(I clicked through to see your other comments after disagreeing with one. Generally, I like your comments!)
I think that EA writers and culture are less “lost” than you think, on this axis. I think that most EA/rationalist/ex-risk-focused people in this subculture would basically agree with you that the knowledge explosion/recursive acceleration of technological development is the core problem, and when they talk about “AI safety” and so forth, they’re somewhat shorthanding this.
Like, I think most of the people around here are, in fact, worried about some of the products rolling off the end of the assembly line, but would also pretty much immediately concur with you that the assembly line itself is the root problem, or at least equally important.
I can’t actually speak for everybody, of course, but I think you might be docking people more points than you should.
Note: despite the different username, I’m the author of the handbook and a former CFAR staff member.
I disagree with this take as specifically outlined, even though I do think there’s a kernel of truth to it.
Mainly, I disagree with it because it presupposes that obviously the important thing to talk about is nuclear weapons!
I suspect that Phil is unaware that the vast majority of both CFAR staff and prolific LWers have indeed 100% passed the real version of his test, which is writing and contributing to the subject of existential risk, especially that from artificial intelligence.
Phil may disagree with the claim that nuclear weapons are something like third on the list, rather than the top item, but that doesn’t mean he’s right. And CFAR staff certainly clear the bar of “spending a lot of time focusing on what seems to them to be the actually most salient threat.”
I agree that if somebody seems to be willfully ignoring a salient threat, they have gaps in their rationality that should give you pause.
Marijuana is not what people intend when they say “psychedelics.” For other readers who are confused: these links seem to be about LSD and psilocybin.
Mmmm, I’m reasonably close to Nate’s social circles and I would’ve guessed he meant more the former than the latter (though nonzero the latter as well).
This is not necessarily the case. Means may be different from medians may be different from tails, various populations might be at higher risk, rare downsides might be large enough to make up for their rarity, etc.
“One guy has presented evidence that I won’t even link, so this post should be weakened” is not a sound principle, either.
“There is something in here of Iron Hufflepuff” not meant to equal “All of Iron Hufflepuff is in here.”
I agree the above does not represent kindness much.
Tenacious is the bit that’s coming through most strongly, and also if I were rewriting the lists today I would include “principled” or “consistent” or “conscientious” as a strong piece of Hufflepuff, and that’s very much on display here.
… seems like a non-sequitur; can you connect the dots for me?
In fact, with your permission, I will edit that in.
According to me, that is a succinct and exactly apt summary.
The point was usually to illustrate a variety of different mental motions that a young mathematician might be making, OTHER than the one intended by the algorithm. So all sorts of examples are possible, and there were a number of things found in clinical interviews. Not just instances of one single pattern.
I suspect that it’s worth mentioning sexuality as a special case specifically because our society treats sexual abuse as a separate and somewhat magical magisterium; you’re correct to note that the dynamic matters much more broadly than just with sex in particular, but if there is a problem here in the way the OP theorizes, it seems to me that it’s especially virulent in the domain of sexual assault.
Another way to say this is that not singling out sexual assault in particular makes this almost a … bait and switch? Like, you’d in practice be doing something like trapping people in a way that feels a little disingenuous, by first getting them to admit to a general conclusion and then springing it on them that it applies in this highly-charged, poor-epistemic-hygiene domain as well, ha ha!!
Or something. It feels like burying the lede, or failing to put your thesis up front, even though the argument is more elegant the way you want to make it. Something something the pragmatics of people’s actual attitudes toward/behaviors around sex in particular.
Both I and Luke Raskopf tried our hand at teaching Seeking PCK as a full class, and (in my opinion) did a decent job—perhaps 85% as effective as what you were doing.
After that, though, it began to shrink. EDIT: See Unnamed’s comments above.
If you’re interested in fleshing out the writeup à la the other full-class entries, I would happily include it as the full class that it indeed was. I just discovered that Turbocharging was also skipped over in similar fashion because of having been moved to a “retired” section of the version of the handbook I’ve been working from.
Yeah, it seems to me to point in the direction of “not necessarily legible but definitely there.” Intuitive, implicit, S1 instead of S2, similar to the distinction between aliefs and beliefs.
Ah, but then we’d be misrepresenting it as the full technique?
“Step four of Gendlin’s Focusing” :/ :/ :/
Yeah, definitely not the name we would have chosen if we’d been naming the technique (we were somewhat stuck with Eugene Gendlin’s choice).
Just noting that I am unusually proud of/pleased with this one. It feels like it’s in the top five of all-entries-in-this-sequence, which is big for one that isn’t even a “main technique.”
The 4.5 day CFAR workshops this is derived from were about 3800€ and this is about 20% of the content of one of those, and should be about 10% as useful overall. =P
Since you’re on the fence: if you choose to come and you decide it wasn’t worth 90€, I’ll reimburse you however much you want, up to the full amount.
There aren’t currently plans to write up e.g. descriptions of the classes and activities, but there are lots of people who have been to CFAR workshops who can offer their anecdotes, and you may be able to reach out to CFAR directly for descriptions of what a workshop is like.
(Also, there are going to be workshops in Europe this fall that you could attend if you want.)
As for spreading off-brand versions of the content: CFAR is enthusiastically pro the idea! Their main request is just that you clearly headline:
That CFAR originated the content you’re attempting to convey (e.g. credit them for terms like “TAPs”)
That you are teaching your version of CFAR’s TAPs (or whatever); that this is “what I, Maia, got out of attempting to learn the CFAR technique called TAPs.”
As long as you’re crediting the creators and not claiming to speak with authority about the thing you’re teaching, CFAR is (very) happy to have other people spreading the content.
Actually finding a legit double crux (i.e. a B that both parties disagree on, that is a crux for A that both parties disagree on) happening in the neighborhood of 5% of the time sounds about right.
More and more, CFAR leaned toward “the spirit of double crux,” i.e. seek to move toward getting resolution on your own cruxes, look for more concrete and more falsifiable things, assume your partner has reasons for their beliefs, try to do less adversarial obscuring of your belief structure, rather than “literally play the double crux game.”
Plausible. But I (at least attempted to) account for this prior to giving the number.
Like, the number I give matches my own sense, introspecting on my own beliefs, including doing sensible double-checks and cross-checks with other very different tools such as Focusing or Murphyjitsu and including e.g. later receiving the data and sometimes discovering that I was wrong and have not updated in the way I thought I would.
I think you might be thinking that the “a surprising amount of the time” claim is heavily biased toward “immediate feedback from people who just tried to learn it, in a context where they are probably prone to various motivated cognitions,” and while it’s not zero biased in that way, it’s based on lots of feedback from not-that-context.