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In response to 2013 Survey Results
Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 02:54:57AM 1 point [-]

Some things that took me by surprise:

People here are more favorable of abortion than feminism. I always thought the former as secondary to the latter, though I suppose the "favorable" phrasing makes the survey sensitive to opinion of the term itself.

Mean SAT (out of 1600) is 1474? Really, people? 1410 is 96th percentile, and it's the bottom 4th quartile. I guess the only people who remembered their scores were those who were proud of them. (And I know this is right along with the IQ discussion)

Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 02:42:35AM 27 points [-]

Mission Accomplished.

I definitely want to see the results! For reference, 2013: http://lesswrong.com/lw/jj0/2013_survey_results/

I wonder if we could get a chart with the data matched up over time? Chart community changes over time?

Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 01:42:07AM 5 points [-]

I'm not going to lie - I always find discussions at LW very intense and rather intimidating. Discussing my and other people's ideas is bad enough - I personally would rather not expose anything highly personal to the brutally honest scrutiny here.

Comment author: calef 30 October 2014 01:19:18AM 14 points [-]

This article is marked as controversial and has been locked, see talk page for details.

Quantum computing winter

The Quantum computing winter was the period from 1995 to approximately October 2031 when experimental progress on the creation of fault tolerant quantum computers stalled despite significant effort at constructing the machines. The era ended with the publication of the Kitaev-Kalai-Alicki-Preskill (KKAP) theorem in early 2030 which purported to show that the construction of fault-tolerant quantum computers was in fact impossible due to fundamental constraints. The theorem was not widely accepted until experiments performed by Mikhail Lukin's group in early 2031 verified the bounds provided in the KKAP theorem.

Early history

Quantum computing technology looked promising in the late 20th and early 21st century due to the celebrated Fault Tolerance theorems, as well as the rapid experimental progress towards satisfying the fault tolerance threshold. The Fault Tolerance theorem, which at the time was thought to be based on reasonable assumptions, guaranteed scalable, fault tolerant quantum computation could be performed--provided an architecture could be built that had an error rate smaller than a known bound.

In the early 2010s, superconducting qubit architectures designed by John Martinis' group at Google, and then HYPER Inc., looked poised to satisfy the threshold theorems, and considerable work was done to build scaled architectures with many millions of physical qubits by the mid 2020s.

However, despite what seemed to be guarantees via threshold theorems for their architectures, the Martinis group was never able to report large concurrences for more than 12 (disputed) logical qubits.

The scalability wall

Parallel to the development of the scalable, silicon architectures, many groups continued work on other traditional schemes like neutral atoms, trapped ions, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) based devices. These devices, in turn, ran into the now named Scalability Wall of 12 (disputed) entangled encoded qubits. For a discussion on the difference between encoded and physical qubits, see the discussion in Quantum error correction.

The Martinis group hoped that polishing their hardware, and scaling the size of their error correction schemes would allow them to surpass the limit, but progress stalled for more than a decade.

Correlated noise catastrophe

Alexei Kitaev, building on earlier work by Gil Kalai, Robert Alicki, and John Preskill published a series of papers in the late 2020s, culminating in the 2030 theorem now known as the KKAP Theorem, or the Noise Catastrophe Theorem. This proof traced how fundamental limits on the noise experienced by quantum mechanical objects irretrievably destroys the controllability of quantum systems beyond only a few qubits. Uncontrollable correlations were shown to arise in any realistic noise model, essentially disproving the possibility of large scale quantum computation.

Aftermath (This section has been marked as controversial, see the talk page for details)

The immediate aftermath of the publication of the proof was disbelief. Almost all indications pointed towards scalable quantum computation being possible, and that only engineering problems stood in the way of truly scalable quantum computation. The Nobel Prize (2061) winning work of Mikhail Lukin's team at Harvard only reinforced the shock felt by the Quantum Information community when the bounds provided in the KKAP Theorem's proof were explicitly saturated via cold atom experiments. Funding in quantum information science rapidly dwindled in the following years, and the field of Quantum Information was nearly abandoned. The field has since been reinvigorated by Kitaev's recent proof of the possibility of Quantum Gravitational computers in 2061.

Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 01:35:47AM 1 point [-]

"and we're back at square one"

Comment author: fubarobfusco 30 October 2014 07:18:11AM *  14 points [-]

Fan fiction is an historical term for certain forms of [[storytelling]] during the [[Industrial-Copyright Era]]. The term was first used within [[early fandom]] to describe not-for-profit storytelling within fandom, but in the late 20th century came to refer specifically to stories told in violation of the era's [[commercial censorship]] laws, under which a commercially and legally recognized "owner" could impose legal penalties on tellers of "derivative" stories.

Subsequent to the international abolition of commercial censorship following the [[Chiyoda Convention of 2023]], the term became one of largely historical significance. Analytic and [[computational literary theory]] does not support a distinction between "fan" storytelling and "original" storytelling in works published before or after the Industrial-Copyright Era.[1][2][3]

While pre-analytic literary theorists had by and large discarded the concept of "originality" as a poor model of the process of story creation, [[Leonard's Theorem]] showed that the classification of authors or works into "original" and "fan" was an artifact of the censorship regime rather than of the creative process itself. The bimodal distributions of βcha and φplot arose from intermediate values being subject to legal penalty.

"Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different." —T. S. Eliot, early industrial-era author

"In gist, 'original' stories are just 'fan' stories with the names changed." — E. Mitchell Leonard, analytic literary theorist

Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 01:33:10AM 3 points [-]

Nice! I really hope the pendulum doesn't swing that far, though.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 28 October 2014 10:41:02AM 3 points [-]

I would strongly suggest recanting the statement about AMF having "more money than they can use".

Part of the logic of donating to a single maximal-marginal-benefit charity is that your contribution works at the margin. You don't get to donate to a cancer charity and think "well, that wraps cancer up; now onto solving child abuse". In telling you about what "your money" is doing, AMF are being psychologically savvy, but they are also creating the illusion that your contribution is facilitating some sort of discrete satisfying chunk of work you can draw a line under.

Around here we like to think about charities as machines that take in money and spit out utility, but in the real world they're organisations with cash flows, long-term strategies and earmarked funds. The presence of such earmarked funds does not mean they have more money than they can use, and it would be awful if this notion got stuck in people's minds.

Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 01:28:37AM 0 points [-]

I appreciate what you're saying. Just going by the information I posted, that wasn't nearly enough information to conclude "AMF has more money than they can use". It merely raised the question - which I had answered here. :)

Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 01:17:34AM 0 points [-]

For those interested, here's a graph of the AMF's "recurring donation" income over time: http://www.againstmalaria.com/RecurringDonations.aspx?emailID=20130315 Take-away points: 1) It's been in steady decline for about a year 2) they're not nearly as big as I thought - it's currently at $60,000, which isn't even enough to support a decently sized staff.

Comment author: zedzed 28 October 2014 04:49:14AM 16 points [-]

Also, GiveWell came to the same conclusion (excellent charity, but can't currently utilize marginal funds) last year. Also, ancientcampus (and anyone else who cares about effective charity) should probably wait until they refresh their rankings on December 1; this is the time of year that their current views and wobsite recommendations are furthest apart.

Comment author: ancientcampus 31 October 2014 01:09:52AM 0 points [-]

Both excellent things to know, thanks!

Comment author: ancientcampus 28 October 2014 03:01:50AM 2 points [-]

If there's a demand, I can post the sequence of emails I've received.

Donation Discussion - alternatives to the Against Malaria Foundation

4 ancientcampus 28 October 2014 03:00AM

About a year and a half ago, I made a donation to the Against Malaria Foundation. This was during jkaufman's generous matching offer.

That was 20 months ago, and my money is still in the "underwriting" phase - funding projects that are still, of yet, just plans and no nets.

Now, the AMF has had a reasonable reason it was taking longer than expected:

"A provisional, large distribution in a province of the [Democratic Republic of the Congo] will not proceed as the distribution agent was unable to agree to the process requested by AMF during the timeframe needed by our co-funding partner."

So they've hit a snag, the earlier project fell through, and they are only now allocating my money to a new project. Don't get me wrong, I am very glad they are telling me where my money is going, and especially glad it didn't just end up in someone's pocket instead. With that said, though, I still must come to this conclusion:

The AMF seems to have more money than they can use, right now.

So, LW, I have the following questions:

  1. Is this a problem? Should one give their funds to another charity for the time being?
  2. Regardless of your answer to the above, are there any recommendations for other transparent, efficient charities? [other than MIRI]

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