I’m kind of concerned about the ethics of someone signing a contract and then breaking it to anonymously report what’s going on (if that’s what your private source did). I think there’s value from people being able to trust each others’ promises about keeping secrets, and as much as I’m opposed to Anthropic’s activities, I’d nevertheless like to preserve a norm of not breaking promises.

Can you confirm or deny whether your private information comes from someone who was under a contract not to give you that private information? (I completely understand if the answer is no.)

While you’re quite right about numbers on the scale of billions or trillions, I don’t think it makes sense

in the limitfor the prior probability of X people existing in the world to fall faster than X grows in size.Certain series of large numbers grow larger much faster than they grow in complexity. A program that returns 10^(10^(10^10)) takes fewer bits to specify (relative to most reasonable systems of specifying programs) than a program that returns 32758932523657923658936180532035892630581608956901628906849561908236520958326051861018956109328631298061259863298326379326013327851098368965026592086190862390125670192358031278018273063587236832763053870032004364702101004310417647840155719238569120561329853619283561298215693286953190539832693826325980569123856910536312892639082369382562039635910965389032698312569023865938615338298392306583192365981036198536932862390326919328369856390218365991836501590931685390659103658916392090356835906398269120625190856983206532903618936398561980569325698312650389253839527983752938579283589237325987329382571092301928* - even though 10^(10^(10^10)) is by far the larger number. And it only takes a linear increase in complexity to make it 10^(10^(10^(10^(10^(10^10))))) instead.

*I produced this number via keyboard-mashing; it’s not anything special.

Consider the proposition “A superpowered entity capable of creating unlimited numbers of people ran a program that output the result of a random program out of all possible programs (with their outputs rendered as integers), weighted by the complexity of those programs, and then created that many people.”

If this happened, the probability that their program outputs at least X would fall

muchslower than X rises, in the limit. The sum doesn’t converge at all; the expected number of people created would be literallyinfinite.So as long as you assign greater than

literally zero probabilityto that proposition—and there’s no such thing as zero probability—there must exist some number X such that you assign greater than 1/X probability to X people existing. In fact, there must exist some number X such that you assign greater than 1/X probability to Xmillionpeople existing, or X billion, or so on.(btw, I don’t think that the sort of SIA-based reasoning here is actually valid—but if it was, then yeah, it implies that there are infinite people.)