Financial status: This is independent research. I welcome financial support to make further posts like this possible.
Epistemic status: This is in-progress thinking.
This post is part of a sequence on the accumulation of knowledge. Our goal is to articulate what it means for knowledge to accumulate within a physical system.
The challenge is this: given a closed physical system, if I point to a region and tell you that knowledge is accumulating in this region, how would you test my claim? What are the physical characteristics of the accumulation of knowledge? We do not take some agent as the fundamental starting point but instead take a mechanistic physical system as the starting point, and look for a definition of knowledge at the level...
This is a linkpost for an entry in my Substack newsletter at https://countheliving.substack.com/p/shall-we-count-the-living-or-the . In this entry, we announce a new arXiv preprint, "Shall we count the living or the dead". This preprint builds on my earlier work that has previously been discussed on Less Wrong, and which led to a response first on Less Wrong and later in the European Journal of Epidemiology by Carlos Cinelli and Judea Pearl.
The Substack entry contains a link to an animated video on YouTube, which explains a simplified version of the argument
We discuss the doomsday argument, and look at various approaches taken to analyze observation selection effects, namely SSA and SIA. We conclude that the SSA is unsatisfying, and show that the SIA is isomorphic to a version of bayesianism.
An entity undergoing a subjective experience should reason as if they are randomly selected from the distribution of all possible entities undergoing that exact same subjective experience.
We apply the principle to various scenarios, and conclude that whilst the SSA and SIA are wildly different in theory they are equivalent in practice assuming we live in a multiverse.
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?
A doomsday argument attempts to predict the chance that humanity will survive a given length of time based purely on the number of people...
In the West, or at least in my home country (Switzerland), we have ample vaccine supply, and are - at the moment - controlling Covid more or less fine.
I read of urges to provide vaccines to poor countries where even health workers could not get vaccinated due to lack of vaccines. And I interpret e.g. the WTO talks about a Covid Vaccine patent waiver* as suggesting that there is really an absolute production shortage.
So: is does half-young and healthy me taking the vaccine - while the vulnerable in my country, and most of my peers too, have received the seemingly highly effective vaccine - essentially steal away two doses that might otherwise have ended up at places where they are very urgently needed?
Recently I launched a YouTube channel. This channel provides another medium in which to share my thoughts, as well as a place to access recordings of my talks and interviews.
The first several videos dive into my thoughts on institutions, history, and modern society.
While I want to believe the vaccines to be safe, Gendlin's litany tells me that it's more important that whether they actually are and the ability to change one's mind is a key feature of a rationalist. Another thread links to a discussion on the Dark Horse Podcast between Steve Kirsch, Robert Malone and Bret Weinstein about issues with vaccine safety. My prior for Steve Kirsch before that video was that he was one of the people in the world who thought most effectively about how to deal with COVID-19 in 2020. I hold that belief because of his project, the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund.
The Fund describes it's guiding principles as:
The world has to take a multipronged approach to tackling COVID-19. We should work to identify effective
One month ago I clumsily tried to persuade my 74-year-old father that Tucker Carlson is probably wrong about Covid vaccines killing 3000 people, and if not, my father should get the vaccine anyway because he is in a high-risk group.
Well, move over lab-leak discussion, because this video is a tad more explosive: it alleges an ongoing and almost systematic censorship of information about vaccine side-effects, and it manages to do so in a way that fails to trip my BS detectors. While the LessWrong community isn't known for its expertise in vaccine science and epidemiology, it's usually pretty good about separating the true from the false, so here I am to ask for your comments. While the video is extremely long, the most controversial claims come near the...
[Apologies in advance if I sound like I'm over-generalizing high-conscientiousness or low-conscientiousness people. This is mostly from my own experience, so I'm sure I'm wrong on some counts and may, in fact, be over-generalizing at times. Ohh, and also apologies to Mick Jaggar.]
Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of mess and wile. I've been scoring around 20% (in trait conscientiousness on Big Five tests) for a long, long year, cut by many a sharp wire’s height.
At first glance, conscientiousness as a construct seems a bit like intelligence, in the sense that it would seem everyone would be better off with more of it. So, why would natural selection produce people like me who are very low in conscientiousness? Have I only escaped a Darwin...
In 2019 I had Megavitamin-B6 syndrome. I'm curious about the most common situation where people get it (chronic supplementation vs. acute overdose), and I have a hypothesis about how that may come about. Ideally, I'd like to see if it pans out in a model, and if it does maybe see if I can get some attention from interested biologists. But my background is in CS, not biology and I feel like I'd have a lot to learn. So anyone who would collaborate or just get me pointed in the right direction would be helpful.
In short it seems the chronic supplementation does factor in, but it also seems that plenty of people supplement for a very long time (more than 2 years) and never have an issue,...