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Comment author: joaolkf 11 March 2016 07:42:11PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: Benjamin_Todd 06 June 2015 09:19:20PM 1 point [-]

You need to add in the endowments of the colleges as well. The richest college at Cambridge (Trinity) has an endowment of about $1.5bn; whereas the richest college at Oxford has only about $300m.

Comment author: joaolkf 07 June 2015 12:05:01AM *  0 points [-]

Cambridge's total colleges endowments is 2.8 and Oxford's 2.9. But the figures above already include this.

Comment author: Stuart_Armstrong 27 May 2015 09:57:46AM 6 points [-]

That paper provides an alternate explanation for the long peace thesis.

However, it rejects "per capita deaths" as a good measure of rate of conflict, which makes it pretty dubious (people are fully aware that per capita is ideal for comparing homicide rates; why suddenly reject it for war deaths?) They write nonsense like:

Moreover, population growth is exponential [...] We should hardly be surprised that deaths from war cannot keep up.

More people means more soldiers, larger economies (hence more manufacturing of weapons), more and larger groups with reasons to rebel/fight/steal each other's stuff.

They do have an interesting point with "war as information gathering/negotiations". But a lot of the rest seems to be a conflation of "the reasons things are getting more peaceful are not nice reasons" with "things are not genuinely getting more peaceful".

Comment author: joaolkf 28 May 2015 02:36:05PM *  0 points [-]

Violence might not be the exact opposite of peace. Intuitively, peace seem to mean a state where people are intentionally not committing violence and not just accidentally. A prison might have lower violence than an certain neighbourhood but it might still not be considered a more peaceful place exactly because the individual proclivity to violence is higher despite the fact violence itself isn't. Proclivity matters.

I am generally sceptic of Pinker. I have read a ton of papers and Handbooks of Evolutionary Psychology, and it is clear that while he was one of the top researchers in this area in the 90's this has dramatically changed. The area has shifted towards more empirical precision and fined-grained theories while some of his theories seems to warrant the "just-so story" criticism.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 27 May 2015 12:07:26PM 0 points [-]

How's the situation now w/ Superintelligence published? Do you think it'd be a good idea for someone to publish a bunch of Eliezer's ideas passing them off as their own to solve this problem?

Comment author: joaolkf 28 May 2015 01:03:37PM 0 points [-]

I made my above comment because I knew of at least one clear instance where the reason I had to do the workaround was due to someone who found Alex's stuff. But things haven't improved that much as I anticipated in my field (Applied Ethics). These things would take time, even if this had Alex's stuff as the only main cause. Looking back, I also think part of the workarounds were more due to having to relate the discussion to someone in my field who wrote about the same issue (Nick Agar) than due to having to avoid mentioning Eliezer too much.

I see a big difference in the AI community. For instance, I was able to convince a very intelligent, previously long-time superintelligence sceptic, CS grad student of superintelligence's feasibility. But I am not that much involved with AI directly. What is very clear to me - and I am not sure how obvious this already is to everyone - is that Nick's book had an enormous impact. Superintelligence scepticism is gradually becoming clearly a minority position. This is huge and awesome.

I don't think simply publishing Eliezer's ideas as your own would work; there would need to be a lot of refining to turn it into a publishable philosophy paper. I did this refining of the complexity thesis during my thesis' second chapter. Refining his ideas made them a lot different, and I applied them to a completely different case (moral enhancement). Note that publishing someone else's idea as your own is not a good plan, even if the person explicitly grants you permission. But if you are refining them and adding a lot of new stuff you can just briefly mention him and move along - and hopefully that won't do too much reputation-damage. I am still pondering how and which parts of this chapter to publish. In case you are interested, you can find a presentation summarizing its main arguments here: https://prezi.com/tsxslr_5_36z/deep-moral-enhancement-is-risky/

Comment author: joaolkf 27 May 2015 03:35:10AM 0 points [-]

What about this one?

Once Braumoeller took into account both the number of countries and their political relevance to one another, the results showed essentially no change to the trend of the use of force over the last 200 years. While researchers such as Pinker have suggested that countries are actually less inclined to fight than they once were, Braumoeller said these results suggest a different reason for the recent decline in war. “With countries being smaller, weaker and more distant from each other, they certainly have less ability to fight. But we as humans shouldn't get credit for being more peaceful just because we’re not as able to fight as we once were,” he said. “There is no indication that we actually have less proclivity to wage war.”

Article: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/wardecline.htm Paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2317269&download=yes

Comment author: ChristianKl 10 May 2015 06:11:11PM 0 points [-]

I confused the substances and trusted outcomplete when I shouldn't have. But what I said does apply to fascia speak about Oxytocin (my source is the book Anatomy Trains).

