Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

[Link] Gas hydrate breakdown unlikely to cause clathrate gun - report

1 morganism 19 February 2017 10:47PM

X risk update, Gliese 710 will pass thru Oort in 1.35 my

4 morganism 08 January 2017 07:58PM

I was tracking these runaway stars for a SF story i had in mind, but this is the closest one i have heard of yet, and the ArXiv paper describes one that also passed thru 2.5 mya.

 

Gliese 710 will pass the Sun even closer

Close approach parameters recalculated based on the first Gaia data release

http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2016/11/aa29835-16/aa29835-16.html

 

Close encounters of the stellar kind

https://arxiv.org/abs/1412.3648

 

tl:dr article

http://www.businessinsider.com/star-hurting-towards-solar-system-2016-12\

"Gliese 710 is about half the size of our sun, and it is set to reach Earth in 1.35 million years, according to a paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics in November.

And when it arrives, the star could end up a mere 77 light-days away from Earth — one light-day being the equivalent of how far light travels in one day, which is about 26 billion kilometers, the researchers worked out.

As far as we know, Gliese 710 isn't set to collide directly with Earth, but it wil be passing through the Oort Cloud, a shell of trillions of icy objects at the furthest reaches of our solar system. "

 

Seems like a great opportunity to send out some interstellar probes. The star will be trailing lots of ISM, free gas that would help bring a ramjet up to speed, and track till you could curve towards another destination. Likewise, a solar sail probe launched out in front of it by laser could "hitchhike" , and get some deep space ISM , and EM measurements.

Can we think of some other opportunities that this might present ? If we are past the filter by then, then we will already prob have samples of the Oort objects, but looks like they will be delivering then...

[Link] Stopping killer robots, Killer Robots as cultural techniques

-1 morganism 22 November 2016 12:02AM

Cultivate the desire to X

3 Elo 07 March 2016 03:40AM

Recently I have found myself encouraging people to cultivate the desire to X.

Examples that you might want to cultivate interest in include:

  • Diet
  • Organise ones self
  • Plan for the future
  • be a goal-oriented thinker
  • build the tools
  • Anything else in the list of common human goals
  • Getting healthy sleep
  • Being less wrong
  • Trusting people more
  • Trusting people less
  • exercise
  • interest in a topic (cars, fashion, psychology etc.)

Why do we need to cultivate?

We don't.  But sometimes we can't just "do".  Lot's of reasons are reasonable reasons to not be able to just "do" the thing:

  • Some things are scary
  • Some things need planning
  • Some things need research
  • Some things are hard
  • Some things are a leap of faith
  • Some things can be frustrating to accept
  • Some things seem stupid (well if exercising is so great why don't I automatically want to do it)
  • Other excuses exist.

On some level you have decided you want to do X; on some other level you have not yet committed to doing it.  Easy tasks can get done quickly.  More complicated tasks are not so easy to do right away.

Well if it were easy enough to just successfully do the thing - you can go ahead and do the thing (TTYL flying to the moon tomorrow - yea nope.).

  1. your system 1 wants to do the thing and your system 2 is not sure how.
  2. your system 2 wants to do the thing and your system 1 is not sure it wants to do the thing.  
  • The healthy part of you wants to diet; the social part of you is worried about the impact on your social life.

(now borrowing from Common human goals)

  • Your desire to live forever wants you to take a medication every morning to increase your longevity; your desire for freedom does not want to be tied down to a bottle of pills every morning.
  • Your desire for a legacy wants you to stay late at work; your desire for quality family time wants you to leave the office early.

The solution:

The solution is to cultivate the interest; or the desire to do the thing. From the initial point of interest or desire - you can move forward; do some research to either convince your system 2 of the benefits, or work out how to do the thing to convince your system 1 that it is possible/viable/easy enough.  Or maybe after some research the thing seems impossible.  I offer Cultivating the desire as a step along the way to working it out.

Short post for today; Cultivate the desire to do X.


Meta: time to write 1.5 hours.

My table of contents contains my other writing

feedback welcome