These are my notes from books I read. Each page’s title is also a link to the corresponding GoodReads entry. You can see my GoodReads lists here.

Think again: the power of knowing what you don't know

The book is divided into 3 parts, covering the value of rethinking, how to help others rethink, and how to help communities rethink. the value of rethinking permalink Who you are should be a question of what you value, not what you believe. When people change their answers on a test, they’re far more likely to change to the right answer than a wrong answer. Rethinking is effective! helping others rethink permalink Good families allow for healthy conflict, rather than avoiding it.
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Army of none: autonomous weapons and the future of war

The examples in this book make it clear that there is no easy line we can draw between autonomous and non-autonomous weapons (and by extension, autonomous AI agents). There is a smooth gradient of autonomy, which makes the question of allowing autonomous weapons much more nuanced. It’s probably the case that higher-level alignment becomes important proportionally to the level of autonomy and intelligence. He analyzes the Patriot fratricides,In a military context, the word fratricide means the killing of someone on the same side of a conflict.
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Conscious: a brief guide to the fundamental mystery of the mind

The first thing you should know is that this book is only 2 hours long in audio form. That’s short! She managed to get into the difficult details while keeping the jargon accessible. (It helps that we literally know nothing about consciousness.) This book argued alternately for neuroscientific, illusionist, and panpsychist theories of consciousness. It explains the hard problem of consciousness, and then later really explains why it’s so hard. As a science-oriented person, t’s so easy to forget why it’s hard and start to explain things purely physically.
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Being mortal: medicine and what matters in the end

Read this book before you turn 60. In fact, read it before you’re 40. Read it before your parents are 60. Read it if you have parents! Read it if you’re a person who is likely to die sometime in the future. This book gave me tools for the hard decisions that exist for people in the last decade(s) of their lives. Before reaching this stage of life ourselves, we don’t think about it much because we’ve tended to separate the aged from our communities.
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The big three in economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes

This book was published in 2007, before the Great Recession. It definitely reads that way. Very capitalist, very Christian, very neo-liberal. I enjoyed learning more about Adam Smith. I feel like Skousen does a good job painting the importance of his ideas as an invention that drove the Industrial Revolution. According to Skousen, Marx is the devil incarnate, and his ideas are a dangerous disease infecting the minds of intellectuals and workers.
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