various distributions from statistical mechanics turn out to be empirically useful even though our universe isn't in thermodynamic equilibrium yet, and so there's some hope that these "idealized" or "convergently instrumentally useful" concepts degrade cleanly into practical real-world concepts like "trees" and "windows". Which are hopefully so convergently instrumentally useful that the AIs also use them.
I don't quite understand the turn of phrase ‘degrade cleanly into practical real-world concepts like "trees" and "windows"’ here. Per my understanding of the analogy to statistical mechanics, I would expect there to be an idealized concept of ‘window’ that assumes idealized circumstances that are never present in real life, but which is nevertheless a useful concept... and that the human concept is that idealized concept, and not a degraded version. Because – isn't the point that the actual real-world concept that doesn't assume idealized circumstances is too computationally complex so that all intelligent agents have to fall back to the idealized version?
Maybe that's what you mean and I'm just misreading what you wrote.
Great article! It clarified the concepts a lot for me.
therefore by eq. 1 we get .
I think you're missing a in front of the here. (Entropy cannot be negative.)
The oral polio vaccine is administered without the use of needles, and therefore could serve as a testbed for this hypothesis. Unfortunately, I didn't find much literature addressing the question directly of how much more people are willing to take an oral vaccine compared to a needle-based one.
There might not be a clean RCT for this but just looking at the history of the Polio vaccine, I seem to find confirmation for this. In the West, the Salk vaccine (which had to be injected) was available since the 1950s but uptake was very slow. Then the Sabin vaccine was developed around 1960, mostly in the USSR with the initial idea from Sabin (a naturalized US citizen), which was an oral vaccine and a much bigger success. This is confounded by the fact that the Sabin vaccine was considered more effective, but on the other hand it also had a slight chance of giving others a real infection because it contained live viruses. So, I don't know how that affected its perceived desirability. Still, I'd consider this slight evidence in favor of oral vaccines being more popular.
Although we’ve been focusing heavily on the US in our search, we’re also still interested in country suggestions
One thing I as a non-US citizen am interested in is whether alternate countries are easier to immigrate into. Some light research just now seems to show that Canada has a more liberal immigration policy. I tried finding a list of countries by ease of immigration, but couldn't immediately find anything like that.
I'll see whether I can make a more concrete alternative suggestion, but I just wanted to mention the question of immigration in case you've already thought about it.
Personally, I have been thinking about moving to the bay area for a while (and I visited once), but things like the housing market (and the hassle of immigration) kept me from following through. The two cities you presented here sound absolutely lovely though, so I would quite like to join you there (or in a similar place).
I think it's worth mentioning that if you accept the arguments about AI that have been made on this forum since its inception, then the time horizon on which these companies need to function is more like 100 years than 1,000 years. (Because either we'll have an unaligned superintelligence in which case we're all dead, or we'll have an aligned superintelligence which can take over the cryonics operations and improve them (and start on reviving).)
I found "Word Replacer II" for Chrome works perfectly. You can limit it to only be active on specific sites. And then just specify that you want to replace "ſ" by "s".
I feel like you're leaving out some arguments against the Ptolemaic model. As I understand it, Galileo wrote his dialogue at the suggestion of the pope who wanted to have a nice pro and cons list. The fact that the pope was even considering heliocentrism tells me that there must have been big problems with the geocentric view. Why would the head of a very conservative organisation (even if he was more on the open-minded end of the spectrum) entertain a new theory if the old theory is perfectly fine? And indeed Wikipedia tells me that the Ptolemaic model could not explain the observed phases of Venus and the motion of sunspots.
The motion of sunspots brings me to another topic. I think this paragraph is a bit misleading:
Moreover, Galileo’s observations of sunspots and moon craters weren’t unproblematic. In both cases there is evidence to indicate that he was fooled by optical illusions. And though he was also right about the existence of moons orbiting Jupiter, which contradicted the uniqueness of the earth as the only planet with a moon, what he actually observed rather seems to have been Saturn’s rings (Ladyman, 2001) .
The sunspots were at least known since 300 BC. And I can't imagine how you can mistake Saturn's rings for Jupiter's moons. I think what your source is saying is that he mistook Saturn's rings for moons of Saturn which is an entirely understandable mistake.
So, the Ptolemaic model definitely had problems and if I learned anything about humans it's that those problems were probably being ignored for too long. Wikipedia also tells me that at the time of Galileo the Tychonic model was actually quite popular because it solved so many problems of the Ptolemaic model. So, the question is, was it irrational of Galileo to prefer the Copernican model over the Tychonic model (given the data that he had)?
I wouldn't say so. Galileo rightly saw the Tychonic model as a weak compromise that didn't dare to go all the way. Sure, the parallalax was a problem but you can Defy the Data if you have a strong prior. If we steelman Galileo just a bit then his accomplishment was realizing that it's quite possible that the Earth is moving (you ordinarily woulnd't notice the difference) and thus, you should prefer a simple theory with a moving Earth over a more complicated theory with a stationary Earth.
A modern day example of sticking to the prior in the face of contrary evidence is this article by Bryan Caplan.
Do you not have a kitchen scale? You could have measured the amount of water you put in much more precisely by putting a cup on the scale, zeroing it and then measuring out a certain weight of water.