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Comment author: RyanCarey 17 March 2017 11:23:02AM *  1 point [-]

Two thoughts:

1 - Why buy? Can't you rent? Personally, I'd get most of the value by living with friends across two floors of a large house (Event Horizon) or in two nearby houses on a street (The Bailey). A few stable families could buy a big house later per Romeo.

2 - Suppose you actually buy a small dormitory or an old tiny hotel. Call this the hard mode version of the project. Such a building would accommodate at least the 20 you're looking for. But it would require commensurate investment. If I imagine pitching this project, my story for some rationalist investor is that it's a socially responsible investment that will pay itself back with some risk and low ROI but that nonetheless delivers social value by growing the rationalist community. But what projects would be run from such a venue, and what is my case for such? I could imagine mitigating the downside risk by arranging a Free-State-Project--like signup, with some deposits. I could increase the upside by promising to make a chain of such houses. I could buffer the EV by just already being a proven competent impressive startup founder. The hard mode version of the project does seem valuable, but not necessarily that valuable compared to how hard and expensive it is. It would take a serious leader to actually drive it.

Comment author: Elo 13 March 2017 12:13:15PM 3 points [-]

That meme is poor and should die. How are we actually to construct future converging standards if that meme gets in the way of real progress?

Also as someone in charge of one of the chat groups, I have no problem with another and am already in this discord.

So in response to your complaint - no.

In response to comment by Elo on LessWrong Discord
Comment author: RyanCarey 13 March 2017 05:21:56PM 3 points [-]

How are we actually to construct future converging standards if that meme gets in the way of real progress?

By deleting existing standards. By doing actual work to redistribute people toward better existing standards from worse ones. By having people migrate from at least two deleted standards every time you make a new one.

In response to LessWrong Discord
Comment author: RyanCarey 13 March 2017 09:35:54AM 4 points [-]
Comment author: RyanCarey 04 January 2017 03:05:48PM *  5 points [-]


MIRI recently announced a new research agenda focused on "agent foundations". Yet even the Open Philanthropy Project, made up of people who at least share MIRI's broad worldview, can't decide whether that research direction is promising or useless. The Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI doesn't seem to have a specific research agenda beyond Stuart Russell. The AI100 Center at Stanford is just kicking off. That's it.

There's also:

  • MIRI's Alignment for Advanced Machine Learning Systems agenda
  • The Concrete Problems agenda by Amodei, Olah and others
  • Russell's Research Priorities doc written with Dewey and Tegmark, covers probably more than his CHCAI Centre
  • Owain Evans, Stuart Armstrong and Eric Drexler at FHI
  • Paul Christiano's thinking on AI Control
  • OpenAI's safety team in formation
  • DeepMind's safety team
  • (?) Wei Dai's thinking on metaphilosophy and AI... He occasionally comments e.g. on AgentFoundations
  • Other Machine Learning researchers, e.g. safe exploration in Deep RL, transparency.
Comment author: biker19 09 December 2016 09:57:05AM 2 points [-]
Comment author: RyanCarey 09 December 2016 01:14:35PM 0 points [-]


Comment author: RyanCarey 09 December 2016 01:57:38AM 0 points [-]

Thiel, Peter. “The Straussian Moment.” Politics and Apocalypse, Edited by Robert Hamerton-Kelly, Michigan State University Press, 2007, pp. 189–218, www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/j.ctt7zt6qq.9

Comment author: AnnaSalamon 27 November 2016 10:29:20PM *  35 points [-]

Re: 1, I vote for Vaniver as LW's BDFL, with authority to decree community norms (re: politics or anything else), decide on changes for the site; conduct fundraisers on behalf of the site; etc. (He already has the technical admin powers, and has been playing some of this role in a low key way; but I suspect he's been deferring a lot to other parties who spend little time on LW, and that an authorized sole dictatorship might be better.)

Anyone want to join me in this, or else make a counterproposal?

Comment author: RyanCarey 28 November 2016 12:07:04AM 3 points [-]

I agree that Vaniver should be.

Comment author: Danny_Hintze 27 November 2016 07:00:42PM 8 points [-]

I think we need to put our money and investment where our mouths are on this. Either Less Wrong (or another centralized discussion platform) are very valuable and worth tens of thousands of dollars in investment and moderation, or they are not that important and not worth it. It seems that every time we have a conversation about Less Wrong and the importance of it, the problem is that we expect everyone to do things on a volunteer basis and things will just magically get going again. It seems like Less Wrong was going great back when there was active and constant investment in it by MIRI and CFAR, and once that investment stopped things collapsed.

Otherwise we are just in a situation like that of Jaguar with the cupholders, where everyone is posting on forums for 10 years about how we need cupholders, but there is no one whose actual, paid job is to get cupholders in the cars.

Comment author: RyanCarey 27 November 2016 09:48:12PM 6 points [-]

The list of plausibly worthwhile changes that would help to revitalize LessWrong is long:

  1. redesigning LW's appearance
  2. cleaning up the codebase
  3. forming a new moderation team
  4. producing a bunch of new content
  5. removing the main/discussion distinction
  6. choosing one or more people to take full leadership of the project
  7. (maybe) recentering the list of topics for discussion to include more about EA, tech or politics
  8. (maybe) allow more links, rather than just posts
  9. rebranding. x) getting many people join at once.

Effort might be superlinear here - once you commit to a few, you might just want to bite the bullet a build a new damned site.

That's going to cost time and dollars - maybe hundreds of thousands, but if it's what has to be done...

Comment author: AnnaSalamon 27 November 2016 07:01:11AM *  17 points [-]

I am extremely excited about this. I suspect we should proceed trying to reboot Less Wrong, without waiting, while also attempting to aid Arbital in any ways that can help (test users, etc.).

Comment author: RyanCarey 27 November 2016 09:45:15PM *  9 points [-]

If half-hearted attempts are doomed (plausible), or more generally we're operating in a region where expected returns on invested effort are superlinear (plausible), then it might be best to commit hard to projects (>1 full-time programmer) sequentially.

Comment author: AnnaSalamon 27 November 2016 08:30:43AM *  8 points [-]

(ii) seems good, and worth adding more hands and voices to; it seems to me we can do it in a distributed fashion, and just start adding to LW and going for momentum, though.

sarahconstantin and some others have in fact been doing something like (ii), and was I suspect a partial cause of e.g. this post of mine, and of:

Efforts to add to (ii) would I think be extremely welcome; it is a good idea, and I may do more of it as well.

If anyone reading has a desire to revitalize LW, reading some of these or other posts and adding a substantive (or appreciative) comment is another way to encourage thoughtful posting.

Comment author: RyanCarey 27 November 2016 09:05:12AM 1 point [-]

I agree that this is great.

I meant to propose something even more specific. Using for example a Google Form, you collect a list of people who agree to post on LW if and only if that list surpasses 200 names.

Once it gets to 200, you email everybody and tell them LW is relaunching.

Do I think it'd work? Maybe.

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