How times change

In Bill Gates deposition he seems to have regarded video on demand as a cute failed idea

Response to: “Coding As a Career Isn’t Right for Me”

I was thinking about this post and where the guy says his end game is simply to pay off his debt and move to the woods.

From the standpoint of society the ideal life for that guy in my opinion would be if society made it easier for people like him when he was 13 to instantly get a high paying job. Clearly a 13 year old is intellectually capable of writing code and its only society that stops us from doing it. A 13 year old is also capable of showing up every day from 9 to 5 or he’d never complete high school.

Think about the waste from a “homo economicus” standpoint to spend all those years in school and college. The opportunity cost in lost wages completely dwarfs cost of the education itself. And what you learn in college is of dubious value. It would be quite easy if parents supported kids for their first 4 years in the working world for people to buy a house a 21 and retire by 30. Being young and having economic freedom would be huge socially.

Software Acceleration

Kurzweil argues that there is exponential progress in software as well as hardware. I’ve always wondered about whether this was true because it is so hard to quantify. I’ve also wondered how hard the AI software problem will be since we are getting close to having the hardware we need. Musk recently stated that he thinks software is accelerating because timelines on AI projects keep compressing, I.e. he said 5 years ago he thought self driving cars were 10 years away then 2 years later he thought they were 3 etc.

Machine learning itself could be said to greatly accelerate progress in software development but this project linked to below is analogous to how the “intelligence explosion” is hypothetically supposed to happen. If this machine mass fixes open source bugs then that makes everyone more productive and accelerates things even faster and so on.

Machine learning program fixes 10 times as many open-source code errors as its predecessors

Podcast about Machine Learning

This is the cocktail party algorithm as implemented in Matlab discussed in this podcast

Sources for this Podcast:

Not discussed:

Our Mathematical Universe, An Idea from Cosmology That Cuts Against the Simulation Hypothesis

1) His argument that the universe is literally infinite in size and thus, everything that could happen will happen and everything that has happened will happen again is very similar to an argument I once had that assumed simply a big crunch and preservation of matter. My argument is that if you had a box of legos and you were shaking it with enough force over an infinite amount of time the same combinations would inevitably happen again. His argument is highly similar however rather than a big crunch he is arguing, and claims this is the cosmological majority view, that the universe is infinite in size and as we expand out into the universe we would reach other universes and it goes on forever.

2) I didn’t realize that the multi universe theory just assumed an endless expanse of space. The way I’d heard multiverses described in the past was that there were “parallel universes” that we couldn’t reach in “another dimension. Tedgmark argues that they are simply out of our light sphere thus out of the known universe. I didn’t realize this but he also says the known universe expands every day because every hour new light comes from what was previously out of our light sphere.

3) He disagrees with Bostrom’s argument that we are likely in a simulation. One of his arguments is that if you believe youre in a simulation wouldn’t you believe that you are also in a simulation of a simulation for exactly the same reason. I would argue the opposite. If the base reality universe creates a vast amount of simulations it does not follow that those simulations do the same as it would crash if the original computer simulations grew exponentially. His second argument against the simulation hypothesis being likely is that if we are in a simulation we don’t know anything about base reality. I agree with this argument however it doesn’t defeat Bostrom’s thesis. As I see it there are two options A) we are in a simulation B) we are not. B collapses into likely A, A cannot collapse into B, thus if we concede we are in a simulation there is no way to collapse that into reality. It makes no sense to say if we’re in a simulation we know nothing so we aren’t in one, I think the starting point is to assume this is real and see where that goes.

Which actually brings me to an attack on Bostrom’s thesis which I do agree with. Because something occurred to me when Harris said in the podcast that some events are more common than others despite everything occurring eventually, or all logically possible events occuring. Well, my understanding of math is that 2x infinity is still infinity. So if you get on a plane its 10,000x more likely to land safely than not its still going to crash infinity times and land safely infinity times which is equal. And that would mean that odds of everything is equal from that perspective including odds of being in a simulation vs not. So were back to total agnosticism from that standpoint.

