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Comment author: Larks 19 September 2014 01:01:31AM 0 points [-]

In fact for the thousand years until 1950 such extrapolation would place an infinite economy in the late 20th Century! The time since 1950 has been strange apparently.

(Forgive me for playing with anthropics, a tool I do not understand) - maybe something happened to all the observers in worlds that didn't see stagnation set in during the '70s. I guess this is similar to the common joke 'explanation' for the bursting of the tech bubble.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 16 September 2014 07:27:04PM 4 points [-]

For Civilization in particular, it seems very likely that AI would be wildly superhuman if it were subject to the same kind of attention as other games, simply because the techniques used in Go and Backgammon, together with a bunch of ad hoc logic for navigating the tech tree, should be able to get so much traction.

Agreed. It's not Civilization, but Starcraft is also partially observable and non-deterministic, and a team of students managed to bring their Starcraft AI to the level of being able to defeat a "top 16 in Europe"-level human player after only a "few months" of work.

The game AIs for popular strategy games are often bad because the developers don't actually have the time and resources to make a really good one, and it's not a high priority anyway - most people playing games like Civilization want an AI that they'll have fun defeating, not an AI that actually plays optimally.

Comment author: Larks 19 September 2014 12:58:06AM 2 points [-]

most people playing games like Civilization want an AI that they'll have fun defeating, not an AI that actually plays optimally.

The popular AI mods for Civ actually tend to make the AIs less thematic - they're less likely to be nice to you just because of a thousand year harmonious and profitable peace, for example, and more likely to build unattractive but efficient Stacks of Doom. Of course there are selection effects on who installs such mods.

Comment author: KatjaGrace 16 September 2014 04:11:40AM 3 points [-]

Did you change your mind about anything as a result of this week's reading?

Comment author: Larks 19 September 2014 12:55:26AM 2 points [-]

This is an excellent question, and it is a shame (perhaps slightly damning) that no-one has answered it. On the other hand, much of this chapter will have been old material for many LW members. I am ashamed that I couldn't think of anything either, so I went back again looking for things I had actually changed my opinion about, even a little, and not merely because I hadn't previously thought about it.

  • p6 I hadn't realised how important combinatorial explosion was for early AI approaches.
  • p8 I hadn't realised, though I should have been able to work it out, that the difficulties in coming up with a language which matched the structure of the domain was a large part of the problem with evolutionary algorithms. Once you have done that you're halfway to solving it by conventional means.
  • p17 I hadn't realised about how high volume could have this sort of reflexive effect.
Comment author: spxtr 16 September 2014 04:46:44PM 29 points [-]

[Please read the OP before voting. Special voting rules apply.]

Feminism is a good thing. Privilege is real. Scott Alexander is extremely uncharitable towards feminism over at SSC.

Comment author: Larks 19 September 2014 12:36:57AM 1 point [-]

According to the 2013 LW survey, the when asked their opinion of feminism, on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high), the mean response was 3.8 , and social justice got a 3.6. So it seems that "feminism is a good thing" is actually not a contrarian view.

If I might speculate for a moment, it might be that LW is less feminist that most places, while still having an overall pro-feminist bias.

Comment author: KatjaGrace 16 September 2014 01:35:21AM 4 points [-]

The chapter gives us a reasonable qualitative summary of what has happened in AI so far. It would be interesting to have a more quantitative picture, though this is hard to get. e.g. How much better are the new approaches than the old ones, on some metric? How much was the area funded at different times? How much time has been spent on different things? How has the economic value of the outputs grown over time?

Comment author: Larks 19 September 2014 12:23:10AM 0 points [-]

Yes. On the most mundane level, I'd like something a bit more concrete about the AI winters.

Frequently in industries there is a sense that now is a good time or a bad time, but often this subjective impression does not correlate very well with the actual data. And when it does, it is rarely very sensitive to magnitude.

Comment author: ciphergoth 15 September 2014 07:50:01PM 0 points [-]

Surely for cryonics you want whole-of-life?

