DiAngelo grew up Catholic and poor. It’s like she’s a saint of antiracism—she didn’t have the luxury of coming from a comfortable economic class, but still learned to do penitence for her original sin of white privilege.
Anecdotes 1 2 say that Valeria got financial backing from Italy’s biggest crime syndicate, and that members of the syndicate are among those suspended!
My first awareness of the American housing bubble was Casey Serin’s blog. He was a hapless “investor” (speculator, really) who had bought half a dozen houses, intending to make money by reselling them quickly, as prices continued going up. Except that they stopped going up, and he found himself in debt for hundreds of thousands of dollars. He blogged openly about his woes, and built up an audience of haters who pointed out that he had broken the law in various ways. Many eagerly awaited the day when the FBI caught up with him. But by the time that happened, the crisis had moved on to the Wall Street banks who had been packaging the mortgage debts of people like Casey, and selling them to their own “investors”, and we were in the era of billion-dollar bailouts and emergency G20 summits.
I have not kept track of the conventional wisdom regarding the cause of the 2008 recession, but I would hope it was something like: there was reckless lending and borrowing at every level, from local real estate to corporate finance to government bonds, and the bursting of the housing bubble simply exposed the vulnerability of this house of cards. Erdmann apparently doesn’t have much to say about this larger context?
Your link for Madhya Pradesh actually contains no data about ivermectin use there. The date marked on the graph is when India’s national Covid protocols mentioned ivermectin (and various other medications). So far the only Indian states where I’ve seen reference to official use of ivermectin are Uttar Pradesh, Goa, and maybe Uttarakhand. Certainly there may be others.
My understanding is that in Goa, the health minister said they would make it available for all adults, then WHO’s chief scientist (who is Indian) recommended not using ivermectin, and the national government removed ivermectin and other medications from the national protocols; and then Goa denied the policy.
In Uttar Pradesh, apparently ivermectin could be part of 7-day home isolation kits for people exposed to Covid or showing symptoms, but I have no data on how many such kits were issued, how many of them actually contained ivermectin, or how often the ivermectin was used.
Anecdotally, we can say that ivermectin has had widespread use in India in a decentralized way, as part of treatment for mild Covid or as part of a prophylactic regimen. But I remain very skeptical that it was widespread enough to significantly affect the course of the pandemic there.
Uttar Pradesh gives everybody prophylatic ivermectin
All I can find is that when people show symptoms or have been exposed, they are given a home isolation kit with 7 days of medical supplies that include ivermectin. Is that what you mean?
Uttar Pradesh has almost a quarter of a billion people. I am very skeptical of claims that ivermectin made much of a difference there. I have been unable to find out how many ivermectin doses were sent out or used—hundreds of thousands? millions? But if we look at vaccination rates, about one quarter of the state have had one shot, and 5%, two shots. That’s not enough to strongly affect infection rates, and I would be surprised if even that many people were using ivermectin.
They did have a severe outbreak in the second wave, like the rest of India, so an unknown fraction of the population would have antibodies. They implemented lockdowns, border control (I read that you can’t enter the state without a negative PCR test), and other public health measures. UP has a BJP government (the chief minister is sometimes mentioned as a successor to Modi), and their supporters have been bragging about UP’s successes compared to “Marxist” Kerala in the south, while their opponents have been saying that the figures are too low to be believed. I don’t know who you should trust there. I notice that across the border in Madhya Pradesh, another mega-state with over 70 million residents, they also report extremely low case numbers.
It’s definitely of interest to understand how things have unfolded in India, but I strongly doubt that ivermectin made much difference. At the very least we would need to know how many people there took it… My expectation is that the course of the pandemic in India is to be explained by a combination of public health measures, private caution, and perhaps natural herd immunity in some populations (like the Dharavi slum in Mumbai).
Are you familiar with CEV?
The Lancet had a “no-Covid” article, the UK has a “zero Covid coalition”. But these predate the era of mass vaccination and the Delta strain.
Let us consider the known tools for suppressing the virus. One is restriction on human movement—quarantine, border control, lockdown. This worked for Australia and New Zealand before the Delta strain, but not any more.
Then there’s antibodies: natural immunity in those who already caught the virus; vaccination; and herd immunity from a population full of antibodies, making effective transmission difficult.
The major western vaccines were touted as good for preventing transmission and infection. But at this point, their main unequivocal virtue lies in preventing serious illness. To an unknown degree, vaccinated people can still get infected and can still infect others. This, along with reluctance to get vaccinated in a significant portion of the population, is why masks and other such measures have returned.
Given that social resistance to vaccination and to continued restrictions, an optimal strategy cannot assume 100% consent and participation. Perhaps the way it will play out, is that vaccination and other public health measures will play the main role, and the remaining role will be filled by natural herd immunity building up among the unvaccinated.
Unequivocal example from 2015: “You can’t take for granted that good people build good AIs and bad people build bad AIs.”
