Some of the best people ever to exist are people who could have launched nukes, but didn't. This suggests a new high-priority career path:

  1. Join the military.
  2. Get yourself into the chain of people who are responsible for launching nukes.
  3. If at any point you are told to launch a nuke or given the authority to launch a nuke, don't.

Probably a depressing career path because there's a ~99.99% probability that you will never do anything important. But it could be high EV.




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I'd consider tweaking (3) to something like, "Make sure you don't start a nuclear war based on a false alarm." The current version has imo some serious downsides:

  • Association with planned disloyalty could hurt the efforts of everyone else in this community who's trying to contribute to policy through dedicated service.
  • A (US) community's reputation for planned non-retaliation might increase risk of nuclear war, because nuclear peace depends partly on countries' perceptions that other countries are committed to retaliating against nuclear attack.

(I strongly upvoted this; I think some subset of EAs are overly naive about what channels could nuclear policy be used to reduce catastrophic risks)

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