Was there a recent post, where some expert claimed that deep learning can't deal with ... some kind of discreteness?
That's certainly a weird combination, but I doubt it's the right way to combine those ingredients...
Can you name any of these people? I can't think of anyone who's saying, "I'm dying, so let's cure death / create AGI now". Mostly what people do, is get interested in cryonics.
Welcome to the study of the rise and fall of states, empires, dynasties, civilizations. Also see: Toynbee, Spengler, undoubtedly many other historians east and west. John Glubb's "Fate of Empires" even argues for a specific life expectancy of empires, 250 years.
it is entirely our responsibility for not accelerating vaccine production in time to help them
India is the world's biggest vaccine producer, and the cornerstone of the Gavi plan to supply Covid vaccines to poor countries. And when this second wave became evident, I believe they quickly started redirecting their national Covid vaccine production for domestic use. I am not sure what the exact cause of the Indian second wave is, but I don't think you can blame it on America, unless you think it was America's responsibility to foresee and preempt all problems worldwide in beating the pandemic.
A good person seeks out opportunities to do good with the desperation of a castaway in the desert seeking out water. They will find it or die trying.
Are opportunities to do good in such short supply?
Starting over ten years ago, there were some similar posts about an "irrationality game", starting here.
This is not what I expected. I thought this article would be about molecular methods of directly altering the genome - CRISPR, artificial chromosomes, etc.
But instead I only see one method mentioned, and it consists of a quasi-darwinian cycle in which lots of eggs are fertilized, allowed to divide a few times, genetically screened for desired traits, and then cells from these early-stage embryos are used to make a new generation of sperm and eggs so as to repeat the cycle.
Darwinian evolution consists of variation followed by selection, and here... (read more)
The real question is, is there a historical precursor to /r/SneerClub? Perhaps an SF zine run by someone who didn't like Korzybski and Van Vogt...
You need electrons too (so you can have atoms, and not just atomic nuclei).
my friend made 50M
Is that 50 million dollars? Or is it a crypto abbreviation that means something else?
Some comments informed by Stacy McGaugh's blog (you may know most of this already):
The rotation curves show a very tight dependence on the amount of baryonic matter alone, something which you might expect from modified gravity sourced by baryonic matter, but not so much, from ordinary gravity sourced by a mixture of baryonic matter and dark matter.
Lensing is a relativistic effect. The leading phenomenological theory of modified gravity here, MOND, is Modified Newtonian Dynamics, i.e. is defined for the nonrelativistic regime (since the rotatio... (read more)
better explained reasoning
That final link is my first encounter with Mario Alejandro Montano (1997-2020). It seems he could be a Mitchell Heisman for the 2020s.
I don't believe the cosmology of reincarnation as a Boltzmann brain, etc. I think the self is grounded in substance. But I hope you complete your articulation of the opposite view.
No nanoscale robotic system ... should be permitted to store more than a small fraction of the digital file containing the instructions to replicate itself.
Will you outlaw bacteria?
A current hypothesis that China is holding off on vaccinating anyone until it can have sufficient supply for the whole country.
According to the article, they've vaccinated 40 million already.
I interpret the Reddit commenter to be saying that whatever the Chinese policy in Xinjiang is, it's not complete deracination. Possibly it's a mix of surveillance for the majority, and intense sinification for the minority considered most at risk ideologically.
I do not regard the depiction of events in Xinjiang by US State Department, BBC, etc, as particularly objective or reliable. I believe the moral and factual claims made are made in service of political and geopolitical agendas.
edit: Let me say more about this... The west has been militari... (read more)
I cannot improve on the words of redditor @TurkicWarrior: "I think they’re trying to tame the Uyghur people, break their national aspiration and be loyal to China. I don’t think they will take the Uyghur culture away, it’s impractical."
Vaccine production, and in particular vaccine production by Pfizer and Moderna, has languished for want of a few billion dollars
Is this actually true? Money is necessary but not sufficient. Concrete problems e.g. of industrial process have to be solved too.
Whether children should be in school is inseparable from the question of how children should live in general, and ultimately, how human life as a whole should proceed.
