Inadequate Equilibria

Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck

by Eliezer Yudkowsky

When should you think that you may be able to do something unusually well?

Whether you’re trying to outperform in science, or in business, or just in finding good deals shopping on eBay, it’s important that you have a sober understanding of your relative competencies. The story only ends there, however, if you’re fortunate enough to live in an adequate civilization.

Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Inadequate Equilibria is a sharp and lively guidebook for anyone questioning when and how they can know better, and do better, than the status quo. Freely mixing debates on the foundations of rational decision-making with tips for everyday life, Yudkowsky explores the central question of when we can (and can’t) expect to spot systemic inefficiencies, and exploit them.

Eliezer Yudkowsky is a decision theorist known for his work in technological forecasting. He co-authored the Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence chapter “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” with Nick Bostrom, and has written a number of popular introductions to applied epistemology, such as Rationality: From AI to Zombies and Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

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Yudkowsky, Eliezer. 2017. Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck.
Berkeley, CA: Machine Intelligence Research Institute.


All proceeds go directly to funding the technical and strategic research of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Berkeley, California.