Born and raised in Kenya but have lived in Canada for a while now. The huge disparities between my country of birth and my current country of residence have always drawn me to think about how things can be improved for the less fortunate in the world. I would like to move from just thinking about it to doing something about it. I'm still engaging and wrapping my head around the ideas of EA as it seems like it could help me move in the right direction.

Topic Contributions


Are you really in a race? The Cautionary Tales of Szilárd and Ellsberg

Thanks for writing this, I found it very insightful! I just watched 'The Day After Trinity' over the weekend and one thing that stood out to me was that once the machinery of the Manhattan program was in motion it seemed like there was no stopping it. Relevant section of Robert Wilson and Frank Oppenheimer talking about it

Could economic growth substantially slow down in the next decade?

Thanks for the answer and also the link to the paper, very interesting! I did find it strange that they didn't include a graph but I haven't read enough economic papers to be confident.

My experience with imposter syndrome — and how to (partly) overcome it

Thanks for sharing this! I felt like I related to it at a lot. Instead of thinking that I'm fooling people I often just distrust the positive feedback I get and only trust feedback that is negative. If I get positive feedback from others I almost always disregard it and chalk it up to people being nice, sarcastic or too afraid to express their true opinions to a person of color. From my perspective anything I'm able to do anyone can do if they really want to and I'm not exceptional at all.

On a meta level I filled out the imposter syndrome questionnaire and felt like an imposter when I got a really high score! Though maybe this is not imposter syndrome and it's just some other form of self-doubt. I even experience imposter syndrome writing this comment, like "That was a great post, what worthwhile thing can I even say about it and why would anyone care." Jeez I need to work on it.

How I failed to form views on AI safety

Thanks for writing this! It really resonated with me despite the fact that I only have a software engineering background and not much ML experience. I'm still struggling to form my views as well for a lot of the reasons you mentioned and one of my biggest sources of uncertainty has been trying to figure out what people with AI/ML expertise think about AI safety. This post has been very helpful in that regard (in addition to other information that I've been ingesting to help resolve this uncertainty). The issue of AGI timelines has come to be a major crux for me when it comes to considering how seriously to take AI risk. The closer that AGI seems the more concern is warranted since even a low probability of AGI going rogue would result in a high negative EV. It seems reasonable to me to think that AGI is possible within the next 20-30 years with a 20 - 40% probability and by default I'd think there would be at least a 10% probability of AGI going rogue without any efforts of alignment. With these kind of probabilities it seems still worth taking AI risk seriously even though I still feel very unsure of how things will play out. I expect to make a big update by the end of this decade though based on the type of algorithmic breakthroughs made in the next few years.

Open Thread: August 2021

Hello, my name is Eddie. I was born and raised in Kenya but have lived in Canada(currently in Vancouver) for over 10 years now where I work as a Software Engineer. I learnt about Effective Altruism through the conversations between Will MacAskill and Sam Harris on the Waking up App. The huge disparities between my country of birth and my current country of residence have drawn me to think about how things can be improved for those less fortunate than I am. I would like to move from mostly thinking about it, to doing more about it and seems the ideas of EA could help me move in that direction. I'm still engaging and wrapping my head around EA and what it's all about and I hope that joining the forum may help me in my learning process.