For the average modern family, school is not just a place where their children go to learn, it's a place that takes care of the children during the day, while the parents work to earn money.
This has not always been how life works. One may certainly look to the history of humanity for alternative paradigms. But in general, I think the historical alternative to compulsory schooling ... (read more)
Imagine an airborne "mold" that grows on every surface, and uses up all the atmospheric CO2. You'd need to be hermetically sealed away to escape it, and then the planet would freeze around you anyway.
These replicators would transform all matter on earth into copies of themselves
A replicator doesn't need the capacity to devour literally all matter (with all the chemical diversity that implies), in order to be a threat. Suppose there was a replicator that just needs CO2 and H2O. Those molecules are abundant in the atmosphere and the ocean. There would be no need for onboard AI.
At this point, I am not trying to show that lockdowns were an overreaction, so much as I am just trying to understand why events unfolded as they did.
How did the idea of a national lockdown enter public health contingency plans all over the world? (the idea existed before Covid, but I think people usually envisaged it as a response to a much deadlier pandemic). What are the attributes of Covid which made people regard it as dangerous enough to warrant national lockdowns? (e.g. a lethal respiratory disease, of a kind for which no vaccines existed). Wh... (read more)
you still don't have evidence that lockdowns are benefitting them
I was struck by the case of a political columnist who tweeted an appeal to ordinary people, to just let their businesses fail, rather than risk orphaning their kids; while she herself went about organizing a new online business venture involving dozens of colleagues.
Lockdowns are hardest on those who are already vulnerable, and on people who can't work from home. But digital society is run by affluent people who spend their working days in front of a computer. It makes sense that they would be much less sensitive to the drawbacks of a stay-at-home policy.
lockdowns are to protect the elderly
Let's suppose we're trying to understand why almost every society on Earth engaged in unprecedented society-wide lockdowns, over a virus which is certainly highly lethal e.g. for people in their 80s, but which is mostly harmless for people in the prime of life.
I like the theory above - that the lockdowns are to protect the elderly - because of its simplicity. If it's true, it should be possible to present an account of what happened in 2020, in which that thought and intention is central.
But to develop ... (read more)
If you want to make the case that with a different ethos, Covid-19 mortality might have been dramatically lower, it would help to exhibit a scenario in which this happens.
Much is being made of the fact that mRNA vaccines were first synthesized, very soon after the virus's genetic sequence became available. But this just means that a particular molecular construct (a carrier for spike protein mRNA, I guess) could quickly be synthesized.
To go from that to mass vaccination, even if we skip trials for efficacy and safety, requires that you know eno... (read more)
To the author of this post: I continue to plead for help. If not from you, there must be someone that you know.
OK, let's talk about some of the issues that would arise in this scenario.
Taking an mRNA vaccine means becoming temporarily transgenic. mRNA for Covid spike protein is injected into your muscle cells, they produce it, and this stimulates antibody production.
In having trials, one is not only testing that the Covid mRNA vaccine is effective against Covid; one is also testing whether the vaccine itself has side effects.
Are you proposing to move straight to mass vaccination, without testing for vaccine side effects? But if not, how will makin... (read more)
I did some google-research... From wikipedia, I learned that HCTs have already been performed many times, for a variety of pathogens (I didn't know that). So it seems like they are already part of accepted practice.
I found a reddit thread with comments from a few people who work in the medical industry, remarking e.g. that HCTs would only have come in at Phase 3 and would only have saved a little time. And a PNAS opinion piece giving what I guess is the common opinion among the bioethics establishment, that HCTs are not appropriate for Covid, and the... (read more)
I disagree with that one line, mostly - the idea that having "billions" of people "debating" an issue is a meaningful or constructive goal.
Human challenge trials seem like a useful thing. Although maybe there's some inconvenience because the infected people need to remain quarantined throughout the trial. And maybe there are other considerations that I don't know about, intrinsic to vaccine development, that make it less useful or practical than it seems.
Those are about the extent of my thoughts on the issue. They are not especially deep. ... (read more)
"Billions of people could be having debates ... about human challenge trials."
