comment by sdr ·
2018-01-04T05:38:48.595Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Hello my values a decade ago, it's so nice to see you publicly documented! In retrospect & in particular, the level of paranoia imbued here will serve you well against incentive hijacking, and will serve as a foundational stone in goal stability.
There is one particular policy here, where my thinking has changed significantly since then; and I'd love to check against Time whether it makes sense, or has my values been shifted:
| Reject invest-y power. Some kinds of power increase your freedom. Some other kinds require an ongoing investment of your time and energy, and explode if you fail to provide it. The second kind binds you, and ultimately forces you to give up your values. The second kind is also easier, and you'll be tempted all the time.
| Optimization never stops. Avoid one-time effort if at all possible. Aim for long-term stability of the process that generates improvements. There is no room for the psychological comfort of certainty.
So, the operative word above is "freedom" (personally, I've used "possibility space maximization"), and it's super useful to run a conceptually exhaustive search across surface-y options . But.
You probably have goals of interest, that you wish to achieve (eg "long-term future of humanity"). Some of these might require banging at stuff for an extended period of time. You have behaviours (eg your meta-policies), which you do for an extended period of time. Whether you recognize it as such, or not, you are also vesting into these; and by way of the forgetting curve, and blog readership, they also require ongoing maintenance. And yes, there might come future technological change which will make them obsolete, and put you into the decision between "your values" & "rolling with changes".
So, my counter to this is, _Anything which does not take into consideration the passage of time, gets eaten by it._ Your Time is a super scarce resource -probably the scarcest of them all. One way to turn this liability into an asset is by vesting into stuff (projects, startups, skills, people, ideas, what have you), and riding the compounding interest across time. This is, to my knowledge, the only way one can scale scarce resources into epic levels of task-specific utility.
(Relatedly, it seems to me, that there is a sliding scale between the need for change in the face of future changes and vesting into things, that most people tend to shift through as they age. Obvious problem here is simulated annealing being susceptible to fixation on phantom (local) maxima by way of changing environment.)
So, unpacking the desiredata from above, the model I'd offer for consideration is the Affordable Loss Principle, with a side dish of Avoiding Infinite Optimizers:
* The affordable-loss principle: prescribes committing in advance to what one is willing to lose rather than investing in calculations about expected returns to the project. Key to affordable loss policies is generation of Next-best-alternatives, such so when it comes to move, there is something to seamlessly move forward to.
Or, in the wise words of Zvi: https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/ENBzEkoyvdakz4w5d/out-to-get-you
- Get Got when the deal is Worth It.
- When you Get Got, do it on purpose.
- But, You cannot afford to Get Got if the price is not compact. (Sufficiently advanced optimizers will eat your time, attention, and resources for breakfast _if you let them_ . Don't. )
In conclusion, I'd suggest that yes, run a freedom-maximizing circle, because it eliminates conceptual blindsight, and there is a lot of low-hanging fruit you can pick up on your way. But additionally, be on the lookout for opportunities that are compact, low-hanging, and compounding across time, such so that linear investments today leads to incremental & compounding utility for tomorrow.Replies from: SquirrelInHell
↑ comment by SquirrelInHell ·
2018-01-04T09:47:16.220Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
This is very good. I don't think I disagree with anything you wrote. In practice, I recognize that most things which are dropped explode at least a little bit, and my implementation of "reject invest-y power" attempts to make sure these explosions are small enough that I can take them without significant damage (not literally zero damage).
Indeed, compounding interest is juicy, and I have also noticed biologically programmed annealing in myself.