[ExI] Einstein's think tank

Anders anders at aleph.se
Wed Aug 17 21:39:59 UTC 2016

Ah, these guys:


Disbanded after 4 years, but was apparently the seed for Pugwash: 
https://pugwash.org/ - note their slogan.

IMHO, Einstein's reputation as a great thinker on all matters is largely 
due to the halo effect. He was a smart nice guy using his reputation and 
contacts to promote good causes, but I have not seen any truly brilliant 
insights in peace policy or similar fields from him. He was way better 
as a physicist than as a philosopher.

Overall, calling for new and better ways of thinking is much easier than 
doing them. List alumnus Yudkowsky has done a better job than most, but 
I think even he and the most hardcore LessWrongers would admit they have 
just polished and mildly improved existing rationality tools. Most 
people claiming to have found a fundamentally better way of thinking 
tend to be full of hot air and/or delusion [especially the later if they 
also talk about consciousness ;-) ]. Still, pushing for new cognitive 
abilities or better solutions to our collective game theory (possibly 
computer aided) is worth doing - it is terribly hard, but the rewards of 
even a slight improvement can be pretty big.

On 2016-08-17 20:51, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 12:50 PM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com 
> <mailto:atymes at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     On Aug 17, 2016 12:17 PM, "William Flynn Wallace"
>     <foozler83 at gmail.com <mailto:foozler83 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     > "A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive
>     and move toward higher levels." ("Atomic Education Urged by Albert
>     Einstein", New York Times, 25 May 1946)
>     >
>     > Now this quote is interesting:  just how does one conceive of a
>     new way of conception?  Or did Einstein follow this up with
>     suggestions?
>     Apparently he was soliciting funding for a think tank to develop
>     said new methods.  The most complete non-paywalled version of the
>     article I have found so far is at
>     http://www.fredsakaderniet.dk/tid/1900/1946/maj/maj0825.htm
>     <http://www.fredsakaderniet.dk/tid/1900/1946/maj/maj0825.htm>
> That didn't come through right - try this: 
> http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/tid/1900/1946/maj/maj0825.htm
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Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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