Crosspost on the EA Forum

Thanks to Jason Hausenloy for encouraging me to concretize and post these assorted ideas.

EA Topics

Anecdotes of Parental Pressure on Career Choice

  • I haven’t seen much discussion of this, but parental pressure may play a large impact on the career choices of young EAs.

Impacts of Consumption in EA

  • Some EA individuals and organizations in the Bay Area spend a lot to increase their productivity. What are the climate/labor/animal welfare effects of consumption on e.g. Ubers, DoorDashing all meals.

Anecdotes on the Flynn Campaign from OR-06 Constituents

  • We’ve seen retrospectives of Carrick Flynn’s candidacy on the EA Forum, but it seems useful to gather more anecdotes from outsiders, particularly those engaged in electoral politics or living in OR-06.

Earthquake Prep Guide

  • Many EAs live in earthquake-prone regions, such as California. Is earthquake risk significant enough to warrant individual preparedness? If so, a preparedness guide similar to Finan Anderson’s on nuclear preparedness may be useful.

Anecdotes of Failed Targeted Outreach

  • There have been 4 occasions for which friends who I thought would be interested in EA and potentially valuable contributors, bounce off of the ideas/movement. Gather anecdotes and improving EA/outreach seems important.

Liberal Arguments for AI Safety

  • I haven’t seen a compelling writing in support of AI Safety from a liberal perspective, e.g. discussion of why regulation of unfettered development/technological progress is important.

How much influence can individual state/federal senators/representatives/assemblypeople have on AI safety policy?

How university students should balance community building vs. building skills for direct work

Non-EA Topics

Advantageous Political Geography

  • Despite winning more than 50% of the popular vote, President Biden won in just 2 out of the 8 congressional districts in Wisconsin during the 2020 presidential election. Despite winning a third of the popular vote in the 2018 US House of Representatives elections in California, Republicans won just 7 of 46 seats - and this map was constructed by an independent redistricting commission! What influences how political geography favors parties?

Berkeley CS Course Staff

  • My favorite courses have been Berkeley CS courses, which are mostly run by undergraduate students who are usually between 19-22 years old. My favorite teachers have also been uGSIs from these courses, who don’t have teaching credentials and are much younger than any K-12 teacher I’ve had. How do undergrads teach and organize these courses so well?

Prompting on Langage Model Answer Calibration

  • How much does confidence in an answer depend on the explanation that precedes it, and does model size play a role? How much does prompting with a flawed chain of reasoning affect calibration? How does using chain-of-thought prompting affect calibration? Self-consistency generates diverse completions using temperature and takes the majority answer; how does calibration differ between incorrect and correct COT completions?

Colorado is not a Rectangle? Why?

  • Colorado looks like this: Yet its border with New Mexico has this ~half mile indent: why!?

Discoveries Ahead of Their Time

  • Nuclear weapons were developed 3-4 decades before the RSA cryptosystem, despite the former seeming much more technically complicated to develop than the latter. What other developments retrospectively seem ahead/behind their time?