There's something peculiar about this way of promoting the idea. Either human challenge trials are worth it, or they are not worth it, or "it depends" (on context, on opinion). It shouldn't require billions of people to figure out something that basic. And if the answer is "it depends", then it's going to depend on medical technicalities or simply on local culture, and again, having billions debate it isn't helpful.
Whether to have human challenge trials is ultimately ... (read more)
You assume that the conscious part of the brain consists of interacting but independent subunits, whose only property of significance is how they interact with their neighbors.
This is not the only ontological option. For example, there is the quantum notion of entanglement. There may exist a situation in which there are nominally two entities, but the overall quantum state cannot be reduced to one entity being in one state, and the other entity in a second state.
Consider a state of two qubits. If the overall state is |01>, that can be decomp... (read more)
Now that western governments are scrambling to approve and deploy vaccines, it must be the beginning of the end of the pandemic in the west, and I am glad of that. But I am concerned that I don't have a coherent understanding of so much of what happened this year.
Mainstream media reporting is a jumble of anecdotes and numbers without context, but overall their big picture is that this is a disaster and we should all obey the public health restrictions until the authorities tell us that it's over and we're safe.
I have a sociological explanation ... (read more)
the description ought to be rewritten to actually resolve ... the problem... The Hard Problem of Consciousness is simply...
Is there a protocol for this sort of thing?
I don't agree with your answer, but that's not an issue. Less Wrong can have an official position on some topic, and I can disagree with it, and that's alright. I am wondering more about this: how do you decide what the official position is, or if there even is an official position? I have the impression that even among Less Wrong's central organizers and personalities, there isn't consensus on the hard problem.
What will your AGI do, once it exists?
In gambling, the strategy of repeatedly "doubling down" is called a martingale (google to find previous discussions on LW), and the main criticism is that you may run out of money to bet, before chance finally turns in your favor. Analogously, your formal analysis here doesn't take into account the possibility of running out of time or energy before the desired goal is achieved.
I also have trouble interpreting your concrete example, as an application of the proclaimed strategy. I thought the idea was, you don't know how hard it will be to do somethin... (read more)
I don't think that people in different inertial reference frames have to agree about how many worlds there are, indeed I don't even think people in the same inertial reference frame have to agree about how many worlds there are.
At this point I have nothing to say, because there's no coherent concept of 'world' left to debate.
I think one version is "if the complex amplitude for me having a certain brain state approaches zero, then the probability that I will find myself experiencing having that brain state also approaches zero"
This could become ... (read more)
The point seems so simple to me, I am having trouble expressing it... A wavefunction is the instantaneous state of a quantum system. It is extended spatially. In relativistic space-time, to talk about the instantaneous state of an extended object, you have to define simultaneity. This means choosing a particular decomposition of space-time into spacelike hypersurfaces that are treated as surfaces of simultaneity. In a relativistic universe, you cannot talk about finite time evolution of spatially extended wavefunctions without first breaking space-time int... (read more)
A wavefunction is spatially extended. Your description of MWI involves tracking how the properties of a wavefunction change over time. In relativity, that's going to require choosing a reference frame, a particular division of space-time into space and time.
In a Copenhagen approach to, say, particle physics, that doesn't matter, because everything that is frame-dependent vanishes by the end of the calculation (as does everything that is gauge-dependent). But I don't see how you can reify wavefunctions without also having a preferred reference frame.
In quantum field theory the wave function is an operator at each point in spacetime, and it works out that everything is consistent with experiments across reference frame changes and nothing travels faster than the speed of light, etc. That's all experimentally established. Can you say again what's the problem?
everything that is frame-dependent vanishes by the end of the calculation
everything that is frame-dependent vanishes by the end of the calculation
I mean, velocity is frame-dependent, right? You can measure velocity, it doesn't vanish at the end of the calculation... It's different in different reference frames, of co... (read more)
Well, it seems like the most important part of your answer comes in a subsequent comment
"how many worlds are there" is not a question with a well-defined answer in Everett's theory
As far as I am concerned, that renders the theory unviable. We-here (as opposed to our copies in slightly divergent branches) inhabit a particular world. We definitely exist, therefore the object in the theory corresponding to our existence must also definitely exist; therefore if its existence is only a matter of degree or definition, then the theory is wrong.