As far as the blood brain barrier goes: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2013/12/08/spinal-taps-save-oxytocin-research/#.VU-dufntlBc

But not everyone does. Some doubt that nasal oxytocin even gets into the brain at all. Oxytocin is a peptide molecule, which means it can’t cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system

The timeframe for the effect on fascia seems also to be about right (from Anatomy Trains):

The contraction, when it occurs, comes on very slowly compared to any muscle contraction, building over 20- 30 minutes and sustaining for more than an hour before slowly subsiding.

The neuroskeptic says:

many nasal oxytocin studies use a time delay of 30 or 45 minutes.

Comment author: joaolkf 16 May 2015 06:54:02PM 0 points [-]

I think there is more evidence it crosses (two studies with spinal measures) than it does not (0 studies). For (almost) direct measures check out Neumann, Inga D., et al., 2013 and Born, 2002. There are great many studies showing effects that could only be caused by encephalic neuromodulation. If it does not cross it, then it should cause increased encephalic levels of some neurochemical with the exact same profile, but that would be really weird.

Comment author: joaolkf 16 May 2015 06:45:35PM *  0 points [-]

Regardless of attachment style, oxytocin increases in-group favouritism, proclivity to group conflict, envy and schadenfreude. It increases cooperation, trust and so on inside one's group but it often decreases cooperation with out-groups.

I may not be recalling correctly, but although there is some small studies on that, I do not think there is a lot of evidence that oxytocin always leads anxiety, etc. in people with insecure attachment style. I would suspect that it might be the case it initially increases insecurity because it makes those persons attend to their relationship issues. However, in the long-run it might lead them to solve those issues. I say this because there are many studies showing insecure attachment style is associated with lower oxytocin receptor density. If your hypothesis were correct the density should be (on average) the same. There are also a lot of studies showing a correlation between oxytocin levels and relationship satisfaction, duration and so on. Additionally, intranasal oxytocin increases conflict solution in couples. Again, these would not be the case if your hypothesis were true. Overall there is a lot more evidence that oxytocin does increase secure attachment, although there is a small amount of evidence that, in the short-term, it increases measures associated with insecure attachment.

Perhaps you have already read it, (and it might be a bit outdated by now) but Oxytocin and social affiliation in humans (Feldman, 2012) offers a pretty comprehensive review of oxytocin's social effects. It will also point you to all the references to what I said above (it's pretty easy to find).

EDIT: Note: I, and the English dictionary, believe hormetic is the property of having opposing effects at different dosages. Which does not seem to fit what you intended.

Comment author: diegocaleiro 18 March 2015 04:27:50AM *  2 points [-]

I want to point to elephants. Not only because it is easy, since they are well endowed with volume, but because they are very intelligent animals that do not hunt, do not make war, and are compulsory herbivores. When we think of failure modes of creating emulations based on the human brain, we are worried that humans are evil sometimes. Part of our evil, and the kind of evil we have, would hardly be exerted by elephants. My general point is that it seems that part of the fragility of emulating us comes from our carnivore, hunter, warrior lifestyle, and strategies to ameliorate that might take in consideration intelligent animals that don't hunt, such as elephants, and some whales.

Comment author: joaolkf 12 April 2015 05:06:48AM 0 points [-]

Elephants kill hundreds, if not thousands, of human beings per year. Considering there are no more than 30,000 elephants alive, that's an amazing feat of evilness. I believe the average elephant kills orders of magnitudes more than the average human, and probably kill more violently as well.

Comment author: joaolkf 08 April 2015 05:48:50PM *  3 points [-]

Worth mentioning that some parts of Superintelligence are already a less contrarian version of many arguments made here in the past.

Also note that although some people do believe that FHI is some sense "contrarian", when you look at the actual hard data on this the fact is FHI has been able to publish in mainstream journals (within philosophy at least) and reach important mainstream researchers (within AI at least) at rates comparable, if not higher, to excellent "non-contrarian" institutes.

Comment author: joaolkf 02 April 2015 04:08:11PM 1 point [-]

Is there a thread with suggestions/requests for non-obvious productivity apps like that? Because I do have a few requests:

1) One chrome extension that would do this, but for search results. That is, that upon highlighting/double-clicking a term would display a short list of top Google search results in a context/drop-box menu on the same page.

2) Something like the StayFocusd extension that blocks sites like Facebook and YouTube for a given time of the day, but which would be extremely hard to remove. Some people suggested to block these websites IPs directly on the router, but I don't have access to routers on my network.

3) Something that would turn-off the internet for a given set of time in a way completely impossible to put it back up. I use Freedom, but sometimes it's not enough. My current strategy is removing the Ethernet cable, locking it in my drawer and throwing the keys behind my desk (I have to get a stick to pick it up). But it would be nice something that would cost me as much willpower as clicking a button.

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