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User ID: 317



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User ID: 317

Maybe it strikes us down before we even realize we are deceived. Or it escapes off into botnets or buys compute 'legitimately' with hacked funds or whatever. That's what the Chinese have been doing for years to get around US sanctions, they just rent compute and apparently nobody's smart enough to stop them from doing so. We aren't going to outthink a serious threat.

At the risk of sounding cringe, this one guy put in an immense amount of effort to manage a World Conquest in EU4 in 28 years: https://youtube.com/watch?v=mm6mC3SGQ6U

You are really not supposed to be able to conquer the world in 28 years as some random horde in Eurasia.

He used savescumming and various exploitative tactics to abuse the AI and game mechanics. He treated every day in-game like it was a turn in a strategy game, maximizing his outcomes. Who is to say that there aren't weird and grossly tryhard ways to cheat our systems or physics? Banks occasionally make random errors of the 'unlimited overdraft for your account' type - maybe there are ways to mess with their website or spoof their AI in very contrived circumstances. There are backdoors into nearly all modern processors courtesy of US security forces, plus some more backdoors due to human error. If you're smart in crypto, you can siphon millions of dollars worth of funds out of a protocol. If you have social skills and balls, you can social-engineer your way into 'protected' computer systems via password recovery. What if you can do all those things and have decades of subjective time to plot and multitask, while we only have days or weeks to react?

What's to stop people signing up and going back on their word? At least with the Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty you get the wrath of the great powers coming down upon anyone who violates it openly, provided they're weak enough to be easily bullied and don't have friends in high places. The bullying power of the FLI is not very great.

Also I don't see Sam Altman in the list provided by FLI. It's not on his twitter either. I don't think he signed, otherwise he'd say so.

The thing that bugs me most about proposed Tiktok bans is that nobody seems to even have asked China to give us the benign version that encourages kids to watch science videos or whatever they have domestically. How can we complain about them poisoning the rest of the world when we don't even ask for the poison-free version?

If you're in your last days, why not buy an extra gun? More is more. It's not like they're infantrymen who'll be running around and fighting for a long time, they don't need to be especially mobile.

Yeah, we have a small underclass that indulges in horrific bouts of violence and thuggishness. But they're out in the country, in remote towns in the Northern Territory or Queensland. Much less prominent than in the US.


If you really want to avoid them, you should purchase a plane ticket to the civilized world. In Australia people standing at train stations are there to travel by train, not take drugs. We don't even have a single open-air drug market, against the best efforts of our local decriminalization operatives.

Before Morales boarded the train to smoke his drugs, he was outside the station plaza in a brisk breeze as people whizzed by. Women held their children’s hands. Others talked on phones. Then there were those with drawn faces who looked as though they hadn’t slept in days. Many were thin and some, like Morales, had bloody marks on their faces or limbs. He didn’t sleep the day before but seemed happy to talk.

I love this implication that thinness is associated with drug addiction in the US, as opposed to being normal. What a sad article.

I feel pain and irritation with this whole debate.

This is a very simple (and wrong) concept. When you feel pain, you are feeling pain. Not qualia! The feeling of pain is just pain. You can't have pain without a feeling of pain, they're one and the same.

Explain it? It just is.

Why do positive and negative charges attract? They just do. There's nothing to understand or explain, it just is. I don't need to explain qualia because it's nonsense with zero value, except to philosophers who need some make-work.

And you can't really explain why or how I feel like I am.

You think that thinking is an example of qualia. So you think that if you are thinking then you have qualia.

Say I thought that qualia and thinking were themselves included in remsajev. That doesn't make remsajev real. Things don't become real just by defining it such that it includes other things. Qualia isn't real either. There's no mystery at all, not of remsajev or qualia.

That link doesn't have meaning. They're just inventing nonsense based upon assumptions of ideas that don't exist. It has no relation to the real world, no potential uses and no falsification. This is just make-work for philosophers.

Would a brain made up of Chinese people acting as molecules have emotions? Providing they mapped out all the hormones and so on, of course. Emotions are real things that can be observed. They then take a step further into the feeling of emotions, as though that's separate from emotions themselves. That sense of the word 'experience' from their philosophical zombie idea doesn't work, it's not a real thing.

Would that woman who's read about red but not seen it truly understand what red is? They assume there is an 'experience' of seeing red inherent in the question. She simply hasn't seen red, she's read a lot of documents and knows a lot about red. There's no confusion here other than what confusion the philosophers bring with them.

