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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:09 pm 
Avisaru
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Regarding the whole "sf" thing, this is not "just sf" in the sense that it is the only source of spiritual meaning that seems valid to me. If there is a future possibility for a book of laws that maximizes the potential of rational beings, then I can do the following: 1. Abide by what I know of what it would say. 2. Work towards realizing it one step at a time. 3. Know that any lasting record of my failures might serve as a data point for future generations.

Basically, instead of having a God at the origins of the universe, this only retains a non-superstitious hope of redemption at the end of history. What I don't understand is why liberalism is so hostile towards my religion. I cannot imagine left-liberals responding to smart Christians with, "Your religion is fantasy." I claim to have a religion at all because liberals said they didn't like my New Atheism. Well, this is the best I can do. Take it or leave it, motherfuckers.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:47 pm 
Smeric
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rotting bones wrote:
I cannot imagine left-liberals responding to smart Christians with, "Your religion is fantasy."
This happens all the time. Getting militantly anti-religious people to shut up is one of the big problems for liberals trying to attract religious voters.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:04 am 
Avisaru
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I was referring to the whole left-liberalism vs New Atheism controversy on the internet. Maybe I could have worded it better, though I can't imagine how without dedicating an explanatory paragraph to it: Left-liberals, especially on this forum, have been telling me for years not to associate with the New Atheists. But the instant I try to formulate something I can believe in, they make me realize that New Atheists are extremely reasonable compared to the left-liberals who argue against New Atheism. They only support joining the most hypocritical, conservative religious movements around. Apparently that's the only thing that satisfies their thirst for self-abasement or something. Well, fuck them. I'm never going to join any of the traditional religions, particularly Islam. I'm barely against joining the Communists. Apart from moral qualms about the Communist approach to revolution, that is mostly because Communists don't understand economics.

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 Post subject: Re: Zizekian We
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:15 am 
Smeric
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@rotting
>Right, and where are the refugees from Brazil going to go?
I dunno, brazil is quite big. and I'm sure they'd be welcome in argentina, chile, uruguay, paraguay if it came to that (which it won't, brazil is colossally empty) I'm not claiming it's going to be cheap or painless, but its not gonna break civilization
>I don't see why we can't be concerned about both.
proportions
>I doubt it. Climate change will bring a great increase in storms and unstable weather. It will also require us to change what is grown where every decade or so in a coordinated manner. There is currently no system I know of to let us do these things. You know what Guns, Germs and Steel says?
individual farmers aren't idiots: and those that are are probably gonna go bankrupt if they try to grow cold veggies in warm weather. they could make apps, coordinate through facebook, follow the "what to grow where" blog by elon musk.

Quote:
I honestly don't understand this. I need you to explain to me the sense in which refusing to see a radical difference in the death of one person or a thousand people is not evidence of a murderous mentality. This assumption is ingrained in Sal's arguments that life for the inhabitants of the Sundarbans would not be radically worse with climate change as compared to what it was before.

I... can't. I don't know what's a 'radical difference' here: there's a numeric different in the death of a dude and the death of a thousand dudes. I don't know what that has to do with Sundaban people not being hurt too much by climate change, and I certainly don't see how that's murderous. can't help you here, brodie.

No, I don't realize civilization is a coastal phenomenon. Yes, many people will be displaced. No one is saying many people will not be displaced: consider, however, that that my not be such a big deal. I've moved houses a bunch of times, I'm currently weekend living in hotels and flying to atacama every monday, back to santiago every friday. And yes, its an unhappy, unfulfilling, lonely life, but it shan't be forever and, more crucially, i'm neither dead or become a savage (though don't get me wrong, I do get the occasional urge to pick up an axe and kill people, conquer some land and get the emperor to recognize me as thegn of a confederate state)

Quote:
I do not believe that "Humans can do X, which computers can't." or "The reasoning employed by humans is not algorithmic." are viable objections against AI for the following reason:

1. I believe the human brain arrives at its conclusions through physical processes. If you don't believe that, fair enough. The rest of this argument doesn't apply to you.

2. Suppose there is a physical process X that can be encoded as a computation Y such that Turing machines cannot perform Y. If that were the case, then we could enrich the repertoire of computations in our theory of algorithms by updating our account of universal computation from "Turing machine" to "Turing machine + computation Y, as observed in process X". For example, if quantum events are allowed, then that slightly rejiggles the boundaries of some lower order algorithmic classes in ambiguous ways.

