All of purplepeople's Comments + Replies

Ideological engineering and social control: A neglected topic in AI safety research?

The last chapter of Global Catastrophic Risks (Bostrom and Circovic) covers global totalitarianism. Among other things they mention how improved lie-detection technology, anti-aging research (to mitigate risks of regime change), and drugs to increase docility in the population could plausibly make a totalitarian system permanent and stable. Obviously an unfriendly AGI could easily do this as well.

The increasing docility could be a stealth existential risk increaser, in that people would be less willing to challenge other peoples ideas and so slow or stop entirely technological progress we need to save ourselves from super volcanoes and other environmental threats
Open Thread #38

That's an interesting point about prediction markets. We individuals tend to invest in the stock market even when we know the market as a whole is wiser than us as individuals, because on the whole the market goes up, and anyways there are ways to track overall market performance. For prediction markets, I suppose there would need to be similar incentives somehow, otherwise every individual who doesn't have special information would be better off predicting what the overall market predicts, which doesn't help.

I'm guessing I just don't understand how prediction markets work. Hoping someone will correct me.

Paper Ballots in the 2020 US Election

For people who know how politics works: are petitions ever effective? Or writing letters to people-who-matter? Or something else?

Anecdotally, in descending order of efficacy: Phone call to representative from their voter > email to representative from their voter > petition.
Introducing Improving autonomy

Nitpick: On the "How" tab of the site, it should be "Humanity's autonomy", not "Humanities autonomy".

Thanks fixed. I should put some money towards a copy editor at some point or time to figuring out an automated solution.
Paper Ballots in the 2020 US Election


And you're right, I want to apologize for my partisan framing of an issue which really need not be partisan. Paper ballots should be required regardless of the current situation, at least from what I understand.

Integrity for consequentialists

This is an excellent post. I've been struggling myself to understand to what extend deontological values and the inherent irrationality of humans need to be factored into consequentialist decision making. I've become more and more convinced that values and social norms matter much more than I had previously thought.

What does Trump mean for EA?

If we pull the camera back far enough, my guess is in a generation or two America will be on a good track again, so long as Trump doesn't start a war or use our nuclear warheads. As the White House Press Secretary said, the institutions of the U.S. have survived a civil war, 2 world wars, and the Great Depression. This will be a bad 4 years with adverse consequences on the rest of the world. Putin will be on the offensive, both in reality and in cyberspace. And U.S. carbon emissions will increase. But I still believe AI risk is the most dangerous threat to humanity.

I'm with you, and I really, really want to be on the side of skepticism and saying that this election is no different from normal cycles we've had in the past. But this is the first time ever that we've given serious support to someone with a history of neither political office nor military leadership. And someone who really clearly has no consistent train of thought or policy acumen. If the economy happens to be strong and the country is successful, then people will appreciate his persona and values as the basis for a very entrenched brand of populist conservatism. So in this case I think it's okay to say that the long term future of America could be seriously altered from what we consider to be normal, and it's okay to say that this election was unusually consequential.
Promoting EA in Russia: Barriers and opportunities

Hey! College student here, studying math and Russian. What's the best way I can help get EA to catch on in Russia? VK posts?

Hi! Not sure if you'll see my response, but in case you do: join #effective_altruism in LW Russia Slack [] and let's discuss strategies. We're not sure at the moment about the best strategy. Social network activity would probably be good if you have a wide network of friends and you write well, or would be close to useless if you just routinely repost each VK group post to a few friends.