I mostly agree with the other commenters that the story does not show the qualitative changes we may expect to see from autonomous weapons. But I found it a very good short story nevertheless, and believable as well.
I think it could serve well if broadly diffused, by getting someone to think about the topic for the first time before going into scenarios farther away from what they are used to.
I notice that while a lot of the answer is formal and well-grounded, "stories have the minimum level of internal complexity to explain the complex phenomena we experience" is itself a story :)
Personally, I would say that any gear-level model will have gaps in the understanding, and trying to fill these gaps will require extra modeling which also has gaps, and so on forever. My guess is that part of our brain will constantly try to find the answers and fill the holes, like a small child asking "why x? ...and why y?". So if a more practical part of us wants to stop investigating, it plugs the holes with fuzzy stories which sound like understanding.
Obviously, this is also a story, so discount it accordingly...
I agree it would be very good, and possibly an economic no-brainer. My point is just that what is discussed in the post works for a political no-brainer, by which I mean something that no one would bother to oppose. To get what you want you need a real political campaign, or a large scale economic education campaign. Even then it's difficult, imo, unless your proposals fit one of the cases I mention above.
That said, of you are thinking of the US there is an easy proposal to be done for medicine, which is making medical school equivalent to a college degree... (read more)
The problem is, licensed people have made an investment and expect to repay it by reaping profits from the protected market. Some have borrowed money to get in and may have to file for personal bankruptcy. So they will oppose the reform by any means at their disposal, for which I don't blame them (even if it is obviously against the general interest).
Such a reform would be doable in the following cases (1) it compensates the losers in some way (2) it's so gradual that current licensed will mostly retire before it's fully implemented (3) it is decided by a ... (read more)
On effectiveness and public health studies: the thread quoted says multiple times "in the US". I would be curious to know if this kind of things are done more elsewhere or it's an implicit assumption that it could be done only in the US anyway (which could very well be true for what I know, drug profits are way higher in the US after all).
Does anybody know?
My feeling is that many of the people which did not benefit tend to "generalise from one example" and assume that's true for most kids.
Actually, I (despite being generally pro-schooling) would say something stronger than you: there is a minority of people who are actually harmed by school compared to a reasonable counterfactual (e.g. home-schooling for some). Plus, many kids can see easily where the system is failing them, less easily where it's working.
Thanks for the review!
Regarding the "countering racism" doubts, I can see how the results should disprove at least some racist worldviews.
I think that an interpretation of human history among racists is the following: the population splits in to clusters, these clusters diverge in different "races", eventually one emerges as "the best" and out-competes or replaces all others, before splitting again. Historically, this view was used to justify aggressive expansionism, opposition to intermarriage, and opposition to any policy that could slow this proce... (read more)
According to my understanding (which comes from popularized sources, not I am not a doctor nor a biologist) antibody counts are not the main drivers of long-term immunity. Lasting immunity is given by memory T and B cells, which are able to quickly escalate the immune response in case of new infection, including producing new antibodies. So while high antibody count means you're well protected, a low count some months after the vaccine could mean that the protection has reduced, but in almost all cases you will be protected for a much longer time. Note tha... (read more)
For info, you can find most of the exercises in python (done by someone else than Ng) here. They are still not that useful: I watched the course videos a couple of years ago and I stopped doing the exercises very quickly.
I agree with you on both the praise and the complaints about the course. Besides it being very dated, I think that the main problem was that Ng was neither clear nor consistent about the goal. The videos are mostly an non-formal introduction to a range of machine learning techniques plus some in-depth discussion of broadly useful con... (read more)
On this I agree with you. But the Darwin issue is a bit of a special case - the topic was politically/religiously charged, so it was important that a very respected figure was spearheading the idea. Wallace himself understood it, I think - he sent his research to Darwin instead of publishing it directly. But this is mostly independent of Darwin's scientific genius (only mostly, because he gained that status with his previous work on less controversial topics).
On the whole, I agree with jbash and Gerald below - "geniuses" in the sense of very smart scientis... (read more)
What you say is even more true than you think. We would have had "relativity" in 1906, if you are satisfied with an experimentally indistinguishable theory which kept the ether as a conventional choice (a degree of difference similar to the one between interpretations of quantum mechanics). Poincaré had already submitted a paper in 1905 before seeing Einstein's, building on Lorentz's previous work. Now, Einstein's theory is preferable for several reasons, but ultimately the difference is small.
