The Forces of Blandness and the Disagreeable Majority

I think we’re currently in an era of unusually large amounts of free speech that elites are starting to get spooked by and defend against.  Most people have high, perhaps even growing, tolerance for controversy and offense, but some find it unacceptable, and these people are disproportionately influential.


People always had a lot of free speech, it was just in unmediated human interaction. There was a lively civil society and people had closer relationships with neighbors and extended family and would naturally discuss things. This decentralized communication was a major way ideas and culture were shared. People suggest things like social media have widened the discourse, but ignore the fact that this kind of organic human interaction and community life has steadily declined (see Bowling Alone for more information). To some extent we have traded an unmoderated, uncensored private, in-person discourse for a heavily mediated, censored and monitored discourse. 

What technologies could cause world GDP doubling times to be <8 years?

I'm not sure if the agenty tasks you have in mind are considered part of manufacturing per se or business management. My impression from above is that production work and factory construction is being automated but design/engineering and business management are not. I'm not sure, but it does seem likely that humans could be out of the loop without AGI. (Though of course AGI could happen before narrow AI actually achieves this level in practice). 

What technologies could cause world GDP doubling times to be <8 years?

I don't know, but I would guess that 90%+ of the industrial/manufacturing jobs done by humans even just 50 years ago are now done by machines. But this 90% automation didn't lead to a near-doubling of GWP growth rates.

90% automation only gives a ~10x increase in per-worker productivity in manufacturing. Since manufacturing is only a fraction of GWP, a 10x productivity increase only makes GWP (per capita) a few times larger. Take humans out of the process completely and the bottleneck is gone. The feedback loop is only constrained the availability of resources. 

New Year's Predictions Thread

Looks like it is still the global reserve currency.

New Year's Predictions Thread

Unless I'm missing something, looks like #1 is actually correct... 2019 GDP PPP per capita for Singapore was 103,181 according to IMF, which adjusts to 84775.10 according to the first inflation calculator on Google.

Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017

What did you mean by "fanon dwarves"? Is that just a fan interpretation or do you think Tolkien intended it? In Tolkien's idealized world, all economic motivations are marginal and deprecated. The dwarves are motivated partially by a desire for gold, but mostly by loyalty to their king and a desire to see their ancestral homeland restored to them. To the extent the treasure itself motivates Thorin & co., it causes disaster (for example his unwillingness to share the loot almost causes a battle against local men & elves.)

Open thread, May 22 - May 28, 2017

I think it's mainly about combining two click-friendly buzzwords in a novel way.

Open thread, May 22 - May 28, 2017

This is a good example of the type of comment I would like to be able to downvote. Utterly braindead political clickbait.

OpenAI makes humanity less safe

One thing to watch for would be top-level AI talent getting snapped up by governments rather than companies interested in making better spam detectors/photo-sharing apps.

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