3. Is there a process X that cannot be incorporated into computation in this way? Well, not physical processes that compute results, but there are "oracles", information about what works arrived at by following sequences of law-abiding events to their conclusion. It follows that the brain cannot deduce their conclusions any more than a computer can. Oracles can be obtained from empirical induction over processes that followed the relevant sequences.

Okay, this is a solid case. here's why i find it unconvincing:

see, "in theory" all sorts of thing are possible which, in reality, simply aren't. take laplace's demon: in theory, if we knew the position, charge, and vector of energy of all particles in the universe and we had a unified perfect theory of physics, then we could know everything that will ever happen in future. _in theory_. but we shall never ever ever do so: for one thing, its not clear we can have perfect theories: i've never seen one, and i'm not convinced prima facie they exist. furthermore, there's no way to know all the positions of all the particles, and even if we did learn them, it would be a huge faff to compute everything. in theory we could be in the matrix, in theory we could be butterflies dreaming of being ourselves, in theory I could be a taliban fighter who got brainwashed into believing he's torco, and the real torco might be dead. So while in theory you could replicate any physical process, its not clear that its practical to do so: or that you'd even want to. Within meat brains you hace a vast, vast range of possible minds: not only your mind is different from mine, but also minds can become psychotic, depressed, paranoic, delusional, hysterical, and all sorts of other things: its fair to suppose that those are all a small subgroup in the set of possible minds, and the variations that give rise to them are minute! human brains all, it just takes a bit of less dopamine or whatever to make a mind depressed (and depression is a very different state from non-depression, surely). How much more different what a mind made of silicon should be! sure, there's no good reason to believe its impossible to emulate meat minds perfectly, but if that were a convincing argument I'd be a christian and a muslim and a jew and a believer in santa claus, for that matter.

Quote:
I cannot imagine left-liberals responding to smart Christians with, "Your religion is fantasy."

huuuuh... sure we do.

But I'm gonna go ahead and defend rotting's idea of an AI that organizes production, here. There's good reason to believe it would at least be more efficient than markets, which while they work decently well cause VAST waste, overproduction, health hazards from shitty but profitable food <google bliss point>, and countless wasted lives from addiction, the mental problems associated with having people spend countless hours in shitty, socially unnecesary jobs that they themselves need to stay fed and clothed, corporate control of government, and all sorts of other costs. Okay, soviet-planner-AI as a system will have its problems, but its not like markets are so wonderful either!

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:38 pm 
Boardlord
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Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3376
Location: In the den
rotting bones wrote:
Basically, instead of having a God at the origins of the universe, this only retains a non-superstitious hope of redemption at the end of history. What I don't understand is why liberalism is so hostile towards my religion. I cannot imagine left-liberals responding to smart Christians with, "Your religion is fantasy." I claim to have a religion at all because liberals said they didn't like my New Atheism. Well, this is the best I can do.


One, declaring it your "religion" is a crap move. Apparently this is supposed to make your views unassailable? In a sense it does, simply by making them undiscussable. Look at the house rules; you can't appeal to your scriptures in the middle of an argument. Your scriptures are not sacred to other people.

Two... "liberals", really? You can't handle discussion of your ideas, you want some sort of religious absolution on that discussion, and at the same time all religions but yours are stupid. I'm sorry you've reached the stage where all you can think of are insults. Maybe don't call yourself "rational" when you are in fact allergic to disagreement.


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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:10 am 
Lebom
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rotting bones wrote:
I claim to have a religion at all because liberals said they didn't like my New Atheism. Well, this is the best I can do. Take it or leave it, motherfuckers.

Wait, seriously?? The reasons why many people dislike New Atheism are complex, but they have nothing to do with atheism per se. They have more to do with the fact that the most prominent New Atheists can be loud and obnoxious, and that they criticized some religions they shouldn't have - especially Islam, which has become some sort of faux pas. Not because of a "thirst for self-abasement or something", but because conservatives hate Islam, so if you criticize Islam, you sound like a conservative. I know it's stupid, but keep Hanlon's Razor in mind.

