#39 Write 3 academic paragraphs a weekday!

#40 One cold call a day keeps the doctor away has been interesting so far. I’ve felt more comfortable calling bureocratic places, ordering food, talking to family members I had no strong intention to talk to, among others. I haven’t yet done many stronger cold calls like slightly of very famous people I know that I have something to ask about. Maybe a commitment here would be nice. Let me try to think of some people to call: 

Sam Harriss

Natalie Portman 

Molly Crocket

My aunt

Jerry Feldman

Person who contacts Max Brockman

Larry Ellison

Tim Ferriss 

Hilary Putnam


Writer by compulsion. Constrained by time limits. 

This month I’ll try to act on a classic thing everyone worries about and procrastinates. Writing. I’ve been writing a lot but not in a very structured manner. #39 This month I will write 3 paragraphs about one of the academic topics below outside of the house every day. I wrote two articles of a more academic tone, several blog posts ranging from completely trivial to deeply philosophical, and a meditation on dieting. Basically I’ve been writing a lot of output, but a complete disorganized mess that doesn’t align well with my goals. Now let’s see what I actually want to be writing:

  • My article creating the field of Moral Economics, for the EA world.
  • Our article on murphy-jitsuing the Singleton with João Fabiano, the beggining of a quest to kill Moloch. I’ve been thinking a lot about my long term goals and interesting paths to pursue, and so far my main conclusion is that I want to kill Moloch (the awful structure of incentives that, in spite of everyone’s desires to the contrary, ruins the world).
  • Things that can become my book Altruism: Past, present, propagation.
  • Continuing my AGI proposal Imparting Moral Concepts to Artificial General Intelligences.
  • Challenge posts here in this blog.

When I see the list above and think of the expected number of hours of work that goes into all of these (4120 to be exact) it becomes very confusing to me how do I even consider the possibility of EVER responding an email at any email group, no matter how brilliant (biosemiotics, CFAR, theories of everything, etc…). I only have 250 000 hours to live. That means that only counting these projects accounts for 1.6% of my expected waking life. It is a sobering thought given how much time I waste doing “writing things” as ineffective as posts in Facebook groups, random stuff at the EA forum, and a bunch of other media. And that is just considering writing, which is itself considered a productive activity.

It is time to level-up. I can’t know the amount of things I know and continue thinking it is ok for me to write about, say, polyamory, politics, facebook posts, etc…. If I anticipate that I will write only for about 20 to 40 000 hours in the future, I clearly have to prioritize not only topics, but also writing styles, media and so on. I can’t waste as many words as I have been wasting on Gchat box, email replies and arguing against people who won’t change their minds or don’t have the skill necessary to learn things fast enough. Whether I want it or not, the world and I have a deadline. Either the Superintelligence will come or I will die, and in both events I won’t be able to write anymore, so there is no point in pretending that writing is a free space of infinite opportunity and no regulation. I’d better get to the point.


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