Andreas Chrysopoulos' Shortform

post by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-14T19:00:34.273Z · LW · GW · 20 comments




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comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-11-10T10:33:52.337Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why can't cities/countries be run more like exceptional companies? Efficient, innovative, etc.

How far away are we from people like Elon Musk being able to buy some land and build a new city with groundbreaking quality of life?

Would that even ever happen, and why yes or why not?

Replies from: Dagon, RationalDino
comment by Dagon · 2023-11-10T17:12:19.031Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It gets tried every so often, but there are HUGE differences between companies and geographical/political governance.   

The primary difference, in my mind, is filtering and voluntary association.  People choose where to work, and companies choose who works for them, independently (mostly) of where they live, what kind of lifestyle they like, whether they have children or relatives nearby, etc.  Cities and countries can sometimes turn away some immigrants, but they universally accept children born there and they can't fire citizens who aren't productive.

comment by RationalDino · 2023-11-10T16:19:14.087Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What you want sounds like Próspera. It is too early to say how that will work out.

They took some inspiration from Singapore. When Singapore became independent in 1965, it was a poverty-stricken third world place. It now has a better GDP/capita than countries like the USA. And also did things like come up with the best way of teaching math to elementary school students.

But Singapore is only libertarian in some ways. They are also a dictatorship who does not believe in, for instance, free speech. Their point is that when you cram immigrants from many cultures together, you'll get problems if you don't limit how much one group is allowed to offend another. I don't like it, but also don't have evidence that they are wrong.

And finally, most utopian experiments don't work out very well. See A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear for an amusing example.

comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-25T16:22:39.887Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

How does the brain data not get corrupt when waking up randomly at night? I'm assuming during sleep the brain is changing and reorganising data.

Replies from: mikkel-wilson, Richard_Kennaway
comment by MikkW (mikkel-wilson) · 2023-10-28T19:27:16.602Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

My model says that a lot of the changing occurs by gradient descent, which can be interrupted randomly without causing problems. And there's enough redundancy that the reorganization part can be interrupted without the core information being removed completely from the brain, and the redundancy will be replenished (one of copies I imagine is "locked" while the reorganization happens, and is later reorganized later with another copy "locked"). I also expect this replenishing can happen during awakeness, though not as ideally as when asleep.

But I will also note that forgetting is a thing that happens, which is indistinguishable from "data corruption". We're actually quite good at forgetting things.

comment by Richard_Kennaway · 2023-10-25T17:09:35.379Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If the observation contradicts the assumption, perhaps the assumption is wrong.

comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-19T10:41:13.610Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Imagine a dynamic user interface generated in real-time by AI. Isn’t that the future of UI?

Imagine WhatsApp being different for everyone. Or Facebook being different for everyone. Apps themselves would kinda lose their meaning and maybe just the backend would remain.

This would probably unify apps into one single UI where a message is a message, no matter where it’s coming from.

What do you think?

Replies from: Viliam
comment by Viliam · 2023-10-19T14:37:59.045Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Great, if works flawlessly. Impossible to debug otherwise.

(I prefer to use applications in English even if localization is available, because if they print an error, it is much easier to find an advice online. With user-tailored user interface, asking anyone else anything would become impossible. You would have to hope that the AI will explain what happened. Or maybe the AI under guidance of a human experienced with this kind of debugging.)

On the other hand, I like this idea. Unifying all applications that I already use would be awesome. Classifying the messages according to their importance from my perspective, even better.

But I doubt that this future will come. Remember that the most powerful IT company today, Google, is an advertising company first and IT company second. It is definitely not in their interest to make the AI too friendly. No matter what you want, you will get your daily dose (defined as: as much as possible) of advertising first.

Replies from: andreas-chrysopoulos
comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-24T09:28:46.029Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yeah we would definitely need to reach a level of Artificial Intelligence at least equal to human for this to work well.

And you're right that debugging would be out the window, but assuming a smart AGI, that should not be a problem.

As for the advertising, I'm sure it could still be part of the interface somehow. I also don't see advertising going away anytime soon, but I haven't put much thought into it.

comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-17T17:45:18.061Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What would it take to bring Apple down?

Not in a malicious way. Just like empires fall, or businesses fail. What would it take, or what would need to happen? Apple seems to be growing, and doing many things right.

comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-14T12:51:20.702Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What is the (counterfactual) impact of a celebrity? Like, how much good does it bring to the world when someone becomes a star singer, actor, athlete?

