@andy-dienes Hey Andy glad to see you make an appearance! Still have hope you'll come back more regularly.
I agree with most that you say, and while as Discord server may make sense, I think there is still a lot of value in forums. This one, potentially, will get better as we add voting widgets and other gizmos, which I don't see working on Discord. Forums tend to have more permanence, if there is a great conversation, it can be linked to in the future. It seems better for readers not just writers. This forum has yet to live up to a lot of this stuff, but it can. I don't think Discord can, really. Discord seems like it might be good for "lively conversations," which may be entertaining but seem less likely to, I dunno, make the world better?
I do have a feeling this whole topic can take off in a wider way, to a mass audience, if approached well. If a random person comes to this forum, I'm not sure they will immediately see a reason they should care about this stuff. Ok, political polarization messed up their Thanksgiving dinner or something, but beyond that.... why do we need this stuff? If it is "I don't feel represented" or "I want to fully express myself at the ballot box" or even "we could improve the average happiness of voters regarding which candidate won the election", I'd argue they are kinda missing the point.
The main problem we are trying to solve, to me, is the politically-based polarization that is tearing apart society and preventing us from working together for a common goal.
And while others here don't seem to have made this connection (yet?), to me the problem has gotten 100 times more urgent very recently, given that we're suddenly in an AI arms race, which a divided society is especially not ready for. It's sort of like nuclear weapons, except that generative AI spins gold right up until it destroys us all. And one nice thing about nuclear weapons is we can be pretty sure that the weapons themselves aren't going to decide on their own to wipe us out. Another nice thing about nuclear weapons is that the people who build them actually know how they work. (generative AI such as GPT-4 is essentially an enormous matrix of floating point numbers that no one on the planet truly understands why it works the way it does)
(hey I've been accused of being alarmist before. Usually I don't think I am. Here, yeah, I'm pretty freaking alarmist.)
So I'd hope we can make something that draws people in and demonstrates the value of these tools. And if we were able to use our tools to work out our own differences, we'd be demonstrating a model of how to find consensus to the rest of the world.
Ambitious? Yes. Necessary? Most absolutely yes.
Got three and a half hours to watch something fascinating? And scary AF? Enjoy.
"the problem is that we do not get 50 years to try and try again and observe that we were wrong and come up with a different theory and realize that the entire thing is going to be like way more difficult than realized at the start, because the first time you fail at aligning something much smarter than you are, you die."
this one is equally good but Sam Altman is obviously not as pessimistic (but he does admit he is scared)