[Link] Stephen Hawking AMA answers

I like this quote by Stephen Hawking from one of his answers:

The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence.

Short Story: Quarantine

Rot13: Svfure–Farqrpbe qvfgevohgvba

Thoughts on minimizing designer baby drama

Why would you assume that? That's like saying by the time we can manufacture a better engine we'll be able to replace a running one with the new design.

For example, evolution has optimized and delivered a mechanism for turning gene edits in a fertilized egg into a developed brain. It has not done the same for incorporating after-the-fact edits into an existing brain. So in the adult case we have to do an extra giga-evolve-years of optimization before it works.

The great decline in Wikipedia pageviews (condensed version)

Could you convert the tables into graphs, please? It's much harder to see trends in lists of numbers.

Another possible hypothesis could be satiation. When I first read wikipedia, it dragged me into hours long recursive article reading. Over time I've read more and more of the articles I find interesting, so any given article links to fewer unread interesting articles. Wikipedia has essentially developed a herd immunity against me. Maybe that pattern holds over the population, with the dwindling infectiousness overcoming new readers?

On second thought, I'm not sure that works at all. I guess you could check the historical probability of following to another article.

HPMOR Q&A by Eliezer at Wrap Party in Berkeley [Transcription]

"reality is a projection of our minds and magic is ways to concentrate and focus the mind" is too non-reductionist of an explanation. It moves the mystery inside another mystery, instead of actually explaining it.

For example: in this universe minds seem to be made out of brains. But if reality is just a projection of minds, then... brains are made out of minds? So minds are made out of minds? So where does the process hit bottom? Or are we saying existence is just a fractal of minds made out of minds made out of minds all the way down?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116

Hm, my take-away from the end of the chapter was a sad feeling that Quirrel simply failed at or lied about getting both houses to win.

Stupid Questions March 2015

The 2014 LW survey results mentioned something about being consistent with a finger-length/feminism connection. Maybe that counts?

Some diseases impact both reasoning and appearance. Gender impacts both appearance and behavior. You clearly get some information from appearance, but it's going to be noisy and less useful than what you'd get by just asking a few questions.

Stupid Questions March 2015

There's a radiolab episode about blame that glances this subject. They talk about, for example, people with brain damage not being blamed for their crimes (because they "didn't have a choice"). They also have a guest trying to explain why legal punishment should be based on modelling probabilities of recidivism. One of the hosts usually plays (is?) the "there is cosmic blame/justice/choice" position you're describing.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113

Well, yeah. The particular case I had in mind was exploiting partial+ordered transfiguration to lobotomize/brain-acid the death eaters, and I grant that that has practical problems.

But I found myself thinking about using patronus and other complicated things to take down LV after, instead of exploiting weak spells being made effective by the resonance. So I put the idea out there.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113

If I may quote from my post:

Assuming you can take down the death eaters, I think the correct follow-up


LV is way up high, too far away to have good accuracy with a hand gun.

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