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Open Thread Feb 22 - Feb 28, 2016

Apparently being a postman in the 60s and having a good Johnny Cash impression worked out well ...


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If there IS alien super-inteligence in our own galaxy, then what it could be like?

Or we are an experiment (natural or artificial) that yields optimal information when unmanipulated or manipulated imperceptibly (from our point of view).

Open Thread Feb 16 - Feb 23, 2016

I really like this distinction. The closest I've seen is discussion of existential risk from a non-anthropocentric perspective. I suppose the neologism would be panexistential risk.

If there was one element of statistical literacy that you could magically implant in every head, what would it be?

The desire to know error estimates and confidence levels around assertions and figures, or better yet, probability mass curves. And a default attitude of skepticism towards assertions and figures when they are not provided.

Estimating the probability of human extinction

Yes, until the distance exceeds the Hubble distance of the time, then the light from the spaceship will red shift out of existence as it crosses the event horizon. Wiki says that in around 2 trillion years, this will be true for light from all galaxies outside the local supercluster.

Estimating the probability of human extinction

Naively, the required condition is v + dH > c, where v is the velocity of the spaceship, d is the distance from the threat and H is Hubble's constant.

However, when discussing distances on the order of billions of light years and velocities near the speed of light, the complications are many, not to mention an area of current research. For a more sophisticated treatment see user Pulsar's answer to this question ...


... in particular the graph Pulsar made for the answer ...


... and/or the Davis and Lineweaver paper [PDF] referenced in the answer.

Estimating the probability of human extinction

this claim

Do you mean the metric expansion of space?


Because this expansion is caused by relative changes in the distance-defining metric, this expansion (and the resultant movement apart of objects) is not restricted by the speed of light upper bound of special relativity.

Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues?

Would you support a law to stop them?

Wiki says that desomorphine has been a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the US since 1936, shortly after its discovery. Mere possession is illegal, much less use.

Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues?

predict with high confidence a Republican win

Odd since most prediction markets have a 60/40 split in favor of a Democrat winning the US presidency.

E.g., https://iemweb.biz.uiowa.edu/quotes/Pres16_Quotes.html

Sanders vs. Trump.

The polls have Sanders ahead in this particular matchup ...


Open Thread, Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2016

"Prediction market". The DPRs implement some sort of internal currency (which, thanks to blockchains, is fairly easy), and make bets, receiving rewards for accurate predictions.

Taking this a little further, the final prediction can be a weighted combination of the individual predictions, with the weights corresponding to historical or expected accuracy.

However different individuals will likely specialize to be more accurate with regard to different cognitive tasks (in fact, you may wish to set up the reward economy to encourage such specialization), so that the set of weights will vary by cognitive task, or more generally become a weighting function if you can define some sort of sensible topology for the cognitive task space.

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