I'm mostly leaving - I have said basically the same thing over and over again. In a polite way. In a more twitter way like here. The Concerned EAs said it in an EA forum style post. At this point, I see that I have done everything that I could.
In general, I feel this conversation between leftists and EAs fails because of holistic vs logical reasoning.
EAs tend to believe that "logical reasoning" is superior to "holistic reasoning"
Holistic reasoning is good at spotting patterns. Logic is good at disproving the patterns exist, by cutting the thing into a taxonomy with a sharp razor of this logical reasoning.
What I'm presenting is a pattern. Of course it's not a completely correct statement in a logical sense: I don't really know how it is. All I say is: I'm concerned that I see it.
What I get in response is not "sure, let's brainstorm, steelman it". Or better "sure, let's see if it's a valid pattern by taking action and see if the response is consistent with the pattern (active exploration, needed to uncover the causal structure. I did a thesis on this). It's not possible to obtain the correct model from observation alone in some cases. Neither internal monologue about the observation would help the agent. Only action and testing the hypothesis"
I feel it's like a paper review, not beanstormig. "Everything wrong with this in a 1000 words" rather than "here's what I agree with. Here's what I disagree with. Here's my evidence".
That's why it feels not friendly for me to talk to EAs. I tried it soo sooo many times, every time my pattern that is connected to my personality gets dissected, traumatizing and invalidating me. Questioning my very axioms that I have discovered with sweat and pain, rather than saying whether they agree with a statement itself.
Questioning my holistic thinking that lives with the logical one quite well together for me.
To me some posts read us a call for me to abandon my emotional side and use only logic (such as, libertarian utilitarianism by Sabs or "red pill is OK in EA" in the most downvoted subthread here)
I want balance, I want both. To me "only logic, only one way of thinking" is very extreme. You saw my other posts - I can do mathy things too. Just, I believe that if I only see and do mathy things, my world model would be incomplete, my exploration would be doomed, and my prior will not be universal. It would be "intelligence used to shoot itself in the foot"
There is no way to explain it. It just happened to me once that I met a person who showed this to me, reminded me of something I forgot. The dream I had of "math being superior to humanities and such" collapsed, like in the Inception movie.
Where I am now feels better. I can feel again. I feel whole. And I can still do math. I am sometimes uncomfortable with using math without emotion. Like, taking about genocide and saying "it's not significant because the number of dead people is low"
It's not the way.
See my post about the matrix trilogy: https://dair-community.social/@sergia/109979018708128244 and about how sometimes the seeming necessity of a choice is the problem, an artifact of the decision-making system rather than an objective necessity.
I see emotion as something helping to see a bit beyond the tunnel vision of logic.
It all changed for me when I saw the intensity of suffering of just one person who is not like me. I couldn't think of it as pure numbers or "mere ripples". Feeling what they feel.
I don't want this - never again anyone has to feel this bad.
I reject utilitarianism : I am from an ex-communist country which loved utilitarianism (and still does: Putin says "I'm going to save the world from the evil west, but to do so we're gonna need to kill a lot of people" - people believe in this there!)
I believe this can be done, caring about everyone, at least, I will do my best. That doesn't require any viokence I believe, not at all. Those who did agressive violence in the name of peace were utilitarians! Lenin and those people. F them :) they totally didn't get anything I think.
See more on why I believe so here: https://dair-community.social/@sergia/109977128036067592
(Side note: it is at the same time surprising but I feel this many times so it's not surprising at all now: a complete and total lack of interest from EAs towards asking questions about my story, the actual evidence I have. Like, nobody cares what happened in real-life with real people - only if there's some mathy philosophy anything is worth anything 💔💔💔)
That can't be explained, no matter how many walls of text I write. That one life is worth more than any philosophy or any belief system or any ideology, anything like that
I will say this out loud: I am extremely concerned that a secretive group of people who see superiority as acceptable (men over women in "red pill", majority vs minority in "utilitarianism", big over small in "total libertarianism") are engineering an "AI revolution" with manifestos and promises of "UBI", with no plan how to get there, only promises and handwaving, and ignore current crimes and harms done by them in the face of some "greater good" they imagine in their utopian manifestos.
