ejacob

Sequences

Participating in a Covid-19 Vaccination Trial

Comments

Covid 6/10: Somebody Else’s Problem

https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

Here is an extremely long post by a science writer which i haven't read, but I've heard him in reasonable-sounding discussions with actual biologists. Maybe what you are looking for is here.

Bad names make you open the box

Somewhat ironically, I read the title of this article as "[being called] bad names make[s] you open the box [and let out the misaligned AGI]" so I was kind of expecting an explainer on how an AI could bully someone into increasing its ability to affect the physical world. Fortunately just a sentence or two corrected me and I still have high trust in LW article titles.

[Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050

I would nudge your assessment of the missile defense capabilities of aircraft carriers up a bit. Part of the reason the Iron Dome doesn't intercept everything is because Hamas launches a large number of rockets at the same time to overwhelm the system. This is easier to do when the rockets are cheap and the target distances are short. A comparable number of anti ship missiles are probably harder to fire simultaneously without deploying a large air fleet, in which case you are kind of meeting the carrier on its own terms. Longer range strikes also means greater time for detection and reaction. I also don't know how that 90-95% figure counts rockets that were intentionally not shot down since their trajectories ended in empty areas. I still think your overall assessment is correct though; it is probably much cheaper to sink an aircraft carrier than defend it, in both money and personnel. And the greatest cost to both parties would be from cyber attacks on civilian or mixed use systems.

Your points about Taiwan's lack of preparation are interesting. Could preparing for guerrilla resistance be seen as accepting a Chinese invasion and occupation as inevitable? I don't know much about Taiwan but I would guess proposing that to be career suicide for most politicians or military officers.

Does NASA Take Alien Life Seriously?

An interesting point. I'm very unsure of this, but I think that the main difference between IV and V is that V includes measures to prevent introduction of Martian life to Earth. The mission to collect the prepared samples would certainly be a category V according to my understanding. Perhaps the crew or lander collecting the samples would first have to do some sort of examination, assuming Perseverance hadn't already?

Does NASA Take Alien Life Seriously?

I am very glad to hear this, and I didn't know that JPL even did life detection! Thank you for commenting.

What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment

One could buy up s diverse portfolio of seeds of endangered plants/frozen embryos of endangered animals, focusing on ones with medicinal/industrial value or ecological importance.

Sympathy for the ferryman of Hades, or why we should keep Trump off Twitter

I think the metaphor is that raisins are (reasonably) healthy but adding them to cookies won't make cookies healthy.

There’s no such thing as a tree (phylogenetically)

My hypothesis after 30 seconds of thinking was that trees evolve independently because height = good for competing for sunlight, while grasses must specialize a ton to 'afford' passing up on the height advantage. So once a grass is established somewhere it might be hard for an up-and-coming-almost-grass species to nudge out of its niche. Maybe this is related?

I could imagine lots of plants getting stuck in a local maximum of fitness where they are still pretty tree-like but would need to simultaneously lose some tree features and gain C4 photosynthesis in order to succeed as grasses, so the gap to jump in adaptation-space is too large.

Bayeswatch 1: Jewish Space Laser

The airport near Tel-Aviv is called Ben-Gurion, not -Guri, but IDK if this is intentional to make it clear it's an alternate universe or something.

I love all of your fiction. My favorite part of this piece is the "1" in the title because it implies there will be sequels. :)

Prediction and Calibration - Part 1

There are two reasons why this number is so large: 1) Scott made a lot of predictions and 2) Scott is a very good predictor.

To address #1, you can take Nth root of this number where N is the total number of predictions made. This gives you scott's edge vs randomness per each prediction (on average)

Load More