But at ... (read more)
Which basis do you use in obtaining multiple worlds from a single wavefunction?
Any diagonal basis—the whole point of decoherence is that the wavefunction evolves into a diagonalizable form over time.
Then my next question would be, exactly when in this evolution does one world become many?
I also asked
How do you deal with relativity?
Just use the Relativistic Schrodinger equation.
In relativity, wavefunctions will only be defined with respect to a particular reference frame. You have to say which spacelike surfaces ... (read more)
Sorry, but the Copenhagen interpretation, with the important proviso that observables, not 'the wavefunction', are what's real, is presently the best 'interpretation' of quantum mechanics, because it's the only one that actually works in all situations where QM is applied.
As someone wishing to understand reality, you are of course free to speculate that the wavefunction is a real thing and not just a step in a calculation, and that it is some kind of multiverse. But if you then wish to proclaim that this is obviously the truth, then the onus is on yo... (read more)
Let's compare this goal of "stopping genocide in Xinjiang" with, say, the goal of "stopping famine in Yemen". The Uighurs are governed by a state which is not within the American sphere of influence. Famine in Yemen is the product of a Saudi blockade that is strategically supported by the United States, because it opposes the expansion of the Iranian sphere of influence. It would make slightly more sense to use the NBA to prevent famine in Yemen, since the United States really does have political leverage there. But nothing would actually change unless som... (read more)
I must inform you that this post is very detached from reality. First of all, what is a genocide? I always thought it was the killing (-cide) of a people (geno-), and usually involves the murder of hundreds of thousands. Like Germany killing Jews, or Rwanda killing Tutsis, or Turkey killing Armenians.
On the other hand, China is not trying to eradicate Uighurs. They're not even trying to deny their existence as a distinct ethnic minority. China has dozens of officially recognized minorities, and I think the Uighurs would be in the top ten as far as po... (read more)
I would argue that this is not an assumption. Something exists; we know that something exists; and we know that we know. What existence "is", what knowledge "is", how and why knowledge is possible - those are challenging questions. But doubting that anything exists, and doubting that there is any knowledge, seems to require willful negation of fundamental phenomenological facts.
And it's not far from the existence of knowledge to the existence of "evidence", since evidence is just, any fact that has implications for the truth; and it is part of the ma... (read more)
Hi, for some reason I didn't see this reply until recently.
metaethical.ai is the most sophisticated sketch I've seen, of how to make human-friendly AI. In my personal historiography of "friendliness theory", the three milestones so far are Yudkowsky 2004 (Coherent Extrapolated Volition), Christiano 2016 (alignment via capability amplification), and June Ku 2019 ("AIXI for Friendliness").
To me, it's conceivable that the metaethical.ai schema is sufficient to solve the problem. It is an idealization ("we suppose that... (read more)
He's a regular on pro-Russian, pro-Chinese political sites. I'm on his mailing list. I was quite surprised to see him here.
"risk factors... notably diabetes"
This was my thought - that vitamin D deficiency here might be a proxy for ill health in general, with other conditions being the true risk.
It's surely time to start modeling the endgame, in the form of vaccination scenarios, starting with critical personnel, and extending to the broader population as more doses become available. Not predictions, there's not enough definite information yet, but scenarios: make some assumptions about how vaccines will work (e.g. are boosts needed every few months) and about when they become available, assumptions that are plausible and that are concrete enough to have definite implications - and then let's see what that looks like, let's see... (read more)
I have heard there was a debate in Tibet once, between a Chinese and an Indian Buddhist, on whether enlightenment can be instant (Chinese, Chan, Zen position) or whether it requires time and analysis (Indian position). Do you favor one side in this debate?
Bohmian mechanics is not relativistic and has not been coherently formulated for spin-1/2 or spin 1 fields.
The Copenhagen interpretation is the best (most accurate) interpretation of quantum mechanics, so long as it is understood as a purely "epistemic" interpretation. That is: unlike pre-quantum theories, quantum mechanics does not provide a complete ontology of the world. There are physical properties (the observables) that can take various values, and the theory gives conditional probabilities for these possibilities, but no picture of what h... (read more)