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Comment author: Mark_Friedenbach 17 January 2015 01:57:24AM *  1 point [-]

It's cheap. You can send a large amount of bitcoins anywhere in the world with very very low transaction fees. Merchants can accept it without a ridiculous fee.

While your funds are stationary they are not subject to seizure. That's not a political statement by the way.

Comment author: V_V 18 January 2015 10:50:15AM 1 point [-]

It's cheap. You can send a large amount of bitcoins anywhere in the world with very very low transaction fees. Merchants can accept it without a ridiculous fee.

If you convert it from/to cash immediately before/after each transaction, then you face exchange fees. And if I understand correctly, most exchanges have daily limits. And anyway exchanges are shady businesses: see what happened to MtGox.

If you hold significant amounts of bitcoin then you face volatility risk.

While your funds are stationary they are not subject to seizure.

Why not? I'm pretty sure that your government can force you to hand out your wallet.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 17 January 2015 12:44:19AM 0 points [-]

Sure, everything is genetic. The absurdly restrictive roles girls are taught have nothing to do with the image they build of themselves.

Comment author: V_V 17 January 2015 11:24:01AM 3 points [-]

The absurdly restrictive roles girls are taught

in Canada?

Comment author: V_V 16 January 2015 10:59:01PM *  2 points [-]

I can't help to notice that this may be a gender-correlated personality trait:

  • All the people you cite that gave you positive advice about being a sidekick are female. In a community which is almost 90% male this seems pretty difficult to get by chance.

  • You're a nurse, a typically (~90%) female job. Nurses are natural sidekicks to doctors.

I suppose that the fixation for being a hero of the LW community that makes you feel out of place may be the result of it's mostly young male demographic. Maybe young male nerds are particularly prone to that, since they grow up fantasizing about being Frodo or Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter, and they have an inflated ego due to the "smartest kid in class" effect.

Maybe female nerds are more oriented towards the sidekick role because they are more likely to be biologically programmed to attach themselves to an alpha male rather than seeking dominance/leadership roles for themselves, or maybe females are just more realistic than males about the actual chances of becoming the hero who "saves the world" because they have less testosterone-fuelled hubris of the youth.

Comment author: Mark_Friedenbach 16 January 2015 07:10:06AM 1 point [-]

Silk Road may get a ton of press but it's a really tiny part of the bitcoin ecosystem.

Comment author: V_V 16 January 2015 10:26:17PM 1 point [-]

But assuming that you are an enthusiast who uses bitcoin for ideological motives, what is the point of using bitcoin for anything that is not shady and/or illegal?
What competitive advantage does it have over other forms of digital funds transfer? I mean practical, short-term advantages available on the margin to the parties involved in every transaction, not political things like "the government can't regulate the supply".

Comment author: Dias 09 January 2015 02:06:28AM 2 points [-]

Sure, maybe you think it's not morally obligatory. But EAs who think it's good to give 10% generally think it's better to give 20%, and similarly maybe it is permissible to abort a baby but morally better to not.

Comment author: V_V 09 January 2015 02:34:36PM 0 points [-]

Sure, maybe you think it's not morally obligatory. But EAs who think it's good to give 10% generally think it's better to give 20%

And they may also think that it is even better to give 100% minus living expenses, but at the end of the day most of them don't do it.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 06 January 2015 05:14:58AM *  1 point [-]

high status EA Yvain endorse donating 10% of one's income.

Yvain's EA tithing is much like a resource sliced utilitarianism, similar to the time sliced utilitarianism I've often seen around here. There is a natural fit between the two, sliced or not.

Comment author: V_V 06 January 2015 09:24:53AM 4 points [-]

a resource sliced utilitarianism, similar to the time sliced utilitarianism I've often seen around here.

Can you explain these terms, please?

Comment author: V_V 05 January 2015 12:13:20PM *  6 points [-]

I'm not an EA and I have reservations with the total utilitarian tendencies of the movement, but I think that your argument assumes an extreme form of EA that may not characterize the mainstream position of the movement (though I wouldn't say it's a strawman since some significant part of the movement may endorse it).

A consistent strict total utilitarian must necessarily oppose abortion in the general case, since a strict total utilitarian endorses the "repugnant conclusion" of maximizing the number of humans in existence conditional on their lives being barely worth living, and arguably most fetuses would live lives at least barely worth living if they were being born.
A strict total utilitarian might endorse abortion in some special cases, but not in general.

However, typical EAs, as far as I can tell as an outsider watching the movement from the Internet, are not strict total utilitarians. They consider morally permissible for an agent to give priority to their own selfish preferences over the wellbeing of others.
That's why EAs can consider morally permissible not to donate all of their disposable income to charity. In fact, EA organizations such as Giving What We Can and high status EA Yvain endorse donating 10% of one's income.
If you carry this kind of moral principles to the abortion case, it is easy to see that a pregnant EA woman doesn't have to value her selfish utility loss of carrying the pregnancy to term and then giving the child to adoption equally to the utility loss of the fetus being aborted, and may therefore choose abortion consistently with her stated morality.

Comment author: V_V 26 December 2014 02:20:10PM 4 points [-]

Apparently, the neurons of c. elegans don't even generate action potentials like mammalian neurons, rather their activity is more complicated and fundamentally analog (source).

The linear threshold spiking neuron model used by Busbice may roughly approximate the activity of mammalian neurons, but is likely a bad model of c. elegans neurons.
He's lucky that he managed to make the robot perform these simple Braitenberg-like behaviors.

Comment author: gedymin 24 December 2014 04:49:20PM *  2 points [-]

I don't know about the power needed to simulate the neurons, but my guess is that most of the resources are spent not on the calculations, but on interprocess communication. Running 302 processes on a Raspberry Pi and keeping hundreds of UDP sockets open probably takes a lot of its resources.

The technical solution is neither innovative nor fast. The benefits are in its distributed nature (every neuron could be simulated on a different computer) and in simplicity of implementation. At least while 100% faithfullness to the underlying mathematical model is not required. I have no idea how the author plans to avoid unintended data loss in the not-unusual case when some UDP packets are dropped. Retransmission (TCP) is not really an option either, as the system has to run in real time.

Comment author: V_V 25 December 2014 08:42:03PM 1 point [-]

If each simulated "neuron" is just a linear threshold unit, as described by the paper, using a whole process to run it and exchange messages by UDP looks like a terribly wasteful architecture.
Maybe the author wants to eventually implement a computationally expensive biologically accurate neuron model, but still I don't see the point of this architecture, as even if the individual neurons were biologically accurate, the overall simulation wouldn't, due to the non-deterministc delays and packet lossess introduced by UDP messaging.

I'm unimpressed.

Comment author: solipsist 24 December 2014 01:59:38AM 2 points [-]

It's cool, but I doubt as impressive as it looks. If you connect the inputs and outputs the right way, I bet you could make a car out of a toaster oven controller.

Comment author: V_V 24 December 2014 08:35:34AM 4 points [-]

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