Some good comments on the LessWrong cross-post.
You could adapt kbog’s scoring system to the UK context.
Published today: “EA residencies” as an outreach activity
I think we can drop the Bletchley park discussion.
Okay, I take it that you agree with my view.
… future-focused interventions have a very different set of questions than present-day non-quantifiable interventions
How are you separating out “future-focused interventions” from “present-day non-quantifiable interventions”?
Plausibly geoengineering safety will be very relevant in 15-30 years. Assuming that’s true, would you categorize geoengineering safety research as future-focused or present-day non-quantifiable?
Were representatives from these groups invited to the Leaders Forum?
Survival & Flourishing Fund
Happier Lives Institute
If not, why not?
Oh right, thanks!
Also just saw this good comment on the same topic.
See also this recent Qualia Computing post about the orthogonality thesis. (Qualia Computing is the blog of QRI’s research director.)
First I want to quickly flag that we no longer do community building grants due to their complexity and instead intend to fund CEA CBG.
Wait, given Nicole’s recent post, does this mean that both the Meta Fund & CEA are moving away from making community grants?
(From Nicole’s post: “At this stage, I think it is fairly likely that EA Grants won’t continue in its current form, and that we will instead encourage individuals to apply to EA Funds.”)
I feel confused about whether there’s actually a disagreement here. Seems possible that we’re just talking past each other.
I agree that Bletchley Park wasn’t mostly focused on cracking Enigma.
I don’t know enough about Bletchley’s history to have an independent view about whether it was underfunded or not. I’ll follow your view that it was well supported.
It does seem like Turing’s work on Enigma wasn’t highly prioritized when he started working on it (”...because no one else was doing anything about it and I could have it to myself”), and this work turned out to be very impactful. I feel confident claiming that Bletchley wasn’t prioritizing Enigma highly enough before Turing decided to work on it. (Curious whether you disagree about this.)
On the present-day stuff:
My claim is that circa 2010 AI alignment work was being (dramatically) underfunded by institutions, not that it wasn’t being funded at all.
It wouldn’t surprise me if 20 years from now the consensus view was “Oh man, we totally should have been putting more effort towards figuring out what safe geoengineering looks like back in 2019.”
I believe Drexler had a hard time getting support to work on nanotech stuff (believe he’s currently working mostly on AI alignment), but I don’t know the full story there. (I’m holding Drexler as someone who is qualified and aligned with EA goals.)
Bletchley park was exactly the sort of intervention that doesn’t need any pushing. It was funded immediately because of how obvious the benefit was.
Pretty sure that’s not right, at least for Turing’s work on Enigma:
“Turing decided to tackle the particularly difficult problem of German naval Enigma ‘because no one else was doing anything about it and I could have it to myself’.”
If you were to suggest something similar now that were politically feasible and similarly important to a country, I’d be shocked if it wasn’t already happening. Invest in AI and advanced technologies?...
What about AI alignment work circa 2010?
Quick examples from the present day: preparing for risks from nanotechnology; working on geoengineering safety
Got it. What could staff capacity trade off for here that feels higher priority?
About predicting effectiveness, it seems your conclusion should be one of epistemic modesty relating to hard-to-quantify interventions, not that we should never think they are better.
This is where I’m at too – e.g. the impact of Bletchley Park would have been hard to quantify prospectively, and in retrospect was massively positive.
Curious if OP is actually saying the other thing (that hard-to-quantify implies lower cost-effectiveness).
Also this Quora thread: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-oldest-institution-organization-that-exists-today
Yeah, it’s a great question.
For Catholic stuff, The Great Heresies looks interesting, though old. (I haven’t read it.)
I have thoughts about Mahayana Buddhist value transmission. Probably best to DM about that.
I bet Leah Libresco would have good thoughts on Catholic value transmission. Message me if an intro would be helpful.
Interesting, thanks for posting.
Can you share anything from the discussion about what to do about the problems?
(Most of this post is “here’s what we think the problems are” – would be super interesting to see ”...and here’s what we think we should do about it.”)
Institutions for improving scientific knowledge production & synthesis.
Some leads here, under the “meta-science” header: https://jasminew.me/post/progress/
So fun. Would be interesting to see tractability assessments for all the ideas.
Have you looked at Catholic institutions at all? They’ve done a good job of maintaining a cohered worldview over a long timespan (and also of growing very rich).
No time to track down the cite now, but I recall Oliver mentioning somewhere on the Forum that he felt there was a lot of value in there being multiple independent grant-makers with overlapping focus areas, to mitigate the biases of any one decision-maker. (I agree with this.)