Sure they can entertain, they can inspire, they can donate money, they can raise awareness for different issues.

But there can also be a lot of narcissism and selfishness and entitlement.

I'm trying to imagine someone dedicating their life to acting, singing or sports... and it just feels like such a waste of time, when there's so many problems in the world that need solving. How does one make that choice? Is there a logical argument for it?

Replies from: epirito
comment by Epirito (epirito) · 2023-10-16T22:07:30.518Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Do you really want to live in a world without Coca Cola?"
I don't really care about sports, but I imagine better athletes must be more entertaining to watch for people who do care. Even if you were to work in an important problem, you wouldn't do it alone. You would probably be one more person contributing to it among many. So you can also look at each celebrity as one more person working at the problem of creating entertainment. Imagine if all music were wiped out of the world by magic. Wouldn't that suck?

Replies from: andreas-chrysopoulos
comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-17T23:43:44.620Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I like this perspective. I guess I was seeing "becoming a celebrity" as a choice of some sort or a separate thing. But it does seem that the problem is entertainment, and there is a big spectrum of people trying to solve it with different means.

Looking at it like that, trying to solve entertainment is definitely not a bad thing. Just maybe less effective at saving/improving lives than some other career paths.

Would be interesting to somehow compare the impact of a doctor/philanthropist to an entertainer.

Either way, thanks for sharing!

Replies from: Richard_Kennaway
comment by Richard_Kennaway · 2023-10-26T21:33:05.688Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Looking at it like that, trying to solve entertainment is definitely not a bad thing. Just maybe less effective at saving/improving lives than some other career paths.

For an EA, being less effective at saving/improving lives is a bad thing. It is the bad thing. That is practically the definition of EA.

Replies from: andreas-chrysopoulos
comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-10-28T19:43:47.396Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Wouldn't you agree though, that one should probably not always do the number1effective thing? Can we even really say confidently which thing is most effective? 

Replies from: Richard_Kennaway
comment by Richard_Kennaway · 2023-10-29T13:53:49.305Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not a utilitarian or an A, E or otherwise, so it would be better for someone who is to answer that. But emulating that role as best I can: Of course (a utilitarian would say) one should always do the number one effective thing, if one knows what it is. If one is unsure, then put numbers on the uncertainties and do the number one most-effective-in-expectation thing. If you want to take high vs. low variance of outcome into account (as SBF notably did not), just add that into the utility function. That is what utilitarianism is, and EA is utilitarianism applied to global wellbeing.

comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-11-05T13:43:44.794Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is the purpose of the universe evolution?

I often think about why we're here -and of course the roman empire.  And while it might be tempting to think that the purpose of life is to be happy or content, I think the over arching theme of the world is evolution. Repeating cycles of creation and destruction: biological life, planets, solar systems, black holes, etc.

It's almost a little grim. That maybe, the reason we're here is for the end product. Just like a farmer plants a tree for the fruit. But I guess the in-between steps are no less beautiful than then finished result. Same as the journey being as meaningful as the destination.

Replies from: Dagon
comment by Dagon · 2023-11-05T15:58:43.966Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The VAST majority of matter and energy in the universe is in the non-purpose category - it often has activity and reaction, and effects over time, but it doesn't strategically change it's mechanisms in order to achieve something, it just executes.

Humans (and arguably other animals and groups distinct from indiiduals) may have purpose, and may infer purpose on things that don't have it intrinsically.  Even then, there are usually multiple simultaneous purposes (and non-purpose mechanisms) that interact, sometimes amplifying, sometimes dampening one another. 

Replies from: andreas-chrysopoulos
comment by Andreas Chrysopoulos (andreas-chrysopoulos) · 2023-11-07T10:44:28.064Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Locally maybe there is no purpose. But maybe it's necessary for life to emerge elsewhere, so it could have a larger purpose.

If you isolate a napkin, it has no purpose but as soon as you need to wipe you mouth it acquires one. So maybe purpose is relative.

But yeah, looking at my original post, I'm trying to compare the purpose of the universe with the purpose of humans, which doesn't necessarily overlap 

Replies from: Dagon
comment by Dagon · 2023-11-07T16:21:28.631Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think you're using the wrong model for what "have a purpose" means.  purpose isn't an attribute of a thing.  Purpose is a relation between an agent and a thing.  An agent infers (or creates) a purpose for things (including themselves).  This purpose-for-me is temporary, mutable, and relative.  Different agents may have different (or no) purposes for the same thing.