A position paper from 2004. See the whole section “Avoid creating a motive for modern-day humans to fight over the initial dynamic.”
Tweets from 2020.
Rationalism is an eternal struggle between Dempster-Shafer and Dunning-Kruger.
MIRI should’ve been an attempt to keep AGI out of the hands of the state
Eliezer several times expressed the view that it’s a mistake to focus too much on whether “good” or “bad” people are in charge of AGI development. Good people with a mistaken methodology can still produce a “bad” AI, and a sufficiently robust methodology (e.g. by aligning with an idealized abstract human rather than a concrete individual) would still produce a “good” AI from otherwise unpromising circumstances.
This all sounds rather grim, an extreme case of the hype and uneven quality that probably afflicts all research areas now… Number 8 seems especially grim, even though it doesn’t involve outright corruption, since it means that any counter-institution trying to do quality control will be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of papers… Nonetheless: What you describe is a way to check the quality of an individual paper. Is there any kind of resource that reliably turns up high-quality papers? Perhaps literature reviews or citation counts?
Steven Weinberg argued anthropically for a small nonzero cosmological constant, a few years before dark energy became part of standard cosmology.
Turns out it was a post at Steve Hsu’s blog about Francois Chollet.
Does the shell theory explain why it becomes unusually unstable once there’s two neutrons past the shell (and not when there’s two protons past the shell)?
For alpha decay, a bunch of two protons and two neutrons need to detach. Two protons will have a greater intrinsic chance of breaking away, because of charge repulsion from other protons. So it’s detaching the neutrons which is hardest.
So, if you are considering various nuclei with two nucleons outside the filled shells, and asking when alpha emission faces the lowest energy barrier, it might be the case in which the two protons come from a filled shell (and can use charge repulsion to escape), and the neutrons are the two loose nucleons.
And also, why does the decay mode suddenly change to alpha particles?
The proton shell after Z=82 seems to be the threshold at which electrostatic repulsion between protons, wins out over strong-force cohesion among nucleons. Although it can take a while… the half-life of bismuth-209 is 10^19 years!
reading someone that “understood AI” 10 years ago and doesn’t own a company valued at a few hundred millions is like reading someone that “gets how trading works”, but works at Walmart and live with his mom
Such an interesting statement. Do you mean this literally? You believe that everyone on Earth who “understood AI” ten years ago, became a highly successful founder?
Trying to get the gist of this post… There’s the broad sweep of AI research across the decades, up to our contemporary era of deep learning, AlphaGo, GPT-3. In the 2000s, the school of thought associated with Eliezer, MIRI, and Less Wrong came into being. It was a pioneer in AI safety, but its core philosophy of preparing for the first comprehensively superhuman AI, remains idiosyncratic in a world focused on more specialized forms of AI.
There is a quote from Eliezer talking about “AI alignment” research, which would be that part of AI safety concerned with AI (whether general or special) getting the right goals. Apparently the alignment research community was more collaborative before OpenAI and truly big money got involved, but now it’s competitive and factional.
Part of the older culture of alignment research, was a reluctance to talk about competitive scenarios. The fear was that research into alignment per se would be derailed by a focus on western values vs nonwestern values, one company rather than another, and so on. But this came to pass anyway, and the thesis of this post is that there should now be more attention given to politics and how to foster cooperation.
My thoughts… I don’t know how much attention those topics should be given. But I do think it essential that someone keep trying to solve the problem of human-friendly general AI in a first-principles way… As I see it, the MIRI school of thought was born into a world that, at the level of civilizational trends, was already headed towards superhuman AI, and in an uncontrolled and unsafe way, and that has never stopped being the case.
In a world where numerous projects and research programs existed, that theoretically might cross the AI threshold unprepared, MIRI was a voice for planning ahead and doing it right, by figuring out how to do it right. For a while that was its distinctive quality, its “brand”, in the AI world… Now it’s a different time: AI and its applications are everywhere, and AI safety is an academic subdiscipline.
But for me, the big picture and the endgame is still the same. Technical progress occurs in an out-of-control way, the threshold of superhuman AI is still being approached on multiple fronts, and so while one can try to moderate the risks at a political or cultural level, the ultimate outcome still depends on whether or not the first project across the threshold is “safe” or “aligned” or “friendly”.
Even without a singularity, 2050 is unimaginably far away. 2050 is as far from 2021, as 2021 is from 1992, a time when there was no mass Internet, no smartphones, no 9/11, Japan was America’s big economic rival, China was still debating whether to continue economic reform, the Soviet Union had just ceased to exist and the European Union had just begun to exist. Half the world population of 2021 wasn’t even alive in 1992.
Some headlines today about case numbers going down in big cities… If anyone still wants to wrestle with the Indian second wave, some information sources:
Seems like there’s a difference between viability of AI, and ability of AI to shape a randomized environment. To have AI, you just need stable circuits, but to have an AI that can shape, you need a physics that allows observation and manipulation… It’s remarkable that googling “thermodynamics of the game of life” turns up zero results.