If you want to avoid the stigma of New Atheism, then there's a simple alternative: "don't bring up atheism all the time, and avoid attacking other people's religions". The alternative isn't "take something random and call it your religion".

rotting bones wrote:
I don't think we should create an AI to handle climate change, goddammit!

Well, you weren't very clear, then, because that's exactly what I thought you were saying.

rotting bones wrote:
On this basis, my argument proposes that we eventually train a neural network to maximize minimum wish fulfillment. Incredibly, you seem to be confusing my theory of justification for a decision procedure. I didn't think humans were capable of this particular confusion.

I don't understand what you mean by "theory of justification", and how it isn't a "decision procedure". Maybe you can explain what you mean?

rotting bones wrote:
This is so basic, I don't even know how to start explaining this. Okay, suppose there is a metric M. There is a series of government types G1 to Gn, for which Gx scores Mx. Now suppose for Gm, the score is Mm, the highest value for all M1 to Mn. That is the argument for choosing Gm. Now we add a Gn+1 such that Mn+1 > Mm. By our previous standards, we should switch from Gm to Gn+1.

Okay. The problem is Goodhart's Law also known as Campbell's Law: if you rely on a metric for decision-making, then decisions will tend to game the system to improve the metric without improving the underlying situation. People can be terrible at that, but algorithms are even worse.


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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:38 am 
Avisaru
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 409
Ryusenshi wrote:
If you want to avoid the stigma of New Atheism, then there's a simple alternative: "don't bring up atheism all the time, and avoid attacking other people's religions". The alternative isn't "take something random and call it your religion".

I agree that the uninformed ranting against Christianity, Islam, etc. that we often see is a bad idea. On the other hand, it is a moral imperative to criticize all traditions to promote social progress, including the tradition of criticizing traditions to promote social progress. This is why the special immunity from criticism granted to religions is a good idea in some ways, but dangerous in others. Pastafarianism was proposed as a way around this, but it was criticized for not being serious. So here's a religion I completely believe in, and which requires me to soberly criticize all religions, including itself, without hostility.

Ryusenshi wrote:
Well, you weren't very clear, then, because that's exactly what I thought you were saying.

rotting bones wrote:
I would urge you to distinguish among my arguments supporting the workings of the AI, the arguments for creating the AI, the arguments relevant to climate change, and so on. In particular, I never said we should create the AI to handle climate change. I don't think it would be possible to create the AI in my lifetime, or indeed for millennia. I only claim that humanity should work towards eventually creating a kind of basic redistribution system for wish fulfillment, and I don't see how that might be possible without AI.


Ryusenshi wrote:
I don't understand what you mean by "theory of justification", and how it isn't a "decision procedure". Maybe you can explain what you mean?

There is no deep meaning here. We justify scientific statements by empirical induction. Empirical induction follows algorithms. Ergo we justify scientific statements by following algorithms in certain ways. Algorithms are abstractions from physical processes, so within the field of abstraction we are interested in, "our reasons aren't algorithms" is a nonsensical statement.

Notice that the process of identifying the algorithmic component of our reasons is an algorithm, but the output of an algorithm need not be a decision procedure. The theory that, as long as we are trying to determine the algorithmic component of our reasons, we are justified in speaking of our reasons as algorithms is just such an output, and therefore need not be a decision procedure.

In particular, "our reasons are algorithms" is not, by itself, intended to be a reason justifying any action in particular.

Ryusenshi wrote:
Okay. The problem is Goodhart's Law also known as Campbell's Law: if you rely on a metric for decision-making, then decisions will tend to game the system to improve the metric without improving the underlying situation. People can be terrible at that, but algorithms are even worse.

Who voted for whom is a metric. No metrics means no democracy.

In the context of that quotation, your response implies that a government wouldn't be allowed to base it's decisions on metrics in general, simple or compound, numeric or logical (F->T). If that is the case, then it is not allowed to base its policies on any measurable phenomena. Not only is rational progressive politics ruled out, but even conservatives can't measure how much society conforms to objectively defined cultural norms. The only thing that's allowed is pure caprice dissociated from any facts whatsoever. In today's world, there is only one viable politics this position is compatible with, the alt right.

