Best locations for the Singularity Institute

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Nov 17 2002 - 10:28:26 MST

I recently received an offer of sanctuary (living space) in Sacramento,
CA, starting in February. If nothing else turns up in the way of
Fellowship renewal, I'll probably take up that offer, in order to conserve
my resources as long as possible.

However, one question that's been on my mind since even before then is the
*ideal* location for the Singularity Institute. To give you an example of
how I've been thinking, here's how Sacramento would scope out:

1) Most major advantage - within a 2-hour drive of Silicon Valley,
including San Jose, San Francisco, and Palo Alto.

2) Cost of living - 2.3% higher than Atlanta.

3) Immediate safety, according to a preliminary online check - no
earthquake problems, no recent civil unrest.

4) Long-term safety - not an A-list city for a smuggled nuke or other
weapon of mass destruction, but as the capital city of a major state, not
off the list entirely, either. Probably better than Atlanta, but nowhere
near perfect. Inside the USA, which is probably not the safest place in
the world right now.

Australia, probably the most commonly mentioned candidate, has a low cost
of living, is democratic, doesn't seem likely to be targeted by terrorists
with weapons of mass destruction, would probably be the nucleus of revival
after nuclear war, etc., but their immigration requirements seem very
strict. It seems like the kind of place the Singularity Institute might
want to move to after growing some, if we had sufficient funding, but not
a good place to start.

Undoubtedly the best location in a purely symbolic sense would be
Antarctica, but the cost of living would be rather high.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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