Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions



The situation at Zaporizhzhia (currently) does not seem to be an impending disaster. The fire is/was in an administrative building. Fires at nuclear power plants can be serious, but the reactor buildings are concrete and would not easily catch fire due to nearby shelling or other external factors.

Some click-seekers on Twitter have made comparisons to Chernobyl. That kind of explosion cannot happen accidentally at Zaporizhzhia (it's a safer power plant design with sturdy containment structures surrounding the reactors). If the Russians wanted to cause a massive radioactive cloud like Chernobyl, they would have to use their own explosives, and I think it would take a very big bomb to do it. They would have to blow the roof off the containment building first, and then somehow break open the massive steel reactor vessel and spread the contents into the air.

A Fukushima-style meltdown also does not look very plausible unless someone takes over the plant and intentionally disables safety systems. 

More info here:


Sounds like something GPT-3 would say...


Alternatively, aging (like most non-discrete phenotypes) may be omnigenic.


Thanks for posting this, it's an interesting idea.

I'm curious about your second-to-last paragraph: if our current evidence already favored SSA or SIA (for instance, if we knew that an event occurred in the past that had a small chance of creating a huge number of copies of each human, but we also know that we are not copies), wouldn't that already have been enough to update our credence in SSA or SIA? Or did you mean that there's some other category of possible observations, which is not obviously evidence one way or the other, but under this UDT framework we could still use it to make an update?


I'm curious who is the target audience for this scale...

People who have an interest in global risks will find it simplistic--normally I would think of the use of a color scale as aimed at the general public, but in this case it may be too simple even for the curious layman. The second picture you linked, on the other hand, seems like a much more useful way to categorize risks (two dimensions, severity vs urgency).

I think this scale may have some use in trying to communicate to policy makers who are unfamiliar with the landscape of GCRs, and in particularly to try to get them to focus on the red and orange risks that currently get little interest. But where is the platform for that communication to happen? It seems like currently the key conversations would be happening at a more technical level, in DoD, DHS, or FEMA. A focus on interventions would be helpful there. I couldn't get the whole paper, but from what you wrote above it sounds like you have some interesting ideas about ranking risks based on a combination of probability and possible interventions. If that could be formalized, I think it would make the whole idea a lot stronger. Like you say, people are reasonably skeptical about probabilities (even if they're just an order of magnitude) but if you can show that the severity of the risk isn't very sensitive to probability, maybe it would help to overcome that obstacle.


Separately, and more important, the way links are displayed currently makes it hard to tell if a link has already been visited. Also if you select text you can't see links anymore.

Firefox 57 on Windows 10.


I am ecountering some kind of error when opening the links here to rationalsphere and single conversational locus. When I open them, a box pops up that says "Complete your profile" and asks me to enter my email address (even though I used my email to log in in the first place). When I type it in and press submit, I get the error: {"id":"app.mutation_not_allowed","value":"\"usersEdit\" on _id \"BSRa9LffXLw4FKvTY\""}


I think this is an excellent approach to jargon and I appreciate the examples you've given. There is too much tendency, I think, for experts in a field to develop whatever terminology makes their lives easiest (or even in some cases makes them "sound smart") without worrying about accessibility to newcomers.

... but maybe ideally hints at a broader ecosystem of ideas

This sounds useful, but very hard to do in practice... do you know of a case where it's successful?


Thanks for posting!

I haven't read your book yet but I find your work pretty interesting. I hope you won't mind a naive question... you've mentioned non-sunlight-dependent foods like mushrooms and leaf tea. Is it actually possible for a human to survive on foods like this? Has anybody self-experimented with it?

By my calculation, a person who needs 1800 kcals/day would have to eat about 5 kg of mushrooms. Tea (the normal kind, anyway) doesn't look any better.

Bacteria fed by natural gas seems like a very promising food source--and one that might even be viable outside of catastrophe scenarios. Apparently it's being used for fish feed already.

Load More