Scam-O-Rama

Here we depart form prior individual scam-specific topics to have an open collection of technology scams.

The scam can have many aspects from completely fraudulent technology to overhype of something that may still have real technological merit.

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Before reading further, please turn your BS detector to its lowest sensitivity to avoid damage.

Our latest entry could be a piece of scam performance art:

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We may hold a naming contest for this topic. Feel free to make suggestions and I’ll then build a poll.

My candidates are:

Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos

Trevor Milton/Nikola Motors

Volkswagen Clean Diesel

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My response suggestion is here:

My reasoning is that the excrement is not as deep as some that I had the displeasure of encountering.
I have a pair of these and use them when cutting the grass in my doggie area as the excrement washes off them rather nicely.

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Scams…

Eliezer Yudkowsky/Friendly AI
Sam Bankman-Fried/Effective Altruism
Bernie Madoff/Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities

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edit: link added for HPMoR

I’m not sure that Eliezer is a scammer so much as borderline crazy. He’s a monomaniac with a mission, and while that combination can produce great things, it can also steer you into a deep hole. (It can be interesting to read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality to see some of where he’s coming from)

While SBF is definitely a scammer and took advantage of EA, EA in general is not a scam. There are a lot of adherents that I would classify as suckers, but the base idea of rationally examining the charitable options using evidence and careful reasoning to take actions that help others as much as possible, is hardly a scam.

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SBF ruined the perception of Effective Altruism. Hearing him talk about EA was… actually I don’t remember because tuned him out.

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Eh. The basis of EA is solid enough that the storm will pass. The media loses interest then people forget. The only part that is really controversial is their position on possible future AI alignment issues.

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Never heard of this one. I see no link. Joke entry? At least it’s an intriguing title, almost Tom Swiftian.

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It is Harry Potter fan fiction and an exposition on reason, written by Eliezer. Off screen, Petunia marries a Professor instead of Vernon Dursley and Harry is a somewhat different person.

https://hpmor.com/

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Merci beaucoup!

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I was a bit tongue-in-cheeky posting my list, inciting a bit of controversy, and hoping to get a discussion started. Thanks for pitching in.

EA in principle might sound good at first glance, but the reality is that many of the people in these circles are seriously hungry for power and carry very long Jungian shadows that aren’t disclosed.

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$SOME_PHILOSOPHY in principle might sound good at first glance, but the reality is that many of the people in these circles are seriously hungry for power and carry very long Jungian shadows that aren’t disclosed.

The problem with that statement, is it proves too much. I could replaces “EA” in that with a list of many philosophies that have organizations built around them, including religions, and it would be as true. It doedn’t really distinguish EA as anything other than being a human thing.

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60 seconds

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