If you look you find similar stories for Newton, Mendelee... (read more)
Maybe zero-sum was not the right expression, because I think it is broader than strictly zero-sum games. I meant winner-takes-most situations, where the reward of the best performer is outsized with respect to the reward of the next-best. This does not necessarily mean that the game is strictly zero-sum. In many cases, it is just that the product you deliver is scalable, so everyone will just want the best product (of course, preferences may mean that the ranking is not the same for everyone).
I am also convinced that all the things you mentioned have... (read more)
I think there is a crucial difference between performance, as defined in the paper, and ability which should be taken very much into account. I will not debate if their definition of performance is consistent or not with the common usage, but they failed to state their definitions clearly and I think you misunderstood their results because of this.
The paper measures performance as the results of (roughly) zero-sum competitions. This is very clear when they analyze athletes (number of wins), politicians (election wins, re-elections) and actors (awards... (read more)
No I missed it, that's great! I was only aware of phase I. It should be revised way up then.
No but all neighbors are, except Kosovo (and Bosnia that is on the track for NATO access). A new Serbia-Kosovo war (or Serbia-someone else) is in principle possible and as you say would not imply NATO breakdown. But US and EU have currently a strong grip on the region, the last war sent the message that they were willing to maintain it with force, and I think they have and will continue to have strong interest in no new war developing. And no country in the area should be suicidal enough to go against them. So I think the probability of open war there is very low, unless EU or NATO breakdown has already happened or is happening at the same time.
It is certainly possible but what kind of scenario are you thinking about?
For moving west of Ukraine the conflicts will have to involve EU or NATO countries, almost certainly both. So that would mean either an open Russia-NATO war or the total breakdown of both NATO and EU. Both scenarios would have huge consequences for the world as a whole, nearly as much as a war between China and US and allies.
I think he might be referring to the Simon–Ehrlich wager. And indeed there have been other similar claims in the past, more often proven wrong than correct.
You are right of course, and I am going by other people's analysis so I am not sure how much they are correct or wrong this time around. I do not think we will have hugely rising commodity prices making green energy unfeasible, unless there is a war (or just a trade war) blocking the supply of a key input.
Nevertheless, the extrapolation of decreasing costs for solar and wind based on current trends will eventually hit some "hard" limit, and metals are a likely candidate. After all, as manufacturing costs for panels reduce, the fraction of cost coming... (read more)
Thanks for the clarifications! I realized that maybe you are mostly interested on the tech sector in the US and AI-related development, which explains also why you didn't think of biomedical research immediately. Is this impression correct? If so, you might want to edit further the question to restrict the range of answers.
I fixed the link, I didn't notice but it had taken the ) as part of the address.
BTW, I read your post on military tech in the meantime, it was interesting.
I think 10x decrease in energy prices is too much. My reasons are:
Interesting reading, although I wonder if there are alternative or complementary explanations - instead of direct cultural transmission, one could think of different economic paths due to different starting levels of industrialization, infrastructure, education etc., which then generate different cultural clusters. Culture will also influence the economy, of course, in a sort of co-evolution.
Btw, if you wanted to apply this to Italy (another Italian here!), I think you should not look at coalitions but single parties within them. The Austro-Hungarian... (read more)
Consider also that when a zero-sum game is embedded in a positive-sum one, often the most effective way to negotiate is to threaten to walk away from the positive-sum game if you don't get a bigger share of the spoils (e.g. threaten to leave the job if you don't get a rise). The simplified version is the ultimatum game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimatum_game.
This also means that holding a positive-sum trade sacred has the side effect of freezing the zero-sum part of it to the status quo.
I think this happens to many scientists. I found myself in a similar situation once - we could not have done better at the time, but we could have noticed that the tools we used were not sufficient. Fortunately, by the time we noticed we had better tools and we found that the conclusions were still valid, even if some quantitative results were pretty inaccurate. As you, I wanted to submit an erratum, but my boss insisted to include the results in another related paper instead. I still feel that an erratum would have been better, but I think he was worried ... (read more)