Wiki Contributions


"Should have been hired" Prizes

I think you missed a disadvantage: I think there's a free rider problem where everyone reaps the benefits of the research and it's too easy for a given org to decline funding it. 

Overall I like the idea a lot and 

Some mechanism may be required to ensure that multiple organisations do not fund the same work.

I hope to find time for this exercise later today. 

quinn's Shortform

We need a name for the following heuristic, I think, I think of it as one of those "tribal knowledge"  things that gets passed on like an oral tradition without being citeable in the sense of being a part of a literature. If you come up with a name I'll certainly credit you in a top level post!

I heard it from Abram Demski at AISU'21. 

Suppose you're either going to end up in world A or world B, and you're uncertain about which one it's going to be. Suppose you can pull lever  which will be 100 valuable if you end up in world A, or you can pull lever  which will be 100 valuable if you end up in world B. The heuristic is that if you pull  but end up in world B, you do not want to have created disvalue, in other words, your intervention conditional on the belief that you'll end up in world A should not screw you over in timelines where you end up in world B

This can be fully mathematized by saying "if most of your probability mass is on ending up in world A, then obviously you'd pick a lever L such that  is very high, just also make sure that  or creates an acceptably small amount of disvalue.", where  is read "the value of pulling lever L if you end up in world A" 

Is Bitcoin Dangerous?

One downside of decentralization you missed is the idea that protocols are slower to update than any other software, which in some scenarios leads to a lock-in risk. 

To be more specific, suppose mechanism designer A encodes beliefs/values/aesthetics X into a mechanism M, which gets deployed in a robustly decentralized fashion. Then, upon philosophical breakthroughs totally updating X into X', A encodes X' into a new mechanism M'. The troubling idea I'm pointing to is that coordinating the pivot from M to M' seems exceedingly difficult, likely much more difficult than coordination in the absence of a robustly decentralized fashion. And this is only in a world of one mechanism designer: things get much more troubling in the real world of many competing mechanism designers A and many competing beliefs/values/aesthetics X.

quinn's Shortform

Is there an econ major or geek out there who would like to 

  1. accelerate my lit review as I evaluate potential startup ideas in prediction markets and IIDM by writing paper summaries
  2. occasionally tutor me in microeconomics and game theory and similar fun things 

something like 5 hours / week, something like  $20-40 /hr

(EA Forum DMs / quinnd@tutanota.com / disc @quinn#9100) 

I'm aware that there are contractor-coordinating services for each of these asks, I just think it'd be really awesome to have one person to do both and to keep the money in the community, maybe meet a future collaborator! 

The Bioethicists are (Mostly) Alright

This is odd. I audited/freeloaded at a perfectly mediocre university math department and they seemed careful to assign the prof who's dissertation was in functional analysis to teach real analysis, and the prof who's dissertation was in algebraic geometry to teach group theory. I guess I only observed in the 3rd/4th year courses case. For 1st/2nd year courses, intuitively you'd want the analysts teaching calculus and the logicians teaching discrete, perhaps something like this, but I don't expect a disaster if they crossed the streams, in the way that I sort of think learning the basic deontology vs. utilitarianism distinction from a nietzsche expert, a deleuze or derrida expert, etc. is a disaster. 

(Thankful I learned both calculus and discrete from a professor who dropped out of a high-energy particle physics PhD to do a topoi theory PhD in the math department-- maybe the optimal teachers fit a description like that, interdisciplinarity and so on) 

quinn's Shortform

post idea: based on interviews, profile scenarios from software of exploit discovery, responsible disclosure, coordination of patching, etc. and try to analyze with an aim toward understanding what good infohazard protocols would look like. 

(I have a contact who was involved with a big patch, if someone else wants to tackle this reach out for a warm intro!)

Pedant, a type checker for Cost Effectiveness Analysis

What if pedant was a sort of "backend" to a sheet UX? A compiler that takes sheet formulae and generates pedant code? 

The central claim is that sheet UX is error prone, so why not keep the UX and add verification behind it? 

Linkpost for "Organizations vs. Getting Stuff Done" and discussion of Zvi's post about SFF and the S-process (or; Doing Actual Thing)

to partially rehash what was on discord and partially add more: 

  • I don't think saying that institutions have benefits and are effective is at all an argument against specific drawbacks and failure modes. Things that are have pros can also have cons, pros and cons can coexist, etc. 
  • I agree that a portion of the criticism is moot if you don't on priors think hierarchy and power are intrinsically risky or disvaluable, but I think having those priors directs one's attention to problems or failure modes that people without those priors would be wise to learn from. Moreover, if you look at the four points in the article, I don't think those priors are critical for any of them.
    • specifically, I think a variety of organizations are interested in trading off inefficiency problems of bottom-up against the information bottleneck problems of top-down. People who are motivated by values to reject the top-down side would intuitively have learned lessons about how to make the bottom-up side function.
  • If I find the name of the individual, I'll return to thread to make my point about the german scientist who may have prevented the nazis from getting nukes by going around and talking to people (not by going through institutional channels)
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