Category Archives: Science

Roko’s Basilisk … a scary thought experiment

 Reality update: Roko’s Basilisk: The most terrifying thought experiment of all time. … :

Believing in Roko’s Basilisk may simply be a “referendum on autism,” as a friend put it. But I do believe there’s a more serious issue at work here because Yudkowsky and other so-called transhumanists are attracting so much prestige and money for their projects, primarily from rich techies. I don’t think their projects (which only seem to involve publishing papers and hosting conferences) have much chance of creating either Roko’s Basilisk or Eliezer’s Big Friendly God. But the combination of messianic ambitions, being convinced of your own infallibility, and a lot of cash never works out well, regardless of ideology, and I don’t expect Yudkowsky and his cohorts to be an exception. I worry less about Roko’s Basilisk than about people who believe themselves to have transcended conventional morality. Like his projected Friendly AIs, Yudkowsky is a moral utilitarian: He believes that that the greatest good for the greatest number of people is always ethically justified, even if a few people have to die or suffer along the way.

AI researchers boycott Nature magazine, for goid reason it seems

The public already pays taxes that fund our research. Why should people have to pay again to read the results? Colleagues in less well-funded universities also benefit. Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, has as much access to the leading machine-learning research as Harvard or MIT. The ability to pay no longer determines the ability to play.

Why thousands of AI researchers are boycotting the new Nature journal | Science | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2018/may/29/why-thousands-of-ai-researchers-are-boycotting-the-new-nature-journal

Rethink Reality – Quantum Mechanics tells us…

Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality? – Scientific American Blog Network:
“The tension between the anomalies and the current paradigm can only be tolerated by ignoring the anomalies. This has been possible so far because the anomalies are only observed in laboratories. Yet we know that they are there, for their existence has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, when we believe that we see objects and events outside and independent of mind, we are wrong in at least some essential sense. A new paradigm is needed to accommodate and make sense of the anomalies; one wherein mind itself is understood to be the essence—cognitively but also physically—of what we perceive when we look at the world around ourselves.”

AI may help against the filter bubble… according to Finnish/Italian scientists

Social Media Algorithm Pops Filter Bubbles By Presenting Diverging Ideas | Digital Trends … :

Developed as a collaboration between researchers from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy, the algorithm is designed to make sure that social media users are presented with views that don’t necessarily conform with their own, as a way of helping to “solve” the increasingly polarized nature of discussions around controversial topics.

… and here’s a similar browser plugin: Be More Accepting of Others – EscapeYourBubble … :
Escape Your Bubble

  1. Tell us who you’d like to understand better.
    You could be a Democrat looking to better understand and accept Republicans or vice-versa.

  2. We’ll insert curated, positive posts in your Facebook feed.
    These posts will highlight the positive aspects of those you wish to understand and be more accepting of.

  3. You’ll learn to understand and accept thy fellow countrymen.
    As you learn more about those different from you, you’ll come to understand their positive qualities. It’s akin to “brainwashing for good”.

Teotwaki – The Higgs Bubble Way

Meet the Higgs Bubble That Will Destroy the Universe. Maybe … :

According to a recent paper, published on March 12 in the journal Physical Review D, the final moment for the universe will be triggered by a bizarre consequence of subatomic  physics called an instanton.
This instanton will create a tiny bubble that will expand at the speed of light, swallowing everything in its path. It’s only a matter of time. [Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth]
“At some point you will create one of these bubbles,” study lead author Anders Andreassen, a physicist at Harvard University, told Live Science. “It will be very unpleasant.
” By “unpleasant,” he means the end to all life — and, indeed, chemistry — as we know it.

Hundreds of millions of years missing – the great unconformity

Interesting article, news in the media, too: The Great Unconformity … :

It is fitting that the Grand Canyon should contain some of the best exposures of The Great Unconformity — the gap in the rock record between Cambrian times (~550 m.y. ago) and the pre-Cambrian (anything earlier). An unconformity is a surface in the rock record, in the stratigraphic column, representing a time from which no rocks are preserved. It could represent a time when no rocks were formed, or a time when rocks were formed but then eroded away.