Where is the qualia? I am reading, my eyes are moving, information is being processed. All of those are real things. Existence is real. But where does qualia come in? If you use qualia to mean the 'experience of reading and thinking' then it has zero value. The experience of reading is inherent when you read. If you define qualia as having experiences, then why can't I define a soul as that which is necessary to have experiences? It's nonsense.

For example, the moral difference between killing someone in a video game and killing someone in real life primarily comes down to the differences in the qualitative experiences the two acts produce; the video game death produces no negative qualia

People in real life are not simulations running on a few hundred lines of code and some textures! There's a huge actual difference between a bandit in Skyrim and a bandit in the real world.

Qualia and consciousness (the other sense, not the awake or asleep sense) are made up and can be done away with.

If I say 'oh everyone has a soul and it's a marvellous important spiritual distinction that separates us from animals and rocks we tricked into thinking' people look askance. They ask where the soul is, what properties it might have, what would happen if we removed it from someone. I have to give evasive answers like 'we can't find the soul, it might not be material like literally every other property and object' and 'properties of the soul - uhhh... it lets you feel things'.

For all intents and purposes we might as well not have souls - the concept isn't useful. You can't do anything with the knowledge of souls.

But if you call it qualia, everyone just accepts it as valid! Qualia and souls are effectively the same idea. The whole notion of 'philosophical zombies' is a joke. If there's no way to objectively determine the difference between a philosophical zombie and a 'normal' person with a soul - sorry with qualia... then what's the point of the idea? They are both the same. Just remove the distinction, remove qualia and let's get on with our business. People can feel things like pleasure or pain, we can isolate how those things work and use them to get results. Heroin, anesthetics and so on all hit at those discrete, real concepts. There's no doubt about them. As you say, the capabilities of humans and machines are wildly different in the physical, actual world. But there's no need to make up further separating distinctions in some non-material world.

Qualia is totally unnecessary. How can anyone expect materialism grapple with a concept that isn't even real? And how can a soul appear when the human brain is basically a scaled up monkey brain with some bells and whistles?


Schmittposting? /s

Schmitt's whole gig was that the key distinction was between friend and enemy. I can commiserate when one of my friends has a setback. If they argue in favour of something I believe in weakly or in a cringeworthy way, I can sort of empathize with them. Much less so if an enemy makes a weak argument or embarrasses himself.

Everyone has some kind of Schmittian impulse. Not too many people are sympathetic towards pedophiles or cartel drug fiends. I imagine many pedophiles or cartel drug fiends have or are experiencing pretty poor conditions. But who cares? They're enemies.

Edit: If they think like me then they'll probably be my friend, our beliefs will be similar and we'd probably get along.

Oh I meant that because machines write this way it would become insincere, or more insincere than it already is.

I did a little search up on James Deen, it's a pretty sad story.

Deen was born in Los Angeles County, California and raised in Pasadena.[5][9][10][11] His father is a mechanical engineer and his mother is a computer electronic engineer,[12] and one of them worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.[13]

According to Deen, performing in pornographic films was his ambition since he was in kindergarten.[14] Around age 15, he left high school and spent two years homeless.[15] He graduated from La Cañada High School in 2004.

After entering the pornography industry in 2004,

He's got two parents in engineering, one fairly prestigious and goes for pornography straight after high school, as soon as he can. Probably some serious conflict with his parents.

We are passionate about the safety, security and agency of women, minorities, LGBTQIA+ persons, and every other community that has seen persecution in the video game industry.

Doesn't this just sound like a ChatGPT generation? Sometimes it gives you this stuff unprompted or as a tangent from what you're asking specifically. It's one of those sentences I'd just be too repulsed to type out by hand since it's so sanctimonious. Many here hope that machines will make this stuff totally unacceptable, like using 'ejaculated' for the role filled by 'said' (it's like that in Sherlock Holmes). That day can't come soon enough!

In addition, Jewish political donations today are considerable and tend towards socially liberal or pro-Israel causes. This is in addition to their massive structural influence throughout media and the world economy.

See my comment ages ago: https://www.themotte.org/post/205/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/37000?context=8#context

Who were the biggest individual political donors to Biden in 2020? Mr Sussman, Mr Simons, Ms Simon make up the top 3. All three are Jewish (Simons is the multi-billionaire founder of Renaissance capital, Sussman founded another finance company and and Simon is a real estate heiress).

