In Chasing The Wind, Avi and Bugsby host a fast-paced, lightly-scripted discussion on topics ranging all across the ideological firmament. Listen in!
Episode 18 - Preliminary Research
Why do some people parse a space well and others get snowed?
Energy landscapes Explore/exploit Global optimization Shape of space vs strategy for optimizing in it What are situations where you'll need to integrate a large data burden?
Either data that you don't understand the structure of, or just too much of it. Quantum mechanics: different representations mastery can not translate Recognition of form Domain shear in programming architecture: components that haven't been designed with each other in mind. Domain Driven Design book. Rationality community's double cruxing. Umbrella topics: not thinking of the whole as the sum of its parts, e.g. Obamacare At what point do you need to do work in the space as opposed to just reading about it?
Build a thing, visit a place, have an experience? Podcasting on a thing: what bar is needed for sufficient understanding to talk about it? Journalism: you have to actually touch primary source, not just other journalistic products. How? Go places, read textbooks, compute. Run numbers (as done often on Slate Star Codex). Observation vs Randomized Controlled Trial: build the thing to know what biases are built in. Potential topic areas
Moral philosophy AI risk Visited OpenAI Education My dad Jesse Archery Science fiction and fantasy Physics simulation Should do this! Drug development Preliminary research: How do you do it?
What to do after first-depth internet search hits limits. Make an actual research plan. Decide if e.g. you need experts, technical documents etc. Start drawing yourself a map. Written out decision tree process. Avi's map: Designing a House
My goal is to learn what I would need to know to get a house that I would be happy with built. Re-read "A Pattern Language" carefully Find out the typical procedure for working with an architect - communication style, cost, time. Learn what major classes of housing site/lot there are (e.g. terrain type, climate, access, zoning). Find a set of example houses that have at least one thing I like a lot to draw parts from. Ideally, do Habitat for Humanity or in some other way get involved in the process of building a house. Make a list of activities and functions that are important to me for living in a house. Locate and speak with a professional architect and ask them what I should learn before embarking on designing a house. Bugsby's map: Space
My goal is to learn about the past and present of space exploration enough to present an opinion about the future. Skim my old Astronomy textbook. Read a history of space exploration. Re-read a popular technical analysis of the good and bad things about the shuttle program. Find and read a book about the present state of space exploration. Find some opposing viewpoint articles about private space companies. Learn enough about SpaceX and Blue Origin to say what's different about each of them. Read James Michener's "Space" OR re-read Kim Stanley Robinson's "Red Mars" OR read the sequel "Green Mars".
Episode 17 - Tool Making
Avi and Bugsby discuss Bugsby's data science process and brainstorm a design for a tool to improve it. There is a great deal of programming jargon and philosophy.
Command-line interface (e.g. bash)
Gather data Process data with commands/scripts Feed processed data to model building Produce output which may get piped to something else Python
XKCD - is time spent automating a task worth it
"repl" (read-evaluate-print loop) command line
Using Dynalist - store instructions in the form of a work log, be able to "tag" sections of it as "programs"
Transaction log (in the sense of database or file system)
Episode 16 - Moral Philosophy
We explore what a morality based on "good enough" means, what it would like, and whether we already follow it. Discussed: genies, strong AI, and tech startups.
Consequentialism and Utilitarianism
Episode 15 - AI Risk
We explore AI Risk, the notion that computer intelligence will cross the human level, start compounding exponentially, and, if not trammelled, mulch everything we hold dear into paperclips. Why aren't Avi and Bugsby more worried about this?
Public figures who've expressed concern: Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton
Machine Intelligence Research Institute
Nick Bostrom - Superintelligence
Value alignment problem
Hippocratic Oath in software/civil engineering
Iron Law of Oligarchy
Superintelligence: the idea that eats smart people
SSC AI risk persuasion experiment
EY AI box escape experiment
Episode 14 - Massive Endeavors
Master of the Senate
Episode 3 - Legacy: the size of a science slice of the pie is shrinking
Rationalists coordinating people on a project article
Kula Sushi LA, Silicon Valley
Influence - Cialdini
Things to Hang on your Mental Mug Tree
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Microsoft research announcement around the same time (note from Avi: Chan Zuckerberg was actually by far the more reasonable of these, the opposite of what I said in the episode. Apologies!)
Tennessee Valley Authority
Human Genome Project
Civil Rights Act
Affordable Care Act
Standard Oil, Amazon, Google
SpaceX Blue Origin Dragon
Going to Mars
Growing a city (Bellevue)
Starting a new country
Starting a religion
Starting a movement
Occupy Wall Street/Tea Party
Making old age not suck/fighting degeneration
Episode 13 - Places
xkcd - ranking people
Paul Graham cities essay
Article - The urban archipelago
Iron law of institutions
Iron law of oligarchy
Article about the significance of "again" in "Make America Great Again"
Would listen to again. The dulcet baratone voices of Avi and Bugsby soothes my ears and calms my heart. A must listen.