Browsing All Posts filed under »Religion & Philosophy«

83 Problems

September 10, 2017

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Love God and do what you will. — St. Augustine Early in my teens, one afternoon it hit me like a ton of bricks: I really wanted to get involved with girls. It was clear as day, as if someone suddenly had switched on the sun. Within months I had a girlfriend, the first of […]

Things We Get Wrong

February 12, 2017

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People are irrational and their decisions are based on emotion, influence, and random variables. Reason is mostly an illusion. — Scott Adams My group is always right — We evolved as tribal villagers, living in groups that hardly changed over the generations. We depended on those people, couldn’t live without them. Outsiders — strangers from faraway — […]

Will We Control AI?

January 8, 2017

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. . . If we just build an AI without tuning its values, the argument goes, one of the first things it will do is destroy humanity. — Maciej Cegłowski We “live in interesting times” fraught with “dangerous opportunities”. But enough about China. Within the next 30 years or so, due to rapid advances in […]

New Year’s Wisdom

January 2, 2017

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Sometimes [the typical citizen] drinks heavily while listening to the flute; at other times, he drinks only water and is on a diet; sometimes he goes in for physical training; at other times, he’s idle and neglects everything. — Plato It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions — lose weight, make more money, be nicer […]

Is the Universe Made of Numbers?

September 4, 2016

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We are not to tell nature what she’s gotta be . . . She’s always got better imagination than we have. — Richard Feynman Ever since the Ancients developed the first principles of mathematics, there’s been a notion that the universe itself is made of numbers. Today it’s an idea more tempting than ever, since […]

Quippy the Gadfly

July 3, 2016

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Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. — Henry Adams Politics is a bloodless form of civil war. Political power is wielded, not by people who are good, but by people who are good at obtaining power. Everyone who speaks in public has an ulterior motive — usually […]

Dear Elon Musk: Nick Bostram Is Messing With You

June 5, 2016

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If realistic simulations of the universe are possible, then there would very quickly be far more simulations of reality than actual reality. Without any reason to assume we’re in reality rather than a simulation, the chances of us randomly happening to be in the one option among billions that isn’t fake is billions to one. […]