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The Oppenheimer Moment

Where did this evil stuff come from? Are we evil? I’m per­fect­ly will­ing to stip­u­late you are not evil. Neither is your boss evil. Nor is Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. And yet the results of our work, our best most altru­is­tic work, often turns evil when it’s deployed in the larg­er world. We go to work every day, gen­uine­ly expect­ing to make the world a bet­ter place with our pow­er­ful tech­nol­o­gy. But some­how, evil is sneak­ing in despite our good inten­tions.

Rebel Scientists

I’m going to make an argu­ment in this talk that dis­sent is valu­able not mere­ly to estab­lish your moral dimen­sion or to make a moral act or moral pos­ture. It’s essen­tial to sci­en­tif­ic progress. So we can’t do with­out dis­sent; it’s not an affec­ta­tion.