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Open thread, August 5-11, 2013

I hope this is worth saying: I've been reading up a bit on philosophical pragmatism especially Peirce and I see a lot parallels with the thinking on LW, since it has a lot in common with positivism this is maybe not so surprising.

Though my interpretation of pragmatism seems to give a quite interesting critiquing the metaphor of "Map and territory", they seem to be saying that the territory do exist, just that when we point to territory we are actually pointing to how an ideal observer (that are somewhat like us?) would perceive the territory not the actual territory because that can not be done, since we need some kind of framework. Quite probably I'm just falling for the old trees falling in the forest fallacy. So am I thinking strait? And if I do, does have any consequences?

For FAI: Is "Molecular Nanotechnology" putting our best foot forward?

Yes, that seems to be is main argument against Drexler's vision, though I wonder if he thinks it's difficult to come up with a design that would be robust, or if the kind of nanotechnology would be difficult to implement since it requires certain conditions such as vacuum close to 0 kelvin, which might be a bit cumbersome even for a superintelligence(?) unless you hang out a lot in space.

For FAI: Is "Molecular Nanotechnology" putting our best foot forward?

What do you make of the picture Richard Jones paints ? I'm not much more than a lay man - though happen to know my way around medicine - find his critique of of Drexler's vision of nanotechnology sound.

Exercise isn't necessarily good for people

Diabetes in isolation doesn't increase CVD that much for men(2.4X), though the relative CVD risk increase for women are 4.3, (in absolute numbers, CVD risk for diabetic men and women are about the same). Also worth pointing out is that type II correlates to a high degree with other risk factors due to the metabolic disturbance, the cluster is termed metabolic syndrome.

Exercise isn't necessarily good for people

Upvoted.

One hypothesis that people throw around is that if you are too aggressive with drugs, you cause hypoglycemic events (too low blood sugar), and these are correlated with CVD.

I just want to point out that this is entirely dependent on what kind of medication you take, it's practically impossible (I have never heard of it at least) to have a hypoglycemic event without insulin being a part of your cocktail.

Earning to Give vs. Altruistic Career Choice Revisited

Well thought through, good work! Though I wonder if you have any insight into what (intuition?) generates the conclusion:

For the most part, the people who have had the biggest positive impact on the world haven’t had their impact by “earning to give."

Thorough out human history it's probably true, though I wonder if that is partly because 1) "earn to give" has never been practiced to any large extent (at least to my knowledge) 2) people (including myself) tend narrate great advances/discoveries in terms discoverers and persons in close proximity to the event - but not so much to the people in the background that nonetheless made it possible. I'd like to hear your thoughts!

Problems with Academia and the Rising Sea

Great post!

Just to point out - to people who are not yet familiar with it - there are initiatives that try to tackle the hazards of the current peer-review process, a good example is Plos one that uses a very different setup for publishing, maybe most interestingly is that they publish all articles that are technically sound, and judgment whether the article is interesting or not is reserved to post-publish commentary and it's all open access.

Another big problem - that I guess people here are somewhat familiar with - is pharma funded clinical trial publication bias, e.i. you can do for example 10 smaller studies (same drug), rather than a couple big ones, and weed out the ones with a lesser positive impact (or even negative), and then pool your 6 studies with the best result. Though hopefully this problem will be partly fixed with the new FDA legislation that requires pharmaceutical companies to do a priori registrations of clinical trails.

Meetup : Visiting Sweden and Switzerland! Let's get together

We are a relatively small group in Stockholm that will be graced with Cat's presences, if you are in the neighborhood and want to join us, feel free to PM me.