If we replace "red pill" with "male supremacy", "libertarianism" with "communism" and "AI" with "collectivism", and "UBI" well with "UBI", we have a clear parallel between now and a 100 years ago. first in Moscow now in silicon valley. Both were not nice to women (and had a "theory of all theories" to justify that), not nice to minorities (both saw them as a nuisance, didn't believe ever that "people are different", saw everyone the same because they themselves never met anyone not like them, of course, with a "theoretical justification"). Both imagined some "grand future" for which it was acceptable (and kinda encouraged) to do crimes in the present.
The story a 100 years ago went like this: the Red Communists, the most utilitarian ones, killed everyone who had concerns over the validity of their philosophy.
If it comes to this, you'll see that I'll not defend myself. I don't want to be in a world dominated by utilitarians. All full of utopias in their heads, and actual real poor people on the streets. All imagined, all fake. I'll do my peaceful thing. That is it.
Just one life is more important than all those mental sandcastles.
That is it - that is goodbye.
There were some nice things, some nice people I met in EA. I still want to talk to them
In general, this is a goodbye.
I would totally love to talk "real". A conversation that doesn't feel I talk to a sociopath who would rather believe in some philosophy than even try to help real people.
The real thing is:
Instead people here ask "well shall I even spend 1 second on making sense of it, or is it all total bs"?
It's not a school assignment. It's like you say "oh teacher the assignment seems contrarctory" and the teacher is like "oh sure that's a typo". I'm not here to fix typos. I did it and it didn't lead to answers.
It's real world. Nobody knows the full truth, there's no one true theory, there's no reward for an assignment and there's no assignment.
Since some of you are in a country where culture war is going up, I'd strongly recommend to learn from partially correct information - inferring emotion instead of "parse error on line 1".
Then we can heal it. There's not one single person who's perfect.
What does seem odd is completely downvoting a person for asking questions to the core of a philosophy.
What does seem odd is seeing a post advocating for "Even More Centralisation" after all that has transpired and all that has been said. It's heartbreaking to me because I know where it leads. I have that experience. For you it's a "map", I have memory of real territory. For you it's "form", for me it has meaning.
Please reach out to someone who knows the territory. Someone outside of this group that believes they have answers to everything...
Save yourself. Really.
Do you believe in it?
Just seems weird if someone said "to be safe from a deadly disease, what we really need is to develop it as soon as we can"
I get that the metaphore has holes, just, seems a bit "out there".
I'd say that "to have safe agi, we need to do agi engineering the fastest way possible" is a very extraordinary claim.
It requires very extraordinary evidence to support it.
My thing which is "can we ask them to explain it" seems like a very ordinary claim to me.
So it doesn't require much evidence at all.
Yes, it's about me, I'm a trans girl from Russia. Yes I'm saying that it would be weird to me if I do something with the EA community.
People here believe it's ok to believe in "red pill" (not the one from the movie, the other one, see in the most downvoted subthread here). I don't want this in my life. It doesn't feel ok to me to believe in that.
People here believe in utilitarianism (see comments of Sabs, he's not alone in this), which usually makes people like me the "mere ripples".
It would just feel weird: a peasant helping the master to deal with some issue together?
The world is not ready for it.
I'd love to be proved wrong though.
I have experience that it's like this: I say something, polite, not polite, anything, related to this set of issues - I get downvoted or asked to "rephrase it in some way".
What I really want is answers.
Like, the RX/TX balance of this conversation is: I sent a lot of stuff to EAs, got not much neaniful response.
So I stop.
I see downvotes after my other post. Is this a "halo effect"? :)
Can there be objective feedback?
Or, how is this post linked to something else I said people mostly don't like here apparently?
I see downvotes after my other post. Is this a "halo effect"? :)
Can there be objective feedback?
Or, how is the proposal linked to something else I said people mostly don't like here apparently?
I'm asking seriously, because I feel what you say speaks to alot of people in Silicon Valley, so I ask this question to you and them in some way as well.
Concrete question (I don't have much of that today)
Have you been to Europe?
I'm looking at this discourse since 2018, including when I was in EA and doing AI safety.
At no point I saw a discussion whether a big EA-adjacent org is net-positive or net-negative.
It's some sort of a "blind spot": we evaluate other people's charities. But ours are, of course, pretty good.
I feel it's time to have a discussion about this, that would be awesome.