All of Mahdi Complex's Comments + Replies

The AI Messiah

I have come to see the term 'religion' (as well as 'ideology') as unhelpful in these discussions. It might be helpful to taboo these words and start talking in terms of 'motivating world-views' instead.

The AI Messiah

Thanks for writing this. A similar observation lead me to write this post.

Reality has no requirement to conform to your heuristics of what is ‘normal’, but I think that we could use some more outside-view work on just how bizarre and unsettling this world-view is, even if it is true.

A Primer on God, Liberalism and the End of History

I believe the end-goal isn't a world ruled by a benevolent global elite that owns all the robots. The goal isn't to create a 'techno-leviathan' for people to ride. The goal is to find a benevolent God in mind design space. One we would be happy to give up sovereignty to. That's I think what AI alignment is about.

(A related discussion on LW.)

Either way, I think we're going to need some serious 'first principles' work at the intersection of AI alignment and political philosophy. "What is the nature of a just political and economic order when humans are econo... (read more)

Mahdi Complex's Shortform

I have read the book and the book review. They provide some great descriptive insights into what's going on, but I'm more interested in a historical perspective of where what might be viewed as "consensus reality" and the correct order of things came from.

God Is Great

Hi Tomer, I really appreciate the kind words! I think the piece turned out a little strange because I was trying to do too many things at once. I was trying to frame EA and the Singularity in terms that would lead religious people to take it seriously, while also making the largely atheistic EA crowd more appreciative of some compatibilist religious ideas.

I just published a post that expounds a bit on some of the ideas I mention in this piece.

I think that AGI might require us to dig a little deeper when it comes to governance and political philosophy. The ... (read more)

Democratising Risk - or how EA deals with critics

We can’t afford to wait for a “Long Reflection”.

Alternatively, the "Long Reflection" has already begun, it's just not very evenly distributed. And humanity has a lot of things to hash out.

Mahdi Complex's Shortform

The question I’m currently trying to answer is, how did we get to a point where the main actor concerning itself with humanity’s survival, the plight of those most in need, technological utopianism and humanity’s destiny in the cosmos is a small eclectic network of academics, young professionals and misfits. It’s not governments, it’s not international organizations, it’s not religious institutions. It’s a group of non-profits, primarily funded by a bunch of eccentric billionaires. Am I the only one who thinks that this is crazy and really calls for an exp... (read more)

1Dave Cortright4mo
Check out the book “innovator’s dilemma” and subsequent works. Inertial is real, and big institutions get stuck and rarely can put themselves out of business (Netflix is a notable exception; they baked their vision into the name when they were simply mail order DVDs). Collapse by Jared Diamond is also worth checking out. The fundamental problem we run into is our innate desire to be part of the tribe makes us susceptible to going along with shared deceptions. See the Asch compliance experiments, and the great episode of Mind Field that replicated the results (it’s on YouTube). Connection > truth. History is littered with examples of a shared falsehood embraced by the masses until a small group of dissidents eventually forces the shared understanding past the inflection point; e.g. earth is flat, earth is the center of the universe, the ether, relativity, illness caused by microbes… Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead
2Thomas Kwa4mo
The keyword is "civilizational inadequacy" and one cluster of failures here is Moloch [https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/moloch]. The best source is probably Inadequate Equilibria [https://equilibriabook.com/], but before reading the book you should read the book review [https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/11/30/book-review-inadequate-equilibria/].
1Mahdi Complex4mo
What this turned into. [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/AzwXdHqAkBhbHSQZL/a-primer-on-god-liberalism-and-the-end-of-history]
3acylhalide9mo
I personally think it's partly just cause we're new and our ideas aren't mainstream yet, i.e., we're just a product of our times, rather than some cosmic aberration in human history. To clarify, we refers to "we" the new social institution. Something like AGI ofcourse could be a cosmic shift in the way humans live ofcourse, but the new social institution that first starts thinking about AGI isn't a cosmic shift in the way social institutions operate. Most good things start outside of mainstream, then grow. Be it a new religion, or a new country, or Galileo or the scientific method, or Edison and electricity. I would not at all be surprised if all of EA ideas are mainstream within 30 years from now. A lot of the ideas we have were very hard to have 50 years ago. Need computers to be invented to think about AGI. Need quantum physics to be mainstream to further reductionist cognitivist philosophy. Need nukes to be invented to think about x-risks. Inventing new social institutions has always been slow process, so I don't see 50 years as being too large a timeframe for a new one to emerge.