I am Issa Rice. https://issarice.com/

Wiki Contributions


Disagreeables and Assessors: Two Intellectual Archetypes

Scott Garrabrant has discussed this (or some very similar distinction) in some LessWrong comments. There's also been a lot of discussion about babble and prune, which is basically the same distinction, except happening inside a single mind instead of across multiple minds.

Charity teaching people to learn & form knowledge effectively

There are already websites like Master How To Learn and SuperMemo Guru, the various guides on spaced repetition systems on the internet (including Andy Matuschak's prompt-writing guide which is presented in the mnemonic medium), and books like Make It Stick. If I was working on such a project I would try to more clearly lay out what is missing from these existing resources.

My personal feeling is that enough popularization of learning techniques is already taking place (though one exception I can think of is to make SuperMemo-style incremental reading more accessible). So I would be much more interested in having people push the field forward (e.g. What contexts other than book learning can spaced repetition be embedded in? How do we write even better prompts, especially when sharing them with other people? Why are the people obsessed with learning not often visibly more impressive than people who don't think about how to learn, and what can we do about that?).

Lant Pritchett on the futility of "smart buys" in developing-world education

(I read the non-blockquote parts of the post, skimmed the blockquotes, and did not click through to any of the links.)

It seems like the kind of education discussed in this post is exclusively mass schooling in the developing world, which is not clear from the title or intro section. If that's right, I would suggest editing the title/intro to be clearer about this. The reason is that I am quite interested in improving education so I was interested to read objections to my views, but I tend to focus on technical subjects at the university level so I feel like this post wasn't actually relevant to me.

You should write about your job

For the past five years I have been doing contract work for a bunch of individuals and organizations, often overlapping with the EA movement's interests. For a list of things I've done, you can see here or here. I can say more about how I got started and what it's like to do this kind of work if there is interest.

AMA: Tim Ferriss, Michael Pollan, and Dr. Matthew W. Johnson on psychedelics research and philanthropy

What are your thoughts on chronic anxiety and DP/DR induced by psychedelics? Do you have an idea of how common this kind of condition is and how best to treat or manage it?

AMA: Tim Ferriss, Michael Pollan, and Dr. Matthew W. Johnson on psychedelics research and philanthropy

What do you think of the research chemicals scene (e.g. r/researchchemicals)?

What are your main reservations about identifying as an effective altruist?

For me, I don't think there is a single dominant reason. Some factors that seem relevant are:

  • Moral uncertainty, both at the object-level and regarding metaethics, which makes me uncertain about how altruistic I should be. Forming a community around "let's all be altruists" seems like an epistemic error to me, even though I am interested in figuring out how to do good in the world.
  • On a personal level, not having any close friends who identify as an effective altruist. It feels natural and good to me that a community of people interested in the same things will also tend to develop close personal bonds. The fact that I haven't been able to do this with anyone in the EA community (despite having done so with people outside the community) is an indication that EA isn't "my people".
  • Insufficiently high number of people who I feel truly "get it" or who are actually thinking. I think of most people in the movement as followers or promoters and not even doing an especially good job at it.
  • Generic dislike of labels and having identities. This doesn't explain everything though, because I feel less repulsed by some labels (e.g. I feel less upset about calling myself a "rationalist" than about calling myself an "effective altruist").
Introducing The Nonlinear Fund: AI Safety research, incubation, and funding

How is Nonlinear currently funded, and how does it plan to get funding for the RFPs?

Running an AMA on the EA Forum

Another idea is to set up conditional AMAs, e.g. "I will commit to doing an AMA if at least n people commit to asking questions." This has the benefit of giving each AMA its own time (without competing for attention with other AMAs) while trying to minimize the chance of time waste and embarrassment.

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