56 – Adventures in Tough Subjects

This episode got off to an interesting start. We usually test the mics with small talk and whatnot, but wound up just getting into interesting things and never quite got around to breaking to do an intro. I guess today we talk about culture war stuff.
cw: cw

We mentioned Scott Alexander and his views on feminism and social justice. Those links are just some of his views. If you’ve ever read Slate Star Codex, you know his views tend to be nuanced and lengthy. I also strongly recommend this essay of his whenever you’re tempted to despise a member of the out group.

Eneasz has had a number of opinions on this in the past, of indeterminate value: Unwanted AttributesI’m Pro-Equality and I’m Not Your AllyAppropriating the White Guys

Toward the end we talked about Steven’s suspicion that some of the news coming from Left-seeming places was possibly coming from the same sort of misinformation factories that fuel nonsense coming from parts of the Right. This is the article that Vivian had that confirmed those suspicions.

Check out the Human’s Wanted anthology!

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55 – Keeping up with the Rationalists

In this episode, we discuss 3 or 4 popular things currently (or recently) circulating Rationalist circles online.

Yudkowsky on no fire alarms for AI.

Zvi on the concept of Slack.

Ben Hoffman “Sabbath Hard and Go Home“. 

A Lesswrong Crypto Autopsy on Lesserwrong by Scott Alexander:

Gwern discussing bitcoin on Lesswrong back in the day. 

A commenter on the subreddit posted this on this episode’s discussion: “Tom DeMarco published a book in 2001 called Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency about how adding slack to a company improves efficiency and resilience to change. It’s a great read.”

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54 – Nothing Can Prepare You For Robin Hanson

Robin Hanson returns to talk about his new book: The Elephant In The Brain

Robin’s classic “X is not about Y” post. 2008! Man, time flies.

Eneasz mentioned The North Pond Hermit. Relevant quote: “Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.”

Yudkowsky’s short “Lord of the Rationality

The Zvi’s review of Elephant In The Brain

Conflict Theory vs Mistake Theory

Charles Stross’s “Martian Invaders” formulation of corporate optimizers & Ted Chiang on corporate optimizers, with unfortunate AI-placidity thrown in.

Our previous interview with Robin, about his book Age of Em

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53 – Principles of Curiosity with Brian Dunning

Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast and Skeptoid Media Inc. returns to talk with us about his newest documentary, The Principles of Curiosity! (Website Link, Video Link)

It presents a general introduction to the foundations of scientific skepticism and critical thinking, focusing on a simple process they call the three Cs: Challenge, Consider, and Conclude.

It’s the spiritual successor to his 2011 intro to critical thinking documentary, Here Be Dragons.

Coming in 2018, Skeptoid Media’s new feature documentary: Science Friction! In their own words:

Finally, a documentary about scientists who get misrepresented by the media.
Those TV documentaries you see, and the science experts they feature? Did you know that producers often edit them out of context, and twist their words, to make it seem like they promoted some pop sensationalism instead of the real facts?

Science Friction is going to expose these faux documentaries by name, and will give the scientists a chance to clear the record. The film is intended for theatrical release. The networks are not going to like us very much, so we are crowdfunding the production.”

This project is still receiving funding and the more money they receive for funding, the better this film will be. Seriously, consider clicking the link above and throw them a few bucks to help bring this documentary to the public and have it pack as much of a punch as possible.

We also discuss a recently released Skeptoid episode 605 – The Civil War Pterosaur.

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52 – Marriage is Obsolete Technology

A discussions as to whether marriage is outdated and net-harmful.

In large part based on Eneasz’s blog post.

Naveen recommends this discussion between 3Blue1Brown and Ben Eater on Net Neutrality

See also Naveen’s current project – Standard Meta

Next episode: The Principles of Curiosity

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51 – Robert McIntyre Returns

Robert McIntyre talks about the future of aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation

I’m sure you’re all stoked about the sound on this one. All we can say is that we took steps to correct it (like we all recorded our audio independently, including having Robert send his own recording to us) and somehow the heavens conspired to make this sound harsher than the first. Sorry for the ear damage.

Robert’s blog

AlphaZero news

Yudkowsky contends that AlphaZero is evidence for fast-take-off AI

Colorado has some right-to-die laws 🙂

Heroic Responsibility

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