Epistemic Status: Attempting Epistemology
Structural Status: Necessary but pretty probably terrible
I was at an unconference this past weekend. One of the things that became clear to me was that I need to be writing again, and writing more, and that I was not doing that because I was afraid of it. Which is further evidence I should probably be doing it. And it is known that the best way to do it, is to start doing it.
I also realized that real conversations are better than fake conversations, and that this distinction was actually a thing, which means I should be worried less about getting something correct and good enough exactly, or getting it ‘done’ than in actually sharing my thought process and reasoning and so forth. It is not like I didn’t know that real was better than fake or that this thing that we called real was more real than the fake but I did not have the names for the concepts so even though I did understand that this was what my best conversations had and what my Magic articles had (and was what allowed me to output so many of them) it did not properly resonate.
I suspect that is also why the sequences worked even though they choose horrible examples and have tons of things that now seem like mistakes, and when Eliezer later sat down to try and write a book, it didn’t work right.
I would sit and think: I should write something but I don’t know what and feel out of ideas which is insane because I’m Zvi Mowshowitz and I’m full of ideas, or at least curiosity and attempts to understand things, except when I’m not, and that was pretty awful and I should get on fixing that and I had help doing that and this seems way better now and hopefully I can hang on to that.
I didn’t know what to do first but I also wanted to make sure I set myself up to do a lot so I wanted to put down and make public that I had put down seeds to other things that I want to think about by writing about them. I think most of my best writing works that way: I don’t know what I am going to say not because I have not decided what to say, but because I actually don’t know the things until I start saying them, at which point I figure them out, or if those aren’t the things I am going to say, I figure out something else. That also happens.
So to motivate myself, here is a list of things in my head right now that want to be blog posts, or at least have aspirations of wanting to be blog posts, or that I want to think about in the form of blog posts. Feel free to add additional suggestions or give +1s, and this does not include reacting to other people’s things, which I think is on the top of my mental stack often and which is important to do in long form for reasons that want to be a blog post.
So without further ado, noting that there’s a lot of “for some value of one or more of these words” that is implied, and that it’s perfectly OK to have zero idea what many or most of these are, since that’s probably my fault, but I think if for example Scott or Sarah or Ben wrote one of these I’d quite enjoy being confused by it, so here goes:
True conversations and how to have them online
Theocratic anarchism (still hazy or worse on the theocratic part)
Summer Children that need to chill the **** down (but, wolf) and also they need more hot tubs
Stopping Bad Brain Interventions, especially ones that take away necessary false definitions
Blindsight (the thing, not the book, that book was awful and everyone is wrong and that probably does NOT want to be a blog post)
Common Crux (formerly/currently Double Crux)
Model of (rationalist and similar) community lifecycle, and how to save them, and if they should be saved
Should everyone be in one place?
How to timeshift (and therefore potentially overcome) analysis paralysis
What to do with AGI ideas that probably are worthless but just might kill us all
Hand squiggly motions (CFAR thing)
Utility function time ranges and feedback cycles for optimal optimization
Open circuit 7! Shut down 4 (not permanently)?
Seeing things by filtering other things out (like the Guide in Mostly Harmless?!)
Word overloads especially ones that make your sentences all sound like contradictions (paging Michael Vassar even more than usual)
Elephant in the golden room
Trio walks (2 vs. 3 vs. many)
The AI paper with the best title ever
How to assume enough information
Clarification culture vs. Specification culture (which is not guess vs. ask, which is misnamed) which may relate to Arbital
Responses to sacred spaces (gendered and otherwise)
Ism and the ists
Book Review: How Asia Works (use both sides of paper if necessary)
Zvi watches the Pro Tour (that’s a sequence)
Kids are better except they’re stupid
This is the foom
Density of time, (dis?)utility of shorter thoughts
Lateral metaknowledge transfer
Fear: of writing, acting, consequences, stakes, and possibly quoting multiple really bad movies
Was Colossus right about Deadpool?
“There is only one science.”
Feedback cycles and maybe when to yell at people
Time and sleep management with respect to FOMO
Guess so you will guess iff the guess is right: A culture
Merging friend context groups
The fire of a thousand suns
The art of the ARPG
Super Bowl Thursday
I know you think choices are really bad, but they’re even worse than that
The effectiveness part is great (but, often, misnamed)
Step one become worthy. Step two avoid power.
…and other neat stuff like that. Maybe I’ll edit this post.