All of geebee2's Comments + Replies

"When will AGI be created?"

I'm not sure this means very much. How would we be able to tell?

Computers are already far superior to humans for many tasks. I expect more of the same in the future, with computers being delegated to take on increasingly complex tasks. I don't however see that any "singularity" is likely - rather a relatively smooth progression from what is possible today towards more difficult problems that can be solved in the future.

Even supposing computers were to advance to a state of "intelligence" where they c... (read more)

For email, the main problem is the automating the public key management. There is some hope here in the deployment of secure DNS (DNSSEC), which has the potential to automate the process so that everyone, by default, has a public key without taking any special action.

However progress is extremely slow and the incentives weak, so I would be surprised to see significant progress any time soon for email.

If you use Skype (and probably other proprietary systems, even your mobile phone) encryption will probably come as standard. There may however be back-doors, ... (read more)

As posed, I'm not sure what I would do, or whether pressing the button is moral.

"You are offered a magical box. If you press the button on the box, one person somewhere in the world will die.."

Well I don't believe in real magic ( I do believe in magicians who do clever tricks ), so the question is immediately hypothetical.

But leaving that aside, there is the question of the mechanism by which the person dies. If it was simply that aid was diverted from that person to another person, then I would probably have no problem pressing the button ( I mi... (read more)

Good point. If it were an expected life lost vs. 4 expected lives saved, by taking $x from SCI and giving 4*$x to AMF, nobody would have a problem pressing the button. So it might come down to intuitions about risk tolerance.

I'm aware of the theory of endorphins, but I'm a little doubtful if that is the correct explanation. I would instead attribute non-perception of pain mainly to the mind being able to shut out signals that are not the most important in a given situation. In fact while I am out cycling, I an easily able to instantly switch between perceiving pain (what is hurting at the moment) to concentrating on something else (going faster, or navigating a difficult corner say). So pain is often what we choose to perceive at a moment in time. In the case of my accident, i... (read more)

I would agree with the basic idea that there are three levels of pain, and also that only great apes are aware that they are in pain.

In fact humans may be in pain, but not be aware of it. I recently had a moderately serious accident, and cut my thumb deeply ( the tip of the bone was sliced off, to give you an idea ). I then probably cycled home ( I don't remember that well due to concussion, of which I was completely unaware ), and was quite unaware that I was in pain. I did know that I had cut my thumb. You might argue that I wasn't even in pain, that's d... (read more)

It's quite likely that you weren't in level 2 pain at all - endorphins will do that to you. It would be very different if you had started feeling pain and then decided to use concious meditation in order to mitigate it. Roughly stated, you would feel your assessment of the sensation change from "pain/suffering" to "meh... some weird stimulation I don't really care about".

Any of these readers would have been willing to believe that Bill O'Reilly had written a bad book, if they did not believe that Bill O'Reilly was strongly biased.

Are you possibly confusing what these readers said with what they believe? I suspect many of these people had no well-founded opinion on the book, or may have privately thought it was a bad book, rather they were seeking to defend the author for political reasons.

So in this book review example, it's just that people who have a strong affiliation with a well known political figure will seek to d... (read more)

Hi, I'm 53 years old, from Gloucester, UK.

I work from home over the internet running IT systems.

I studied Maths for 2 years at Cambridge, then Computer Science in my 3rd year.

I came across this site after becoming interested in the trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito ( just subsequent to their acquittal in October 2011 ).

I made an analysis of the Massei report ( ) and concluded that the defence case was much more probable than the prosecution case.

I'm interested in a rational basis for assessing guilt ... (read more)

Well, I'm not touching that case with a ten-foot pole []. But if you picked a less politically charged case, I'm sure there might be interesting things to say!