Browsing All posts tagged under »#longreads«

Brain Replacement Surgery — a short story

September 24, 2017

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I would be glad to know . . . whether, when my brain has lost its original structure, and when some hundred years after the same materials are fabricated so curiously as to become an intelligent being, whether I say that being will be me . . . — Thomas Reid Since you asked, the real […]

The Search for Status by Bags of Goo

June 4, 2017

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We have developed a mania for regulating people. We forbid not only evil practices, but we are beginning to lay the restraining hand of law upon practices that are at the most of only doubtful character. — George Sutherland Established incumbents [in business] prefer regulations that take the form of predictable, upfront high fixed costs, […]

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 […]

Media vs. Trump

November 13, 2016

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The big story is the big cities trending blue (all over the country) and the smaller towns trending red. — Scott Sumner To the media, it was a stunning surprise. How on Earth could a tinhorn conservative boor like Donald Trump become president? After all, the polls clearly signaled a victory for the Democratic party’s […]

Syria and The Great Filter

October 30, 2016

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One of the problems with being a pessimist is that you can never celebrate when you are proven right. — Thomas Sowell I once nearly made a bet with a friend that we’d suffer a terrible world war in the following ten years, a war that would kill nearly everyone. Then I thought: If I won, […]

How the Software Deleted the Humans — a short story

June 26, 2016

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By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it. — Eliezer Yudkowsky The lonely guy lived in the basement of his parents’ house, managing four computers, his fingers dancing over the keys as his mind created digital wonders line by line. His expanding belly sometimes bulged […]

The Prime Directive and the Rancher — a short satire

February 21, 2016

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No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations. — “Star Trek” In the TV series “Star Trek”, the Prime Directive forbade the Federation from giving away the secrets of high technology to primitive alien […]