[ExI] fermi paradox again, was: addiction

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon Apr 6 18:03:57 UTC 2015

spike <spike66 at att.net> , 6/4/2015 7:52 PM:

Anders that is you there, ja?

Yup. That was a fun meeting. People trying to make the world better on the largest scale, whether in terms of material standards, health, tech or safety. 

   I am delighted there is such a healthy intersection of those two sets, the H+ crowd and the effective altruism crowd.

Here is a cool map of Bay Area meme space showing some of the reasons for the overlap: http://lesswrong.com/lw/ipm/a_map_of_bay_area_memespace/

What if we could figure out a way to tweak the feels-good knob to create positive feedback, give us a euphoric feeling over helping others, wouldn’t that be cool?  We fix it to give us a good feeling when we discover some new science or technology geek thing; then it acts as a force multiplier such that we can do more effective altruism.

In many ways it already works like that. Not for everyone, not all the time. So even a way of strengthening it a bit would make a lot more people altruist, and make the nice ones nicer. However, just wanting to help may not be enough: many people hurt by trying to help in the wrong way or according to the wrong goals (imagine the helpful neighborhood fundamentalist). We need to improve intelligence too. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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