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James_Miller comments on CFAR’s new focus, and AI Safety - Less Wrong

30 Post author: AnnaSalamon 03 December 2016 06:09PM

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Comment author: James_Miller 03 December 2016 06:21:08AM 2 points [-]

The key to deciding if we need a leader is to look at historically similar situations and see if they benefited from having a leader. Given that we would very much like to influence government policy, Peter Thiel strikes me as the best possible choice if he would accept. I read somewhere that when Julius Caesar was going to attack Rome several Senators approached Pompey the Great, handed him a sword, and said "save Rome." I seriously think we should try something like this with Thiel.

Comment author: AlexMennen 03 December 2016 07:15:03AM 5 points [-]

Given that we would very much like to influence government policy

How would the position of leader of the LW community help Peter Thiel do this? Also, Peter Thiel's policy priorities seem to differ a fair amount from those of the average lesswronger, and I'd be pretty surprised if he agreed to change priorities substantially in order to fit with his role as LW leader.

Comment author: Vaniver 03 December 2016 07:06:18AM *  5 points [-]

Given that we would very much like to influence government policy

Is this actually a thing that we would want? It seems to me like this line of reasoning depends on a lot of assumptions that don't seem all that shared.

(I do think that rationalists should coordinate more, but I don't think rationalists executing the "just obey authority" action is likely to succeed. That seems like a recipe for losing a lot of people from the 'rationalist' label. I think there are other approaches that are better suited to the range of rationalist personalities, that still has enough tradition behind it for it to be likely to work; the main inspirations here are Norse þings and Quaker meetings.)

Comment author: ChristianKl 05 December 2016 12:12:23AM 4 points [-]

I read somewhere that when Julius Caesar was going to attack Rome several Senators approached Pompey the Great, handed him a sword, and said "save Rome." I seriously think we should try something like this with Thiel.

At the moment Peter Thiel should spent all his available time at recruiting people for the Trump administration to fill those 4000 places that are opened. Asking him to spend any time elsewhere is likely not effective.

Comment author: JohnReese 06 December 2016 07:52:32PM *  2 points [-]

If I remember correctly, history records Caesar as having been relentlessly successful in that campaign?