134 karmaJoined Dec 2022


What percentage chance would you estimate of a large scale nuclear war conditional on the U.S. bombing a Chinese data center? What percentage of the risk from agi do you think this strategy reduces?

I hope they do wake up to the danger, and I am all for trying to negotiate treaties! 
It's possible I am misinterpreting what EY means by "rogue data centers."  To clarify, the specific thing I am calling insane is the idea that the U.S. or NATO should under (almost) any circumstance bomb data centers inside other nuclear powers.

I appreciate Eliezer's honesty and consistency in what he is is calling for. This approach makes sense if you believe, as Eliezer does, that p(doom | business as usual)>99%. Then it is worth massively increasing the risk of a nuclear war. If you believe, as I do and as most AI experts do, that p(doom | business as usual) <20%, this plan is absolutely insane. 

This line of thinking is becoming more and more common in EA. It is going to get us all killed if it has any traction. No, the U.S. should not be willing to bomb Chinese data centers and risk a global nuclear war. No, repeatedly bombing China for pursing something that is a central goal of the CCP that has dangers that are completely illegible to 90% of the population is not a small, incremental risk of nuclear war on the scale of aiding Ukraine as some other commenters are suggesting. This is insane. 

By all means, I support efforts for international treaties. Bombing Chinese data centers is suicidal and we all know it. 

I say this all as someone who is genuinely frightened of AGI. It might well kill us, but not as quickly or surely as implementing this strategy will.


Edited to reflect that upon further thought, I probably do not support bombing the data centers of less powerful countries either.

Thank you, Peter. These are the things that initially attracted me to effective altruism and I appreciate you articulating them so effectively. I will also say that these are ideas I admire you for obviously fostering, both through rethink priorities and your forecasting work.

Unfortunately it seems to me that the first and third ideas are far less prominent of a feature of EA than they used to be.

The first idea seems to me to be less prominent as a result of so many people believing in extremely high short term catastrophic ai risk. It seems that this has encouraged an attitude of animal welfare being trivial by comparison and the welfare of humans in the far future being irrelevant (because if we don't solve it, humans will go extinct within decades). Attitudes about animal welfare seem in my opinion to be compounded by the increasing influence of Eliezer, who does not believe that non human animals (with the possible exception of chimps) are sentient.

The third idea also seems to be declining as a result of hard feelings related to internal culture warring. In my view, bickering about the integrity of various prominent figures, about the appropriate reaction to sbf, about whose fault sbf was, about how prevalent sexual assault is in EA, about how to respond to sexual assault in EA, about whether those responses are cultish or at least bigoted, etc etc etc has just made the general epistemics a lot worse. I see these internal culture wars bleeding into cause areas and other ostensibly unrelated topics. People are frustrated with the community and regardless of whatever side of these culture wars they are on, they are annoyed about the existence of the other side and frustrated that these seemingly fundamental issues of common decency are even a discussion. It puts them in no mood to discuss malaria vaccines with curiosity.

I personally deactivated my real-name forum account and stopped participating in the in person community and talking to people about ea. I still really really value these three ideas and see pockets of the community that still embody them. I really hope the community once again embodies them like I think they used to.

Yes but I still think the vast majority have been in the bay area.

Probably has something to do with it, but lots of cities have very active in person EA activity and I have not heard anywhere near as many complaints about anywhere else as I have about the bay area.

I'm not convinced I blame any sort of "culture" for at least some of the high profile events. Putting too much attention on culture really shifts blame away from individual responsibility. Shouldn't we place the blame squarely on perpetrators and not on those who had nothing to do with the incident but supposedly "failed to think of prevention measures"? I'm not even clear what those measures could be.

Personally, I would not do this to my marriage.


Additionally, I want to draw your attention to one thing. I have a strong belief (correct me if I’m wrong) that the vast majority (if not all) of sexual misconduct causes which were described over the last couple of days in the articles or here, on the forum, come from either US or the UK.  EA crowd is definitely not limited to those. 


I think this is actually understating the problem. A huge percentage of recent forum posts explicitly relate to a relatively small group of people living the Bay Area. It is really weird how common it is to generalize the idiosyncrasies of that particular social group to "EA culture".

Yea I basically agree with this although it seems difficult to make an intentional effort to expand the circumstances where individuals are banned because it is only possible when there is wide spread knowledge and agreement about the accusation. However I'm all for making accusations public after some threshold of evidence (although it am not sure exactly what that threshold should be and there would need to be some care with the phrasing to avoid libel lawsuits).

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