41Joined Jan 2015


I think it might prove quite difficult to scale effective use of psychedelics out to a large population, due to bottlenecks on facilitation. I'd guess that becoming an effective facilitator requires quite a bit of in-person training with an established facilitator and contact with a mature psychedelic culture, in much the same way that becoming an effective meditation teacher seems to require quite a bit (years and years) of in-person contact with an already-established meditation teacher and culture.

I expect that this cannot easily be worked around via more or better written instruction. I'd expect that simply reading The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide (or a future improved version thereof) and then facilitating trips with no other exposure to teachers or culture would produce mediocre or ineffective results for trippers, in much the same way that teaching meditation under the same circumstances would, or teaching entrepreneurship having mostly just read business books would.

I particularly expect that non-facilitated trips will be ineffective on average if scaled out to a large population.

Perhaps a person can become a mature facilitator by extensive solo tripping experience, in combination with consuming written material. But this would also be a bottleneck on scaling out psychedelics.

Perhaps we can just scale psychedelics out slowly and maybe that would still be extremely worthwhile. But I expect this to proceed on timescales not much faster than the rate at which meditation is currently being "scaled out" in the western world.

Thanks for the note. I'll file an issue. FWIW I originally wrote this in google docs, then the best way I could find to get it here was to export as an HTML file, then copy and past from there to here.

Thank you!

In terms of finding opportunities, I don't have a complete framework but I do have some rough heuristics: (1) look for opportunities that the large donors can't find, are too small for them to act on, or for some other reason fail to execute on (2) follow the example of angel investors in the tech community by identifying a funding thesis and then reaching out through personal networks to find people to fund at the very early stage of starting projects/organizations.

In terms of the historical work, I'm considering organizing a much deeper investigation into the history of these organizations. If you or anyone else is interested in working full time / part time on this, do let me know!

What advice would you give to a potential OpenPhil hire re how to think about the value of joining OpenPhil full time vs starting an organization that OpenPhil would be likely to fund vs joining an organization that has already received funding from OpenPhil?

So we get astronomical stakes by multiplying a large amount of time by a large amount of space to get a large light cone of potential future value. Interventions that work along only one of those dimensions -- say, I bury a single computer that generates one utilon per year deep underground, which continues to run for the life of the universe, or I somehow grant a one-off one utilon to every human alive in the year 1 billion -- are dominated by those interventions that affect the product of space and time (e.g. the interventions you listed here). But if there were just one more dimension to multiply, then interventions that addressed the product of all three might dominate all considerations that we currently think about.

Or maybe we could invest in server capacity in readiness of a EM future.

This one seemed out of place to me. Conditioned on the time we start expanding and the rate at which we expand, we're going to have access to some fixed set of resources at a given point in the future, so I don't see how investing in server capacity now affects our server capacity in the far future. (though I do agree that affecting the start time and rate of expansion could be permanent improvements.)

Establishing norms that will protect biological humans and EMs from Hansonian competition - like a right to retire. If uploads are not conscious, it might be important to agree on this before EMs massively outnumber biological humans; after that point it would become much harder.

These seem to be about simply picking the right policies now and locking them in. It might also be important to lock in the right policies vis-a-vis privacy, the death penalty, property rights, etc etc, but why should we think that we can lock such policies in now? This reduces to either "minimize value drift" or "create a singleton", both of which I agree with but you already listed them.

I'm going to be in ottawa jan 27 - feb 2. Would anyone be interested in meeting up?

My experience over the last few days has been that finding potential roommates in the bay area is much harder than it needs to be. There is a lesswrong housing spreadsheet but many EAs are not aware of it. There are many different EA groups and websites where bay area EAs hang out (I have a list of 11). I've reached out to dozens of people directly and been introduced to dozens more, which is super awesome, but it's by no means efficient.

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