If 0/0 is undefined, does it follow that we must log off the internet and stop using technology, because we can never divide one number by another ever again? Metric-based algorithms are already outperforming humans in many arenas. If you are using more than one metric, then you are implicitly using a combined metric. If the metric you're using is gaming the system, then use metrics that rely directly on physical variables as much as possible. Physics is the bottom layer of the world we live in, beyond which there is no reliable evidence of anything else.

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In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


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 Post subject: Re: Zizekian We
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:26 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 409
Torco wrote:
I dunno, brazil is quite big. and I'm sure they'd be welcome in argentina, chile, uruguay, paraguay if it came to that (which it won't, brazil is colossally empty) I'm not claiming it's going to be cheap or painless, but its not gonna break civilization

IIRC flood-related evacuations might actually cover more ground farther south towards Uruguay, but I'm worried about increasing pressure on the Amazon Rainforest when agriculture is already trying to cope with other stuff.

Torco wrote:
proportions

I dunno, it's in no one's interest to start a nuclear war, and the cold war that justified building and maintaining doomsday devices is over!

Torco wrote:
I... can't. I don't know what's a 'radical difference' here: there's a numeric different in the death of a dude and the death of a thousand dudes. I don't know what that has to do with Sundaban people not being hurt too much by climate change, and I certainly don't see how that's murderous. can't help you here, brodie.

Sal's justification was that the Sundarbans are already a terrible place to live. This implicitly states that flooding the area with saltwater would not be a big enough change for its inhabitants to justify radical action, even in theory.

Torco wrote:
No, I don't realize civilization is a coastal phenomenon.

Google the percentage of the world population that lives near the coast. Not all coasts would be equally threatened at the same time, of course, but notice that my hometown Kolkata is underwater in the Dubia scenario, for example. We don't think of ourselves as living near the sea in the usual sense.

Alright, I'm tired of venting. Thanks guys, I feel much better now. If I said any unforgivably mean things, I'm sorry for saying them FWIW.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:42 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:46 am
Posts: 1035
Location: Réunion
Climate change is very important, like other environmental problems because the planet is the most important thing we have; without it in good nick, we have no (or at least collapsed) humanity. Obviously, this is far from inevitable. But steps ought to be taken by a maximum of people as soon as possible to reduce the impact.

What do yous think of a potential connection between Venus's atmosphere and Earth's current problems:
Early in its life, Venus may have had an atmosphere much like Earth holds today. Studies have shown that if water on a young Venus evaporated billions of years ago, the greenhouse levels in the atmosphere would have escalated, giving rise to a runaway greenhouse effect that significantly increased the planet's temperature. Today, thanks to the excess of carbon dioxide and traces of nitrogen, the surface of Venus is hot enough to melt lead.

And, as for Bengal, it was for a few centuries the hub of the world economy, accounting for half of the Mughal Empire's economy and 12% of the world's economy. The devastation of the famines and mismanagement in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries kind of ruined that for them.


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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:22 pm 
Sanno
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jmcd wrote:
What do yous think of a potential connection between Venus's atmosphere and Earth's current problems


I think that this is, again, hysteria. Yes, Venus suffered from a runaway global warming process. Yes, the same thing could happen on Earth and all life would become extent. But we almost entirely know that that is not a serious threat on Earth for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.

Why? Because Earth is currently in an Ice Age. Global greenhouse gas levels and global temperatures are still only a fraction of where they have been in the past without any Venerean processes having been triggered. Only 50 million years ago, there were crocodiles and palm trees living above the arctic circle; and it was even hotter in the Cretaceous.

One study has calculated that in order to produce a Venerean scenario, we'd have to rapidly burn off ten times as much fossil fuels as actually exist.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:11 pm 
Smeric
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I seem to have found what you are referring to: https://grist.org/climate-energy/could-greenhouse-gases-turn-earth-into-venus/

Burning all the fossil fuels in the world would still have disastrous consequences of course:

Quote:
A new study suggests human activity could, in theory, bring about the end of most life on Earth
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-runaway-greenhouse/
https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/if-we-burned-all-the-fossil-fuel-in-the-world
https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/scientists-confirm-theres-enough-fossil-fuel-on-earth-to-entirely-melt-antarctica-1216832

And the extinction rate at the moment is about 1000 times higher than background extinction rate (without human intervention). As far as I can tell, it's equivalent to supervolcano and massive meteorite influence.


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