Other notable spenders in the election were Bloomberg and Steyer, who ran failed electoral campaigns of their own. Steyer is half-Jewish. Bloomberg is Jewish. On the Republican side we have 'kingmaker' Sheldon Adelson, who was the largest Trump donor in 2016 and probably 2020. Jewish. We've got Uihlein, Griffin, Mellon, Ricketts & Eyechaner non-Jewish. Dustin Moskovitz, Jewish and pro-Democratic. Paul Singer, Jewish (he supported Republicans but also tried to get them to support LGBT). And then there's Soros whose exact donation figures are hard to discern due to it mostly being dodgy websites that discuss it, though probably very large if not the highest of all. Zuckerberg provided hundreds of millions for election offices, which is vaguely political. I can't believe it doesn't buy influence, especially in conditions where the format and methods used were in a state of flux due to COVID.

I observe a general trend where extremely rich Jews support Democrats and LGBT - their fortunes mostly from finance or tech. There's Adelson who's on the other side of course (Adelson was most interested in union-busting, marijuana prohibition and pro-Israel action). In contrast, we have gentiles who usually support Republicans and are fairly right-wing. This is from reading their wikipedia blurbs. Of the twelve 2020 megadonors CNN described as 'white', 7 are Jewish. 6.5 depending on how you class Steyer.

There's also such a thing as the 'Adelson primary'! Basically the top Republican candidates compete to see who can be more pro-Israel in foreign policy so Adelson will give them tens of millions of dollars. It's pretty repulsive, even though it looks legal. With stuff like this going on in broad daylight, who needs Scott's Dark Money? The prospect of offending Adelson by some incredibly minor slight gets these high-and-mighty Republicans to bow and scrape.


The behind-the-scenes wooing of the Adelsons has been underway for months — a graphic testament to the outside influence that one or two fabulously wealthy donors can have on the presidential race. According to an account first reported by National Review, Jeb Bush initially fell out of Sheldon Adelson’s favor after one of his foreign policy advisers, former Secretary of State James Baker, spoke at an event sponsored by J Street, an American Jewish “pro-peace” group that supports Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. The appearance prompted the casino magnate to send word that the move cost the former Florida governor “a lot of money,” while associates of Adelson were quoted as saying that Bush was “dead to him.”

Bush scrambled to make amends. One top GOP donor who is close to the Adelsons told Yahoo News that he quickly got a phone call from Bush distancing himself from Baker. Bush “told me that he [Baker] was just on a list and that he’s never called him for any advice,” said the donor, who, like most others interviewed for this story, asked not to be identified publicly. The donor, at Bush’s request, then passed this along to Adelson. It was “helpful,” the donor said, in mollifying Adelson.

And consider people like Pompeo (then US secretary of state) and their tendancy to go on weird tangents about Israel. It's likely that they're selected for high office precisely because they love Israel (or will at least say and act like they do), by politicians who want to look like they love Israel. How else would you get a Secretary of State who says things like this?

"There is no more important task of the Secretary of State than standing for Israel and there is no more important ally to the United States than Israel. There is much more work to do."

Or Nancy Pelosi:

"If this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid…and I don’t even call it aid…our cooperation with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are"

Their political prospects are surely linked to how pro-Israeli they are, this is the language of sucking up to the boss.

Why not try to make things more concrete?

Bostrom's Simulation Argument is persuasive because it operates off principles we can easily understand.

  1. There's plenty of resources in this universe to conduct computer simulations of whole planets and civilizations, let alone universes with more generous physics

  2. It seems very reasonable that highly advanced civilizations would conduct many simulations of their ancestors for fun or research purposes

  3. Therefore, most existences of pre-singularitarian civilization should be simulated unless

3a. Nearly all pre-singularitarian civilizations get exterminated for some reason

3b. Nearly all post-singularitarian civilizations refrain from simulations

Now this is basically theism with a cherry on top. It really doesn't matter if we're dealing with the server owner or a divine being, they're one and the same from our perspective.

I really dislike the First Mover argument since it just pushes back the problem of what comes first. If the universe needs a cause, why doesn't God? Far better an eternal universe, perhaps operating on a cyclic pattern. Eternity needs no justification or cause. We might be many layers down in a series of simulations inside an eternal universe.

HelmedHorror brought it up. My broader point is that regulations have all kinds of stifling and inhibitory effects that aren't easily noticed, plus they're interpreted by deliberately malicious and unreasonable cretins.

