Jack O'Brien

56 karmaJoined


The overwhelming number of applicants to MLAB is not indicative of a surplus of theoretical AI alignment researchers. Redwood Research seems to be solving problems today which are analogous to future AI alignment problems. So, Redwood's work actually has decent feedback loops, as far as AI safety goes.

Hey, I don't have anything super profound to say to you. I just wanna let you know that I read your post and think that you're doing great work. I'm  so, so sorry to hear about how hard things have been for you :) 

I feel like that's a good argument for why hanging around the cool, smart people can be good for "skilling up". But a lot of the value of meeting cool, smart people seems to come from developing good models! and surely it's possible to build good models of e.g community building, AI safety by doing self-directed study, and occasionally reaching out with specific questions as they arise. I think it's important to split up the value of meeting cool, smart people into A) networking and social signalling, and B) building better models. And maybe we should be focusing on B.

Thank you for writing this! I am at the career stage where this guide is very useful (early undergrad), and I wish I had this one year ago when I started getting into EA.

Thank you, I will be sharing this with some drug-aligned people in the local EA community, and conversely some EA-aligned people in my local drug community

I'm surprised you didn't mention Sam Harris, he is hugely sympathetic to EA and has introduced quite a few people to the movement

Does anybody have a good graphic to visualise the number of potential future lives?

Thanks for writing this Ryan! I think it's valuable for many EAs, myself included. I have found my mind circling around this idea that "health is instrumentally useful" for some time now and you've made a strong case for it.

I'm just gonna write here about my thoughts on improving my exercise, and maybe somebody else will relate.

I don't exercise enough, because of 2 excuses: (a) today's work is more pressing than exercising, I can delay until another time; (b) exercising properly takes some time investment to prevent injury, and it's not worth investing the time

I think these concerns come from a mindset of greedily maximising impact, leading to minimising self-care. Of course, my approach is not ACTUALLY maximising impact because personal health is instrumentally useful. But without careful thought it's easy to fall into the heuristic which says "maximise the amount of time thinking about EA stuff" - I think the actual process of living an impactful life involves a much more nuanced thought process than this heuristic.

It helps to hear this message from you, Ryan. It's somewhat given me license to devote more time to exercising.

Rational Animations explain ideas in rationality, longtermism, and the Fermi paradox with a clear, concise animated style:

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