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Answer by CronoDASApr 24, 202460

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, known as the Father of Microbiology, made the first microscopes capable of seeing microorganisms and is credited as the person who discovered them. He kept his lensmaking techniques secret, however, and microscopes capable of the same magnification didn't become generally available until many, many years later.

Yeah, I did some Googling and packaged supermarket bread has all kinds of stuff added to it. (There's a reason the bagels from the bagel store nearby get moldy and the "Thomas's Bagels" from the supermarket last forever...)

Bread is ultra-processed? O_O

I have a bad history of not being responsive to the threat of punishment. When I have an aversive task, and the consequences for not doing that task suddenly get much worse, I start acting like the punishment is inevitable and am even less likely to actually do the task. In other words, I fail the "gun to the head test" quite dramatically.

Guy with a gun: I'm going to shoot you if you haven't changed the sheets on your bed by tomorrow.

Me: AAH I'M GOING TO DIE I'TS NO GOOD I MIGHT AS WELL SPEND THE DAY LYING IN BED PLAYING VIDEO GAMES BECAUSE I'M GOING TO GET SHOT TOMORROW SOMEONE CALL THE FUNERAL HOME AND MAKE PLANS TELL MY FAMILY I LOVE THEM

Guy with a gun: You know, you could always just... change the sheets?

ME: THE THOUGHT HAS OCCURRED TO ME BUT I'M TOO UPSET RIGHT NOW ABOUT THE FACT THAT I'M GOING TO DIE TOMORROW BECAUSE THE SHEETS WEREN'T CHANGED TO ACTUALLY GO AND CHANGE THEM

Also I have a bad history with this kind of thing in general - one thing that I was always bothered by when I was in school and college was that the only motivation I really had for doing my work was to avoid bad consequences - I was so sick of spending my life making myself miserable in order to avoid things that ought to be even worse. I also have a hard time being motivated by money: bad consequences for having insufficient money have the problem I've already described, and, well, video games are cheap.

(In case you're wondering, no, I don't work, and my parents still support me financially.)

So when I think of commitment apps, I tend to react to them as entirely downside: I don't expect my behavior to change very much, and I do expect to predictably lose money. :(

What he said. Analyzing politically volatile data and determining that it's clearly made up feels on-brand for LessWrong regardless of what one thinks about the underlying issues...

Writing correct code given a specification is the relatively easy part of software engineering. The hard part is deciding what you need that code to actually do. In other words, "requirements" - your dumbass customer has only the vaguest idea what they want and contradicts themselves half the time, but they still expect you to read their mind and give them something they're going to be happy with.

CronoDAS1mo0-1

Possibly one of the only viable responses to a hostile AI breakout onto the general Internet would be to detonate several nuclear weapons in space, causing huge EMP blasts that would fry most of the world's power grid and electronic infrastructure, taking the world back to the 1850s until it can be repaired. (Possible AI control measure: make sure that "critical" computing and power infrastructure is not hardened against EMP attack, just in case humanity ever does find itself needing to "pull the plug" on the entire goddamn world.)

Hopefully whichever of Russia, China, and the United States didn't launch the nukes would be understanding. It might make sense for the diplomats to get this kind of thing straightened out before we get closer to the point where someone might actually have to do it.

(This is because eventually they do lose an election, and then they do fight a civil war. For example, the American South fought a civil war rather than allow Lincoln to become their President.)

I brought it up with him again, and my father backpedaled and said he was mostly making educated guesses on limited information, that he knows that he really doesn't know very much about current AI, and isn't interested enough to talk to strangers online - he's in his 70s and figures that if AI does eventually destroy the world it probably won't be in his own lifetime. :/

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