Convergent AI Drives.

I’m writing a series of posts clarifying my position on the Intelligence Explosion, and here I want to discuss some theoretical work on the types of goals self-improving systems might converge upon. Stephen Omohundro has made a convincing case that we can expect to see a wide variety of systems, with different utility functions and different […]

How to Have Space Correctly

[NOTE: This post has undergone substantial revisions following feedback in the comments section of the blog LessWrong, where it was originally posted.  The basic complaint was that it was too airy and light on concrete examples and recommendations.  So I’ve said oops, applied the virtue of narrowness, gotten specific, and hopefully made this what it should’ve been the first […]

Two Weeks of Meditation can Reduce Mind Wandering And Improve Mental Performance.

[This post first appeared on LessWrong] There are any number of reasons why aspiring rationalists might be interested in mindfulness meditation. Cultivating an ability to observe thoughts without being swept away in them could help in noticing when you’re confused, spotting biases or motivated cognition, and, if you are skilled enough, actually changing your mind. […]

Being Foreign and Being Sane

[cross-posted at LessWrong.  This post was written for a particular audience, so it may be difficult to parse for those who are not familiar with LessWrong.  But it’s accessible to anyone who follows the links.] I’ve been reading Less Wrong for a while now, and have recently been casting about for suitable topics to write […]

Sam Harris on Death, I.

(Rough) Outline The reality of death and what it means (00:00 – 20:00) What is now? (21:30 – 25:00) Shifting perception and a small experiment (27:30 – 37:00) Consciousness and experience (37:30 – 40:00) Words of advice (40:15 – 45:00) Summary At the 2012 Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne Australia, Sam Harris delivered a talk […]