order for the 0 cost to create assumption to be true (or even close to true, even virtual minds take up storage space) that I don’t really think that the conclusion in that particular case teaches us anything much meaningful about universes like our own.
At least to me, intuition is clearly in favor of creating said new people, as long as the positive utility (relative to the zero point of nonexistence) of their lives is greater than the loss in utility to those who already existed.
I do not view this as problematic from a consequentialist perspective, as I see that outcome as a better one than the prior state of fewer, somewhat happier people.
Just to be clear, due to the substantial (somewhat fixed) costs of creating and maintaining a person, the equilibrium point of ambivalence between creating or not creating new positive lives is at a level where each person’s utility is a substantial amount above 0 (rather than just barely preferring existence to nonexistence, as occasionally seems to be imagined).