This seems like it would really suck if you’re trying to learn something that doesn’t have a simpler model than the thing itself. English spelling can be like this: you either know how to spell “through” and “separate” or you don’t. I’ve always found foreign language vocabulary to be the hardest thing for me to learn in school. It’s terribly incompressible. Knowing that “red” is “rojo” and that “blue” is “azul” doesn’t help you at all when trying to remember that “green” is “verde”. I wasn’t terrible at it, but my usual trick of “remembering things by actually understanding what’s going on, so I can compensate for imperfect memorization” was completely useless.
Someone on Reddit got GPT-3 to figure out the mystery in the story he was writing, when no human reader had guessed the correct solution yet.
Someone on Reddit managed to successfully get GPT-3 to guess the solution to his mystery story, which none of the human readers had figured out yet.
Philip K Dick gave a pretty good informal definition of reality: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
Protozoa, not virus.
It’s the grid-level storage problem. Solar panels don’t produce much energy at night, wind doesn’t blow all the time, etc., so you need to produce extra energy and store it for when production is less than demand.
Shipping small packages from China to the US via the USPS has been subsidized—the price of mailing a Beanie Baby from Beijing to New York has been lower than the price charged to mail that same Beanie Baby from Los Angeles to New York. One of the few things the Trump administration did right was renegotiate the international postal system treaties so that China doesn’t get “developing nation” subsidies any more.
If the actuarial statistics I’ve read are accurate, about 1 in 1000 18 year old men in the US die before their 19th birthday. If the chance of dying each year stayed perfectly flat, life expectancy would be about 1000 years...
Science fiction author and physicist David Brin has pointed out a theoretical reason why we might expect anti-aging therapies that work in mice to fail in humans: the human lifespan is already a ridiculous outlier. Life spans vary with size, metabolism, and other factors, but one thing tends to hold constant: most mammals have a lifetime of about one billion heartbeats. Humans get a whopping 2.5 times that. An intervention would have to more than double a mouse’s lifespan just to catch up with whatever it is that evolution has already done to humans—if there are any simple mechanisms that can cause a mammal’s body to increase its lifespan, humans are probably already pushing them to their limits.
It seems like David Shor tried to do the same thing to politics that Billy Beane’s team successfully did to baseball—replace intuition and qualitative analysis with statistics and careful quantitative analysis—but he ended up doing worse than the existing experts, rather than better. Why was that?
It seems like David Shor tried to do the same thing to politics that Billy Beane’s team successfully did to baseball—replace intuition with statistics and careful quantitative analysis—but he ended up failing. Why was that?
The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center produced many innovations in information technology—including the graphical user interface and mouse—that Xerox as a corporation completely failed to capitalize on. (There were PARC innovations that Xerox did successfully exploit, but the ones it missed the boat on are the ones that get all the attention.)
There’s a legend about a stock market prediction scam:
Pick 2^N potential targets. Send half of them a prediction that a stock will go up and the other half a prediction will go down. Eliminate the people who got a wrong prediction, and then do this again and again. Eventually you’ll end up with one guy who’s convinced you’re never wrong, so charge him an arm and a leg for investment advice.
How much is your time worth if you’re retired, a homemaker, a student, or otherwise not working for pay?
True for both metaphorical and literal butt pain!
I have since lost some faith in the Magic Online Event Ticket. I do not have any more faith in Bitcoin than I did eight years ago. Furthermore, I’m fairly confident that Bitcoin is of net negative value to the world—a huge amount of energy is devoted to computing otherwise useless hashes so hackers can collect ransoms and some people can try to take money from greater fools.
(There are blockchain projects that might have actual value, but Bitcoin is not one of them.)
If regulation killed nuclear power plants in the US, why aren’t there any other countries building nuclear plants more cheaply?