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Viliam 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: Viliam 12 December 2016 04:47:02PM *  3 points [-]

Please taboo "leading us". What is the actual job description for the leader you imagine? What is the expected outcome of having such leader?

And, depeding on your previous answer, could we achieve a similar outcome by simply having a specialist for given task? I mean, even actual leaders employ specialists, so why not skip the middleman? (Or do you believe that the leader would be better at finding the specialists? That sounds almost like a job description... of a specialist.)

Or is the leader supposed to be a symbol? A speaker for the movement?

Or perhaps a person who chooses an arbitrary goal (a meaningful one, but ultimately it would be an arbitrary choice among a few meaningful candidates) under the assumption that if we all focus on one goal, we are more likely to achieve it than if everyone follows a different goal (i.e. a suboptimal choice is still much better than no choice)?

Comment author: James_Miller 12 December 2016 08:33:12PM 5 points [-]

I want someone who could effectively give orders/strong suggestions saying "give to this cause", "write to your congressman saying this", "if you have this skill please do this", "person A should help person B get this job", "person C is toxic and should be excluded from our community", "person D is fantastic, let's recruit her to our community", "everyone please read this and discuss", "person E is great, everyone thank her", "person F has made great contributions to our community but has suffered some recent bad news so let's help her out".

Comment author: Viliam 14 December 2016 11:27:17AM 2 points [-]

I agree that all of this could be useful in many situations.

I just suspect there may be no person fit for this role and willing to take it, and that choosing an unfit person could be harmful. Essentially, people who are sufficiently sane and uncontroversial, are probably not interested in this role, because they believe they have better things to do. Otherwise, they could have already taken it.

All it would need at the beginning would be to privately ask other "rationalist celebrities" whether they think that X is a good idea and whether they are willing to endorse it publicly, and if they say yes, post X in the Main with the list of celebrities who endorse it. If the same person would do this 5 times in the row, people would automatically start accepting them as the leader. Most wouldn't notice if for the sixth time the endorsements from the other "rationalist celebrities" would be absent, as long as none of them opposes the post directly.

Comment author: Lumifer 12 December 2016 05:06:16PM 1 point [-]

What is the actual job description for the leader

Telling you what to think and what to do, of course. Without a Glorious Leader you would just wander around, lost and confused.