Charles H

Charles H

  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    To me a superhuman intelligence is "just" an artificial mind approximately equivalent to that of a human, but with a deeper stack. I.e., able to hold more concepts in it's mind at once. There are probably numerous problems that this...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    You might want to look into the case history of a Chimpanzee called Paradise. A multiple serial murderess, who essentially killed off her troupe of Chimpanzees. Also, may non-violent relations between Chimpanzees are between those who AREN'T closely related. (I'll...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    Magic is more primitive than religion. I.e., religion derives from magic, not the converse. Therefore calling law a magic system of government does not imply that it's religious, merely that it's "like a religion" in certain ways. N.B.: If you...
  • Commented on Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism! A political speculation.
    It's not clear that an AI designed to "run the world" would need to be conscious. Cf. Athena in Rule 37 (37?). True, Athena didn't run all the world, yet. Consciousness would only appear to be needed if the AI...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    The "life or death struggle" was only a minor theme to Darwin. Some of his followers really pushed it, admittedly. But the main people to push it were the "Social Darwinists", who were not Darwinists and were also anti-social. They...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    You can say "I really don't believe the Singularity will happen.", and even mean it. But we are clearly headed towards "sparrow fart" surveillance, as predicted in "Iron Sunrise". Even is there is no "Singluarlity" (and I think that depends...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    Singularity Sky has people encounter a post-Singularity group (the festival) with less adaptation to it than we have currently. Some of the people found it horrific. The thing is, they weren't the viewpoint characters. We didn't see thier reactions as...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    The problem is development, and that means the both the zombie and zimboe concepts are incoherent. If you don't have an awareness of internal states, then you can't develop a model of internal states in others. It would be coherent...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    When populations run out of food there tend to be riots. Often insurrection. A recent example was the "Arab Spring", but it's a recurrent pattern throughout history. Also, when a disaster happens the first reaction is usually to help those...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Motorbikes are actually rather easy to automate, except for object recogniztion, discriminization, etc. Seqways have a built-in gyro, but you could easily add such to a motorbike. (In fact, I think I read about one in the early 1960s. Didn't...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    You don't just get one thing. If you get automated trucks, you also get automated soldiers. And you get smarter automated large vehicles and dimmer automated small vehicles. (Or you can adjust cargo capacity.) What time period are we thinking...
  • Commented on Time tourism
    Sorry, but not true. Between WWII (the institution of the draft) and around 1990 a woman would have an easier time in establishing a presence. It was much more common for women to have no official government record. So ad...
  • Commented on Time tourism
    The are two sub-genres that you didn't cover: "Heading to pre-human time-travel" and "Starting from the distant future" time-travel". They don't so much argue against your point as side-step it. OTOH, most time-travel stories aren't that great. "Rivers of Time"...
  • Commented on The next moves in the Spooks v. News cold war
    You don't need massive violence to have a "deep state". A "deep state" allows massive violence without much public comment, but it doesn't require it. OTOH, given the psychoses that seem to affect almost all people who get power without...
  • Commented on The next moves in the Spooks v. News cold war
    jbhelfrich said: I also think you're being a little optimistic about them not engaging in propaganda insertion on the internet. They're not being overt about it yet, and it's probably not being run out of the NSA. But I'd be...
  • Commented on Lies, damned lies, and popular beliefs
    People believe things for several reasons. Most people don't think statistically. (I'm tempted to say that no people think statistically, but some can calculate that way.) Generally people think in terms of generalization of special cases into "typical cases". This...
  • Commented on Things publishers can't do (yet)
    If his prediction about page shedding is correct (or if it's shared by many people) then it doesn't matter that what you say is it's a trade paperback, he says I'm not buying it in that form factor. For that...
  • Commented on Things publishers can't do (yet)
    Magazine serials used to commonly do that without too much problem. Of course, it wouldn't work for all works, but it would for a large number. IIRC, Dune was originally a 5 part serial...actually two serials, one 3 part and...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    P.S.: The only reasonable alternative that has occurred to me is the randomized choice of officials that was mentioned earlier. But do note the importance of diluting the power of any one official in such a system. Some of the...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    That's not quite correct, though close. A smaller government can be supported *if* it's a government that yields more control to those deciding policy. (Even in that case, though, it's one of the rarer modes of action.) To me the...
  • Commented on The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis
    Yes, human brains have shrunk in average size since the early Cro-Magnons. (OTOH, we don't have that many Cro-Magnon skulls, so this could be a sampling bias.) The normal explanation is that their organization has gotten more efficient. I know...
  • Commented on The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis
    Even corvids (and I think a couple of insects) can invent new (to them) tools. The problem is establishing a culture that can pass them on. Chimpanzees have managed that, but I don't know of any non-anthropoid that has done...
  • Commented on The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis
    Humans predate on other humans, so there's your arms race. Also check out "Machivellian Intelligence". As to why we aren't more intelligence, it's probably too expensive in various different ways. Birth problems is one of the big costs, and, in...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    The problem is that it's a poor metaphor to deal with the Fermi paradox. Tapeworms are sessile. Tapeworms can only manipulate their enviroment via chemical cues. And their host is alive. (Unless you opt to take the simulation argument seriously,...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    What you need to realize is that those "primes" are metaphors for corporations. Look at the characteristic you listed. Consider the attitude of many corporations towards their (non-managerial?) employees. So we've already encountered them. They're just as dangerous as you...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    Evolution is a very clumsy process, and selects from those things that happen to appear. If most of the people you meet are your close kin, then altruism towards people is selected for. If some of them are enemies, then...
  • Commented on Fang Fuckers: some reflections (in a mirror)
    Saberhagen's Count Vladimir doesn't seem to fit the general mould either. (But I think he does whitewash the historical Vlad Teppis a bit.)...
  • Commented on What are the big issues of 2013 going to be?
    The thing is, domestic PV costs doesn't free you from mains cost, unless battery prices come WAY down...which they don't appear to be doing. So, subject to sensible regulations, domestic PV isn't a threat to mains distribution. But it *is*...
  • Commented on Things that keep me awake at night #1: The end of telephony
    Greylisting, perhaps? That's sort of like whitelisting, as whitelisted numbers get through immediately, but unrecognized numbers go directly to an answering machine (which you can configure to be audible or silent). A more sophisticated version would have pass codes, but...
  • Commented on The ticking clock
    It's not *just* a thought experiment. Terry Pratchett was given a somewhat similar sentence. He seems to be continuing to write books, though I think he now has more co-authors. But his sense of humor seems to be slipping. (I...
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