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GPT-4 will probably be insane.

Could we drill down on what exactly you mean here?

  • "Insane" as in enormously advanced or impressive?
  • "Insane" as in the legal condition where a person is not responsible for their actions?
  • "Insane" as in mentally unhinged?
  • Something else?
  • All of these?

claim that consequences are unforeseeABLE is bold. That would require "weather is beyond our ken, forever."

Maniac Extreme type argument on a minor semantic point.

We can make some pretty good guesses, but right now we have no effective means to fully and accurately predict the long-term and long-distance meteorological, geological, and hydrological side effects of a project that results in a moderate-to-major change in the annual rainfall of a region. There will be consequences that we are unABLE to forsee. Some of those consequences could be large, some could be negative. Some could be both, maybe we don't get either.

My read suggests that OP is probably less interested in increasing evaporation overall (though it would increase) than controlling where the water enters the atmosphere. There are places that are dry only because there happens to be a mountain in between them and the ocean, for example. Moving the water a long way is something we already know how to do (think oil pipelines, but containing salt water instead of hydrocarbon slurry). If it scales, this could make a substantial difference to such places.

Downside is that weather is the output of an insanely complex set of interconnecting natural systems and cycles. Making changes to the climate of a region this way will have unforeseeable side-effects over vast distances. Given the likely cost laying pipe over a mountain or whatever, I doubt many governments will be willing to take the risk of their big expensive weather-modification project provably messing up rainfall patterns or creating geologic instability or something in another state or country and having choose between paying enormous damages or eating their sunk construction costs. Most likely they would be unable to make that decision in a timely manner and default to doing both in the long run.

Then again, fracking, so I might be wrong about that.

How easy is it to change the sheets? I've heard speculation that loft beds are often difficult that way and I'd like to update on a 1st-hand account.

The statue made a rising whine as the lights began to pulse rhythmically. The legs stretched out, probing a bit in random directions for an instant before one found the surface of the floor and the rest immediately followed, each with its own sharp little click. When the machine appeared sure of its footing, it began to slowly push itself up while the weapon on its back glowed a dull red and swiveled around sharply. It was so beautiful! And a bit terrifying. I took a step back, and the statue seemed to notice! I can't say how I knew, but I was sure it looked right at me.

All at once, the whine began to fall and the lights went dark again, starting with the weapon. The legs lost their strength and the body of the statue lowered gently to the floor. "Puts on a good show, doesn't it?" the priest chuckled. "This one was mostly disabled generations ago, but the priests back then were clever enough to give us a little light and movement in case just seeing the machine wasn't enough to restore somebody's faith." He took the strange black brain back out of the socket and returned it to its pedestal, carefully replacing the cover.

"I... I just wanted... too..." My voice was shaking as hard as my body. But the priest was still smiling. He put a kind hand on my shoulder and gently steered me back to the church. "It's late. We will talk more tomorrow, after you've had whatever sleep you can get."

I'll agree with that, and I'd add that you need to be sure the index won't change while you're not looking so you can know that each position has been visited. Think of a cop checking parking meters, for a relatively low-stakes example. If they get distracted - say, by some irate motorist a few meters away complaining about a ticket from long ago - it would be easy for them to forget if they had processed the closest meter. If they walk/ride toward the motorist to be heard better, they might easily lose their place entirely. In this example, the cop's physical location acts as an index, which is only good until the cop needs to move in an unexpected way. The distraction can lead to double-touching one or more meters. Worse, the cop might invisibly skip one or more meters unless they are maintaining some more durable kind of history like a checklist or other report.

A recently learned, broadly applicable pattern:

For tasks that look like traversing a list, a durable form of memory is required to assure the entire list is touched.

Imagine a rope extending from the start of your life to its end through time. This part of the universe being dense with entities, your rope will inevitably meet others. Sometimes they will pass near one another; they may cross; they may crash together and both change direction; they might even twine together and form part of a cable; but eventually your rope and the other will diverge, or one or both will come to its inevitable frayed end. As you move inexorably along through time, you may find that you like having your rope near some other rope or cable, or dislike the same. You can push against other ropes, or grasp them tightly, but time will force you forward at the same pace regardless. The trick, then, is to learn to move through life without getting ropeburns.

This rhymes with my experiences and thoughts. To say it another (slightly more general) way, it's often the reactions of adults that are traumatizing well beyond anything else that happens to children (and other adults). It isn't always the case that measured response produces a trauma-free experience, and some events tend to leave terrible scars. But where I see people bringing their own feelings into someone else's situation is also where I see far more of lasting psychological trauma.

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