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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One Response to 55 – Keeping up with the Rationalists

  1. The Mike says:

    With respect to the Bitcoin thingy. I think people need to pay close attention to the externalities involved in any process. If anything, we should be telling people to get off the damn Bitcoin because of its negative environmental impact. According to digiconomist the Bitcoin network emits 2.91 metric tons of CO2/sec. That’s 50 wt% of the emissions that a typical passenger car emits in a year!!! (according to figures from the EPA).

    To put this in perspective, at the current rate of emissions of the Bitcoin network and assuming a good year in terms of emissions absorption in the Amazon rainforest, you need about 5% of the entire Amazon rainforest dedicated to offsetting the Bitcoin network. An area about the size of the state of Wyoming. And that is on top of all the other shit we’re already dumping up to the sky.

    True, a few folks would’ve improved their financial situation, which is a good thing. However looking at the size of the problem criptocurrencies are becoming, I think that if anything our rationality should always be heavily peppered by hesitation.

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