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Comment author: Viliam_Bur 21 July 2014 08:15:05AM 0 points [-]

Probably a similarity between Putin 2014 and Hitler 1938.

Comment author: knb 22 July 2014 06:59:26PM 0 points [-]

Or maybe Europe finally learned the lessons of 1914 (i.e. not to start an apocalyptic war over relatively trivial matters.)

Comment author: Algernoq 16 July 2014 04:16:59AM 0 points [-]

The point is to build something useful, for less cost -- using self-replication to undercut the price of cheap imported robots.

Comment author: knb 17 July 2014 07:22:34AM 4 points [-]

"Self-replicating" will not undercut the price for robots for the same reason 3D printers don't undercut the market for cheap plastic items. Large scale manufacture has huge cost advantages from using specialized equipment.

Comment author: knb 15 July 2014 10:39:53PM 0 points [-]

Interesting post. I thought this comparison from CNET was a bit misleading:

I drive a 1964 car. I also have a 2010. There's not that much difference -- gross performance indicators like top speed and miles per gallon aren't that different. It's safer, and there are a lot of creature comforts in the interior," said Nvidia Chief Scientist Bill Dally. If Moore's Law fizzles, "We'll start to look like the auto industry."

Car progress is clearly slower than computer progress, but it does seem very substantial:

The most recent survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that five-year-old vehicles had about one-third fewer problems than the five-year-old vehicles we studied in April 2005. In fact, owners of about two-thirds of those vehicles reported no problems. And serious repairs, such as engine or transmission replacement, were quite rare.

One third fewer problems every 5 years seems like a very substantial rate of progress. It would be interesting to see if this rate of progress has continued from 2010-2014.

Comment author: knb 08 July 2014 12:13:16AM 1 point [-]

This article appears just below "16 Epic Jon Stewart Insults Worthy of Shakespeare" in Alternet's current most-read list.

Comment author: Salemicus 23 June 2014 04:34:39PM 14 points [-]

Firstly, it is an outrageous slur to think that the right-wing equivalent of Upworthy is the BNP. The right-wing equivalent is, of course, the Daily Mail, which has so mastered the art of click-baitery as to become the most read newspaper in the world (as of 2013 - may no longer be true).

Secondly, the social media cluster to which Less Wrong belongs is, obviously, Salon, Slate, and works of that ilk. Yes, Caliban, it's true.

And no, you cannot raise the sanity waterline with social media. All you will get is (as the joke goes) people enthusiastically retweeting a study that finally proves what they'd always believed about confirmation bias.

Comment author: knb 24 June 2014 04:02:13AM *  4 points [-]

Secondly, the social media cluster to which Less Wrong belongs is, obviously, Salon, Slate, and works of that ilk. Yes, Caliban, it's true.

This seems obviously untrue. Salon and Slate don't seem to have any intellectual or philosophical content other than "left good, right bad." Salon/slate are also borderline buzzfeed clones at this point. Laughably bad.

Comment author: lmm 17 June 2014 08:44:59PM 3 points [-]

I've heard it went better for the Cherokee than for other tribes, which is why the Cherokee are the ones most people have heard of.

Comment author: knb 22 June 2014 01:49:33AM *  1 point [-]

The most successful tribe at adapting to the conditions of European settlement were the Comanches, who dominated a huge region of the west for about 100 years.

Comment author: Salemicus 16 June 2014 10:02:28PM 12 points [-]

How should people facing colonization act to avoid cultural and economic subjugation?

They ought to subjugate themselves, obviously!

Or, to be a little less flip; if you are facing such a fate, it is because your society is overwhelmingly weaker than its rivals. Yes, as Lumifer, below, suggests, the Native Americans needed weaponry, but it's hardly an accident that they lacked it - they weren't capable of manufacturing such things for themselves, or of producing anything of value to offer in exchange for the weaponry. As a result, they were forced to rely on the goodwill and charity of their neighbours, which is just as disastrous for nations as is it for individuals. Even if the USA had left the natives well alone, the Mexicans, or the French, or some other predatory nation would have wiped them out.

What the Native Americans needed to do was to reorganise their society, to give up their traditional way of life, to live in cities, to adopt the settlers' customs, laws, methods of production, and so on. See, for example, the example of Japan 60 years later.

Comment author: knb 22 June 2014 01:31:21AM *  3 points [-]

What the Native Americans needed to do was to reorganise their society, to give up their traditional way of life, to live in cities, to adopt the settlers' customs, laws, methods of production, and so on. See, for example, the example of Japan 60 years later.

The most successful example of Native American resistance against colonizers were the Comanches, who did pretty much the opposite of this. Instead of settling down, they shifted from being semi-sedentary to highly mobile. They did not practice agriculture or even animal husbandry. They foraged and lived off of seized livestock.

Adapting doesn't mean copying your enemy. When you copy from your enemies, best case scenario you become a match for them one-on-one. Realistically something is usually lost in translation when you copy, and it takes a long time to get up to speed. And in this case it was completely hopeless because Natives were much fewer in number and had various heritable vulnerabilities to disease and alcohol.

In other words, when things are asymmetric, you use asymmetric warfare.

Comment author: Tenoke 18 June 2014 02:29:49PM *  2 points [-]

I dislike football and I realized a few days ago that a win for the US would bring me the most utility - the largest number of soccer fans will [probably] be upset this way, which should decrease the global popularity of the sport slightly.

At any rate, if you are purely maximazing global utility, then the conclusion looks sounds.

Comment author: knb 22 June 2014 01:08:33AM 0 points [-]

I don't really follow soccer. Why would a US win upset people?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 14 June 2014 06:10:12AM 5 points [-]

Intelligence, on both an individual and societal level. Fooming AI is based on that idea. However, increasing the amount of this resource is a hard problem.

Perhaps rationality?

The early stages of any new thing with a lot of potential will behave that way, not only by networking effects, but people figuring out better ways of doing whatever it is, until both aspects reach saturation.

For every thing with increasing marginal returns, is there a saturation point, and what does it look like?

Comment author: knb 16 June 2014 11:01:06AM 2 points [-]

Intelligence, on both an individual and societal level. Fooming AI is based on that idea. However, increasing the amount of this resource is a hard problem.

I wonder if this is really true. The world doesn't seem to be dominated by super high g people. If anything it seems like we see diminishing returns from extra intelligence past the 130-140 level. If there were increasing returns from each added IQ point, it seems like we would see vast resources and power controlled by super geniuses.

It seems like easier self-modification is what makes AIs potentially foomy.

Comment author: knb 12 June 2014 04:10:57AM *  0 points [-]

I can't tell you a magic, silver bullet cure. The boring old advice: go shopping on a full stomach, buy only non-sugary foods. Make the deadly sins of sloth and gluttony work against each other by keeping sugar an annoying distance away from you. Shop at health food stores to avoid temptation. If you drive, pay at the pump rather than going into the gas station, etc.

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