Key takeaways


    1. Meme Theory: An ideology parasitizes the mind, changing the host’s behavior so they spread it to other people. Therefore, a successful ideology (the only kind we hear about) is not configured to be true; it is configured only to be easily transmitted and easily believed (View Highlight)
    1. Lindy Effect: The longer a non-biological system has existed, the longer it’s likely to exist, because its age demonstrates its ability to weather the fickleness of fashions and the erosion of eons. (View Highlight)
    1. Shibboleth: An absurd ideological belief is a form of tribal signaling. It signifies that one considers their ideology more important than truth, reason, or sanity. To one’s allies, this is an oath of unwavering loyalty. To one’s enemies, it is a threat display. (View Highlight)
    1. Law of Triviality: A company needs a nuclear reactor and a bike shed. Few workers understand reactors, but all understand sheds, so the shed becomes the focus of debate as everyone tries to enact their vision. Projects that require the least attention tend to get the most. (View Highlight)
    • Note: Systems thinking: we fiddle with the exact values of variables instead of more influential interventions
    1. Promethean Gap: Technology is outpacing wisdom; we’re changing the world faster than we can adapt to it. Lagging ever more behind accelerating progress, we’re increasingly unable to foresee the effects of what we create. We’re amassing the power of gods, yet we remain apes. (View Highlight)
    • Note: The fundamental problem in AI alignment