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Comment author: fortyeridania 20 April 2017 04:59:50AM 2 points [-]

For comparison, here are Robin Hanson's thoughts on some Mormon transhumanists: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2017/04/mormon-transhumanists.html

Comment author: hamnox 20 April 2017 03:52:22AM 1 point [-]

Working out has been too troublesome for me, but I do like endorphin boosts. Who needs drugs when you can get your brain to drug you for you?

Anytime you're feeling down, just do some kinda movement until your muscles burn a little then stop. It takes like 10 seconds of arm flapping or 3 crunches.

You can do it multiple times a day and keep a running tally to build up the initial affordance.

Comment author: fortyeridania 20 April 2017 04:34:31AM 1 point [-]

Good point. You don't have to go to the gym. I used to do jumping jacks in sets of 100, several sets throughout the day. Gradually increase the number of daily sets.

Comment author: Lumifer 20 April 2017 04:16:20AM 1 point [-]

existential-level AMR event

What would that look like? Humanity existed for the great majority of its history without antibiotics.

Comment author: fortyeridania 20 April 2017 04:31:20AM 0 points [-]

What would that look like?

Concretely? I'm not sure. One way is for a pathogen to jump from animals (or a lab) to humans, and then manage to infect and kill billions of people.

Humanity existed for the great majority of its history without antibiotics.

True. But it's much easier for a disease to spread long distances and among populations than in the past.

Note: I just realized there might be some terminological confusion, so I checked Bostrom's terminology. My "billions of deaths" scenario would not be "existential," in Bostrom's sense, because it isn't terminal: Many people would survive, and civilization would eventually recover. But if a pandemic reduced today's civilization to the state in which humanity existed for the majority of its history, that would be much worse than most nuclear scenarios, right?

Comment author: gilch 19 April 2017 11:14:06PM 1 point [-]

Why does antimicrobial resistance rank so high in your estimation? It seems like a catastrophic risk at worst, not an existential one. New antibiotics are developed rather infrequently because they're currently not that profitable. Incentives would change if the resistance problem got worse. I don't think we've anywhere near exhausted antibiotic candidates found in nature, and even if we had, there are alternatives like phage therapy and monoclonal antibodies that we could potentially use instead.

Comment author: fortyeridania 20 April 2017 04:13:49AM 0 points [-]

It's true that the probability of an existential-level AMR event is very low. But the probability of any existential-level threat event is very low; it's the extreme severity, not the high probability, that makes such risks worth considering.

What, in your view, gets the top spot?

Comment author: oomenss 18 April 2017 02:23:19PM *  5 points [-]

Right now, it's overcoming my unbearable procrastination/lethargy/aversion to/for anything that even seems unpleasant. If I can't do hard work, I'm basically useless for whatever I have planned anyway, so it's critical.

Comment author: fortyeridania 19 April 2017 08:33:12AM 0 points [-]

Many people have been through similar periods and overcome them, so asking around will yield plenty of anecdotal advice. And I assume you've read the old /u/lukeprog piece How to Beat Procrastination.

For me, regular exercise has helped for general motivation, energy levels, willpower--the opposite of akrasia generally. (How to bootstrap the motivation to exercise? I made a promise to a friend and she agreed to hold me accountable to exercising. It was also easier because there was someone I wanted to impress.)

Good luck. When you've got a handle on it, do share what helped most/least.

Comment author: MrMind 19 April 2017 07:00:17AM *  0 points [-]

Have you recently changed your estimate about the nearest x-risk?
I ended up to believe that now nuclear war > runaway biotech > UFAI, where > means nearer / more probable than.
Possibly, a global nuclear war would not be existential to the point of obliterating humanity, but setting it back a couple of millennia seems to be negative enough to be classified as existential.

Comment author: fortyeridania 19 April 2017 08:19:57AM 1 point [-]

Yes, I have. Nuclear war lost its top spot to antimicrobial resistance.

Given recent events on the Korean peninsula it may seem strange to downgrade the risk of nuclear war. Explanation:

  • While the probability of conflict is at a local high, the potential severity of the conflict is lower than I'd thought. This is because I've downgraded my estimate of how many nukes DPRK is likely to successfully deploy. (Any shooting war would still be a terrible event, especially for Seoul, which is only about 60 km from the border--firmly within conventional artillery range.)

  • An actual conflict with DPRK may deter other aspiring nuclear states, while a perpetual lack of conflict may have the opposite effect. As the number of nuclear states rises, both the probability and severity of a nuclear war rise, so the expected damage rises as the square. The chance of accident or terrorist use of nukes rises too.

  • Rising tensions with DPRK, even without a war, can result in a larger global push for stronger anti-proliferation measures.

  • Perhaps paradoxically, because (a) DPRK's capabilities are improving over time and (b) a conflict now ends the potential for a future conflict, a higher chance of a sooner (and smaller) conflict means a lower chance of a later (and larger) conflict.

You say:

I ended up to believe that now nuclear war > runaway biotech > UFAI

What was your ranking before, and on what information did you update?

[Link] Review of "The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds," Michael Lewis' book about Kahneman & Tversky

1 fortyeridania 19 April 2017 05:13AM
Comment author: Lumifer 19 April 2017 04:03:09AM 0 points [-]

What could we do with all that space?

I don't know, what? Nothing particularly exciting comes to my mind...

Comment author: fortyeridania 19 April 2017 04:59:23AM 1 point [-]

Nothing particularly exciting comes to my mind

Property prices would fall. Sounds like a job for real-estate entrepreneurs.

[Link] Review of "Doing Good Better"

0 fortyeridania 26 September 2015 07:58AM

The article is here.

The book is by William MacAskill, founder of 80000 Hours and Giving What We Can. Excerpt:

Effective altruism takes up the spirit of Singer’s argument but shields us from the full blast of its conclusion; moral indictment is transformed into an empowering investment opportunity...

Either effective altruism, like utilitarianism, demands that we do the most good possible, or it asks merely that we try to make things better. The first thought is genuinely radical, requiring us to overhaul our daily lives in ways unimaginable to most...The second thought – that we try to make things better – is shared by every plausible moral system and every decent person. If effective altruism is simply in the business of getting us to be more effective when we try to help others, then it’s hard to object to it. But in that case it’s also hard to see what it’s offering in the way of fresh moral insight, still less how it could be the last social movement we’ll ever need.

Comment author: fortyeridania 22 May 2015 07:31:54AM *  1 point [-]
  • I think they can only mean either "variance" or "badness of worst case"

In the context of financial markets, risk = variance from the mean (often measured using the standard deviation). My finance professor emphasized that although in everyday speech "risk" refers only to bad things, in finance we talk of both downside and upside risk.

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