Overcoming Bias. I try as much as I can avoiding
Least Amount of Words Possible. “I am sorry that I didn’t have time to write a shorter letter” – Pascal. I try to distill knowledge into as little words as possible. I think this is one of the most important and neglected ideas about knowledge. The shorter the more valuable the message is (while simultaneously preserving its depth and quality).
Long-term view. New knowledge is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing when you compare medieval to contemporary findings in medicine, ethics, physics. It is also a curse because we have a
Through a Peasant's Reasoning. This is a Polish expression meaning to communicate without jargon, in the simplest possible terms. Knowledge is often a signaling tool – a vehicle for climbing a homo sapiens hierarchy ladder. "I am capable of using complex vocabulary", "I belong to this type of people", "I am smart". I feel this force is largely active in my hunter gatherer brain and in our culture. On this website, I am attempt to drop sounding complex, sounding round, adding paragraphs to grip the reader with a better story. My north star is what
Validating is adding twice as much work. When I write about idea I am spending disproportionate amount of time gathering evidence and phrasing examples to arrive at my thesis. It’s obvious that I must be subjected to
Mistakes pages I am inspired by:
This page logs mistakes we've made, ways in which our organization has failed or currently fails to live up to our values, and lessons we've learned. This page focuses on issues that could affect the impression that people external to the organization have of our work and its reliability.
These are some of the most important ways things could have gone better and mistakes we have made running 80,000 Hours, taken from our self-evaluations. Over the course of ~2017-2019, we gave the impression that we were very heavily focused on AI, to the exclusion of other promising longtermist areas.
I don't promise never to make mistakes. But if I get something significantly wrong, I'll try to put it here as an acknowledgement and an aid for anyone trying to assess my credibility later. This doesn't include minor spelling/grammar mistakes, mistakes in links posts, or failed predictions.