Comment author: Larks 17 September 2014 02:27:50AM 0 points [-]

There are various reasons you would not want this:

  • You intend to save a lot of money and self-finance when able
  • You think you might change your mind
  • You think you will die in the next 40 years
  • You think you will be unusually healthy, and thus renewing will be cheaper
  • You have a higher discount rate than the market, and value paying $10/month rather than $60/month a great deal.
Comment author: E_Ransom 08 September 2014 12:59:04PM 4 points [-]

Cryonics vs. Investment:

This is a question I have already made a decision on but would like some outside opinions for while it's still fresh. My beliefs have recently changed from "cryonics is not worth the investment" to "cryonics seems to be worth the investment but greater certainty for a decision is still wanting" (CStbWtIbGCoaDiSW for short). I've explored my options with Rudi Hoffman and found that while my primary choice of provider, Alcor, is out of my current range, my options are not unobtainable. CI with the bare basics, lowest pay option is within my budget, and Alcor is likely to be in my budget within a few years if my career plans continue working as they are.

There's the context, here's the question: which seems more effective, applying now with a cryonics provider under conditions I consider less than ideal (for me, CI using a term life policy rather than a whole life policy with Alcor, which is what I want) or saving for a short time (some odd months) so I can open up my mutual funds portfolio?

Why these are at odds: because of my income, starting up even a low pay cryonics plan now would set back my ability to invest likely to my next job. The longer I wait on investing, the less effective the investments will be. If all cryonics plans were equal, this would still be a fairly easy decision, but as my beliefs stand, CI is an option I currently do not favor and term life is a policy I definitely do not favor. Why? Because there is a very real probability that, once the policy expires, renewing or changing will incur very large costs should my health conditions change (probable enough to be a concern). So whole life or universal life with Alcor is, at the moment, what I favor.

So, my question again: invest in a cryonics option I do not want now or more quickly develop my portfolio, improving my finances, and allowing for better options in the near future? You can probably guess I have chosen the later option, putting my efforts into securing an investment. If no path can take me to the cryonics option I want now, then the best path is to minimize the distance between me and what I consider to be the best path. But, I am not the only one who has made decisions like this, so any second thoughts or considerations would be welcome.

Comment author: Larks 09 September 2014 11:16:27PM 1 point [-]

Have you considered Term life insurance vs Whole-of-Life insurance? Salemen will try to push you towards the latter but the former can have much lower premiums (especially if your time horizon is < 40 years)

Comment author: Matthew_Opitz 05 September 2014 12:22:57AM 5 points [-]

Interesting dichotomy. Yes, I think you may be on to something here.

The argument goes roughly that peasants, slaves, battered wives, and so on who accepted their lot in life would mentally adapt and be able to be perfectly happy. Progressivism/liberalism/the Cthedral has either destroyed our capacity to thrive in these arrangements or caused us to dishonestly claim we would hate them.

One way to test this hypothesis would be to locate a place in the world today, or a place and time in history, where the ideas of the "Cathedral" has not / had not penetrated, and give the "oppressed" a chance to state their true opinions in a way where they know that they don't need to censor themselves in front of the master.

For example, if we went back to 1650 in Virginia (surely before any abolitionist sentiment or Cathedralization of that society's discourse...) and found a secret diary of a slave that said, "Oh lawd, I sho' love slavin' fo' da massah evryday," then that would support the neoreactionary hypothesis. On the other hand, many discoveries of secret slave diaries in that context saying, "Bein' slaves is awful bad" would suggest the opposite.

Although I can't seem to find any citations for this at the moment, I do believe that I have run across at least one such example of a slave praising slavery in my time spent looking at primary sources from American antebellum slavery...but, if I recall, it might have been from a slave writing just after the Civil War, writing about "Dem was da good times befo' da war," and the statement might have been given for ulterior reasons with a mind to who the audience would be (possibly ex-slavemasters whom the ex-slave now served as a sharecropper...I can't remember the context).

To be sure, the vast, vast majority of slave sources that I have read all seem to indicate that slaves hated slavery and tried to escape at any opportunity...but maybe that was just the Cathedral fooling them...

Unfortunately, writing was an elite skill throughout much of history, and the honest opinions of the oppressed were not often recorded....

Comment author: Larks 05 September 2014 01:13:30AM 3 points [-]

The opinions of ordinary North Koreans might be a good test.

Comment author: Larks 09 August 2014 01:27:45AM 2 points [-]

Thanks for your work!

Comment author: Larks 05 August 2014 11:25:54PM 11 points [-]

I just donated $2,000. Keep up the good work!

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