Swimming pool regulation is out of control in Australia. Friends of mine have a huge rural property with a lake (fish and everything, even a small dam). The council wants them to increase the fencing on their swimming pool lest some child walk for about 10 minutes up to the house, get over an insufficiently high fence or through a fairly substantial hedge and drown. So much easier to just drown in the unfenced, easily available lake!

There's a bunch of passive-aggressive and plain aggressive letters going back and forth. It's a complete waste of everyone's time. We would be much better off with fewer regulations on irrelevant stuff like this - focus all that fire and fury on serious matters like gain-of-function.

Yeah it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, feedback loops. Chinese culture took an anti-militarist turn after all the problems they had with soldiers roaming the countrside looting and plundering. There's a saying something like 'don't use good steel to make nails' which has the meaning of 'don't turn a good son into a soldier'.

Apologies if I sound like I was attacking you but I couldn't believe people would unironically create a mono-factorial explanation for national success that ignored history. It felt like someone had to be strawmanning, whether that's Caplan or someone else.

Good catch on the Pseudoerasmus article, that was what I was thinking of.

History is not scientific in the sense that there are controlled experiments available! We should expect outliers, we should demand outliers! Luck of the draw and geography play a huge part! History makes fluid dynamics and quantum physics look like child's play, there are hundreds of millions of moving parts.

Likewise, several European countries (Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain) fairly suddenly adopted authoritarian regimes with statist economies then a few decades later turned into democracies with significantly liberalized economies

Point in proof! Germany had a statist and a free market economy at the same time, for nearly 50 years. This isn't puzzling, it was the result of an extremely bloody war.

On the specific topic, few nations had a less pleasant experience than China in the 19th and 20th centuries. They got force-fed drugs, they got colonialism, they got civil war, civil war and civil war (with the Cultural Revolution as another pseudo-civil war on top), coups, banditry, ruthless invasions, biowarfare, more wars, Great Leap Forward... Of course China is going to be poorer than it should be, due to all these historical factors.

The US had an all but stress-free experience in the same time period. One measly civil war. Crushed its incredibly weak neighbors and got to dominate an entire hemisphere for free. Joined in WW1 and WW2 late, took the lion's share of the spoils while others (like China) did all the bleeding and dying. The US was just left alone to develop peacefully for over a 100 years! They got the most oil in the entire world, huge amounts of coal, plenty of great farmland, good access to 2/3 of the important oceans. The US got the absolute best starting position of all time, bar none.

India had a middling experience (up until Partition where things went south) but was never as well-organized or united as China. There are so many languages and ethnic groups in India, compared to China. 950/1300 million Chinese spoke Mandarin as their first language, Hindi only got 528/1200 million as first speakers. India wasn't as resilient to colonization as China was, institutions play a huge role here. China was nearly always a stronger country, a stronger state, a more united state.

For instance, I read a paper that found well-organized Indian unions refused to work as hard as Japanese workers (this was under the Japanese Empire when union activity was suppressed), so Japanese productivity in textiles grew massively (they were measuring the number of machines supervised by each worker). India had anemic economic growth under socialism up until about the 1990s but now they're doing fairly well.

In a boat race between three ships, there are various factors that influence the outcome. The quality of the ship and crew is one thing but the number of storms and waves is another factor. If you see one ship that gets a tailwind plus calm seas and another that gets sixty hurricanes in a row, of course that will affect the result of the race!

Saw it on /r/martialmemes, also on 4chan a couple of times.

If it weren't for Wade failing, Yun Tianming would've been superfluous. Humanity as a whole didn't listen to him anyway and put in the work to be safe. Sure, Wade was wrong to listen to Ms 'I will never do anything correctly' but at least his instincts and goals were right. He would've made a much better Swordholder, as remarked by the Trisolarans.

To me survival is an unalloyed good. Even if you have everything else, happiness and freedom and prosperity and eudaimonia but you don't survive... then it's still a failure. Those chapters of misery and slaughter of the post-scarcity society and relocation to Australia were haunting. They should've woken up after that. If that didn't make them take things a bit more seriously, then what would? I can't fathom a civilization who thinks 'oh we'll just hide behind Jupiter against an enemy with STAR-BUSTER ATTACKS'. If nothing else, they could just fire 2 or 3 more shots at the gas giants!

Well the mean is only 54% for this test! 6/20 students got an A which is too high IMO but not totally unreasonable.

Caplan is a harsh and petty marker IMO, so grades have to be proportionately more generous.