Dave Lindbergh


Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


Ten Hundred Megaseconds

It's been done. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time

That aside, what's so special about base 10? 

Wouldn't it be more logical to celebrate passage of, say, 2^24 seconds (194 days)? Once we're no longer constrained to human bodies, we can have as many fingers on our hands as we want, so we may as well have 8 or 16.

How should dance venues best protect the drinks of attendees?

Your social circle is very different from any I've ever been in. Sorry to hear that.

I assume these drugs take effect gradually, and that the effects are dramatic enough that the victim is (eventually) aware of them.

If so, mightn't it be better to warn everyone about the problem (be on the lookout for drug effects!), and advise victims to inform others about the scumbags doing this? (Under the assumption that most of them time when people are drugged it'll be fairly obvious who did it.)

I'd think it would be better to drive the scumbags out of your community than to just find a way to prevent one attack vector. (Surely those who'd stoop to this will find other equally objectionable ways to achieve their ends.)

Simulated Elon Musk Lives in a Simulation

It's cool - a little too cool; I wonder how much was the effect from your cherry-picking answers.

Even so, I'd love to ask the simulation a few questions of my own.

Why the technological singularity by AGI may never happen

We don't know, true. But given the possible space of limiting parameters it seems unlikely that humans are anywhere near the limits. We're evolved systems, evolved under conditions in which intelligence was far from the most important priority.

And of course under the usual evolutionary constraints (suboptimal lock-ins like backward wired photoreceptors in the retina, the usual limited range of biological materials - nothing like transistors or macro scale wheels, etc.).

And by all reports John von Neumann was barely within the "human" range, yet seemed pretty stable. He came remarkably close to taking over the world, despite there being only one of him and not putting any effort into it.

I think all you're saying is there's a small chance it's not possible.

Against "blankfaces"

Yes, I think some web portals, and some software, are designed poorly because of malice. Not (usually) malice against users, but malice against managers and those setting requirements, when those people and their instructions are perceived as stupid and unreasonable.

One reaction to such demands is to deliver exactly what was requested - something stupid and unreasonable, in order to vividly demonstrate the stupid and unreasonable nature of the managers and requirements.

Sometimes professionalism, ethics, and dedication to user experience manage to overcome the natural human reaction to unreasonable requests. The more the developers are in an organization that rewards obedience over quality, the more likely the result will be due to malice.

Brief thoughts on inefficient writing systems

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

DeepMind: Generally capable agents emerge from open-ended play

We need to understand information encoding in the brain before we can achieve full AGI.

Maybe. For many years, I went around saying that we'd never have machines that accurately transcribe natural speech until those machines understood the meaning of the speech. I thought that context was necessary.

I was wrong.

Punishing the good

Bob's a hero provided he's paid his meat tax. That's the tax we impose on people who do bad things to animals. The tax makes up for their bad karma. People who pay the tax should be considered absolved of sin - they've bought and paid for their indulgence, fair and square.

Am I a contemptible person because I burnt a gallon of gasoline this morning? What if I paid for it, external costs included? What if I paid a separate CO2 tax? What if I offset the carbon by planting trees? I think not.

Does this viewpoint make me a monster? As Temple Grandin likes to say, "that's the kind of animal we are" (carnivores). Maybe we shouldn't get too morally worked up over acting like homo sapiens. Nobody blames lions for eating antelopes. (Plus, just think of our poor mitochondria; enslaved for life...).

We'd have to physically stop carnivores if cattle had rights - but since cattle can't respect the rights of others, they don't themselves have rights. Sort of like the way we lock up criminals who don't respect the rights of other humans - having proved unable to respect the rights of others, they lose (some of) their own rights.

Cattle are just protected a bit by us humans who impose meat taxes. The cattle don't even get the tax money as compensation (unlike Bruce).

People who pay their way in the world, compensating those they've harmed, aren't monsters and shouldn't be "punished".

The homework assignment incentives, and why it's now so extreme

By policing that, I mean if the students don't get the graded homework back in 48 hours, they can complain to administrators and parents, who can pressure the teacher. This assumes the administrators decide to make and enforce the 48 hour rule.

Re coordination, I've seen kids using "group chat" on Facebook or similar. In some schools (good ones) it seems to be de rigueur.

ELI12: how do libertarians want wages to work?

Managers are fewer than workers but there are thousands of firms in every country (as well as millions of workers) so in either case we're well into the law of large numbers. There's no practical way for thousands of entities to form stable cartels (without government backing).

If you worry about employers in a city forming a cartel to keep wages low, shouldn't you worry even more about supermarkets doing the same to keep grocery prices high? There are a lot fewer supermarkets than firms that employ workers.

And all other prices are set by dealings between mortal entities.

I don't think there are good reasons to treat worker-employer relations as any different than seller-buyer relations for any other goods or services.

I think you're complicating things needlessly by treating the labor market as different from all other markets - cartels and unions are the same thing. Scabs and those who undermine cartels are the same thing. Price controls are price controls. 

In general price caps (say, rent control) are bad because they cause shortages, blunt incentives to provide more supply and improve quality, and prevent people from buying things at prices they're willing to pay. Price floors (say, minimum wages) are bad because they create gluts (unemployment), reduce incentives to create jobs, and prevent people from selling stuff at prices they're willing to accept (esp. the labor of the least-skilled workers).

In general. There's nothing terribly different about the labor market vs. other markets.

Load More