An open letter to billionaires. Dear Visionary: Throughout history, pioneers and titans have left indelible marks, not just through wealth, but by shaping the course of humanity's future. Earth has been our cradle, but space presents an unparalleled frontier, a canvas vast and untapped, ready for the strokes of visionary genius.
The BBC has an article about the Onkalo nuclear waste site: The place where no humans will tread for 100,000 years
. It would be cool if we could make a civilizational time capsule with that kind of endurance.
It's no longer just a moral panic, it's a global media meltdown. Geoffrey Hinton quit Google (after years of working on literal AI-assisted world domination) to conduct interviews on any outlet who'll have him, having very public realizations about the completely unexpected and sudden dangers of AI development. There is no media site or news channel on the planet NOT talking about the horrible, terrible, world-destroying dangers of AI right now. As a response, the general population is panicking as well, and inevitably, so are politicians. What's going on? Are LLMs really signalling the end times?
LLMs like GPT are pre-trained and cannot continue learning in their current form. It is infeasible to retrain gigantic models from scratch every few months. We must develop strategies to overcome this limitation and enable continuous learning in language models.
Radical life extension and brain uploading are two technologies that have emerged as possible ways of extending human life and consciousness beyond the traditional biological limitations. While some people view these technologies with skepticism, arguing that they are morally questionable and could lead to unintended consequences, this article aims to argue that radical life extension and brain uploading are ethical goods that civilization has an obligation to develop. By exploring the potential benefits of these technologies, we can see that they have the potential to enhance human life in profound and meaningful ways.
Revealing contact with extraterrestrial intelligence to the public at large is a topic of great debate in the scientific community. There are both pros and cons to such a disclosure.
The development of Transformer models in AI research is built upon a rich scientific heritage spanning several decades. Key milestones and contributions from basic neural networks (NNs) to modern Transformer architectures include:
Large Language Models (LLMs), such as GPT-4, represent words using a combination of tokenization, word embeddings, and context information.
Models and Premises
Of course there is a plethora of theoretical models that aim to predict the behavior of major geopolitical players. These models use various approaches, from qualitative assessments to quantitative data analysis, to better understand and predict the actions of states and non-state actors in the international system. Some of the most prominent models include:
The Artemis program is NASA’s current effort to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon. This program began in 2019 and is part of NASA’s larger Artemis Accords which are aimed at setting up a sustainable presence for humans on and around the Moon.
Why So Doomy?
As a techno-optimist myself, I understand where doomerism is coming from. Civilization-ending wars and disasters are still very much in the cards today, and collectively human behavior shows at best a fluctuating will to live. So far we have detected no hint of alien activity out among the stars, or found any of the remnants we would expect a galaxy-spanning civilization to leave behind in our own neighborhood - leading us ever closer to the conclusion that long-lived interstellar civilizations are either unattainable or that we're the first intelligent life form to arise within billions of light years.
Why Are There So Many Conspiracy Nutjobs?
There are several forces driving people with certain personalities to the breaking point. In addition to economic uncertainty and doomerism (which mirrors the 1930s to a degree), the future is extremely uncertain. The rise of science, technology, and especially AI, is going to result in fundamental changes to life as we know it.
As a civlization, we failed to learn from the horrors of the Nazi era. The same rhethoric from these times is successful again today. Especially if you look at young men growing up today, you'll find extremist right-wing views have completely become the norm rather than the exception. We are absolutely unprepared for what happens when these people grow older and come into power.
We must take back control of our technology! We must demand root level access to the devices we own, and reject the exploitation and manipulation of large corporations. Only by democratizing technology can we empower ourselves and our communities, and foster a more vibrant and innovative marketplace. Join the fight for a better future, and let's work together to make the power of technology open and accessible to all!
The academic publishing industry in general, and Elsevier specifically, are a curse upon academia and human progress in general. But they only have power if we give it to them. There is still hope that one of these days, young academics will choose to simply not publish there anymore, and when the old guard dies off so will interest in the old information silos.
General Purpose Computing Classified as a Weapon, License Required
A number of high-profile hacking incidents have led to an increasing demand from politicians and the media for a computer lockdown.
...except for all the other alternatives. Here is an article arguing that Federation is the Worst of all Worlds
It's not. One might argue that the article is really an advertisement for an at-best tangentially related product
and that drumming up support for it necessitated changing the subject of the conversation - but I'm going to take
its claims at face value and argue against them as they were argued.
Single Source Companies
Liu Cixin's Postulate
There are many ideas about why it is that we find ourselves alone in our stellar neighborhood (and indeed, may find ourselves alone in the galaxy). The phenomenon itself is called the Fermi Paradox
, which like all physical paradoxes is a bit of a misnomer. It's more of an oddity, really, given what little we know about the probabilities involved we'd intuitively expect the cosmos to look different than it does.
From this New Yorker article
about the geopolitical stance of the most successful science fiction writer of our time:
Discord is eating the (chat) world, in the same way that Facebook has eaten social blogging, and Google has eaten email.
General Interference with Organizations and Production
Organizations and Conferences
After getting kicked off Youtube
, the Blender foundation is now experimenting with hosting their own videos on a peer-to-peer network
. The reason for the ban seems to be that Blender didn't enable ads on their content, so hosting their content for "free" was a money-losing proposition for Youtube. While it is debatable whether Youtube actually loses money by hosting popular videos ad free (considering how they still show ads on the video page itself, profit from the network effect and viewer retention that comes with the video, and are able to inject heavily monetized videos into the viewer's follow-up queue) or whether Youtube should maybe just force ads on every creator instead of just banning their channel out of the blue one day, none of these address the root problem.
Tech billionaires are still looking for scientists to help them break out of the computer simulation that they suppose is our world
. It’s difficult to look at this world view without taking the personal perspective of the believer into account, but let’s examine these claims on their own merits first.