Wiki Contributions


What made the UK COVID-19 case count drop?

I disagree. Daily tests have only gone down slightly, which is to be expected if less people are getting infected (

And crucially, it's not only total positive tests per day that has been dropping;  the share of positive tests has also been going down significantly:

So I don't think your theory passes the sniff test. 
I'm personally very confused about the drop in cases, and none of the theories I've heard seem likely. 

In Defence of Spock

Qualia Research institute is working on building a catalogue of qualia iirc.

The best frequently don't rise to the top

His videos are clearly filmed with a phone, vertically, with no effort whatsoever in terms of production.Also he posted around 15 videos in the span of a couple of monhts, and never posted again. If you contrast that with cooking channels like Adam Ragusea, it's pretty clear why it didn't become as popular. 

Super-forecasters as a service

Yes. I would still use it though. For grand-scheme-of-things stuff, Metaculus is great.  For stuff that's personally relevant (What will be my income in 2025 if I switch to X career?) predictions from people with great track records is good enough for me.

Note that the title is super-forecasters as a service, not prediction-markets as a service.

AR Glasses: Much more than you wanted to know

I loved the notation you used to distill the feedback loop idea. I'll add it to the post, if you don't mind.

The map and territory of NFT art

Great reply. I share your beliefs on consciousness copying, and would have the same concerns.

As a continuity believer, I think that the original Mona Lisa objectively is more valuable and that only something which destroyed the information of which one that is could possibly render it fungible with a copy - for the same reason I believe that my own continuity of consciousness is an absolutely necessary prerequisite for a being to be defined as "me", and that a perfect copy of me would be another person entirely who just happens to resemble me. The only way you could get me to consider the copy equivalent to myself, is if you erase from existence (or at least from the knowledge I can ever hope to personally access) any evidence of which is which.

I do grant that in some sense there are features of some territory which we could name originality. There's complicated boundary questions, as we've both outlined.

 It's not obvious to me why the Mona Lisa would be objectively more valuable; even if it were objectively original, it doesn't follow that the fact that it's original makes it more valuable.
Even if there's a good argument for why it's objectively more valuable, my broader point is that the reason why it's more valuable in practice is because people have maps that say that originals are more valuable than copies.

Whether that's true or not objectively doesn't change that. And those maps were originally brought on because as a heuristic, getting an original X usually brings more utility in many ways than getting a copy. But we are so used to those maps, that even NFT paintings are enough to trigger them, even though there's no conceivable advantage of owning the original. Actually, the sole advantage is that because we are so used to applying the map that rewards us for owning originals, we will in fact gain utility/pleasure just from knowing that it's an original NFT. Very meta.

The map and territory of NFT art

Unless you value having the original. Imagine a private collector and the head of an art gallery, both happy they have the Mona Lisa. And only the thief who promised the private collector they'd switch it out for a forgery knows which is the forgery, and which, is the original.

Indeed. That maps well to the idea that we value "originals" more for the sake of them being originals, even if they don't provide any additional utility to us compared to copies besides that fact.

Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over

It's a great point. So is your guess that the fact that the new strain originated on the exact country where we do most of the checking for new strains just a coincidence? And not some form of survivorship bias?

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