CK

Chris Kerr

65 karmaJoined Aug 2020

Bio

Day job: Cybersecurity

From England, now living in Estonia.

Comments
26

Answer by Chris KerrMar 18, 202310

A lot of work does go into it, but the users will mostly ignore that work and continue using "[Dog's name] + [Wife's birthday]" as a password (and that's if you're lucky).

I don't understand. Who is the victim that I am blaming here? I was trying to support FLI by pointing out that, in my experience, when I hear an organisation described as "far-right", that tells me very little except that it is probably not openly and explicitly Marxist. Perhaps Nya Dagbladet is one of the rare exceptions who actually deserve the label - I don't know, I never heard of them before this controversy. But I definitely sympathise with FLI's not immediately giving 100% credence to the accusations.

Chris Kerr
5mo3232

The quality of public discourse worldwide has degraded so badly, with casual name-calling using highly charged labels, that many of these types of accusations are open to question upon examination.

That is definitely my reaction to any story with "Far-Right" in the headline.

If SBF committed fraud, there’s a distinct possibility that SBF will use altruism as a defence and/or justification for his actions in the coming months.

Sadly, I think his having been the second largest donor to the Biden 2020 campaign fund will be a more effective defence. It certainly worked for the people who lost hundreds of billions of Other People's Money in 2008.

Answer by Chris KerrOct 24, 202220

If you have a software engineering background but no particular expertise in biology or information security, then I would suggest trying to find some existing open-source software project which is helpful to biosecurity work and then help to make it more robust and user-friendly. I haven't worked in biosecurity myself, but I can tell you from experience in other areas of biology that there are many software packages written by scientists with no training in how to write robust and usable software, and so there is a lot of low-hanging fruit for someone who can configure automatic testing, use a debugger or profiler, or add a GUI or web front end.
 

Much of the work in biosecurity is related to handling and processing large amounts of data, so knowledge of how to work with distributed systems is in demand.

Nowadays the amounts have to be extremely large before it is worth the effort of setting up a distributed system. You can fit 1 TB of RAM and several hundred TB of disk space in a commodity 4U server at a price equivalent to a couple of weeks of salary + overhead for someone with the skills to set up a high performance cluster, port your software to work on it, or debug the mysterious errors.

Answer by Chris KerrOct 18, 202210

I don't have any in-depth knowledge of this field, but my guess is that, out of the set of interventions whose effectiveness is easy to measure, the most effective ones will be those that target internally or regionally displaced refugees in the third world, as opposed to those who make it to first world countries.

One reason for avoiding talking about "1-to-N" moral progress on a public EA forum is that it is inherently political. I agree with you on essentially all the issues you mentioned in the post, but I also realise that most people in the world and even in developed nations will find at least one of your positions grossly offensive - if not necessarily when stated as above, then certainly after they are taken to their logical conclusions.

Discussing how to achieve concrete goals in "1-to-N" moral progress would almost certainly lead "moral reactionaries" to start attacking the EA community, calling us "fascists" / "communists" / "deniers" / "blasphemers" depending on which kind of immorality they support. This would make life very difficult for other EAs.

Maybe the potential benefits are large enough to exceed the costs, but I don't even know how we could go about estimating either of these.

I would love to see hiring done better at EA organizations, and if there was some kind of "help EA orgs do hiring better" role I would jump at the chance.

This would be great. Changing the human parts of the hiring process would be a lot of work, but if you can just get organizations to use some kind of software that automatically sends out "We received your application" and "Your application was rejected" e-mails then that would be a good start.

Good point. So if we can't hope for state alignment then that is an even stronger reason to oppose building state capabilities.

Load more