Mapping the Good

For the 50th post, I thought it would be good to illustrate my worldview a little more directly. Instead of writing this out, I made a map:

(You may want to open the image in a new tab to see it more clearly)

Let’s walk through what I’m showing here. The idea is to demonstrate how different concepts flow into each other in order to achieve some overall goal. In this case I am illustrating how I think important concepts flow into creating overall ethical value (without trying too hard to determine what that means for now).

For example, there is a bubble for “reducing AI risk” which points to “reducing x-risk” because I believe that reducing AI risk is a key way we can reduce overall existential risk. The “reducing x-risk” bubble then points to “ethical value” because I believe reducing x-risk leads to more happy lives in the future (in expectation).

Some notes:

  • This approach doesn’t cover everything of value but I tried to include the major concepts, connections, and examples here
  • All arrows have a “conversion efficiency” which is also important for creating ethical value
  • Good ideas and implementation can benefit virtually every bubble
  • For clarity, not all connections between concepts are shown
  • Not all important bubbles are shown, just major examples

Colors group similar bubbles, they are as follows:

  • White for specific examples
  • Blue for consumption goods
  • Green for major societal inputs
  • Orange for concepts

I want to stress that this map is not fixed in my mind. I anticipate finding new topics of importance and new connections as time goes on. I also expect that others will have quite different maps of how to achieve the good. They might even have entirely different ways of communicating their mental model of how to make a better world. Regardless, I encourage you to try something similar, I would love to see what you come up with.

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