Open Thread 271
This is the weekly visible open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. ACX has an unofficial subreddit, Discord, and bulletin board, and in-person meetups around the world. 95% of content is free, but for the remaining 5% you can subscribe here. Also:
1: Some good pushback to my post Most Technologies Aren’t Races, arguing that even my examples of historical non-race technologies were races at the time. See especially Erusian, Tatu Ahponen, Jumpingjacksplash, and (thanks to anonymous emailer) Ding & Dafoe (2023) (Twitter summary here). I agree any technology with military applications is more than zero a race; I still think under most assumptions it’s only a race in the same sense that stealth aircraft are a race, rather than the existential threat you would get if you imported singularitarian scenarios and took out the singularitarian bits.
2: One of the forecasting projects in our Impact Markets Mini-Grants is OPTIC, "an inter-collegiate forecasting tournament . . . with the goal to foster a forecasting community among undergraduates . . . think debate tournament/hackathon/mock trial competition, but for forecasting". If you're a university student who can make it to Boston on April 22nd, go here for more information. They add: "Err on the side of registering, even if you’re not sure if you can make it, or if you’re not in the Boston area — we’ll be able to sponsor some funding for teams to travel."
3: More things in the genre of “rationalist/EA-ish youth summer program”, I know some of the instructors and can confirm they’re great:
If you're 15-19, have not yet gone to college, and are a follower of this blog, you might consider applying to the Atlas Fellowship. They offer a 10K scholarship and a fully funded in person summer program in the Bay area where you will get to discuss topics like forecasting, global poverty, and the future of artificial intelligence with other interesting people around your age. Applications close April 30th. Check out the website for more details.
4: Thanks to the 156 of you who sent in book review contest entries! We’re working on collating them and will put out a call for first-stage reviewers soon.