The Perfect Human Being series – Aubrey De Grey on the disease called aging

“I don’t really work on longevity I work on health I’m interested in
developing new medicines that will keep people and for physical and mental
performance however long ago they were born so I’m interested in better
medicines for the sickness that is currently associated with old age and
yes I certainly for sure if we are successful in the approach that we are
taking then we will see a big side effect in terms of longevity but it’s
still a side effect her big it may be a lot sort of side effects do you think of
them were also people will live longer”

The Perfect Human Being series – Susan Blackmore on a new form of evolution

Interesting ideas, similar to Richard Dawkins

I’m just laughing because the idea that will take care of evolution I know what people mean if we’re doing genetic modification we’re interfering with the processes of evolution many of the things we do in in society are affecting the evolution of means the evolution of ideas and technology but can take care of it you can’t control it evolutionary processes you get this massive explosion of of of DNA or of ideas or of technologies and then selection we’re part of the selecting machinery it will take whatever way it takes things we do affect it but we can’t control it you talk about replicators you say we have genes that we have memes and now we have dreams can you explain what that means the idea of replicators is not the only way of looking at the evolution and there are many scientists who take a different view on it but it’s one way of thinking about evolution is to think of the information that is copied varied in selected as being the driving force behind evolution so in the case of plant and animal animals and biology on the whole planet so we can think of the information the gene the genetic information coded in strings of DNA as being the replicator that information is what is copied again and again with variations most of the variance died most of the animals and plants created by those variations don’t survive don’t pass on their genes to the next generation that’s what what involving is which replicator survival which are selected out and then you can say well apply the same thinking two words stories pictures financial institutions scientific ideas all of these things are information copied from person to person now what you call me names these army so their information that coupled with variations every time we tell the story it’s a little bit different we make a theory to other people make a variation on the theory one of the theories that tested one of the theories does better the others are thrown away the same process is going on so in this case we call the information underlying that the replicator and that’s what we call me thinking is this electronic information this silicone based digital information is this really still more means or is there something different going on here and I thought about that for years and during those years the technology change dramatically it’s going so fast it’s incredible so during those years smartphones came along for all the the social media came along and I began to think under what circumstances would I say we have a third replicator genes memes and another one we would have a third replicator I thought when there is digital information based in machinery in in our technology which is being copied varied and selected by the technology in other words the three essential processes of evolution will be carried out without any necessary human intervention now is that happening well certainly the machinery that we’ve constructed is capable of copying things storing them making variations selecting them the search engines are doing that all the time it still involves off with we put a certain item into the search engine so it hasn’t got away from us completely but I would say because all those three things are happening out there we have a new case the question to my mind is is thinking about it in terms of a third replicator a helpful way of thinking about it

A tragic story, Could Open Bazaar Avoid Situations Like This?

“Second, on December 17, 2010, three weeks after released the translated cables, an unrelated act of desperation ripped open the soul of the nation. Bouazizi— a young fruit and vegetable seller— was accosted by the police, who seized his unlicensed food cart and refused to return it even after Bouazizi offered to pay the fine. His first attempt at retrieving his cart was a frustrating failure. Low-level government officials refused to even talk to him. Doubly insulted and with a family of eight to feed, he set himself on fire. Powerless and voiceless in one moment, he became, in the next, impossible to ignore: but at the terrible cost of his life.”

Coleman, Gabriella (2014-11-04). Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous (Kindle Locations 2198-2202). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.

This anecdote from the above book shocked me. Who knows all the details that went into the young man’s tragic situation but it seems as if his complaint with what the Western world would call “red tape.”

I wonder if Open Bazaar could help avoid situations like this. However, its not as if the man in the story was selling online and his property could have been seized either way. Another benefit of bitcoin is it has the potential to bring e-commerce to third world individuals without access to bank accounts or credit cards.

How about this for a first rule of robotics?

1. Stop take your time ask us repeatedly what our goals are, clarify, “is this what you meant” and adjust like an assistant would. This isn’t perfect but it seems like it might fix the paperclip maximization scenario.