37 – AlphaGo Returns

AlphaGo is back. Patrick talks about its latest accomplishments, its future, and other topics in game advances.

Our first AlphaGo episode (a very early one, sorry about the audio quality)

News of the most recent AlphaGo adventures

Steph Curry’s training is on a new level

Eneasz’s favorite type of tool-assist challenges – Item Abuse.


Sam Harris speaks with Tristan Harris about the arms race for human attention, the ethics of persuasion, and more


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36 – The Other Kind of Drugs

All the cool kids are doing podcasts about drugs, so…

The DARE program’s lack of efficacy (see also: Wikipedia page on DARE studies)

How to get addicted to heroin without really trying. Eneasz thought he read this in The New Yorker, but it was actually Cracked, which is like the New Yorker except more prestigious.

Sam Harris’s podcast episode “Drugs And The Meaning of Life

Slate Star Codex – Why Were Early Psychedelicists So Weird?

American culture’s treatment of alcohol makes abuse worse – Short BBC article, Super Long Website, Huge PDF (Shelly points us to p156 & p386).

The “wet house”

Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 and is doing pretty well

Some areas of northern Mexico are basically cartel-states now

Eneasz couldn’t find any back-up for his claim that all cultures experience a 100-year pause in development after the discovery of alcohol, and since alcohol has been around since basically the start of civilization, he’s beginning to suspect that anecdote was meant as a joke.

Fake alcohol can still get people drunk (within limits)

The experience of a woman did acid weekly for almost a year and nearly died (not daily, as we’d mentioned in the episode). Fascinating post.

A presidential aide to Nixon reports that the Drug War was specifically about targeting the groups Nixon felt were his enemies.

Do children see the sky as blue, or even see “it” at all, before we tell them it’s there? Maybe Not

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35 – Your Brain on Nootropics

** Fixed the audio. Please re-download for the correct episode. **

Drugs that boost mental performance for dummies.

Did caffiene help kickstart the Enlightenment era?


/r/nootropics for your nootropic discussion needs

Other places to discuss include Nootropics Depot and Longecity

Gwern’s posts on nootropics in general, and in-depth on Modafinil in particular

The Flynn Effect

The Last Psychiatrist’s Ritalin/Adderall post

You Pass Butter

The survey project where they’re gathering data on what humans would want self-driving cars to do in trolley-problem-like situations. Pretty fun!

Blindsight by Peter Watts on Amazon. Also available free from the author!

What Is It Like To Be A Bat? (note: PDF)

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34 – Lies, All Lies!

Slate Star Codex article – You Kant Dismiss Universalizability

Wikipedia page on the Revelation Principle

Eliezer’s post on LessWrong – Ends Don’t Justify Means (Among Humans)

Another LessWrong post – Protected From Myself

Louis CK bit on Lying (1:46 seconds long)

Short book by Sam Harris on Lying (six minute preview of audiobook)

Scott Alexander post on LessWrong – The Worst Argument in the World

The Prevalence of Lying in America: Three Studies of Self-Reported Lies

Kim B. Serota, Timothy R. Levine, & Franklin J. Boster



Eliezer_Yudkowsky 05 July 2009 comment on Not Technically Lying by Psychohistorian



Are animals capable of deception or empathy? Implications for animal consciousness and animal welfare

S Kuczaj, K Tranel, M Trone, H Hill

Animal Welfare. Special Issue 10:161- 173 (2001)


Comadena, Mark E. “Accuracy in detecting deception: Intimate and friendship relationships.” Annals of the International Communication Association 6.1 (1982): 446-472.

Comadena’s study finds that friends & spouses have better deception rates than acquaintances, but friends have better deception rates than spouses. So, it’s more like closeness helps your lie-detection ability up to a point, but past that point of closeness, it starts to hurt instead of help. Some other studies show no significant difference between detection rates of strangers vs people in close relationships


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33 – MIRI, and EA meta-discussion

We talk with Tsvi from MIRI

Game-playing algorithm that pauses Tetris

On The Origin of Circuits“, discussing a chip hardware evolution experiment

MIRI’s technical research agenda overview

Alignment for advanced machine learning systems paper from MIRI

Musk’s OpenAI

Paul Christiano’s about page, which links to his paper Tsvi mentioned

Logical induction paper from MIRI

Reason as Memetic Immune Disorder, by Phil Goetz (not Scott Alexander (yet))

The original “EA Has a Lying Problem” post. Lost of discussion in the comments, and also over at E-A.com


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32 – Who’s Afraid of AI?

The Logical Fallacy of Generalizing from fictional evidence

Genie Button Though Experiment

Wait but Why on AI Part 1 and Part 2

The Downfall meme we mentioned. This is Steven’s favorite version.

Yudkowsky vs Hanson – Great AI FOOM debate  and the Video

Sam Harris AI TED talk

Albion’s Seed – SSC

Redditor provides an incredible explanation of how being poor can make you bad with money

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