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[Link] Still Alive - Astral Codex Ten

Good news : slate star codex is up again.
Bad news : I've been singing "still alive" since this morning and it's driving me crazy.

Don’t Fear The Filter

"This is very strange. Consider that if humankind makes it another thousand years, we’ll probably have started to colonize other star systems. Those star systems will colonize other star systems and so on until we start expanding at nearly the speed of light, colonizing literally everything in sight. After a hundred thousand years or so we’ll have settled a big chunk of the galaxy, assuming we haven’t killed ourselves first or encountered someone else already living there."

 

There are two assumption here that everybody in the rationalist/EA/AI alignment community seems to take for granted while they seems are least debatable (if not downright false) to me: 
1) If we make it to another thousand years, we'll probably have started to colonize other star systems. 
Well, it may turn out it's a little bit more complicated to go to an other star system than to go to Mars - them being far and so on. Any colony outside of the solar system would necessarily have very limited economic ties with the Earth, since even information would need a few years to be transmitted (good luck managing your Alpha Centauri properties from Earth...) and material goods would be even worse. So the economic interest is not even clear in any non-paperclip maximiser scenario, and that's assuming galaxy level colonisation is even possible physically (remember that if you are going fast, you will need to slow down, and that the faster you go the heavier you get).

2) "expanding at nearly the speed of light". This seems downright implausible and ruled out by my understanding of current physic. Light goes fast, you know. 

A few thought on the inner ring

Exactly this. The whole point of the Inner Ring (which I did not read, but judging by the review and my knowledge of Lewis/Christian thought and virtue ethic) is that you should aim at the goods that are inherent to your trade or activity (i.e., if you are a coder, writing good code), and not care about social goods that are associated with the activity. Lewis then makes a second claim (which is really a different claim) that you will also reach social goods through sincerely pursuing the inherent goods of your activity.

A few thought on the inner ring

Competing in zero sum games rather than looking for positive sum games to play is not good for the world (and probably not good for you either on average, unless you have reason to think you will be better than average at this).

The True Face of the Enemy

And it so happened that slavery only disappeared when it was not economically viable any more...

But this is beyond the point. What matters is this:
Slavery is immoral. I'll contest that the school system is immoral. Now if the point is "people should be free to have the education they want for their children", I agree wholeheartedly. But the article is not phrased this way. It is phrased in a "the school system on the whole is evil". I want to push back strongly against this, mainly for the reasons stated above by TAG: self education is impossible for children who don't have either rare combinations of intellectual dispositions or parents with the cultural, social and economic capital to home school them in a productive way. Even in those cases the education will be in many if not all circumstances more narrow that what is given in most current school system (where a variety of fields are mandatory and you are by necessity confronted to the different world views and opinion of your teachers and schoolmates). I would never have learned maths if I had been home-schooled (and my parents are easily in the top 10% in term of intelligence, culture and wealth). 

Covid 1/14: To Launch a Thousand Shipments

There are two arguments for the two dose policy : 
The first is that the priority is to protect the most vulnerable people first, at maximum immunity.
The second is that the vaccine was shown to be highly efficient to protect vaccinated people from developing severe forms of the disease, but that right now it is unclear if vaccinated people may or may not be contagious In this case the vaccine would not offer significant collective immunity while being efficient at giving individual immunity, again suggesting a policy of "two doses first for the most vulnerable".

None of these two arguments are coherent with a policy of vaccinating young healthy "frontline workers" first (or even medical workers), but we don't except any governing body to have a coherent policy at this point...

The True Face of the Enemy

This is a good summary of my objections in a very different form from what I stated below.

I would even go further: I highly doubt the top 20% are all able to learn by themselves with a library and a computer (and almost everyone would at least need directions on what to study). And the bottom 20% is more like the bottom 50%.

The True Face of the Enemy

Also, Chesterton fence. 
I'll be much more convinced by your description of schools if you manage to describe a somewhat viable alternative system...

The True Face of the Enemy

Well, I loved school, and I would never have learned the thing I learned outside of it. As someone born from highly educated but totally unscientific parents, I would certainly not have had more than a symbolic education in mathematics and sciences if I had been through some flavour of home-schooling. I got a wide range of teacher quality, with some bad ones making the experience slightly unpleasant and some very good ones having a huge positive impact on my life. I've always had trouble socialising, but I highly doubt I would have more occasions to develop social skills outside schools...

Obviously this is no more than anecdotal evidence, but don't fall for the typical mind fallacy - the current school system is certainly not perfect, but it seems to do its job correctly for a lot of children and amazingly for a few of them.
 

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