“Miksi jonkun pitäisi saada käyttää kenkiä?”

Yksi surkeimpia tapoja vastustaa jotakin on kysyä, “miksi kenenkään pitäisi saada tehdä noin”. Miksi ihmisten pitäisi saada kopioida kulttuuriteoksia toisilleen? Miksi homojen pitäisi saada mennä naimisiin? Miksi ihmisten pitäisi saada sanoa loukkaavia asioita julkisesti? Miksi kenenkään pitäisi saada käyttää tajuntaan vaikuttavia aineita? Miksi jonkun pitäisi saada...

Read More

14 objections against AI/Friendly AI/The Singularity answered

What it says. Not really an essay, but I didn't want to create a new category just for this.

Read More

Adult children make mistakes, too

There’s a lot of blame and guilt in many people’s lives. We often think of people in terms of good or bad, and feel unworthy or miserable if we fail at things we think we should be able to do. When we don’t do quite as well as we could, because we’re tired or unwell or distracted, we blame and belittle ourselves. Let’s take a different approach. Think of a young...

Read More

AI risk model: single or multiple AIs?

EDIT April 20th: Replaced original graph with a clearer one. My previous posts have basically been discussing a scenario where a single AI becomes powerful enough to threaten humanity. However, there is no reason to only focus on the scenario with a single AI. Depending on our assumptions, a number of AIs could also emerge at the same time. Here are some considerations. A single AI The classic...

Read More

AI thought process visualization

I started thinking about all the original computer science CGI stuff you could do in a sci-fi movie or TV series.

Read More

An appreciation of the Less Wrong Sequences

Ruby Bloom recently posted about the significance of Eliezer Yudkowsky‘s Less Wrong Sequences on his thinking. I felt compelled to do the same.   Several people have explicitly told me that I’m one of the most rational people they know. I can also think of at least one case where I was complimented by someone who was politically “my sworn enemy”, who said something...

Read More

Applied cognitive science: learning from a faux pas

Yesterday evening, I pasted to two IRC channels an excerpt of what someone had written. In the context of the original text, that excerpt had seemed to me like harmless if somewhat raunchy humor. What I didn’t realize at the time was that by removing the context, the person writing it came off looking like a jerk, and by laughing at it I came off looking as something of a jerk as well. Two...

Read More

Decisive Strategic Advantage without a Hard Takeoff (part 1)

A common question when discussing the social implications of AI is the question of whether to expect a soft takeoff or a hard takeoff. In a hard takeoff, an AI will, within a relatively short time, grow to superhuman levels of intelligence and become impossible for mere humans to control anymore. Essentially, a hard takeoff will allow the AI to achieve what’s a so-called decisive strategic...

Read More

DeepDream: Today psychedelic images, tomorrow unemployed artists

One interesting thing that I noticed about Google’s DeepDream algorithm (which you might also know as “that thing making all pictures look like psychedelic trips“) is that it seems to increase the image quality. For instance, my current Facebook profile picture was ran through DD and looks sharper than the original, which was relatively fuzzy and grainy. If you know how DD...

Read More

Depressed due to a lack of accomplishments?

Don't be. You still have plenty of time.

Read More

Dissecting edugames: iCivics.org

The Serious Games Market blog showcases a number of interesting edugames, and I thought that I should try some. One of the posts linked to an interesting-sounding site called iCivics.org, which has a number of educational games that are designed to teach kids about the way the US government works. Some of the games were relatively good. Others were dreadful enough that even with a designed...

Read More

Doing Good in the Addiction Economy

The world is becoming ever-more addictive and distracting, showering us with short-term rewards. But we can still take control of those mechanisms in order to do good in the world, and make ourselves into better people.

Read More

Don’t trust people, trust their components

I used to think that people were either trustworthy, semi-trustworthy, or unreliable. Basically, there was a single scale, and if you were high enough on that scale, you could be counted on when it came to anything important. My model wasn’t quite this simplistic – for instance, I did acknowledge that someone like my mother could be trustworthy for me but less motivated in helping out...

Read More

Empowering the growth of others: an underutilized desire for game design?

There’s a human desire which is very emotionally powerful, and which I’m a little surprised to realize that very few video games seem to have tapped into. (That I know of? Please let me know about any counter-examples!) The desire is for a specific way of helping others and seeing the consequences of that help. It’s when you help someone acquire a new skill or ability, see them...

Read More

En tarkoittanut loukata, olen vain eri planeetalta

Kolme tosielämän esimerkkiä tapauksista, jotka ovat saaneet jonkun loukkaantumaan, mutta jotka ovat johtuneet lähinnä väärinkäsityksistä. Väärinkäsitykset ovat juontaneet juurensa siihen, että ihmiset ovat pohjimmiltaan olleet eri kulttuureista – vaikka olisivatkin kaikki saman maan asukkaita. 1. Kysyjät ja arvaajat. Kysyjien ja arvaajien käsite popularisoitiin Guardianissa...

Read More

Homot ja heterot ovat mielikuvitusolentoja

Mitä jos harrastaa kerran seksiä saman sukupuolen edustajan kanssa? Onko silloin bi tai homo? Entä jos on muuten hetero, mutta yksi tietty saman sukupuolen edustaja himottaisi? Onko tässä tiukassa rajanvedossa ylipäätään järkeä? Homon, heteron ja biseksuaalin käsitteet ovat monessa mielessä käteviä työkaluja. Ei silti kannata unohtaa, että ne ovat yliyksinkertaistuksia. Tilanne...

Read More

Jasen Murray on tranquility meditation

Since the page that I previously used to link to for a description of how to do tranquility meditation has died, I’m reposting the instructions here. I found them very useful in getting started with meditation, and they seemed to work better for me than any other instructions. Original credit for writing them goes to Jasen Murray. —- Very brief summary: Use either the breath or metta...

Read More

Kolme syytä epäillä valtiovaltaa

En pidä valtiota vihollisena tai pahana mörkönä. Siitä huolimatta on kolme hyvää syytä suhtautua epäluuloisesti kaikkeen valtion toimintaan. 1. Päättäjien kannustimet ovat vinoutuneet. Parasta olisi, jos poliitikot pyrkisivät tekemään mahdollisimman hyviä päätöksiä. Sen jälkeen heitä äänestettäisiin sen perusteella, miten hyviä päätöksiä he ovat saaneet tehtyä....

Read More

Learning from painful experiences

A model that I've found very useful is that pain is an attention signal. If there's a memory or thing that you find painful, that's an indication that there's something important in that memory that your mind is trying to draw your attention to. Once you properly internalize the lesson in question, the pain will go away.

Read More

Learning to recognize judgmental labels

In the spirit of Non-Violent Communication, I’ve today tried to pay more attention to my thoughts and notice any judgments or labels that I apply to other people that are actually disguised indications of my own needs. The first one that I noticed was this: within a few weeks I’ll be a visiting instructor at a science camp, teaching things to a bunch of teens and preteens. I was...

Read More