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conservatives might show Labour the way…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 28/05/2022 - 1:02am in

…as this comment from Richard Drax (who owns, poor chap, only 2% of the land in Dorset) suggests: An interesting insight that a right wing MP thinks that Thursday’s ‘mini’ budget (too little and too late though it was) will, next time round, give the socialists excuses to spend – and we cannot possibly have... Read more

Why AI isn’t coming for us any time soon

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/05/2022 - 4:38pm in

As some of you may know, I am now publishing a weekly substack of articles I’ve found interesting on the net and in some cases offering some summary commentary. In an unprecedented move, the kind of once in a 1,000 year event that could never have been predicted, I’m now publishing the odd sample up here on Troppo for general delectation.

Like this one.

They may be philosophers, but some of the effective altruism folks have a very ‘boys own’ idea of how the world works. As Eric Hoel argues in one of his many excellent essays, they haven’t taken on board the evolutionary forces from which intelligence emerged. In a nice turn of phrase, Hoel argues that their idea of ‘super-intelligence’ is deistic, not evolutionary.

The space of all problems is mostly stuff that human beings are really bad at, like picking out the same two color pixels on a TV screen (and three pixels triads, and so on). This scale or metric for intelligence fits perfectly with the deistic framework for intelligence, making it imaginable or at least definable that intelligence is a dial that can be turned up indefinitely.

In contrast, let’s now introduce the evolutionary framework. In this framework, intelligence is really about adapting to some niche portion of the massive state space of all possible problems. Its inspiration is On the Origin of Species, the closing of which I’ll quote in full because it’s such a wonderful paragraph:

Contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. …

In the evolutionary framework different intelligences live together on a tangled bank. … This is pretty much the way our artificial intelligences live together right now. One AI to fly the plane, another AI to filter spam from email, and so on. The evolutionary framework of intelligence doesn’t really allow for a superintelligence.

Failure to control inflation or mitigate its effects helps to control us

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 23/05/2022 - 6:55am in

Inflationary fears are another useful tool to keep the masses suppressed and more fearful than they should be – particulalrly when this government, as it does, tells us there is not much they can do about it. While usually infation is controllable, government seems to suggest this time it is an ‘act of God’. Actually... Read more

Andy Verity on finding the money…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/05/2022 - 7:03am in

As Stephanie Kelton would put it – it is not an Easter egg hunt… All I would add is that, whilst Andy Verity’s comments have appeared at least twice before on Twitter (here and here, for example), it is long overdue that he comments similarly when he’s on television – which, as far as I’m... Read more

Milliband on form as he criticises Sunak

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 7:26pm in

This is the sort of thing, I suggest, that people are looking for from Starmer – but his lawyer’s training seems to leave him cold and unmotivated by comparison with Ed Milliband’s visceral sentiment: And another different and shorter extract here: Even before we discovered we had 9% inflation, Ed Milliband does a much better... Read more

When is the Conservative poverty handbook being published?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/05/2022 - 6:48pm in

The Tory MP Lee Anderson has recently opined that producing a meal for 30p a head is perfectly possible. Though clearly not for him. He supports a government who spent £37 billion to manage test and trace but somehow that wasn’t enough to make it work. So having continued to support that government in relentless... Read more

The UK – seems to be run by idiots…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/05/2022 - 10:16am in

I have just seen a ‘UK’ sticker on the back of a van. This is what the Tory government, having thought about unity – and of course it has since done its best to undermine it – thinks is better than a sticker that has long been familiar in the EU – a GB sticker.... Read more

Not going for growth

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/05/2022 - 9:46am in

Johnson says we cannot apparently improve the economy by spending to get out of trouble (though of course, the post war Labour government seemed to manage that without problem.) Johnson also says we have to go for growth, though his government, with its general tax rises for everyone, clearly has no coherent idea to actually... Read more

Why I’m in favour of the right to buy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 07/05/2022 - 11:16pm in

I was reminded of this by a tweet from a Birkenhead MP which was picked up by journalist, Paul Mason: Being in favour of the right to buy may be an unpopular view because there are enormous numbers on council and social housing waiting lists. But the two are connected largely because the right to... Read more

Johnson’s second nature is to lie

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/2022 - 12:46am in

After Johnson’s Susannah Reid interview it seems that there is another more basic purpose for a red bus: Johnson didn’t demur – apparently it didn’t seem in the least strange to him that people might seek warmth on a long bus journey. He even tried to take credit for the London’Freedom Pass’ involved – just... Read more