Post Prize #4: What We Owe the Future

Post Prize #4: What We Owe the Future

 

Will MacAskill’s new book, What We Owe the Future, is releasing this month. The book is MacAskill’s case for longtermism, the view that positively influencing the longterm future is a key moral priority of our time. The book addresses a host of fascinating topics like artificial intelligence, pandemics, global conflict, stagnation, population ethics, and much more. We can’t wait. Preorder it here.
We will be awarding prizes for the best reviews of the book — positive, critical, or analytic. Because the book comes out on August 16th in the US, this contest will extend over the next two months, concluding September 30th.
Prize: We’ll award $1000 to the most outstanding pieces.
Deadline: Opens August 2nd, What We Owe the Future is released August 16th, and the prize will close September 30th.
How to submit: When you have finished your piece, tweet a link to it and tag and follow our Twitter, @effective_ideas. If you’re not on Twitter, email it to nickwhitaker@effectiveideas.org with the subject line Post Prize #4. Looking forward to reading them!

Post Prize #3: Winners & Honorable Mentions

Announcing the winners from Prize #3, the Most Important Century
Zombie Universe by Toby Tremlett — One of the technologies Holden writes about in the Most Important Century is digital people, people who exist on computers. While Holden argues persuasively that digital people could be conscious, Toby writes of how important it is to understand whether they actual are conscious. If they aren’t, we could accidentally fill the universe with something analogous to philosophical zombies.
Re: the Social Science section of Holden Karnofsky’s Most Important Century by Zard Wright Weissberg — Zard writes about another aspect of digital people, their potential use for social science. What is the fundamental reason social science is so hard to learn from?
This Can Go On Pt 1 & 2 by Dwarkesh Patel — Holden writes about three key scenatios: Collapse, Stagnation, and Explosion. Dwarkesh argues that one other scenario is possible: Simmer.
In his follow up post, Dwarkesh argues that we can’t trust our intuitions about the limits to growth, and that “if our intuitions contradict the plausibility of large long-run growth rates, that’s so much the worse for our intuitions”.
Honorable mentions: we also enjoyed reading Maxwell Tabarrock on why The Most Important Century Is Not Unlikely, Robert Long on whether digital people would be conscious, En Kepeig In Favour Of Caution about AI, and Finn Hambly on attractors in history and whether we’re living in a simulation.
If you still want to learn more about the Most Important Centuryhypothesis, check out this great video from Rational Animations.
And stick around until the end to hear about Post Prize #4!