AllanCrossman

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The Last Number

Huh, integer. I don't know how that got past me when I wrote that.

Open Thread: May 2010

Is Eliezer alive and well? He's not said anything here (or on Hacker News, for that matter) for a month...

The Last Number

4.2 - 1 = 3.2. Simples.

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It's not like anything to be a bat

If the various species of ET are such that no particular species makes up the bulk of sentient life, then there's no reason to be surprised at belonging to one species rather than another. You had to be some species, and human is just as likely as klingon or wookie.

It's not like anything to be a bat

"why am I me, rather than an animal?" is not obviously sillier than "why am I me, rather than a person from the far future?".

Well, quite. Both are absurd.

Rationality quotes: March 2010

I suppose. The comment could be:

"Also Crystal nights is a good story about a topic of some interest to the futurist/transhumanist element on LW, namely rfpncr sebz n fvzhyngvba."

Rationality quotes: March 2010

Reading through it now. There are two relevant words in Roko's description, only one of which is obvious from the outset.

Still I'm not sure I fully agree with LW's spoiler policy. I wouldn't be reading this piece at all if not for Roko's description of it. When the spoiler is that the text is relevant to an issue that's actually discussed on Less Wrong (rather than mere story details, e.g. C3PO is R2D2's father) then telling people about the spoiler is necessary...

Demands for Particular Proof: Appendices

if something better were possible, it probably would have evolved by now

I don't think this argument works. Adaptive evolution has mostly been driven by DNA mutations and natural selection. DNA is transcribed to RNA and then translated into proteins. I'm not sure evolution (of Earth's cell-based life) could produce something radically different, because this central mechanism is so fundamental and so entrenched.

Demands for Particular Proof: Appendices

Proteins are held together by van der Waals forces, which are much weaker than covalent bonds

I'm not sure how this affects the argument, but the very flexibility of proteins is one of the things that makes them work. A whole bunch of biological reactions involve enzymes changing shape in response to some substance.

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