Search Episodes
Listen, Share, & Support
Listen to the latest episode
Subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe via RSS
Become a fan
Follow on Twitter

Support Us:

Please consider making a donation to help make this podcast possible. Any contribution, great or small, helps tremendously!

Subscribe to E-Mail Updates

Related Readings
  • Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
    Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
    by Massimo Pigliucci
  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
    Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
    by Massimo Pigliucci
  • Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science
    Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science
    by Massimo Pigliucci

RS 230 - Kelsey Piper on “Big picture journalism: covering the topics that matter in the long run”

Release date: April 1st, 2019

Kelsey Piper

This episode features journalist Kelsey Piper, blogger and journalist for "Future Perfect," a new site focused on topics that impact the long-term future of the world. Kelsey and Julia discuss some of her recent stories, including why people disagree about AI risk, and how she came up with her probabilistic predictions for 2018. They also discuss topics from Kelsey's personal blog, including why it's not necessarily a good idea to read articles you strongly disagree with, why "sovereignty" is such an important virtue, and the pros and cons of the steel man technique.


Future Perfect

Kelsey's blog, "The unit of caring"

Andrew Gelman's blog

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

Full Transcripts 

Reader Comments (11)

Great podcast with a great guest.

Good VOX articles and The Unit of Caring blog articles. The short articles in particular convey important ideas concisely.

The Machines will definitely take over Earth. Only one question remains: Will the bother to spare humanity? Given previous work in this area, such as "The Terminator", "Battlestar Galactica", and whole genre of rogue AI, we can confidently determine that people have identified AI as a serious threat.

In the late 1800s several people predicted that it would take another 100 years or so to achieve flight by airplane. The Wright brothers did it in less than 20 years in 1903. Technology grows by leaps and bounds and often not anticipated beforehand. AI powerful enough to threaten humanity could occur much sooner than expected.

Does "Sovereignty" (Personal Sovereignty) really just amount to having Confidence in yourself (Self Confidence)?
April 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
This was excellent. In fact, I'm so impressed with Kelsey Piper that I think there's a good chance her tumblr will become the second blog I actively read. Her answer with respect to Steelmanning, in particular, was just so insightful.

Two concrete takeaways:

– The point about several people having independently arrived at similar conclusions wrt AI risk (I already knew the examples but had just never realized it).
– Sovereignty is a really concise way of articulating its concept. I previously didn't have a name.
April 3, 2019 | Unregistered Commentersty.silver
<blockquote>Yeah, so from one perspective, more billionaires make money in a good way -- by creating products of immense value which people are willing to pay them lots of money for. </blockquote>

The social compact at the base of the money system is that you seek money from people in order to purchase goods from other people. Money is a medium of exchange.

Retaining money is unethical at the base as it causes unemployment when you refuse to use your money to purchase goods. Taking money from people without the intention to spend it is a form of fraud. The eagerness of the victims of this fraud does nothing to mitigate the fraud. The fact that gathering unneeded money is the sport of “kings” does nothing to mitigate the fraud.

Utilising some small part of the retained money to disburse “charity” rather than to employ people is just adding insult to injury. Getting some sort of social recognition for “charity” is perverse.
April 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrendanm
@Brendanm, Yeah, send kulaks to the gulags for grain hoarding and speculation. Heard that before.
April 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMax
AI scaremongers sound like the Y2K preppers. Yes, it took a lot of work to prevent the worst problems, and it wasn't the end of the world. You want to research AI safety, go ahead and come up with plausible risks and ways to mitigate them. While you're at it, research genetic engineering safety and nanotech safety.
And check out the DARPA AI Colloquium for the latest developments in AI
April 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMax
Great episode with a wonderful guest.
April 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
I felt very happy while reading this site. This was a really very informative site for me. I really liked it. This was really a cordial post. Thanks a lot!
April 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergeometry dash
What a wonderful guest! I love her attitude and how thoughtful her positions are
April 23, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjames
Thank you very much for these great cake recipes, I have learned a lot from your web blog
May 14, 2019 | Unregistered Commentercandy crush soda
I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us, I too always learn something new from your post.
June 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterhappy wheels
Holy hell I want to marry Kelsey Piper, this woman is a gem.
July 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDankvis

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.