Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


Number 18 is interesting. Suppose, for example, the quest for apolitical control of interest rates leads to an AI at the head of the Federal Reserve. Given all the impressive looking equations you can find in macroeconomic papers and textbooks, I wonder how many people realise just how little science there is in that entire body of theory, and how much of it comprises philosophy and political belief, dressed up to look like hard physics, but resting on the assertions of famous "seminal papers" instead of premises or evidence.

How long before the Reserve Board of Governersstarts "consulting" the AI instead of using it to double-check their work; stops double-checking the AI's work and merely runs integrity checks on it; stops acquainting itself with the theory (or more likely, weighted combination of theories) on which it runs; stops keeping track of which theories it runs; is criticised in the press for unthinkingly doing what the AI says; is criticised in the press for not just doing what the AI says; is questioned in the Senate about whether it has any idea what the AI is doing or more importantly, why it is doing it?

I agree with this. Like Scott, I sucked at math and excelled at English without any effort. At the age of thirty I decided to study physics at university. I was in a class with brilliant school leavers, top of their class in double A level math. I didn't have a fraction of their background and had forgotten what little calculus I had learned (which turned out to be an advantage.) We had a math professor who taught us calculus from scratch, as if we were looking over Newton's shoulder as he developed it to make sense of laboratory data. Together with a brilliant introduction to classical physics, it was like suddenly hearing poetry and music where before there was only cacophony; as if the universe opened a window to lay bare the truth. The experience convinced me that most smart people who think they hate math really only hate the way they were taught it, and I don't blame them.