Wiki Contributions


Pregnancy is certainly costly (and the abnormally high miscarriage rate appears to be an attempt to save on such costs in case anything has gone wrong), but it's not that fatal (for the mother). A German midwife recorded one maternal death out of 350 births.

Forager societies didn't have below-replacement fertilities, which are now common for post-industrial societies.

Having children wasn't a paying venture, but people had kids anyway for the same reason other species expend energy on offspring.

The distinction between "somatic" and "germ" cells only exists for sexually reproducing species.

There is a remaining mystery about Epstein: where his money came from. He claimed to be a financier, but didn't seem to do any trading. Hence Eric Weinstein (who actually met him), concluding he was a "construct" whose supposed finance work was merely a cover story.

The Yanomamo maximize the number of females in their tribes by kidnapping them from other tribes sucker enough to feed & raise females rather than males (which they could have used to raid females from other tribes).

It seems odd for mitochondria to be causing the mutation problem sex is supposed to solve, when mitochondria themselves don't reproduce sexually.

Restricting mitochondria reproduction to one mating "type" does not by itself prevent a "selfish" mitochondria from arriving. If one mitochondria develops a new mutation, it is now competing against all the other mitochondria in that same organism without the mutation (like a cancer). But in fact the restriction goes beyond merely the "type", as all the somatic cells are dead-ends for mitochondria.


Robin Hanson has a worthwhile post on why some organisms are exclusively male rather than being hermaphrodites capable of male & female mating "types".

Nikolas Lloyd has an evolutionary theory on why human females have breasts instead of teats (well before they even get pregnant).

I think there's an obvious problem with the theory of runaway sexual selection: once a trait gets deleterious, there will be selection for different preferences. As Lloyd theorized, initially there would be a preference against large breasts (it would indicate not being immediately fertile), but the trait could still get going because the male who mated with such a woman anyway would turn out to be making the right move (as it no longer signalled that). And in other species of animal, large breasts would be deleterious in females. They're possible in humans because our females no longer have much need to outrun anything while while carrying such encumbrances (but there are still limits to that, which is why fantastically large breasts of the sort some men prefer are usually the product of surgery rather than genes).

I would have contributed... if I hadn't been required to use Paypal. I closed my account a while back.

By 2011, Hanson concedes at least somewhat to Yudkowsky's position and states that Cyc might not have enough information or be in the wrong format (FOOM, 496).

I looked for it on that page, but instead it's on 497 (second-to-last numbered paragraph), where he says:

4. The AI system Eliezer most respects for its promising architecture is eurisko. Its author, Doug Lenat, concluded from it that our main obstacle is not architecture but mental content—the more one knows, the faster one can learn. Lenat’s new Cyc system has much content, though it still doesn’t learn fast. Cyc might not have enough content yet, or perhaps Lenat sought the wrong content or format.

How is "success" measured among AI safety proponents?

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