False Precision

When exact numbers are used to express something that can not be described with exact numbers (e.g. 15% smarter) this is fake precision. When making calculations using data of a certain precision, one can’t claim a result with more significant figures than the original precision (this often happens with floating point math).

  • Puffery Doctrine

    It’s fairly common for companies to make sweeping claims in the course of day-to-day business. While this can be misleading, it is not particularly illegal. The “puffery doctrine” covers the line between unbridled optimism and misrepresentation.

  • Effective Atruism Considered Harmful

    While well intentioned, a utilitarian approach to maximizing expected value of the greater good (or minimizing suffering) has unintended side effects. Actions taken in service of effective altruism can cause harm (aid in the form of misquito nets to reduce malaria leading to overfishing, financial aid bostering oppressive governments, etc.). Deciding what is best for humanity (combating threat of AGI, colonization of space) becomes increasingly more abstract and longtermism leads to justificationism.