40Joined May 2021


Expected ethical value of a career in AI safety

This is a touchingly earnest comment. Also is your ldap qiurui? If those words mean nothing to you, I've got the wrong guy :)

Software Developers: Should you apply to work at CEA?

I would not have applied without this post, and I think it also seriously increased my probability of applying to a variety of AI research roles (which I'd been putting off for years).

Writing about my job: Web Developer

This almost perfectly matches my experience as a full-stack programmer at a FAANG. I especially appreciate the point that getting along well with your team-mates is a huge deal. It is a surprisingly consistent source of enjoyment in my job that I can joke and post memes to my team.

Fair enough. I would personally find it less off-putting if you framed it in terms of collecting feedback instead of focusing on the downvotes. For example, suppose I saw a thread starting with:

'I'm curious on feedback to this post. Please take this survey[link]'

and then the survey itself has questions about the positions 1/2/3/4/5 mentioned, and a question on whether the respondent up/downvoted.

Then that seems like a fine thread. You're collecting genuine feedback, maybe it seems a little over the top, but it doesn't come across as speculation on why someone disliked something. There's also an easy way for me to provide that feedback without making a public statement that people can then argue with. If I downvote something, there is a very good chance that I don't want to spend time explaining my reasoning on a public thread where I'm in a social contract to reply to objections.

I want to say that I didn't downvote the post (I think its a relatively neat idea, and has garnered at least one good submission).

On the other hand, I find speculation on 'why the downvotes?' to be unproductive.  Its reasonable to encourage people explain their opinions, but I've generally found that threads about downvotes are low quality with lots of guesses and trying to put words in other people's mouths. I don't think you're doing that here very much, but it isn't the kind of thread I'd like to see often if at all.

It also seems odd that there are so rarely threads in the other direction, asking people to explain why they liked a particular post :)

This is an excellent point. Making a new name for an existing concept is generally bad, but utilitarianism (and the associated 'for the greater good') has been absolutely savaged in public perception.

I want to mention that I like the rounded version a lot, and the angular version is better than the current 'weird 5 stars' but not quite as neat. I think the fact that the angular version looks almost exactly like a capital sigma is what throws me off (sigma means a lot of stuff).

I definitely sympathize with the argument against having a symbol for an idea. Both the good and the bad of symbolization is that it leads to identification.

Writing about my job: Data Scientist

I also had a sticker shock here at the number. Thanks for including the Glassdoor links, I was very surprised that base pay in the US overall is higher than London (which is presumably the most expensive UK market).

Thoughts on being overqualified for EA positions

This really matches my experience. As a high skill worker (software engineer at a FAANG), I strongly view top down proposals without team buy-in as a leadership failure.

If your idea is good, you should be able to convince the team that it is good and ought to be implemented (contributing to the implementation yourself is going to win you big favor points). Going over the team's head to force the solution by forcing the HR team to accept the proposal in the example is going to burn bridges. Maybe it's necessary if the proposal is incredibly important, but mandating a solution on a team after pushback should generally be viewed as an organizational failure to mourn.

The State of the World — and Why Monkeys are Smarter than You

A lot of this is looking at global poverty, and I'd highly recommend 'Poor Economics' as an introduction to the lives of the global poor.

I'll mention that I found this post's title to be overly sensational (and likely wrong in context). I expect the majority of EA forum viewers would score above 7 on the quiz (where 4.3 would be the expectation for randomly guessing), and I honestly would be crushingly depressed if this were not the case.

For reference, I was 11/13 on the quiz (I thought global life expectancy was ~60 instead of ~70 and expected 1 of the three animals listed to have become more endangered).

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