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    • A program-like data structure is natural for representing locality + symmetry

Didn't quite get this from the lecture. For one, every rookie programmer has probably experienced that programs can work in ways with mysterious interactions that sure don't seem very local... but maybe in your case you'd still say that at the end of the day it would all just be unpackable into a graph of function calls, respecting locality at each step? 

Question: what's an example of a data structure very similar to program-like ones, while failing to respect locality + symmetry?

I was only able to quickly skim this during my morning meeting, so might have missed a relevant point addressing this; but my first thought on seeing the results is "Sounds like you successfully trained a cohort of potential capabilities researchers"

Making the building simple, with repeated components (the window example was a great one) is a better answer

Yeah... I was once working on a remodeling project, and had the "clever" idea that we could save time by only selectively demoing certain sections. "Tear down this wall, but leave this window-sill, and this doorframe looks good, leave that too, oh and maybe leave this section of drywall which looks fine"... 

Terrible idea. Crews got confused and paralyzed. I now believe it's much faster to just give clear and simple instructions -- "tear it all down to the studs". In the chaos and complexity of dealing with a building, simple instructions allow crews to move more independently and make their own decisions, and also makes it more feasible to deploy more labor (as it's easier to onboard and delegate). 

Glad to hear :) If you've got any anecdotes about how the examples in the post similar/different to things you've seen in your job, I'd pretty curious

Agreed, and interested in @Noosphere89 elaborating on why you have the opposite intuition. 

My immediate intuition is that any additional skills or facts about the world picked up later in life, wouldn't affect data storage requirements enough to be relevant to the argument?

For example, if you already have vision and locomotion machinery and you can play the guitar and that takes X petabytes of data, and you then learn how to play the piano, I'd feel quite surprised if that ended up requiring your brain to contain more than even 2X petabytes total of data! 

(I recognise I'm not arguing for it, but posting in case others share this intuition)

Moderately tangential, but I am reminded of László Polgár, who famously claims to have raised his daughters into some of history's greatest female chess players, by adopting a particular training regime. 

In particular, he later wanted to try his training regime with an adopted kid:

In 1992, Polgár said that he now wanted "to break the racial barriers in the virtually all-white chess world" by adopting "a black infant from the Third World" whom he would train to become a chess prodigy.[2] Susan recalled in 2005 that, about 15 years earlier, "a very nice Dutch billionaire named Joop van Oosterom" had offered to help Polgár "adopt three boys from a developing country and raise them exactly as they raised us." Polgár, according to Susan, "really wanted to do it, but my mother talked him out of it. She understood that life is not only about chess and that all the rest would fall on her lap."[6]


I do get his wife's perspective, but I'm also kind of bummed they didn't try, since man if it would've actually worked that sure would've been some strikingly interesting evidence. 

It seems there's just empty space where I believe the equations should be. You can use LaTeX on LessWrong though to add them: here's how https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/xWrihbjp2a46KBTDe/editor-mini-guide

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