A_lark's Shortform

post by A_lark · 2021-12-19T05:35:21.673Z · EA · GW · 2 comments


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comment by A_lark · 2021-12-19T03:28:50.013Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Media that is not about EA but could be I may start a running list of fun, silly, biting, earnest and/or unexpected ways to convey EA ideas. I'll add what I think it could be useful for. YMMV.

First entry:

  • Possible (sarcastic) response to someone who thinks it's offensive to say that some things are better than others: Posit Guy, by JrEg Summary: A guy posits something; others are offended that positing anything is arrogant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKe1m3aqsmw

== I may also start a running list of EA quotes in the media that I like:

Changing up the name of a thing over time is a good way to keep the concept fresh, so people pay attention to the meaning, not just the meme they've heard or read a million times before (IMO). I really like how this journalist turned this phrase around.

  • A good resource for people who care about climate change and are new to x-risk or think x-risk is weird. Possibly a good resource for policymakers, who the author addresses directly at the end.

Summary: Yglesias takes climate change seriously as a risk to humanity, and then quite smoothly pivots to x-risks from The Precipice. There's no mention of AI; he focuses on biosecurity and uses COVID as an example. Excerpt:

"So I commend the film and despite my quibbles with the McKay-Sirota theory of climate politics, I endorse McKay’s policy prescription. Let’s do it. But I think that art can sometimes get away from artists, and in this case the message is much bigger than climate change.

There is a range of often goofy-sounding threats to humanity that don’t track well onto our partisan cleavages or culture war battles other than that addressing them invariably involves some form of concerted action of the sort that conservatives tend to disparage. And this isn’t a coincidence. If existential threats were materializing all the time, we’d be dead and not streaming satirical films on Netflix. So the threats tend to sound “weird,” and if you talk a lot about them you’ll be “weird.” They don’t fit well into the grooves of ordinary political conflict because ordinary political conflict is about stuff that happens all the time.

So read Ord’s book “The Precipice” and find out all about it. Did you know that the Biological Weapons Convention has just four employees? I do because it’s in the book. Let’s maybe give them six?

For all that, though, I am genuinely shocked that the actual real-world emergence of SARS-Cov-2 has not caused more people to care about pandemic risk...

And we’re doing very little about this. ... If you went on TV to talk about comets, people would laugh at you. But people on TV are talking about the pandemic all the time. So why can’t we talk about forward-looking pandemic policy?

There are rumors in D.C. of an effort to put together an Omicron-focused supplemental appropriation.

That’s a perfectly reasonable idea. But it’s crucial for policymakers to see that the Omicron problem isn’t just — or even necessarily primarily — about Omicron. It’s about variants and mutation in general. We have a variant right now that pairs breakthrough capability with high transmissibility, but doesn’t seem to attack the lungs nearly as aggressively as Delta did. There’s no guarantee we’ll get so lucky with the next variant, and we need to be improving our capabilities and tackling the pandemic issue in a much more serious way."

comment by A_lark · 2022-04-21T04:08:15.110Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Does the Forum have an auto-save feature for drafts?

Could it?

I made the foolish mistake of drafting a post recently, within the Forum. My computer died and I lost the draft :(